And then there were 31,499,999

Kathy at the Cake Eater Chronicles blog is going on hiatus. As Doug notes, she’s not the only one to fall away or at least take a step back lately:

We had Mr. Sponge closing down his previous blog to start Minvolved.com, only to quit Minvolved.com when creepy stalkers made it less fun than he’d anticipated.

We have Gerry Daly who’s Daly Thoughts blog had been promising his imminent return since last December 13.

We’re about to put Swiftee from Pair O’ Dice on a milk bottle.

The MAWB Squad has been out of action for weeks.

And we STILL have no word from Whiskey at Captain’s Quarters.

Let’s face it, the bitch-goddess of the blogosphere is an angry mistress. She chews you up and spits you out on a daily basis offering only enough tantalizing promise of reward to draw you close enough for her to take the next bite. People who get into blogging because they think they’ll become successful in monetary or popularity are doomed to crash and burn.

I share Doug’s regret at Kathy’s decision as well as his understanding of why she’s doing it. And I most certainly understand Doug’s confession of his own thoughts about backing away from the keyboard. I think the “How much longer can I do this?” question keeps a suite in the back of your mind whether you’ve been blogging for three years or for a week. As he noted, money and fame are scant and I’ll add that the hours can be long and notoriety capricious: you can work hours or even days in perfecting a post that reflects your passion and best powers of persuasion and not even draw a flame in your comment box, and then the next day the toss-off piece of drivel or fluff that you put out because you had to write something gets ‘lanched around the world.

I’ll disagree with Doug about the bitch-goddess of the blogosphere, though; I think she’s simply oblivious, not angry. She endlessly repeats the Tralfamadorean greeting, “Hello. Goodbye. Hello. Goodbye,” while keeping the merry-go-round rotating as we jump on and off. (As those on Tralfamadore also say, “And so it goes.”)

So, why do we continue? What benefits have I gained from the last 13 months of amateur punditry? They are surprisingly tangible.

Friends.

My wife and I were talking the other day about how many people we’d have likely never met and come to know if not for blogging; people who have added things into our lives and also given us the opportunity to add into others. (It has also given me the unexpected benefit of re-connecting with friends from long ago, and the Mall Diva has picked up a couple of big brothers – a foreign experience she otherwise would have missed out on.)

I suppose the same thing happens if you join a quilting club or take up any new hobby or sport, but the very nature of blogging means we get to know others on a more profound level than most casual acquaintances. I also suppose these people would continue to be my friends if I quit blogging (and some day we will find out), but I hope it’s not too soon.

I also enjoy the mental exercise, the chance to test and challenge my own thinking and ability to articulate, and to wake up in the morning without a clue of what I will write about that day and then seeing what has turned up by the time I log off that night. Still, it is wearing and would grind my bones but for the “cartilage” provided by the new relationships I’ve made.

2 thoughts on “And then there were 31,499,999

  1. The key, I’ve found, is to never write anything worthwhile. Ever.

    That way, any notoriety has zero opportunity cost. It works for Kevin Ecker…

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