Retirement? Not quite yet…

Have you ever thought about retiring your blog?

Lately I have been seriously considering retiring Brown Road Chronicles. Seriously! This isn’t a joke like when I wrote this April Fool’s Day post awhile ago. I just haven’t been writing and the last thing I want is a blog site that people show up to and wonder if the author has passed away as their last post was three years ago.

Then today I got a pingback on one of my posts from my friend Anne Schilde.  Anne posted about one of my favorite satirical topics… being Freshly Pressed… or maybe I should say… NOT being Freshly Pressed, because she writes fiction which doesn’t seem to catch the eye of the WordPress Editors.  Go ahead and read it… it’s a good post! I won’t get into the Freshly Pressed discussion, but it did remind me what I enjoy about blogging, the interactions and the idea that something you’ve written made someone smile or laugh out loud or cry or yell and scream… or whatever.

So I have decided, at least for now, not to retire Brown Road Chronicles. You can all say a collective “thank you” to Anne… or you can say “Anne, what the fuck were you thinking? Now we have to continue to read the crap this guy puts out there?”

But I still wonder… how does someone go about retiring a blog? Because that day will surely come. Do you throw a party, have a contest, get really drunk and post nude pictures as a final post?  Do you write some morbid final diatribe like an attorney writing a Last Will and Testament?

And I leave my post “BOOBS” to Jared Karol because he was one of my first blogging friends… and he probably likes BOOBS.”

Do you just close it down and go away quietly? Do you leave it up so the few dozen creeps, delinquents, porn seekers and the record number of people trying to open a Lemonade Stand have a place to go each day? I don’t know and I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.

Some days I do feel like I’ve done everything I can do here.  I honestly believe this is a good site, funny, interesting and entertaining, but that maybe it’s as good as it could… or should be. Like a good book, even a blog has to have an ending.  Sure, I could post more stuff about my kids and my goats and living in the country… but honestly that’s never what this site was about. In reality it was about me… it’s always been about me. I started this site at a time when I didn’t feel very settled in my life. I was disillusioned and frankly, disillusion is a great source of inspiration.  So I started writing, and writing a few times a week helped, it was a creative release, it was fun and it made me happy. I guess it still does as I was reminded today when Anne pinged one of my posts.

“So Steve, you’re saying you finally feel settled?”

No, I’ve learned I’ll never be settled… well, let me rephrase that… I’m very settled in my family life, my home life, and in my current business which I have been slowly building. So yes, I do feel more settled, enough so that, I guess, it’s depleted my reservoir of topics to blog about. But I’m also learning to understand it’s just my nature to never feel completely settled. I’m a dreamer and I have this tendency to think that maybe there’s a better way out there, something more meaningful than the quest for money and wealth and stuff.  Maybe that’s a good thing as it keeps me on my toes…

… and for at least a while longer, keeps me writing.

And to Anne, thanks for the pingback… just sayin’ 😉

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47 Comments

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47 responses to “Retirement? Not quite yet…

  1. I’ve totally thought of retiring my blog. Many times. I’m not so much short on writing ideas as I am just short on time. This school year has changed a lot with regards to the family schedule. I now have a high school and middle school child. Plus the grade schooler and preschooler. Heck! I’m barely keeping my sanity!!! LOL. So yeah…I think of the blog a lot…and then do nothing. I’m in limbo.

    • I think its a valid question, how long do I write this blog, why do I write this blog, etc? I think a lot of bloggers probably think about this and like you don’t do much about it. I can relate, this year I also have a high schooler starting and a middle schooler starting. Good luck with that!! 🙂

  2. Anne, what the fuck were you thinking? Can’t wait for that to show up in my comments. 🙂

    Haha, yeah, I take the blog way too seriously sometimes and I get very depressed over it. I wrote a blog suicide post not that long ago, so you’re not alone in your thoughts.

    I’m glad I coaxed one more post out of you, Steve. You have a great sense of humor, and I do miss it when you’re gone, even if I don’t really call Julie. And now you have it in writing that I believe you deserve to be Freshly Pressed!

    • Anne, I’m glad I could help with your stats by bringing you those elite readers searching for “Anne, what the fuck were you thinking? And thank you for thinking that I should be FP’d, that’s quite an honor!!

  3. Audrey Gilbo

    I for one would miss your “blogs”…….keep writing even if it is only once in awhile. Good things come to those who wait so let them wait!!!! Better once in a while than not at all……but then again, you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do!!! Hopefully, you will keep on writing………..

  4. writerdood

    Dude… (I’m on my phone so this reply will suck) but think of your kid and your ancestors. This blog is who you are. It’s your message to them about who your are. Who you we’re. What is that worth to you? Why retire a blog ever?

    Keep writing. It’s more than you think it is. Think forward and imagine your great grand children reading you. Why stop ever? This is a diary — not of your daily life but of your humor your perceptions what you thought. Don`t discount it.

    • I don’t think I’d stop writing… seriously… in fact I’d probably start another blog like a lot of commenters have. I get what you’re saying and I agree and my wife has been printing out these posts… you know, for when the apocolypse happens and the internet goes down! But where does a blog end, shouldn’t there be some kind of ending, some kind of resolution, just like a good book? I don’t really consider it a diary although maybe it is… I don’t know……….

  5. Cowboy, my computer just crashed and I lost everything on my hard drive. Everything is irretrievable. I lost two books or I can curl up or I can push through.

    I was happy to see you show gratitude. So much of what blogging is about is community. And it is the community that can keep you going during dark times.

    You might try some prompts: like Red Writing Hood. Or try buying a book of prompts. Or Google “writing prompts” and maybe something will inspire. Either way, I hope you keep writing. I’d miss you, Cowboy.

    For real.

    • First of all, sorry about your tech issues! Holy crap, I worry about that every day. Second, although I had a feeling it would, I didn’t want this to be a “please don’t go post.” As far as prompts go, I don’t really want to be “prompted” to write. If it’s there, its there, and if its not, its not. As I said though I’m not going away just yet…

    • Renee, always save to an external hard drive 😦

  6. I’m having a riot PLANNING the retirement of my blog! I intend to threaten (ask) to show up at a bunch of your doors, and do a Final Farewell Tour, like Cher, where I go “visible” and take embarrassing photos in everyone else’s homes. It might take MONTHS to retire it, depending on how full you keep your refrigerators.

    Coming in 2016 – The Mikey Who Came to Dinner.

  7. Val

    Even though I don’t comment much here, I’d miss you too.

    As for ‘retiring’ a blog, I’ve never retired one in my life. When I’ve wanted to leave a blog I’ve emptied it of all content (though since I’ve been on WordPress, I’ve taken to backing it up first just in case I change my mind…) and then deleted the damn thing. However, the last time I did that, I badly missed connecting with other bloggers which is why I started my current blog (on 11th July 1012, and I have no plans whatsoever to delete it. Now I have to cross my fingers that I don’t get some sort of brain-fart and want to delete it tonight.)

    But I know a lot of people who’ve just left their blogs as they were, but have closed comments. I recently visited a blog that I used to read a lot and was horrified to discover that its owner had in fact died – her daughter penned the final post there – and it was being kept as a memorial.

    So – if you do go, how you leave your blog is up to you. Though personally I’d offer this advice: if the existence of your blog surviving after you’ve left it makes you uncomfortable, then delete it. If it doesn’t – then leave it for people to read and enjoy. 🙂

    • I had thought about leaving it up because I still get a number of hits each day. And I still like reading others blogs occasionally. As I said above I think I’d probably start another… that’s the question… when have you posted enough on one blog and when do you decide to start another? It’s that question, is a blog just a diary where I write what I feel like, or is it a project with a beginning and end???????

  8. If you shut your blog down, how will the goats get their Twinkies?
    You are part of our blogging community – so blog at your own pace, or not at all, but I don’t think it would be very neighborly to pack up your blogging home and leave!

  9. I only started blogging in March… So I missed out on your prolific days… But I hope you keep going… Even if it is just every now and then. 🙂

  10. I was wondering where you’d been. I thought my reader wasn’t working right.

    I’ve retired a couple of other blogs. I deleted 95% of the content, but left a few final blogposts. I closed the comments sections. I’ve deleted other blogs in their entirety, and then regretted it. (I had one blog that was dedicated entirely to special needs parenting, and I deleted it because it was just too damn depressing.)

    And that’s typically how I’ve seen others close down their blogs as well. One person actually said that it was time, that books have endings and so should her blog. Honestly, I think if you closed your blog, you’d probably regret it two weeks later.

    • That’s what I have been wondering about… I know as soon as I shut down I’ll have something I want to write about and I’ll regret it. BUT, I agree with your friend, blogs should have an ending. I think they are more “project” than diary.

  11. I vow every week to stop. And then, I can’t. Maybe because as you probably know from my posts that I am in that unsettled place. It is sort of like a drug isn’t it? But, I wonder every day…why? What do I do it for? What do i think it will be? And I say that’s it. And EVERY TIME, I get a comment from someone that brings me back. I say it’s for these people that may need to hear what I have to say, but I know it’s mostly for me. Until, I find that “settled place”. Which as you said, does not really exist. At least for dreamers like ourselves

    • Just another thought…and do not take this the wrong way as I believe you and I are close in age, but (although I’ve never met you) you remind me of my Dad. He was a vibrant, creative, talented and charasmatic being. He was an artist, a writer, and a teacher. He wrote a book called “gingerbread” about the Victorian house we grew up in (my mom is still there) and since his sudden death 5 years ago I have clung to it. I wish I had more of his words to read.  I agree with writerdude. Just write when you want. We’ll be here.

      • Hi Emily… in the interest of full disclosure I am 44! But yes, I am glad you can relate. Us dreamers are a fascinating breed! Your father sounds like an interesting man, your description reminds me of my grandfather who I never knew, but who was a teacher, coach, poet, writer and all around fascinating character. It’s interesting that so many of us think about why we blog… and we continue to obsess over it day after day!!!

  12. Good to read your words after such a long time. I could have written this post (not as well as you of course). . . been feeling the same way. What’s left for me to do on my blog? I’ll probably resurface sometime soon too. . . 🙂

    • You and I are very similar and someday, come hell or high water, we’ll sit at a bar somewhere and have a beer together! I know you’ve probably had these same thoughts, why am I writing this blog, what is my goal here, where is this getting me……………………??? And I know you like BOOBS… or have BOOBS… or something like that! 🙂

  13. bigsheepcommunications

    Think of your blog as a dear friend – sometimes you lose touch for a while, but it’s always great to reconnect from time to time. She’s there for you when you need her ; )

  14. I was going to stop blogging a while back, but decided to start two completely different new blogs and they put the thought out of my head, maybe thats the way to go.
    I hope you don’t stop, Harry.

    • I remember your original blog about handyman stuff. I thought that one was pretty cool too, and I remember one of the first things I read was about thatched roof cottages in Ireland. You’ve become quite the prolific guy yourself!

  15. I’ve done many times since I started in the mid90s. In fairness, my blogs (ran 3 at once…) were dedicated to specific things. My “realmewp” tries to focus on fitness and health–things that I need to dedicate myself to due to chronic illness. I try to put up a bunch of motivational stuff, too. Now and then, I get down and vent but usually pull it because that’s not what I want to do THERE. MT is my longest identity–moving from Vox (started in April 2006?!…and left in 2008 when I could tell they were failing, too many technical issues) to WP. MT is my favorite as it’s me at my worst. It’s the me that you wouldn’t be surprised to meet in person–although you may expect worse behavior cos I truly do “act like a lady” from time to time. Still swear compulsively, which hasn’t ever caught on as “okay” in the Midwest for a broad. Unfortunately.

  16. Never retire your blog, Steve. I’d miss your writing! Now that you’ve written this post and see the responses, you can see that you can always just take a long break, then come back and it will still be there for you.

    As for me…have I ever thought of leaving my blog for good? Every single day.

    • See, you get it… it’s like “wow this is a great blog, but it sure is a pain in the ass to have it hanging around all the time.” This is clearly a more universal feeling than I realized, this whole “why the hell am I doing this blogging thing”… thing.

  17. GOF

    Perhaps we all go through stages of blogging disinterest. For me when I feel it is an obligation rather than a pleasure I just take a couple of months off until the writing urge returns. When I retire, the blog will remain. I commenced it some years ago so my children would know about everything I did in my life and my philosophies and thoughts, because I grew up not knowing much about my own Dad.
    Like you, I appreciate those loyal blogging friends who have given me encouragement to continue when I’ve felt disillusioned.
    Whilst I only discovered your blog recently, I enjoy reading it and hope you continue.

  18. I can’t let your goats go Twinkie-less! I understand thinking about retiring your blog – for a blog to be truly good (and yours is), the author must invest time,effort and energy. At some point, all of us ask whether it is worthwhile to continue. I recently had a schedule change that has played havoc with my blog writing time, but I’m not ready to let my blog go yet, either. I guess when you reach the point where blogging is little joy but lots of work on a consistent basis, then it is time to say goodbye. Personally, I hope that you find more joy than work in your blog for a long time to come!

    Nancy
    http://www.workingmomadventures.com

  19. I’ve been reading your posts today, trying to catch up, but haven’t left any comments. Because I am against Goat Abuse. Twinkies simply cannot be good for goats. Do we need fat goats in America, too? I think not. Goats on treadmills? Preposterous!

    Then again, maybe the pigs shouldn’t be having all the fun.

    I know what you mean about this inclination toward de-blogging yourself. Since I’ve gotten back to making art, my brain can’t seem to squeeze out any written content…then you feel bad because there’s this blog, neglected like an old Teddy bear that really served you well for so long, and now it’s tossed off the side of the bed, kicked around and gathering dust. The relationship to a blog is an intimate one, and when we don’t nourish it with our love and attention, it feels like something is dying. Because it sort of is. It’s not as ‘alive’ as it was before.

    • As I’ve said before, in the interest of full disclosure, my goats do not actually eat Twinkies and this is only a marketing gimmick to guilt people into leaving comments. They do eat all kinds of other crap though…..
      In any case, that’s what it is, when your brain is focused on other stuff, the blog gets neglected. As much as I think I have mental space for all of this stuff, apparently I have too much squeezed inside my head.

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