It might have been an omen. On Monday afternoon I tried to log in to put the finishing touches to this post, only to find my blog was inaccessible due to a database snafu at my web hosting provider. The site was restored by this morning, but for 36 hours I was worried that twelve years of blogging had gone down the swanee. (Backups? What are they?)
I started this blog back in March 2003. In that pre-Twitter world, all the cool kids had blogs. I wanted to be a cool kid, so I bought myself some hosting, installed Movable Type (remember that?) and off I went.
Back then, things were rather uncertain for me. I was lonely and rather bitter about the way things were going for me. The one thing I had was my words, and the one outlet for my feelings and opinions was this web site. Through it I found my voice, albeit one that was shaky and unsure at times. I made friends and shared experiences, both good and bad.
And now, over twelve years later, it’s time to stop.
I put off writing this for a long time. There’s definitely a part of me that wants to carry on. The blog has been a big part of my life over the past twelve years. However, it’s undeniable that posts have been getting more and more sporadic throughout 2015. I’m doing more and more things, but blogging about them less and less.
Time is a big consideration. I started an Open University course in 2012, and at first I was able to juggle the demands of work, part-time study and other activities fairly well. However, in the past year or so the level of commitment required has increased significantly. It’s not unusual for me to spend two or three hours a night studying, and by the time I’ve finished, the last thing I want to do is spend more time in front of a computer crafting a blog post.
Even when I do find the time, I find my blogging mojo has disappeared somewhat. If I’m honest, the election in May was a turning point. I am part of the 63.1% of the country who did not vote for the Conservative party, and yet I’m feeling marginalised and ignored. Occasionally, I try to write a blog about the daily injustices inflicted by Tory policies, but I just get angry and end up ranting about “Dishface” and making veiled references to pork. Furthermore, when it looks like we’ll be saddled with them for a decade, I simply end up feeling profoundly depressed, as the country I loved slowly morphs into something colder and crueller. So, just know that David Cameron disgusts me on pretty much every level, and I am happy to dedicate a sentence to that.
I could carry on, keeping up my current rate of one blog post every couple of weeks. I could fling up half-arsed posts every other day, if I didn’t care about quality at all. Recently however, blogging has become a chore rather than a pleasure. I think it’s probably time to take a break.
I hate it when bloggers stop posting without any announcement, not least because I end up wondering if the author has died suddenly or something. So I am making it official – this is an end to regular blog posts from me.
I’m not going away completely. This website and the blog archives will stay online, and I will continue my travel blogs, which I still enjoy writing (even if it takes me ages to get round to it). I have at least one holiday already planned for spring 2016, and am intending to do at least one other foreign trip next summer. Not bad for someone who hadn’t been abroad at all between 1986 and 2011.
I get more enjoyment out of crafting 140-character Tweets these days, so if you still want to hear from me, you can follow me on Twitter. I may have to protect my tweets soon, temporarily, while I look for a new job (prospective employers do NOT need to see my idle musings on Gareth Bale) but I will approve a follow request from anyone. I’m also on Instagram, where my snark is occasionally accompanied by a nice picture of some trees, or something.
I do want to carry on doing long-form writing, but it probably won’t be here. To be honest, I’m not sure what form it will take. I hope it won’t be too long before I find something that excites me, and when I do, I will share that with you all.
Until then, I will sign off by saying: thanks for reading. See you… out there.
Changed Priorities Ahead photo by Peter Reed, available at flic.kr/p/debvm, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic