What am I still doing here? Why am I still putting up 4-5 1000+ word posts a week? What do I seem to NEED this space so badly?
I have been asking myself these questions a lot lately. I don’t seem to arrive at any answers.
I’m always revisiting my archives, (which I think gives me a lot of perspective about current problems). Recently I was reading through comments left during the first months of Osita’s life, and I was struck by the fact that almost all of the bloggers who left those comments have stopped read my blog (at least they no longer comment), nor do they still post in their own spaces. They have all moved on in their lives, left behind the pages where they used to sort through their struggles, and the people who supported them there.
I have always wondered what drives people to abandon their blogs. I’m especially curious about the ones who write some random post one day and then just never return again. I cannot fathom doing that. It’s less strange to me that someone would specifically walk away, after an announcement of some kind, but even that feels impossible to me.
What is it in me that draws me back to this place, almost every. single. day? Why do I have find it unfathomable to walk away, when others to so, so easily.
Most women who have babies seem to drift apart from their blogs. Sometimes it happens right after their baby is born. Sometimes it takes months, or years. I’ve watched women who swore they’d keep writing fall silent for three months before popping back up to apologize for disappearing. Generally those women end up walking away for good one day. It happens all the time.
When I rejoined PAIL a while back I mined their blogroll for new writers with kids my age, but found that the majority of the links landed on posts over a month old. Some blogs hadn’t been updated in three or four months. It seems even the mothers of older toddlers and preschoolers are too busy to write much. I don’t think it would be presumptuous to say that a significant number of ALI bloggers eventually stop writing, no matter how they “resolve” their infertility. I would venture to guess that even mothers who didn’t struggle to have their children don’t post much once they have kids (even if they started blogging BECAUSE they had kids).
I’m not writing all this in judgement of women who stop writing. And I’m not saying that everyone does. I follow a good three dozen women who still blog regularly, even after the births of their second children. But even those women don’t blog as compulsively as I do. I would say that 1-3 posts a week is pretty common from the women I read. Only one or two that I follow posts daily like I do.
Clearly I am the aberration here. I am the oddity, the woman who posts constantly when others only write here and there. I am the one who is compelled to put my thoughts out there EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Why is that? Do I need constant acknowledgement? Continual validation? What compels me to keep posting, week after week, day after day, year after year? I’ve been blogging for 4.5 years and in that time I’ve published almost 1300 posts. THIRTEEN HUNDRED. What. the. fuck. is. that. about?!?!?!?!
I don’t know why I’m suddenly asking these questions now. In the past I’ve always wondered why other people STOPPED blogging. Now I’m suddenly turning the tables and wondering why I keep going. I’m especially curious why I keep posting at the volume that I do.
Revisiting those old comments, and realizing that all those women–women I once felt close to, women whose stories I followed, whose children I cared about–have all disappeared into the ether, it makes me incredibly sad. I’m sad that I’ve lost track of them. I’m sad I don’t know how their lives turned out. I’m sad they abandoned their blogs, and in the process, abandoned the readers who followed them. I’m sad they abandoned me.
I assume they are all happier now, that they moved on because they don’t need their spaces anymore, because they don’t need to rehash old truths, reopen old wounds, retell old stories of grief and struggle and loss. Maybe they are still out there, on Facebook and Twitter, keeping in contact with their bloggy friends, the ones that really mattered. Maybe they think about when they used to write. Maybe they don’t.
They must have friends, in real life, the ones who stop blogging. They must have flesh-and-blood friends to take the places of the ones they turned to on-line. Or maybe they always had those friends, and when they finally put IF and/or loss behind them, they find those friends again. They must be creating that camaraderie somewhere else, so they no longer need to weave with written words, those delicate connections between their own blog and the blogs of the women they followed.
When I think about all the women, dozens and dozens of women I cared about that I’ll never hear from again, I feel an emptiness inside. And a fear. Will the women I follow now, the ones that make up my current “community,” the ones that make blogging worthwhile, will they stop blogging some day too? Will they abandon their spaces, and leave me behind in the process.
The reality is yes, they most probably will. And I suppose so will I? I can’t decide which makes me sadder, the thought of some day looking back at my 2014 archives and realizing that all the women who used to comment don’t blog anymore, or the thought of some day not looking at my archives at all, because I won’t be blogging. I’m assuming that one of the other will have to happen, because I can’t see us all doing this indefinitely.
Not even me, the obsessive compulsive blogger, who doesn’t know why she keeps coming back here to write.
Do you ever wonder what happened to the people you used to follow who stopped blogging? Do you ever wonder when you’ll eventually stop writing yourself?