In addition to “where have you been?” I have also heard “I haven’t seen much from you lately” and “Are you still doing food reviews?” In the book that I am writing, I share the experience of getting a call from a restaurant regarding a review that I had posted. Honestly, I didn’t even know how many people were following the blog–analytics were never my strong suit. Lately I have heard from people wondering where I have been.
In 2011, I started the blog as an online journal. In that year and also 2012 I posted 3 times a week and was extremely dedicated. 2013 turned out to be a busy year for work and also I had a 3 year old and a pregnant wife who was sick almost every day. I told myself that I didn’t have time to post that often so I would just do my weekly columns with the local paper. Our son was born in November of 2013 and if I thought that I didn’t have much time before his birth, now it was even worse.
Then a funny thing happened: I got depressed. Not because I don’t love my family or enjoy spending time with them, but because I took away one of the things that brings me joy. In Jon Acuff’s book, START, he shares the story of seeing a band playing to 13,000 people in a large arena. It was a phenomenal concert he shared. Then a few weeks later a friend invited him to hear the same band at a house party. They were going to play in someone’s living room. He expected it to be a toned down event but the band played with the same energy and enthusiasm to 30 people in a living room that they did to 13,000 in an arena. They did their “awesome” and it didn’t matter how many heard them.
When I got away from writing regularly because I didn’t have time, the joy in life started to disappear. Sure it sounds nice to sacrifice yourself because of other’s needs and I do that. But when then tank is empty, you have nothing left to give; no help to offer. If I don’t manage my time, it manages me. When I make time to write, then I have time for everything else that needs to be done. When I don’t make the time, everything collects into one depressed mass.
I am making the needed changes because Writing is my “awesome.” Some readers comment on my stories with excitement, others threaten me with libel. And many, if not most, I only hear from when I disappear. They need a restaurant recommendation and I have not posted anything lately. They want to hear about my last adventure but there isn’t one to read. I write because I love it and it lights me up. I am so grateful for those that have reminded me of that lately.