Like many of my best decisions (and many of my worst), this blog started in a mad flash of impulse. It was a warm summer day, a seductive breeze was blowing through the open window by my desk. If I recall correctly (and I usually don’t), the duration between getting the idea for the blog and logging into Blogger for the first time was about 13 minutes. During those thirteen minutes, absent from my mind were many of the thoughts that probably should have been present when starting a blog, such as can I really write on this topic forever or for a good long time? Is this consistent with the rest of my goals as a writer? Quesque c’est, this thing you call “branding”? I know writers who’ve spent months in planning before launching a blog–outlining an editorial calendar, consulting branding and design peeps, researching this and that. I wish I were that person, but I’m the thirteen-minute impulse person. And there’s no sign of that changing anytime soon.
Also absent from my mind in that life-altering thirteen minutes were other thoughts that I believe we should probably entertain if we are about to enter into a venture that could possibly extend into infinity, such as Is This Something I Want to be Doing Until the Apocalypse Arrives? and What Happens to Our Online Typos When We Die? But really I think why some of the best and worst decisions of my life have happened in a fit of impulse is that otherwise I’D NEVER DO ANYTHING AT ALL. Especially, anything that could, gulp, last forever. When it comes to big decisions, I either jump off the cliff or spend a great stretch of forever clinging to the edge obsessively cataloging all the implications of the impending leap.
I don’t have any intention of not continuing this blog for a good long while, especially now that a book with the same title will be wending its way towards bookstores in the next year. But, I have to admit that my mind does sometimes wander to How Will This End One Day? I’m really trying to resist making analogies between marriage and divorce here (no more writing about divorce!), but of course, those analogies are just begging to be made, so I weaken: Just as happily married people tend to look on with held breath and the Will-We-Too-Meet-That-Fate? prolonged gaze at the car crash of their friends’ divorces, I can’t help but rubberneck when another blogger makes noises about putting a blog to rest.
A few weeks back, one of my favorite bloggers on the topics of writing and publishing,
Allison Winn Scotch, posted that she was retiring her blog Ask Allison. After I saw her mention the Ask Allison retirement on Facebook , I scrambled over to her blog to post a farewell comment, yes, but also as a voyeur: How would she pull this off? How does one exit gracefully? In typical Allison grace, style, and candor, she said that she was going to semi-retire the blog because she felt she’d answered over the past six years the questions that she hadn’t seen answered elsewhere about the process of book writing and publishing.
But then, a week later, something intriguing happened. She came back, saying basically hey maybe we can work things out and with an extremely candid post about her growing fatigue with the brutal time commitment the writing and promoting of novels requires. Maybe she had to leave to be able to say that? Maybe sometimes we just need to know we can leave if we need to? But, whatever the case, she’s back blogging, exploring online the tough questions writers face.
But what I find so interesting in watching Allison’s process is this: The Blog is Forever. Our loyalty might waver. We may fatigue on the path. We might look toward other horizons. But unless we go blow up that URL, the blog stays, steadfast, beckoning. Come back. Come on, Baby, just one more post for old time’s sake?