I Applaud You – No Apology Necessary

From time to time I see posts written which outline how the author is taking a break, reducing the frequency of posts, or something similar.

The reason cited most often is a lack of time due to other commitments (be they other projects — yay; or the day job — boo). It could be just a general reordering of priorities, blog direction or topics, or simply new ideas. At times a significant life event might be just around the corner.

Sometimes there is an accompanying suggestion of a drop off in post quality — always by the author mind you — us readers are generally enjoying them as much as we ever have. Perhaps the notion of guilt is expressed because a regular posting schedule has been missed, or even a feeling of dread because self-imposed deadlines are looming.

That is no fun.

The very essence of a personal blog, whether named as such like this one, or named in connection with its primary topic such as those linked to below — is just that — its personal. That is, your personal “thing”. Your project, or hobby, or endeavour. Whatever you choose to call it, or how you approach it — yours it is, and yours to do with as you please.

I have read three such posts from sites I follow (and very much enjoy) in fairly quick succession on this general topic. There have been many others, and I link to these merely because they have been posted in the past couple of weeks:

Making Time For Fiction – Write Analog
Stay Tuned… – Johnny Anypen
On taking a step back… – All Things Stationery

This post is not so much about those above, more so my thoughts on what I, as a reader, am owed in terms of an explanation from the author of any site I chose to read.

I am very happy to read about upcoming plans, changes or new projects from those I enjoy reading, and found myself saying: “good for you” when reading each of the posts above. I say the same when reading posts describing how things are a little busy, or difficult, and the author is taking a break. I equally applaud and enjoy reading about the “why” of both.

Just one thing though — there is no way you ever need to apologise to me for making changes to your blog. The particular posts above have not done this, yet there are others that have.

Your blog is almost certainly a hobby. The thing that either excites you or helps you wind down (likely both). Something to take your mind off your day job. Perhaps it’s a portal to another world — one which you also frequent on Twitter, Instagram, Slack or any other means of interaction with the community of your fellow bloggers.

Of course my frame of reference here is the pen community, however I am sure the same applies to many others.

You’ll notice I’ve referred to hobbies, winding down, taking your mind off your day job. All positive. Things which bring us joy. Perhaps a sense of satisfaction or accomplishment (maybe a little fear) every time we hit publish. Contributing, sharing — caring even — about the community and what we may bring to it.

When the “positive” changes, or is harder to see or feel, you have every right to — and should — make changes. Set goals and plans, but feel free to change them. Suit yourself, not a “recommended” posting frequency, topic and length — prescribed for “maximum page views” (unless you want to of course).

If the frequency drops? Myself and other readers who enjoy your posts will still be here. When the next one hits our RSS or Twitter feed, inbox or web browser, our smile will be broader than ever. Because you’re still writing and we know writing brings you joy — perhaps as much as reading your words brings us. Personally, I’d rather read six posts a year than none at all, and I’m sure there are many readers who feel the same.

Who knows, perhaps after that break, the post you return with might be a cracker.

So, if you deem changes are preferable, or even necessary on your blog? Please make them, and by all means you may profusely apologise if you want to — it is just that in my humble opinion as a reader, I don’t believe you need to.

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