At the End there is a Beginning

This is Elixir’s last post. My decision to quit blogging comes from long consideration and  research into why people abandon their blogs. Like many others, I found the routine of writing a regular post onerous and I have also lost interest in my topic.

Blogging is a new genre with its own sub genres, literary styles and rules. The expectations of both readers and bloggers are different to the expectations of novelists or short story writers, and their readers. Authors usually encounter their readers through letters or emails, writing festivals or book launches and although most modern authors acknowledge the writer/reader relationship is more embodied and frequent than in the past, bloggers depend on ongoing, long term and immediate responses from their readers/subscribers.

I began this blog because I wanted to find such an audience – and, thanks to my subscribers I have – but blogging is a reciprocal art; a successful blogger is also an avid reader of other blogs, something I didn’t know before I started this blog. Networking is an extrovert’s idea of heaven but I’ve become more introverted in the last three years, so networking is my definition of hell. I’ve also discovered that the upside of the close and direct writer/reader relationship is immediate and honest feedback, while the downside is the temptation to write for the audience, instead of writing from the heart, or taking artistic and creative risks.

I also prefer reading books than blogs, and as I’ve only ever written one letter to a novelist (a friend of mine) I am not invested in contacting every writer I admire.  Keeping up with other blogs steals time I prefer to spend reading books, writing flash fiction and short stories and working on my novel.

I’ve been blogging for two and a half years, the recommended period for giving a blog a ‘good try’. I once looked forward to writing my  blog; I now find it a chore akin to driving to work or attending a meeting out of habit rather than necessity.

I will continue to write. As regular readers of Elixir know, I’ve written all my life, but only recently called myself a writer who spends her days writing. I am working on several short stories, a novel, two ideas for a play, and an essay. What I am working on may never find readers, but that’s not the point. At the risk of sounding pretentious – oh, what the heck, I don’t care if I sound pretentious – it’s the artistic endeavour I enjoy. I love the act of fitting words together, composing appealing sentences, and forming clear, resolute and provocative thoughts and ideas that excite me. Blogging no longer fulfils that need.

As the title of this post indicates, I don’t see starting and quitting this blog as a failure but an opportunity to grow and learn as a writer. I am moving on to a new phase of learning. I am not sure what that entails but I’m excited by the prospect.Tote

In this last blog I want to acknowledge my generous readers, particularly Cheryl over at Impromptu Promptlings and Peculiar Ponderings, my dear friend C who inspired this blog and my partner who encouraged me and edited my posts. You have challenged and inspired me; your friendships are like charming, pleasant and challenging sentences that give me pause and spur me on. I will forever cherish your support.

Thanks also to my other readers and to the bloggers whose posts I have read. I am sorry if I did not always respond to what you wrote but I have enjoyed your blogs and wish you joy with your writing.

 

 

 

 

14 thoughts on “At the End there is a Beginning

  1. Hi again Janet,
    Just came by a couple of my responses to two bloggers, one is the one I previously posted to re vulchers & the other from a blogger I initially met on Elephant Journal & later Facebook. I can see that I have shared a lot more about myself than I thought.

    Like

  2. Hi Janet,
    Hope all is well with you.
    My blogging is non existant at the moment although I continue with my journaling.
    I have six more weeks remaining until I return home to England. My creativity seems to have come to a halt and I feel I need a kick start. You did mention about e mailing and I think this may be a more appropriate vehicle to share the possible reasons for the stalemate. Would it be possible to e mail you please?

    Kind regards
    Margaret

    Like

    1. Hi Janet,
      Lovely to receive a like on one of my postings. How timely as yesterday I was meaning to reply to your comment re my journaling practice. For some reason I seemed to be ‘all over the place’ trying to do this which perhaps reflected where I was at yesterday generally.
      It is now 3 weeks until my return to the u.k. and unlike last year I don’t feel ready. I only feel I am really getting into the swing of things her getting to know so many lovely people & day. Y day gaining more insight into the culture.
      These past few weeks I have been taking photos of plants, food, people etc & on my return home I plan to compile a photo journal tracing my gambian journey since 2012 dividing pics into categories.I did this in 2013 for mums 90th birthday and found the process quite therapeutic & also somehow reflected my life story.
      I get my pics printed off at photographers & put them in an art journal with written descriptions underneath.
      Hope all is well with you

      Like

  3. I am so glad that in some way I helped push you on so you COULD discover a new learning phase. I always think if we’re not learning, we’re dying. (And I guess I’m a little pretentious, too! 😀 ) But we won’t lose touch! I do so enjoy your friendship! Now get out there and immerse yourself in the writing that’s just right for you! Big hugs, Janet! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Hi Janet,
    Thank you for sharing your final blog posting. Your creative journey sounds wonderful and I will miss your blogs.
    I apologise for not commenting on your posts apart from the one where you mentioned airbnb.
    At the time I had recently returned from The Gambia. I found your comments useful.
    How timely this blog posting has arrived. I arrived in Gambia 27 Dec staying for four months.
    A few months ago I started a blog ‘smiling coasts’ which I think is the name my comments will come to you via WordPress.com. To date I have made two postings and can identify with most of your blog content apart from me not having written books or short stories.
    The jury is out yet regarding my blogging future. I have already handwritten a rough copy about my nursing career and I hand write in my journal most days, recently incorporating sticking in pictures.
    Since my arrival in The Gambia I have continued this process and just reviewed 2017, being away from my usual surroundings has been conducive to this process.
    I have archived your blogs and will revisit whilst here as I had planned to reply to one in particular but events took over.
    All the best in your creative journal, happy new year and best wishes for your future happiness.
    margaretmc123@yahoo.co.uk

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Margaret. You sound like you are making progress in both your personal and writing journeys and I wish you well in the future. While I will no longer write and blogs I will not be shutting my site down until June, when my subs are due so I can can look for and follow your blog, either by email or while I am still with Word Press. I look forward to hearing more about Gambia. Cheers, Janet

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Janet,
        Hope all is well with you. I have been thinking of sharing some Gambian stories with you. Today I came across a poets view of vultures which led me to reply from an experience I had on my first visit to The Gambia.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Thank you , Janet, for all the wisdom you have cast out on Elixir’s waves for us to catch , ponder and enjoy. I’ll miss it in my inbox , but hope to find your other writings in other places. All the best for the next stage.
    Brenda C.

    Liked by 1 person

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