State of the Blog: Year Four

This month will mean that four years have slipped by since I put fingers to the keyboard to start a blog. I am hitting this anniversary at an odd point in my writing life since, well, the blog is not exactly a priority at the moment. While I’ve had cycles of writing and not writing before over the course of the last four years, this one has pushed the blog to near back burner status.

Over the years, I’ve had a couple different approaches to writing here. I’ve had frequent updates, longer essay posts, open threads, and probably some posts that don’t fit any of those categories. Overall, I’ve mainly kept it focused on library issues with the occasional personal post. That’s probably why I haven’t written much in the last month since the kinds of things that hold my interest for writing these days are far, far away from libraryland. I’m engaged to get married in the fall, my interests in country and ballroom dancing have grown as I’ve gotten better at them, and video games feel more rewarding (whether it is achievements in World of Warcraft or the thrill of battle in Team Fortress 2) as a leisure activity. When presented as a choice, spending time blogging tended to lose out in the recent past.

In trying to root out my writing ennui, I feel a distinct lack of inspiration that I used to get from the libraryland blogosphere. If I was to guess at a point of origin, it’s about when Will Manley disappeared off the scene. His daily posts and lively discussions were a good pulse on current topics and I miss them to pieces. Moving forward in time from that point, I still have people on my ‘must read’ list but they seem to be writing less these days as well. Even then, there are still excellent bloggers out there (some of whom I’ve grown to adore), but nothing they are saying wants me to set aside time and type up my thoughts on their post. I just nod, maybe share somewhere in my social media web, and then move on. There are times when Google Reader just becomes an exercise where I choose between skimming and clicking on Mark All Read. 

As I write this, I am realizing that this is perhaps the first time in a long time that I haven’t been in the midst of a bunch of projects, presentations, conference, and whatnot that had kept me tethered closely to the library world. I look at the notecards on my project board (divided into two sections, “NOW” and “FUTURE”) and it hasn’t changed in the last couple of months. I have a talk for a library science class in May and a note to remind me to check in with John about EveryLibrary… and that’s it. In the last three years, I would have had three or four ideas or projects in the each section. Perhaps I pushed myself too much in the past (I can remember some of the looks I got when I told people how much I was doing at any given time) and this is the inevitable burnout that was destined to happen. It’s something I’ll need to figure out over time.

(Funny enough, after writing the above paragraph, I actually wrote down a few I had forgotten and added them to the board. The big moment will be trying to figure out what to do with them. Since I’ve put up the board, I’ve kept every notecard I’ve posted on it, whether it panned out or not. I’m toying with the idea of making all of those notecards available to anyone who would want to pick through it and use one of them. If I’m not going to use them, they might as well go to a good home. -A)

I can’t say that I’m done blogging forever (so some people reading this can put their party hats down now), but I feel that this blog will be entering another era of change in terms of tone and content. I hope you’re willing to come along for the ride, no matter where it takes us.

Happy 4th of the Blog.

2 thoughts on “State of the Blog: Year Four

  1. This resonates with me, somewhat. Not only am I blogging much less, but you, Bobbi, Toby, Buffy, Bethan Ruddock, Emma Illingworth and all the other people who were always in ‘the essential reads’ part of my Google Reader are also blogging much less. I don’t use Reader at all now – I trust Twitter to surface things that matter. I can’t say I really miss it, being immersed in the library blogosphere, although I very much enjoyed it at the time.

    I think it’s just a whole group of us going through a similar cycle at a similar time. There’s also a whole group of people who arrived at blogging later who are just now going through the ‘so many ideas, have to get them out there!’ phase we all enjoyed… But I wonder if there’s inevitably some entropy to our CPD, for want of a better way of putting it? In that we have less energy after expending SO much energy for 3 or 4 years; in that we achieved some of the stuff we were setting out to achieve; in that real life inevitably throws up more and more stuff to get in the way. I wonder how it could be any other way.

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