Reasons why I’m ending this blog:
1. I’m tired. I’m bored. Have you noticed how infrequently I’ve been posting? It’s like torture trying to get myself to write a post—I’ll start one, write a few hundred words, check my FB, check my Twitter feed, get a glass of water, leave the tab open for days without looking at it again.
I kept telling myself it was laziness, that I just needed to reinvigorate myself, maybe change up my approach. Post more pictures! Write more vignettes! More character sketches, more writing exercises, stranger and more experimental posts!
Then I realized…
2. I don’t really care about travel blogging.
This was a hard one to admit cause travel blogging did so much for me in the beginning. It helped me get my voice back; I’d been barren for so long, unable to write for so long, and blogging helped me build back my confidence. And more than that, it put me in touch with a community of other readers and writers.
There’s great people who write great blogs, but I realized that I no longer read any of them. I still travel and I still write, but I realized I’m not interested in participating in the travel conversation anymore.
3. I’m writing different stuff now.
I’m focusing on writing longer pieces, fully consuming pieces that I dive into, that come up around me, that unravel and expand the deeper I go.
Which is great but not terribly conducive to the immediacy of blogging. I’ve discovered something about my writing too—that I don’t know what the hell I’m saying or what a piece is really about until six months after I’ve written it. (A couple months ago I saw a tweet from Susan Orlean where she said that in the course of writing every piece, she comes to a place where she doesn’t know what the piece is about or why she’s writing it.) Which means I need to sloooooow down; which means I need to write things and then let them sit; I need to let them reveal to me what they’re trying to say instead of imposing my own ideas and structure. I need to let them live a little.
I’ve also been focusing a lot more on listening, on not talking so goddamn much. I’m reading more; I’m taking more notes; I’m trying to turn off the mental chatter and just notice. That takes a lot of energy but I think it’s important not just for writing but for survival. In any event, I’m feeling less and less of a need to share my thoughts and insights on every little thing. Largely because I don’t know what my thoughts and insights are until months or even years later.
Thus I don’t have a lot of energy of blogging. Thus I’m mildly to extremely embarrassed by half the shit I’ve blogged. Thus the amount of time I spend blogging is equal to the amount of time I don’t spend listening, and I don’t spend really writing the stuff I’m excited about writing. Thus…
4. I’ve outgrown my own blog.
It happens right? I outgrew the zine I wrote for four years as a teenager. I outgrew a pretty good life in the Bay. I’ve even outgrown the name of my blog, since I’m now 30 and no longer a “girl” by any stretch.
It seems like kinda a waste to give it up now, right? Now that I’ve built something, have some followers. But the idea of ending this blog struck one day and I couldn’t shake it out. I kept thinking, you know, I should do a few more posts. I should write about my return trip to Phnom Penh, I should write about turning 30 in a foreign country, I should write about my upcoming trip back to the Bay, I should I should I should. But I didn’t want to. I’ve got three half-written posts in my Dashboard and I can’t get it together to finish any of them. I’ve got four half-written essays open on my desktop right now—on West Oakland, my own swim team, one of my favorite old drinking buddies who passed away—and all I wanna do is curl up inside those pieces, get lost in them.
So. It’s been a bit over three years of Lonely Girl Travels. We’ve gone to something like fifteen countries together. You’ve been with me as I’ve become an expat, chased a big-ass dream, watched that dream blow up, scurried off to another country and built another life. You’ve been with me as I’ve built my clips and traversed my late 20s and found my voice again. You’ve supported me and given me the space to do all that. You can’t really give a big enough “thank you” for that, but I’m gonna try: Thank You.