Note: This is one of my rare blog posts that is not so much with the funny, much more so with the heart. Please keep reading, even if that concept makes you a bit squirmy and uncomfortable…
It’s been 10 days since my last “Sunday in the Park” concoction. I know this makes me a bad person and people will be disappointed. (Well, at least two of them.) And it’s not like I don’t have anything to say. Anyone who knows me knows that I always have something to say, whether they want me to or not. Even when I write a post I never get everything out because I’m so full of it. The spirit of writing, that is. And a little bit of gas. After you get to my age there’s always a little bit of gas.
But even with all these words, I’m having trouble with the “Sunday” posts, even though I really want to make it a regular feature again. It’s the same situation with some of my other regular features. I haven’t done a “Friday Night Clambake” in ages, despite that being the most popular thing I was doing for a while even if I never actually baked any clams and I usually wrote them on Saturday mornings. The “Blogger Spotlight” series has been AWOL for so long that authorities might as well declare it legally dead so the survivors can collect insurance benefits.
And “The Three-Word Challenge”? Dust as well, despite the opportunity it provided to collaborate with other bloggers. (Note to self: Dig out that one post with the rules for The Challenge. Seems like it was pretty funny, and visitors to Bonnywood have been kind enough to tolerate your recycling of older posts even though it reeks of laziness.)
Actually, Dear Diary, I think I realize what my problem might be. It’s not laziness. It’s a lack of focus and time. (Fair warning: The next few paragraphs are going to reek as well, but this time with a mix of self-absorption, misperceived unappreciation, too much introspection, gay melodrama, and self-induced stress. But you already know that about me, Diary.)
You see, this blog is doing okay statistically-speaking. It is not a beacon of enlightenment or traffic, and ain’t nobody gonna want to sponsor this mess. But I do have a little bit of traction. I have some very enthusiastic and generous followers, and I have become accustomed to a certain amount of activity. And I love that activity, I really do. I enjoy interacting with everyone and seeing what they’re doing on their own blogs and finding new blogs and, in general, championing the writer community found on WordPress. I could do it all day.
Trouble is, I am doing it all day. I won’t bore you with all the details, but I’ll say at least this: It takes me hours every day just to get through all the email notifications from WordPress. I firmly believe that one should show appreciation for anything a visitor might do on your blog, so I have it set up that I get notified if someone even sneezes at a blog post. I don’t want to be that blogger who seems to take for granted the people who visit. I know how hard it is to gain a following, having done this for so many years, and I am humbled that I even have such. I visit and explore the site of every single blogger who clicks “like” or comments on one of my posts, every day.
The downside is the time element. After I do all this, coupled with the fact that I love a good writer and I can get entranced with exploring the entire backlog on certain blogs (I hope some of you have noticed my doing so), most of the day has been consumed. I often don’t have enough time to compose a fresh blog, so I resort to pulling something out of the archives, giving it a fresh coat of paint, and hoping for the best. This recycling isn’t that big of a deal when it comes to the churn with your follower list, where new folks are always joining and older folks drift away. But it feels like a cheat for those who have stuck with me through the years. The stickers deserve the very best, and I’m not giving it to them.
And then there’s the elephant in the room, at least for me. I don’t have the time to work on my books, which is the real calling for me despite the overwhelming enjoyment I get from doing this blog. When this blog had a much smaller following, I was able to write and edit and self-publish two books. (Those of you who have read my books, especially the first one, might question whether there was any “editing” done at all, a fully-justified observation.) I haven’t been able to finish a new book in years, fixated as I’ve been on the siren call of a blog where I can receive instant reaction to my little stories.
Something has to change.
Now, I’m not saying I’m leaving, withdrawing into a hermit cave where I scribble madly in the night with no social interaction. The blogging addiction is too strong. But I do need to streamline, just to free up some time and give me a sense of balance This may eventually mean fewer posts here at Bonnywood, despite my years-long championing that one should post every day, if at all possible. It’s just time for me to have more focus, more structure, more discipline. I’m still working out what that entails.
One thing that will be happening is that I’m going to start debuting the longer “Past Imperfects” here on Bonnywood rather than the “Crusty Pie” blog. Those things just pour out of me with relative ease, for some reason, and they can be quick fixes on those nights when I’m not feeling any inspiration for a more traditional Bonnywood post. In the shorter term, this means I will need to “synch up” the blogs, so some of you will be seeing “Past Imperfects” here that you just perused on “Crusty” not that long ago, rather than the six-month delay I normally give such a move. Mea culpa. In the longer term, I will still be posting shorter bits on “Crusty” that will never make it over here, so you can rest assured that following both blogs is not necessarily in vain.
Another thing that needs to happen, Dear Diary, is that I need a little feedback-
Oh, let’s be real about my true target.
I need a little feedback on what bits on Bonnywood satisfy you the most. Or don’t satisfy you. This will help me with the streamlining. Do you enjoy the “10 Reasons Why” posts? Do the “Backup Dancers” pieces annoy you? Are you the most pleased with the nostalgic, personal pieces? Do you like seeing excepts from my books-in-progress? Do any of you care for the Dr. Brian posts? More talk about movies? Less talk about politics?
Please feel free to share anything that comes to mind, as I greatly appreciate the community here, and no voice should be unheard. And I say such knowing that 90% of the people who click like on this post won’t share their thoughts at all, which is completely understandable given the slight awkwardness of the request. But I hope that a few of you will understand that I really want to keep the spirit of Bonnywood alive while still giving me the freedom to write my little books that are in woeful need of editing.
Thanks for listening.