On blogging, self-analysis, and a whole lotta $%*t

Several bloggers I follow recently announced they will be taking a break from blogging. Most gave a time frame for their return, others said, “we’ll see.”

They will be missed, but I commend them for taking a needed rest. Especially those who said it wasn’t fun anymore. I mean, if you’re not enjoying this blogging thing, then why do it?

working, frustrated, writer's block
Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

Which led me to think about this here blog. This Feeding on Folly.

You might have noticed our posting has been a bit sporadic. For the first three years there was an article every Wednesday, and sometimes a Saturday too if we were feeling especially productive.

But since this last June, around the time we relocated closer to Santa, the posting schedule has been hit or miss. There might be a Wednesday post, it might be Thursday, possibly Friday, or hey, maybe none at all. (Oh, the suspense!)

So after reading the fifth blogger in a row who wrote, “this will be my last post for the foreseeable future,” and I swear I heard a dirge playing in the background, I got to wondering if that was my problem. Maybe I’m in need of a break? Am I facing blogger burnout?

Has Fun left the building?

We decided to give the matter some serious thought. It was time for Self-Reflection, and if you’ve been following FoF for any reasonable amount of time, you know that Self-Reflection is our game.

For our evening of Rumination and Cogitation, we selected the chair nearest the fireplace and poured a glass of zinfandel.

Some might say pinot noir is a better choice for Introspection, but there is much to be said for zinfandel. The primary one being the zinfandel was on sale for six bucks and the pinot wasn’t. So there you go.

Sitting in the chair with Me was the Me doing the analysis. The Me doing the analysis was drinking Earl Grey, as she wanted to keep her wits about her.

Our conversation went as thus:

Me: It’s nice to see you again. How are things going?

Me: No complaints. You?

Me: Same. I noticed you didn’t do a blog post last Wednesday. Is everything okay?

Me: Aw, you noticed! That’s so sweet!

Me: Well, I didn’t notice right away. Truthfully, I forgot it was Wednesday.

Me: Right?! It’s so hard to keep track of those things.

Me: So was that it? You just forgot? That’s… troubling.

Me: Is it?

Me: What about Thursday, Friday or Saturday? You could have posted something one of those days.

Me: Meh. I just wasn’t feeling it. And now I’m kinda worried I might be facing burnout.

Me: Uh-huh. And how does that make you feel?

Me: Rotten.

Me: Interesting. Tell me, has the well run dry? Are you lacking ideas?

Me: No, I’ve got plenty of ideas. I just wasn’t sure any of them were blog-worthy.

Me: I see. Listen, how about you tell me one of the ideas and I’ll tell you what I think of it?

Me: Gee, I’m not sure…

Me: Hey, if you can’t trust me, who can you trust?

Me: Okay… well, for one of them I was writing about my new job at the convent and about how last week I was helping with this workshop thingy and when one of the nuns realized she forgot something she said, “Oh shit.”

Me: Really? A nun said shit?

Me: Yeah.

Me: That should be worth a blog post. A nun saying shit.

Me: Is it though? I mean, so what if a nun says shit? They’re human.

Me: Yeah, but you don’t expect them to say shit. That’s what makes it funny.

Me: Maybe. But there’s only so many times you can write shit before you wind up with a post full of shit.

Me: I see your point. What else have you got?

Me: Well, then I started thinking about how different this job is from my last job. You know, going from a high school to a convent.

Me: Go on.

Me: And how after two months of working here it was the first time I heard shit, but there–

Me: You heard it every two minutes?

Me: Something like that.

Me: Okay, yeah, I could see that being funny.

Me: Yeah. But then I got to thinking I was sounding all goody-goody, like I had a problem with people saying shit.

Me: Uh-huh.

Me: And really, I don’t care. I mean, hey, sometimes I say shit too.

Me: Uh-huh.

Me: But not at the convent. I don’t say shit there.

Me: Uh-huh.

Me: Some places aren’t shit-appropriate.

Me: Uh-huh.

Me: And then I started writing about how I finally met the oldest sister at the convent. She’s 103.

Me: No kidding? A hundred and three?

Me: Yeah.

Me: Is she the nun who said shit?

Me: No… though I bet she does, don’t you think? Say shit?

Me: Maybe.

Me: I bet she does. Heck, when you’re 103, I bet every morning you wake up and realize you’re still alive you say, “Oh shit.”

Me: I suppose.

Me: Yeah, I bet she does. I bet she says shit.

Me: Uh-huh.

Me: Listen, about this blog. What do you think? Give it to me straight – am I facing burnout?

Me: No, I don’t think this is burnout.

Me: Really?

Me: Really. Borderline psychosis, maybe. A touch of schizophrenia. Mild hysteria leading toward an eventual breakdown, sure. But not burnout.

Me: Oh, that’s such a relief. I feel so much better.

Me: Glad I could help. Now pour me a glass of Zin.

relaxed scene of sofa and two glasses of wine
Photo by Guillermo Nolasco on Unsplash

53 thoughts on “On blogging, self-analysis, and a whole lotta $%*t

  1. Oh $%*t, I didn’t know you were working at a convent now! How did I miss that?

    I once worked for a glass artist that was making fused glass windows and door inserts. I finally challenged the three guys there to go a whole day without using the F bomb (and all the variations thereof). No, they couldn’t do it. I felt like a frat house mom. But I stayed on until his business closed – I think it was because there were no rules. Well, there were no customers either so go figure.

    Liked by 3 people

        1. Did I know you lived in Tucson? (Honestly, we might have had this conversation and I just don’t remember.) I always liked Tucson. Less congested than Phoenix and they do a better job at preserving their desert scenery.

          Like

          1. Yes, I never could figure out why Phx is so much more popular. Maybe it’s just for people who prefer palm trees over saguaros. I much prefer plants that don’t suck (up water) and are able to defend themselves. But being from Chicago originally, Tucson is as big a city as I ever want to live in. And the opportunities for French Horn players are amazing here. I’m in two orchestras, a summer winds band, and a French Horn choir (that rehearses at my house). Which explains why I just bought hearing aids as well.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Pretty sure anyone who moves to Phoenix does so because of employment and nearly every one of them has a dream of one day moving to Flagstaff or Sedona. Which never happens, of course, but the dream lives on. 😉

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  2. maybe you should drink more when writing – a little schizophrenia never hurt a good writer. In some cases, writing is a mental illness. My advice has always been: Find a happy hallucination and follow it.

    even if it says shit a lot …

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can relate to this! I am by no means facing burn out with my blog, but I have some ridiculous conversations with myself about what I should post. Like commentary on my Uber riding experiences. Thoughts about career, ambition. Sometimes it’s challenging to come up with something cohesive and blog-worthy. I think that’s when I find inspiration from fellow bloggers, like you 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I am so glad that I am not the only person talking to herself!! I tend to get the answers I want that way..Hehe.. I do enjoy your thoughts and often they bring a smile to my face when the smile has been lacking. It adds to the suspense when blog dates are random!! Love you lots and enjoy the wine!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I used to work with a woman who talked to herself regularly, in a rather loud voice, and answered herself too. It was rather entertaining, or at least it was once you realized she wasn’t psychotic!

      Like

  5. This was a particularly blogworthy blog. It made us laugh and wasn’t that the primary purpose of your blog? Making your readers take a new look at the mundane?And this post has done just that. So you are not facing burnout but it maybe that you are too busy with your other life that the blog takes a back burner- that’s ok too. I face this all the time- sometimes I just can’t write and sometimes there’s so many posts coming out one after another. It is a writer thing you know. These days I do Morning Pages every day- so I get in 3 pages of long hand writing every morning. None of it is probably publish worthy but it is me and my Creator or that is what Julia Cameron says. Anyway with that process, I seem to be writing first thing in the morning before I even open my eyes out fully or a cup of tea or anything- before I decide not to write, that is.
    I love that that nun said “shit”. For that matter- what about pastors’ wives- just because they belong to a different denomination. I mean everyone can say”shit”, right ? I remember my husband’s uncle and aunt watching television soap operas in the early 90’s. Many who saw them judged them as “worldly” but some of us saw that as “modern”- keeping with the times. My husband’s uncle is a Very Reverend vicar of an Anglican church- so there.
    But we would to read so much about your nunnery experiences. That would be plenty of “fodder” for “folly” out there.
    Susie

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh hey, I read that bit from Cameron too! In fact, it’s those morning pages that got me back into writing. I don’t do them anymore, but they were helpful at the time. I’m sure I have those many piles of notebooks lying around somewhere.
      You’re correct in thinking my life is a little busy right now, and there is plenty of fodder in the nunnery indeed. I just need to make the time to get it written! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This is a great post. On the topic of bloggers burning out, mine just disappear in time. No one consciously packs it in, they just begin posting farther and farther apart and soon they don’t post at all. After five years, I’m a little tapped out on topic areas… I really need to get going on some fiction because I’ve told every story that’s ever happened to me.

    On the topic of bad language at the workplace, today was my last day working for a domestic violence non-profit. In general, I’m unaccustomed to being around adults that cuss a lot, but for the past year at this non-profit, my co-workers would F-Bomb several times a day. It really bothers me. I never really thought of myself as someone who would be bothered by bad language, but here I am.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know what you mean about bloggers fading away slowly, I’ve seen it happen. After awhile you think, “Gosh, I wonder whatever happened to that guy? Hope he’s not dead.”

      Profanity is odd — in some ways you can get immune to it and hardly notice it. I think that happened to me when I was working at the high school (it wasn’t as bad as you describe, that would bother me as well). But I didn’t notice it missing until this nun slipped up, I’m sure that’s why I noticed it! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. That was some good sh*t. (I feel the substitution of the vowel with an asterisk elevates the baseness of the word, don’t you.)

    And I agree with the 103-year-old nun. At that age, sh*t is not only appropriate, scatalogical observations on life are an absolute necessity. Might I add, an f-bomb or too might not go amiss.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’ve noticed the mass exodus too? Maybe there’s something going around. Like a blogger-bug that makes people feel weary and out-of-ideas. Pretty sure fireside contemplation and a little zin is our best recourse! 😉

      Like

      1. Could be a blogger bug – it’s the season for slacking. Right? I have been tempted to quit thinking I’m wasting my time: 3+ years, <600 followers… Stats are not good motivation, so I continue. Besides, I can't imagine not hanging with my friends every week.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh hey, I know exactly what you mean! I see bloggers barely out of the gate with more followers than me and I think, what the heck? But maybe we should look at it as a lesson in humility. 😉

          Like

  8. I’m glad you decided to stay! Your blog is one of the highlights of my (admittedly) infrequent visits to WP recently.

    And I don’t think it’s just you. I have noticed a precipitous drop in the number of posts being posted as of late. The number of posts appearing in my “Followed sites” feed and some of my other feeds have fallen so much that sometimes I wonder if my WP app has stopped working.

    I wonder what the deal is?

    At any rate, I’m glad you’re staying. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well thank you!
      I admit I don’t visit WP as often as I used to. My gosh, I used to live and die by my stats page and I hardly ever look at it anymore. Not sure if that means I’ve matured as a blogger or grown jaded.
      Hmm. Maybe I should pour another glass of wine. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  9. First, I’m happy that you’re staying. (I’ve also been seeing a flurry of “time to step away” posts lately, so when I first began reading this I thought “uh oh”.) Second, I’ve been contemplating stepping away as well, based on my reasoning of “I really need to work on my books” that I trot out from time to time. But to be honest, I’m still enjoying the blogging bit and I still have many stories to tell (despite my tendency to re-post older tales more often than I should.) So, maybe, sort of, the yearning to publish is diminishing as I reflect on what I really want to be doing in the years before me. We’ll see.

    Third, this story is a gem, another shining example of the trait we both share, one of the keystones in our writerly sisterhood, in which we take a little bit of not-much and turn it into a giddy, tennis-match lark wherein we aren’t quite sure where we’re going until the ball lands just right. Let’s play tennis forever, shall we? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m a lousy tennis player but I’ll volley with you any day. (Dang, I didn’t mean for that to sound dirty! Honest!)
      And just so we’re clear, I really wasn’t trying to worry people or fish for compliments. But I did start wondering if it was a break I was needing, given my current haphazard posting — and whoops, here’s another week I didn’t post. Grr! But then I realized if I took a break I’d have a harder time getting back to it and I really did NOT want to quit. I mean, holy cow, how do you get a job at a convent and then not blog about it?!

      For the record, I’m glad you’re not taking a break too. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Applaud. Applaud. Applaud. I loved this. And too am happy you don’t plan to leave yet. Some of my favourite bloggers haven’t written for yonks, but I fully respect anyone who needs to take a break or move on. If it’s not fulfilling, it’s time to down tools. My own output has waned over the last couple months. Work is busier, my time off has altered, I’ve decided to clean my house occasionally. Hence, I’ve been re-blogging some Christmas themed posts. It’s also a way of plugging stuff that many people may not have seen! What I love is, no-one judges anyone here for changing their priorities, we can be as loud or shy as we like, but the WordPress Gang are so supportive either way. Merry Christmas and Cheers! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  11. My wife (an ex-non) never said shit (according to her) until she married me….not that I take offense. At least I’m better at arousing her passions than the convent. 😦

    BTW, I very much enjoy your writing, and I apologize for not getting back to your blog sooner after you liked one of my comments back in September. 🙂

    Like

    1. Haha! Oh my gosh, I actually thought you meant ex-con, and I thought seriously, she never said shit before?! *facepalm*
      Okay, yeah, ex-nun makes a lot more sense!
      And don’t worry about not visiting for awhile. All are welcome here. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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