1. Because we can
We shouldn’t feel obliged to keep updating a blog we no longer find inspiring or useful to us. But it’s inspiring and useful to others, you say? That’s lovely, but we need to take care of us. Our audience will cope just fine, and no one will be seriously traumatized because we stopped blogging or started again with a new blog.
2. Because we owe our blogs zilch
Perhaps our blog was that first vain foray into the world of “Will anyone be interested enough to read me?” And, gosh, the gratitude we felt when people gave compliment or comment to something we’d written. I get it. Those trusty pages may have been our first gateway to wider exposure and other writing opportunities, but there’s no need for us to stay grateful forever. If we have outgrown our blog, let’s show gratitude to it for being our launchpad by going on to bigger and better things. That’s the way to make Mama or Papa Blog proud.
3. Because our blog keeps us from writing
For bloggers with writing aspirations, the time-suck of blogging is time away from writing that bestseller we’ve dreamed of. We kid ourselves that blog-writing furthers our art and helps us fulfill big writing dreams. Still, we have to ask: are we practicing our craft, or fooling ourselves into that position because we’re too scared to test our writing in a bigger playground? Adding to the pages of our blog is not the same as knuckling down and writing that novel or pursuing a career as a freelance writer.
4. Because our blog has become a lot like a job
Remember when blogging was fun? I’ll wait. If we can’t remember that feeling, why are we doing it? Even if we are lucky enough to derive an income from our blog, what’s the damn point if its become like that office or other job we hated? No one forced this job on us, so the drudgery is of our own making. Staying up until 3am in the morning after publishing a post to update social media sites because we have to is as bad as any job or work we’re not enjoying. Let alarm bells ring the first time we use the words ”have to” as it pertains to our blog.
5. Because our blog has eaten away at our edgy authenticity
This one really resonates with me. In the end, my first personal blog, “HerMelness Speaks…Out,” became about writing to suit the tastes of others. My thoughts on the world, while not inauthentic, were certainly tailored to appeal to editors, potential publishers, and an audience I didn’t actually have a seat in. Walking away from HerMelness and writing freely and authentically again on What Mel Did has been liberating and joyful. As grateful as I am that my words continue to resonate with others, we might be wary if our audiences have become our employers and are the ones now putting words in our mouths.
6. Because we’re horrible writers
This one is for the aspiring writers keeping their blogs as a complete body of work to show potential and influential whomevers. As bloggers, we should all challenge ourselves by reading our early work. Still good? I’m pleased for you. Many of us, though, will come away red-faced at the poorly written juvenility of some of our pieces, running around the kitchen screaming “Unclean, unclean.”
Sure, we can sanitize and delete work, except then we lose our growth arc and the satisfaction of seeing how far we’ve come. There is also the mess of broken links and inter-web references which, like smoke, will have gotten into crevices we can never reach. If only we could start a “body of work” again with all the knowledge and savvy we have now. If only we could start again, and in so doing refer potential opportunities to a smarter and better written blog from beginning to end? Oh wait, we can.
7. Because we’ve evolved
Our reasons for starting to blog are as many and as varied as there are bloggers. My blog journey began with bereavement, allowing me in my blog pages to remain the woman my late husband had married; a place to pretend I had not died along with him. As I said in the piece “Empty Nest and Moving On,” I found solace in writing my first blog. It became a comfort and joy and took me places I could not have imagined the first time I hit “publish.” I did not envisage a day when my blog of six years and 500 posts would have served its purpose.
The catalyst for me finally walking away from my successful blog was the departure of my last child to university. As he had evolved and grown, I realized I had too. Grief was being nudged aside by my wanting to walk new paths given that my roles as wife, mother, and homemaker were ended, were changing. Walking away from a successful blog to explore new realities is exciting, and something to consider if we’re staying in the familiarity of our blog for safety, instead of finding out what else we have to give, what else we have to say and where else we could say it.
8. Because it’s time, already
But you know, we don’t have to articulate or have a “good reason” for wanting to walk away from a successful blog—to walk away from any blog. Sometimes we just know it’s time and the only person who has to be satisfied with that knowing is us. Like Mary Oliver says in her poem “The Journey,” “One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began.”Sometimes, then, endings are just beginnings in disguise.
Illustration by Josh Quick.