For the last three years, 10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place (And Staying There) has anchored the top of my blogroll. Portland resident, Galen Pearl, produces this extremely well-written blog. It has become an important part of my routine.
Regular readers know that my wife and I have visited Portland twice in the last two years, primarily to spend time with new blogging friends. While we have fallen in love with the area, they were the reason behind both trips.
A few days ago Galen e-mailed me that she was shutting down her blog. I knew this day would come. She had taken a long break this past summer. During our time in Portland Galen and I talked about blogging and her feelings about the place of 10 steps in her life. She was ready to move on to something else. Even so, to read the final post from her was sad. I will miss her writing and insights into the human condition. While she is still on Facebook, that is not the same venue for her style of introspection.
What a casual reader may not know is the amazing life she has led...it really is the stuff of a tremendous biography or TV movie. Betty and I find her charming, loving, intelligent, and caring - all the things you look for in a friend. We have no doubt she would move heaven and earth to help us, and vice versa.
Her decision, which I support fully, made me think about the nature of blogging. It really is kind of an odd creature: neither story or poem, not really newsy, sometimes very personal and sometimes simply informative. In short, a blog is shaped by the person producing it. There is no box that contains all blogs. Each is unique in some way.
Maybe that is what keeps folks blogging and others reading the results. Every time a blogger hits the "publish" button he or she is opening up a side of themselves to the world. The feedback may be supportive, or it may be cruel and rude. One never knows but every blogger takes that risk.
After a time, as Galen notes, the words simply fail to come. Everything inside the blogger that needs to be said, has been. The blogger feels dry and overexposed, with the daily deadline a chore rather than a joy. And, once the joy of blogging is gone, the blog needs to stop.
The blogging fraternity of writers will miss Galen's skill and dedication to her craft. But, we all understand and will reach the same point at some point.
Be well, my friend, and continue to contribute to the world in your unique way.