The Blog Balance

I know the blogging cycles. There are the dry spells, and the times of plentiful writing. Each comes in turn, and I don’t worry about it as I might have years ago. If for a time I write little, more words will come when they are ready—and not before. There are seasons in my writing. I have times when I write longer posts, and then times when the writing is short. There were periods in the past when my posts leaned more toward a style of daily journaling, then other times I mostly wrote thoughtful essays. The key to mature blogging is not worry about the change in seasons but to recognize when one is ending and another beginning. Trying to stay in your past writing is the surest way to choke out the writing you now have.

I realized I needed to remind myself of this.

Long form, thoughtful, serious writing is what I value most. And, sometimes, that is what I need to write. When my time with Grandma ended that kind of writing is what I needed. After what I saw and experience, I had no other words. Lightness and laughter felt like a mockery at that time.

So I went with the tide. I cleared the the blog, cleaned everything down to the barest bone, and wrote hard thoughts. It was good for me. The blog change itself said something, and it drew out things that needed saying. I am very glad I have written the thoughtful, sometimes beautiful, occasionally poignant posts that came in that time. That was the needed season of processing after a hard journey.

I will never be completely done processing that time any more than I am ever done processing life. But I sense I am moving on to a new season where that reflecting is no longer a preoccupation. Slowly, I find I am moving forward.

Hard times, and death, makes everything feel serious and provokes serious writing. Death is serious, and serious writing is good. But dwelling on that too long, obsessing on that, can make one forget that God invented laughter, too. There is time for somberness aplenty, but with the coming of spring (and perhaps the passing of enough months since those black times) I have begun to feel the stirring of lighter things.

Crafting thoughtful writing takes significant time, and mental energy. I like the results very much, but in the best of times that genre of writing limits my output. If I have other obligations taking priority on my writing energy (as I do now) I rarely have the wherewithal to sit down and write a thoughtful blog post in the evening. Thus at present such writing has come like a slow drip from a faucet. It isn’t that I have little to say, it is that I have only so much writing stamina in one day. When serious writing is all I hanker to create I reconcile myself to that slow output—and for a number of months that was all I wanted to write. But recently I’ve felt the urge to write lighter things, and savor the small (seemingly trivial) of life.

I hesitated because I have a lot of serious thoughts still in my head which I haven’t written down, and so anything lighter has been shoved aside because I must complete the important writing. Then I realized the desire to set aside the serious (just for a bit) is not something I should fight. There are seasons, and there is a balance. I shouldn’t box myself in.

It is time for some balance. I will never leave the serious writing, there will be plenty more of that. Anyone who knows me knows it is part of who I am. But dwelling only in somberness is like trying to keep myself in one season of my life. It is a time to move out of the deep shadows and walk in a place where shadow and light, serious and minor, each have a place. I could spend the rest of my life writing about suffering and death, but it is not wrong to stop sometimes and write about how funny the chickens were today.

It is time to give myself permission to let go, to look forward as much as back, outward as much as inward, and feel again a bit of the beauty that is found in living, breathing, and doing.

2 thoughts on “The Blog Balance

  1. veronicahrose

    Such a true observation about the seasons of blogging. Also, your thoughts on death and moving on fit well with me. I must admit, I’m not yet at the season for light, humorous writing as yet, but maybe getting there will come in stages. In any case, I appreciated this post. It resonated with where I am now on my blogging journey…a step behind you, it seems.

  2. Thief Post author

    It is always good to remember that not only do seasons not come at the same time for all of us but they also don’t last the same length. It may be some time before you come out of your current season (and perhaps longer than seems fair), but if my example can offer some encouragement it is that the next season will come in its time. And then the next season, and the next after that til like an old seed we fall in the ground waiting for final Spring.

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