So, in the Great Blogger Outage of 2011, this post disappeared, only to return, minus comments. Nice re-entry, wouldn't you say? :)
During the longest break from Middle Passages I’ve taken over the past 2+ years, I learned something. The time away is more important than the guilt it produces.
Through the first year of this blog, I used a regular posting schedule as a net to hold me above the vast canyon yawning below me after my 23-year employment disappeared. By making myself accountable for writing, I forestalled, and then managed through the mountains of anxiety that threatened to avalanche me when that momentous life change occurred. Along the way, Middle Passages taught me that there is no longer a life without writing.
Year two was more about that—learning the craft, testing myself, writing in methods and styles I’d never used before. That year, I gained followers—and an audience—to whom I remain immensly grateful. Now I wasn’t only writing for myself, I was also writing for them. I also started and finished a first novel, a disaster that will never see the light of day—but I proved to myself that I could get through the writing of it, plus a dedicated first revision.
Late that summer, I took a part-time job in a food/cheese shop because the writing wasn’t paying—and here’s where we get to the point where you just never know. I shared a humorous piece about Brussels sprouts relating to my employment with my bosses. Not long after that, the shop was featured in a local lifestyle magazine, South Shore Living. The editor showed up to refine some details one day. I happened to be working, and the chef/owner boss dragged me over and introduced me as a budding food writer, referencing that post. It was an outstanding networking opportunity; I intended to follow up to pitch a story or two. But before I could, the editor called and asked if I’d consider writing bi-weekly food related blog posts for the magazine. There was, ahem, no budget to pay blog writers, but perhaps sometime, there might be a paying article. I agreed, looking at it as another way to market my writing skills, with hope that it might lead to paying writing work.
Suddenly, I was spending weeks at a time writing meticulous blog posts for the online magazine that might have a life beyond my own personal blog. At the same time, I was also trying to muster my way through novel #2—and Middle Passages kept pulling at me.
I love Middle Passages. Honestly, this blog brought me to life and saved me when the cement bag of angst I carried might have led me to drown. But it’s time for me to understand that this a vehicle—a means to achieve other victories. For a while there though, it tried to pull me away from the game. I needed, no wanted, to focus on the South Shore Living blog posts and other writing, but kept veering toward posts for Middle Passages instead—
Then South Shore Living Magazine offered me an unsolicited, paying article under a tight deadline which required conducting several interviews, and not only was I in the game, I was pitching. Clearly, it was time to take a blog break.
The article, which by the way, was a blast to write, is now in. And I refused to write this post or look at other blogs before I completed 1000+ words on the newest novel attempt this morning. So, yes, I am back. For now. Knowing that Middle Passages is here to help me progress step-by-step. And that sometimes, it will have to wait patiently for me, during the times I need to leave it behind.
What priorities have pulled you away from your blog lately?