Although I'm usually not a fan of looking back, there is one time of year I like to do that - right before New Year's Eve. Like so many of us, I like to review the year right before it ends. But don't worry, I am not going to bore you with a bunch of statistics and memories.
"I am thinking about discontinuing my blog", I announced to my spouse as we were exercise walking. Incidentally, he rarely goes online, so (as far as I know) he doesn't even read it.
He looked at me.
"Why would you want to do that?", he asked.
My spouse is a simple man. If you enjoy something, you do it, and that's it. He loves to cook. He will spend hours in the kitchen if given the chance. If I like blogging, he reasons, why would I want to stop?
Lately, he's had fewer chances to do what he loves. He doesn't want to give up what he loves, and he doesn't think I should, either.
I know I must get on my spouse's nerves sometimes. We take a walk and I
am there with my camera "taking a picture for my blog". I fill up my
camera and he waits patiently for me to delete photos so I can take some
more snapshots. We get irritated at each other sometimes, too. But, after 41 years of marriage, he's gotten good at putting up with me.
At the beginning of the year, I chose a word to represent 2015: "Different".
Well, yes, 2015 was different. His 2015 was, too. It featured his elderly mother developing a condition requiring surgery. The surgery took a lot out of her (she's in her late 80's and you don't heal quickly at that age.) She ended up with two hospitalizations (including the surgery) and weeks in rehab. We ended up having to downsize her and move her some 150 miles to be closer to us and another relative in the area.
My spouse is also guardian for his developmentally disabled brother, a saga in itself.
So, about my blog, why would I want to do that?.
I've been blogging since 2009. I started to blog because I loved to write when I was younger, but gave it up. Blogging has allowed me to write daily and pursue my love of taking snapsnots. I think I have come to the end of the original goal of this blog, however. I think I've done all I can to improve and practice my writing with just plain blogging. If I am serious about developing writing skills, blogging will not be enough.
If I want to learn more about photography, I am going to have to take a course or two.
For writing, I am not sure what the next step is.
So, I ask myself, am I serious about giving up my blog?
Several months ago, I joined a blogging group for bloggers in mid life. Some of the members are professional bloggers and/or writers (HuffPost, published writers) and the difference between their writing and mine is immense. Some of that may be innate talent but I think more of it is good, hard, work, and the willingness to let others critique your work so your writing can improve. I have always been scared to take that first step into the hard, cruel world of people looking at your work and stripping away your soul. But, without that, I can't grow as a writer.
I have never been good at setting goals, either. With 2016, I will (no "think", just "do") set goals for my blog, for the very first time. I need to walk the tightrope between personal obligations, professional obligations, and my blog.
And, in between all that, maybe even complete an afghan that was supposed to be my son's Christmas gift in 2013.
So, I will be thinking, planning, and deciding what I want to do next with this blog, my writing, and my photography. And no, I don't plan to give any of them, although I may have to cut back a little.
With that, I want to thank my loyal readers - your comments help inspire me, and help keep my spirits up. I don't comment back as I should, but I do read, and appreciate, all of your comments. I won't change anything, not right away, but change is part of life.
The next two days will be "Throwback" posts - I hope you will enjoy them.
May all of us have a happy, healthy, productive 2016.