I was very saddened today when a blogger I follow and consider a friend decided to stop blogging. She did it suddenly and deleted her entire blog. I spoke with her afterward and offered condolences. She explained she was upset by insensitive treatment from other bloggers and needed to step back for a while. She said she might return to blogging later on, but needed to nurse her emotional wounds and re-assess whether blogging was good for her.
I'm not going to mention her name.
Her decision was rare but not unprecedented. In the year I've been here, two other fashion-bloggers I followed closely ended their blogs. They also did it suddenly and with apparent emotion behind the decision.
Now, none of us has to blog; it's an entirely voluntary activity. And all of us are free to stop anytime we want. We don't owe anything to the blogging-world.
I respect and accept these decisions to stop. I am also saddened by them, both for the pain the bloggers felt and for the loss of their blogs. When you hear someone talk about their life on almost a daily level and then they disappear, you feel their absence acutely. At least I do. I'm an emotional person and I get deeply attached to people, even people I've only met online. Perhaps that's a flaw, but I accept it as part of who I am. I care about my friends.
I plan to stay in touch with my blogger-friend and I hope she'll keep in touch with me.
The experience of the other two bloggers is hopeful. In both cases, they returned to blogging after a month or two, but with a difference: instead of blogging about fashion, they shifted the focus of their blog to something else. In one case, the blogger started reviewing old movies which are a passion of hers. She's very knowledgeable about that subject and seems to enjoy posting long essays on it. Since I share that passion for the cinema, I'm happily enjoying her new blog. She posts less frequently and that's probably a good thing for her. Many bloggers complain that their blog takes on a life of its own and becomes more of a chore than a joy. If you feel pressure about posting frequently, that's probably a sign your blog isn't adding happiness to your life.
The other blogger who left and returned also posts less often now. Her outfit-posts used to be daily; now she reports biweekly on her personal life. Because those reports are incredibly raw and honest, she restricts access to her blog to a select few readers. I'm honored she invited me to be among them.
Blogging can create joy or pain. If it isn't making you happy, you can change it. I'm sad my friend stopped today and I hope she will re-think what she's doing and come back later on, possibly with a new approach that suits her better. Ultimately, I want her to be happy.
Are you happy with your blogging? Have you ever thought about stopping?