Where To Go From Here

I have been keeping a blog for 10 years. Some of it does not exist anymore, but some of it still does – which YIKES. In those 10 years I have always greatly loved this format. It has been a huge resource for me and a huge outlet and excellent writing practice.

This is the first time that I am finding myself questioning if I want to continue this space and that is scary.

If I am being super honest I have felt my confidence greatly shaken in the last few months as far as my ability to write interesting, engaging articles. I have major concerns that my posts are dull and lifeless, repetitive, vapid. I rarely feel they are initially, but then after they go live they do not feel as rich as I want them to be. I feel kind of like I’m failing.

And then there is this other thing. There are topics I really would love to write about. Sometimes they are all I can think about, but I cannot write about them because it would be inappropriate. Not sexually inappropriate, but from a person to person level, a privacy level, it would almost seem mean spirited. That’s been a real struggle for me. That has been a real struggle for me – the things I really need to work out for myself, the things I would love feedback on happen to be things I can’t write about.

I spend a lot of mental energy trying not to fill every post with stuff about Gabe. Sometimes I want to tell you about how he has been a fucking mess lately. Or how he violently prefers Kamel right now and how that made me cry last night because … I fucking made you inside my body and we had this connection that I totally semi-made up in my mind for almost a year and you are technically still a baby and goddamn it love me!! But I don’t want this to be the house of Gabe. This is the house of Lauren. Acknowledging all of my bits and being mindful about them is hard right now. I feel like large parts of me don’t exist at the moment. They are invisible and I have to be patient until they come back.

I worry that if I am not consistent with writing here that I will lose readers and as cliche as that sounds it weighs on me. It shouldn’t matter, everyone says it shouldn’t matter, but if I’m being 100% honest it does matter to me.

So there it is, I’m feeling lost. I’m not sure what I’m doing anymore. Kamel tells me that it is a phase and it will pass, and that could be very true. So I’ll still be here, chugging along, until I figure it out.

30 thoughts on “Where To Go From Here”

  1. I am always so excited when your posts show up in my feedly! I hope you’ll keep writing, because I love reading it. But I know you will choose what is the best path for you. <3

  2. So, in order to be productive at home, I have to have an internet blocker to keep me from looking at websites while I’m trying to work. It blocks facebook, twitter, and feedly, among others. And yours is one of the 3 blogs that I just type in from the browser so I can skirt around the productivity restrictions. You are one of the three people who I actively search out, whose blog I would remember to read even if I didn’t have a feedly. And one of three people whose work I feel productive reading. It’s a highlight for me, reading whatever you have to say. I know I’m just one schmuck in Georgia reading your blog, but I just wanted to make sure you know how much you are appreciated, and how much your words mean to me. <3

  3. I always want to read you , and I never find it boring. I love all the Gabe stuff, and I always have (and I suddenly get you on wanting to write all kinds of things about him ) .
    Please keep this place! (Though I understand if you need to move on or do something different, another space. Just make sure you let us know so we can follow you)
    Also your articles are always engaging, even when you are writing about everyday stuff.

  4. Three things:

    1) I think this — “I have felt my confidence greatly shaken in the last few months as far as my ability to write interesting, engaging articles” — is totally normal. I went through this phase recently. Um, actually, I go through this phase ALL THE TIME. There’ll be a post that I’m like “ugh, fuck it, this thing sucks but I’m posting it anyway”… and I get a really good response to it. Other times, a post that I SLAVE over doesn’t resonate with people. It’s part of the unfortunate territory that comes with being a writer.

    2) Your blog is on my daily routine — one of the few stops I make *every* morning. Even if a particular topic doesn’t strike home with me, I still enjoy reading it. It’s honest and refreshing.

    3) If I were in your shoes — I’d try cutting back the blogging schedule. Maybe commit yourself to posting 2x a week for now — just give yourself a breather. My guess is that you’ll feel more excited about the posts you ARE writing, and won’t feel like you have to push for new topics. ESPECIALLY since you’ve committed yourself to the Year of Writing — add in the blog, and that’s a LOT OF WRITING! Maybe your creative energies just need to be reorganized this year?

    1. Everything Laura said. All of it.
      Also – I have the issue of wanting to talk about things and get feedback, but my blog is not the right place, because I KNOW my mother in law reads it. And my cousin, and my least favourite aunty.
      So, talking about the topics that are actually in my head at the moment? Often not doable.
      So instead, my blog has seen maybe three posts this year so far. Slack, huh? 🙂

  5. girl, i am excited every time you post something! and being a mom and interacting with gabe is probably a large part of your life, so please don’t feel guilty about posting about him. it’s refreshing to read about true mother-child interactions 🙂 take care!! hugs from ohio!

  6. You are one of my favorite blogs to read, because even if a post subject doesn’t really resonate with me, I love how completely — even brutally — honest you are about life. It’s like a BFF coffee date when you post, in that you feel like you can talk about the things you wouldn’t admit to just anyone. And I know that’s a difficult thing when the things you don’t want to admit go out onto the Internet for anyone to see, but even if there are things you feel you can’t say, I hope that you continue to blog about other things.

    And it’s understandable that you blog a lot about Gabe — that’s what your life is right now, and it wouldn’t be honest to pretend it’s not! It’s your blog, you should post whatever you want. And if you’re worried about quality, well, it’s okay if you cut back on posting. Clearly, from the above comments, we’ll all still be here!

  7. I think we all go through things like this at some point or another. I’ve found when I do, it’s most helpful to lean into it. Stop writing the blog for a bit if that feels right to you. (I know it will make all your readers sad, but it’s the House of Lauren and you need to take care of you first. Just don’t go slash-and-burning your archives, please!) Keep writing, but on an abbreviated schedule if that’s more right for you. Do what you want, and we’ll all be here when you decide what that is. (Also, I totally agree with Laura. If you aren’t counting blogging as “writing” during your year of writing, you should be. My whole world opened up when I started to count it.)

    And, as for the topics you want to cover, I hear you. Those sorts of posts are my very favorite to read from anyone, touching on the tough things, the rough things, the embarrassing and infuriating and painful things. But I know there’s a world of difference between satisfying your readers and yourself as a writer and being respectful of the very real people who exist around you everyday. If you ever figure out a solution, let me know, because I would love to hear it. In the meantime, write those things and then maybe don’t publish them just yet. That’s what’s working for me right now.

  8. I always look forward to your posts. No matter the content, I like what you have to offer. I mean, you live across the country, we do not know each other in real life, yet I’ve been here, reading and commenting for a few years now. You even sent me books to read! If you need to take time, take some time. Everything happens in cycles, and maybe right now you need some time to just be Lauren. It’s easy to say “don’t doubt yourself”, but really really hard to actually do. You’ve got a little support group here though, and we’re all behind you no matter what it is you do/write about. I have to admit that I really enjoy your posts that bring out the most emotions. The posts that are controversial and make for good discussion in the comments. But posts about your day to day are what makes you so relatable. Take care of yourself and the rest will work it self out. One way or the other.

  9. Hey Lauren, I just wanted to chime in that you’re one of my favorite bloggers. Like the kind I seek out even if I’m not using my Reader. Maybe because I’ve been following you for awhile (um… 2009?) and so even though I don’t “know” you I feel like I know you and I enjoy your stories so much. Hearing about you going through major life transitions just ahead of me (wedding, baby, moving for a job) and things I don’t do (job outside my field, an ability to take a mundane event and make it hilarious/interesting, being married to someone who then went through the process of becoming a citizen). I know this must take so much of your time (I sometimes consider starting a blog and then I remember I barely keep up with commenting on a select few) but I just want you to know, I’m listening! I’m reading! I’m cheering for you from the absolute opposite corner of the country (Georgia)! And if you do decide to let blogging go, I’ll miss you, but I will understand that it’s not a priority in your life at this given moment. I agree with Kamel – it’s likely a phase of all that’s going on in your life right now so I, for one, will be here when you get back if you end up taking a break. But if you keep chugging along, I’ll be there for that too – because I like hearing about your life from your perspective!

    Also, my favorites posts on this blog are about literary stuff (books you’ve read or are planning to read), the posts you occasionally do about a news story or issue, conversations about your relationship, and pictures of your adorable kid. So even if that’s “formulaic” well… I love it. [BTDubbs, I hope none of this comes across as weird but I just wanted to acknowledge the amount of work/effort/hustle that must go into keeping a blog updated and to let you know that at least this one reader really appreciates it.]

    1. I know a lot of your friends/family read your blog and I’m not exactly one of them, but that is the very reason I wanted to reply. Like others, I find your blog…. refreshingly honest. Particularly the Gabe posts. Even this post! My husband and I are at the point where we are thinking about kids, and your posts shed a light on parenting that we don’t often get to hear about as women. The things that suck, the things that make the sucky things worth it. And it’s not the usual, getting up at 2 am crap. I worry about losing my identity and it is helpful to know that I am not alone in that, and that others feel that way. You break the mold and I find comfort in that for myself. Do what you need, but know that you have many readers for may reasons and I at least will be here when you get back.

  10. I hear all of this and send you hugs. I, for one, would not object to hearing about Gabe because it’s still your life, now intertwined with an adorable but sometimes (and this will be the rest of your life) drives you nuts critter you grew in your belly. This is also the view of motherhood I got from my mom, incidentally, so you absolutely have my empathies. Mom sure deserved better than she got from us a lot of times, growing up, and I feel like her life would have been better if she could have expressed her frustrations to empathetic friends and didn’t feel so alone. I don’t know that you DO feel alone but I just mean that you’re speaking from a new perspective and when you feel less stale or stuck, if you choose to write about Gabe for a while, that’s still *your* journey IMHO.

    I hope we’ll keep seeing you <3

  11. I like that you continue to blog 🙂 And also, I’m really appreciative that it’s your blog, not Gabe’s blog. Like, your child is important to you but the blog continues to be a you-blog not a mommy-blog, if that makes sense. So I guess I’m thinking… just keep doing what you’re doing 🙂 I don’t know if this helps at all…

  12. Hi Lauren–

    I tried blogging for a little while but stopped because it seemed somewhat forced and like I was trying too hard to be clever, original, humorous, etc. Maybe you need to think about how you want to express yourself now as well as the content. Maybe ten years later you are considering different personal issues on a deeper level. Although I agree it probably would not be such a good idea to talk smack about people in your blog, the feelings you are experiencing might be clues to some of these issues. Maybe your blog needs to reflect you at this time of your own life.

    Jane

  13. Personally, I very much do not want you to stop.

    How’s that for bad writing?

    I love your blog, and through it (and through Margaret) I love you.

    But also, since I (internet) love you, I don’t want you to do anything that makes you feel like a failure. That totally sucks.

    (What are these stories you can’t write about???? I’m so curious now.)

  14. As all others above have said probably better than I could – I love love love love love reading your blog. Its another side of you that I get to hold dear, beyond the real life Lauren I adore. Its reflective and interesting and allows me access even when I can’t run over to bring your wine or take Gabe for a walk. I know you will do what’s best for you and the place you are in your life (hello, timing!) but I check and read this blog daily. It’s part of my routine in the morning – and I would sincerely miss it!
    -C

  15. Don’t leave, Lauren! I rarely (possibly never?) comment, but I always am happy when you have a new post. I’m not even really a baby person and I still love the Gabe posts/pics and hearing your honest commentary about new motherhood. I’m a year or two out from that (even though I’m a year or two older than you), and I really appreciate hearing your experiences. You and Kamel just seem so…real. Truly one of my favorite stops on the internet. All the best to you!

  16. I love that you blog not about Gabe but in this honest, poignant way about how Gabe has impacted your life. I love that you’re able to be honest about the frustrations of motherhood (and occasionally marriage).

    I hate to hear that you’re struggling with the blogging but I feel like you’re giving child-free me a window into how someone can be a parent without losing themselves: it sounds like it feels like sometimes you ARE losing yourself but that you can fight back to you. And I think that’s badass.

  17. It’s… the age, I think. I wish I had something more articulate to say, but that’s kind of the point, right? It’s this sort of unstable period where most of what you have to say is the new(ish) motherhood stuff, but you don’t want to say that over and over but it’s WHAT IS GOING ON, and everything is in flux, and yeah.

    I mean, I don’t know what format is going to feel like a fit, or what type of writing is going to feel right, and give yourself permission to change if you want to, because I think we all need that permission. But. I just think the rest of it is… exactly where we all are with one year olds. Chug is right. Because what’s the other option, right?

  18. I’ve been feeling this way lately, too. It was surprisingly easy to drop down to one post a week, from three or more I used to do, and that took off a lot of stress regarding topics to write about, and actually writing them. I still struggle a lot with thinking up interesting posts, which alarms me because I AM just writing once a week. Maybe if you scale back, you’ll find it more manageable. As far as what to write about, personal-wise, I’m right there with you. I feel like so many things on my mind are WAY too personal – not just because it’s the Internet, but because people I know from work or in my extended family read it! And it’s stuff I want feedback from blog friends on, but I don’t want my cousin telling my aunt and so on. I probably think about it too much, but I love my blog so much (have been online journaling at livejournal since 2002, though I didn’t call it blogging) and am proud of it and don’t want to stop, so I feel like it merits a lot of thought.

  19. Thank you so much for all of you feedback! It was very, very touching and supportive and so much more than I ever anticipated. I really am moved by all of your comments.

  20. I have never posted on your blog before – but wanted to let you know you are one of just 4 that I check on a daily basis and I appreciate your writing very much.

    We have kind of parallel lives right now, I had a baby boy very shortly after you and he sounds like Gabe’s twin in terms of personality and development! And I feel like YOUR twin much of the time in terms of redefining myself, my marriage and my role as a mother now that he’s here – except that you articulate it so much more clearly than I ever could! I honestly feel like I come here to sort out my own brain sometimes, because you can put into words what I am going through. My husband has had multiple forwards of your blog posts with the subject “THIS is what I was trying to say…..!” or “oh look our baby is not the only weirdo in the world who does that thing!”.

    Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for writing, I am a constant reader and definitely hope you will continue on some scale, even if it is smaller than right now.

  21. A day late and all but I second (and third) all these comments. I can’t even remember how I came to be a reader, what drew me here, what strange and magical set of links that was, but I’ve stayed because I like everything I read here. I don’t always agree with you, and I think we have different tastes in some things but that’s true of all my friends, bloggers or not. I like reading about your adventures (local, international or with food). I like reading about Gabe and how you feel about parenting even when it’s not all sunshine and roses (because if it was, I’d think you were lying). I like your book and beauty reviews. I like your political rants and frustrations. I like your passion for Macklemore and pride for whatever that team was that just won something major (not an American or a sports-watching person here, sorry). I want to know what happens next with your work and your writing. Whatever you offer, I’ll read it.

  22. I am late to this love-bomb party, but having been a reader here for years (pre-your wedding to Kamel even), I wanted to emphasise how much I get from your writing; conscious that it is a bit of a one way street, because I only ever really comment on the books posts. However I enjoy your wide variety of interests, your enthusiasm for adventures (personal, emotional and physical), your courage and honesty and everything you write about Gabe from the good to the bad. This needs to be a space that works for you; but as Lilybett says above – whatever you offer, I’ll read it.

  23. I’m not a commenter, mostly because I read in Feedly and I’m lazy…however, I would be so so sad if this blog wasn’t here anymore. I’m happy to read whatever content you provide. You’re an excellent and honest writer. So hard to find.

  24. hi lauren. i don’t think i have ever commented on your blog but i love reading it. it is so real and truthful about life and i appreciate you putting that out there. plus, i must admit- i love seeing your updates on gabe! he is one cute kiddo and i see so much of you in him!

  25. Another lurker and first-time commenter here 🙂 I really enjoy your writing and your honesty. Your blog is a rare corner of the internet where everything is not staged, polished, edited perfection. Do what’s best for you, but don’t feel like you are letting us (your readers) down whether you keep writing or take a break. We keep coming back because we like what you have to say and how you say it.

  26. Hi Lauren,

    I found your blog last week when I google searched “fighting while engaged” – your refreshing, no-nonsense post (and the ones I’ve been reading since then) have been a bloody breath of fresh air! It’s so nice to read about someone going through the same messy, fun and confusing things that I am (newly engaged, fighting about guests lists, dealing with friends with siblings (I’m an only child too) etc… So please keep up the awesome work (I know this post was written almost 3 months ago), you’ve got a good group of readers! 🙂

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