Monday, August 10, 2009

GOOD FOR THE SOUL

Oh my, it has been wonderful. If you haven't done a hiatus from blogging, you should try it. Just pull the cord on your computer and look around you. There is actually a world that doesn't glow.


The daily blog left me with a constant scratching for a new idea then searching for the words to frame and flesh out the idea. Often as not, when I first started, the words just came. Then I burned out after 211 posts and about 84,000 words. My friend, the written word, left me, which is why the hiatus.


At first, I was a bit lost though definitely more relaxed. It took a while for me to quit thinking about tomorrow's post, till I finally realized, there was no "tomorrow's post. I really wanted to visit my blog list as I saw new posts arriving but I knew if I did, I would be lured back into writing. This was cold turkey. I truly missed you all.







The weeds were first on my list. Here is a picture of the first load of horse weeds that graced my fence line along the road. They were taller than I, but fortunately did not have a good a root system. I was able to up root them but they did produce my first set of sore muscles. My coral honeysuckle are showing appreciation now for at last having room to breathe. The picture proved I still hadn't gotten over looking at things as being a possible post. That would come.

Mighty and I have taken long walks in the National Forest recreation areas. I still have to keep him on level ground and on a leash (we have over a month of rehab to go) so while we didn't get into the wilderness areas, it was still a much different look for me and different smells for Mighty. However, the "no mosquitoes in the Ozarks" is just an myth now for all the rains we have had produced a decent crop in the forest area. Still none around my home, for now.


Mighty and I took some day trips and no, I didn't take any pictures. I wanted to remain post idea free. Eventually it did happen. I could go places and do things with out thinking "is this post worthy?" Habits are hard to break. Though my posts stopped, one thing did pick up and that was my e- mails. Former e-mailers who had begun to rely on my posts for information, now reverted back. That was welcome. Before with me blogging, it was purely a one way conversation. They knew about my life, I knew nothing about theirs.


I have to comment on sleep. As I had to keep getting up earlier and earlier to frame a post, read those I follow and comment, my internal alarm clock was waking me at 4, sometimes 3AM. That was netting me 5 hours sleep which is not enough. Amazingly now, I am cranking out 8 glorious, uninterrupted hours of sleep each night. Suddenly I am no longer tired.


My novel reading has really picked up. Before blog, I used to read a book a week but it got where I was barely getting one read in the three weeks allowed by the library. Just didn't have time or inclination for it after working on my blog and reading many others. My need to read was satisfied.


Another thing I completely ignored when I started the blog were the two novels I was writing. Why two you ask? Because as you can probably tell, I have a pretty short attention span. Two kept me fresh and interested. Blogging was meant to be #3.



The purpose of blogging originally was to force me into discipline so I would work on my novels more. Kind of like practicing the piano. However, the blog took over and my books became frozen in time. I became addicted to the same day feed back and acknowledgment of the blog. Pretty nice.

The instant gratification of blogging replaced the solitary fun of letting fantasy characters pull me in different directions. I have now returned to my lonely drafts. Didn't realize how much I missed my characters. They most likely will never reach publication but that doesn't matter. Writing about them is for me like knitting, wood working or quilt making is for some. A pleasurable distraction. I am filled with words that must find a home.

One additional benefit from this hiatus is the weight loss. Yes, not even changing what I eat, I have lost weight simply by being more active. Who'd have thunk it.

So does that mean I will quit blogging? I hope not. I will just try to be more judicious in the amount of time I spend on my posts. Balance would really be nice.

I know I will lose some of you by not posting daily and I am so sorry about that. I have really come to treasure our daily interactions, even with those of you who only lurked, for while you did not comment, I recognized you on my site meter and you were greatly appreciated.

So I am back, sort of.

23 comments :

  1. What a wonderful post Patti! I am seriously considering doing the same even though I only post every other day as a rule. I have the very same complaints as you. I miss reading so much it makes me sick!I'll tell you the same thing I told Shrinky, if and when you post again, it will show up in my reader and I will read it and comment!

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  2. Good morning Patti...
    I couldn't imagine posting everyday...even the theme postings and award receiving has lost it's appeal to me...I prefer my own time schedule and receiving of comments from others...I would never back away from here, because of your choice to post less often, I myself only post every 3 or 4 days...
    Well the outdoors is now calling to me, so I'm off...you'll find me waiting patiently and commenting when you post!

    Wanda

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  3. Welcome back.
    I do think that blogging is somewhat addictive. I too started posting once a day but I was driving myself crazy to come up with ideas! I wonder if there is a 'Bloggers Anonymous'? LOL
    Well I will stay tuned for your future posts.
    Have a great day.
    Sunny :)

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  4. Glad your time away from blogging was so beneficial to you Patti!

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  5. Welcome back Pattie, I was one of the "lurkers" that was on your site-meter....I really missed you and hoped everything was okay with you. I still don't see how anyone can post everyday. Thanks for your comments on my site.

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  6. Hi Patti, I am SO proud of you. We all need a balance in our lives --and this blogging does take up alot of time. I am thinking about not blogging on weekends --so that I can do more Family History (which has been neglected since I started blogging).

    I love your blogs ---and will continue to follow you regularly whenever you do blog. I am so happy that you are writing now. You do have a wonderful gift.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  7. and I have been checking every day....post when you can and we will read....

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  8. Drag out your watercraft and start paddling!!! There is still lots of time .You deserve it.

    And you write so well your blogs would make a great "I remember book."

    There are stories of bloggers turning their blogs into books.

    Yeah keep writing the novels which certainly exercise your creative thinking!!

    AND SLEEP.

    I bet no one will quit following just because you choose to post less frequently. I won't.

    most of my blog list does not post every day. Abraham Lincoln is exception but his is mostly the greatest photos on earth, in my opinion. I would never put mine side by side with him.

    AND SLEEP......Yes, I meant to repeat myself.

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  9. I still try to carry the camera everywhere I go, but I've stopped feeling the need to post everything I see. When we spent three hours with the sea lion yesterday, protecting it from the Sunday beach crowd, I purposefully left the camera home, after I had returned the second time to get the sticks to build the perimeter. It was an interesting exercise for me to not try to record this incredible event. I'm glad I did the way I did.

    I totally understand your new mood. It's a good one. Liberation.

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  10. I don't blame anybody for slowing down or stopping any activity not required to live -- eating, sleeping, going to the bathroom.

    There is something to be said for your time off. We should all do it. I know I worried like the devil about getting new posts for 4 blogs I do but suddenly I thought why? And I don't worry. I don't care when they get posted. I do what I like to do and that's all I do.

    Short of quitting, I think we should all rethink why we blog. Who cares, really? Probably those who own the software and whose payment is based on numbers of active bloggers.

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  11. So glad you are back! enJOY your day!

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  12. everything you're experiencing is something I can relate to

    I have cut back a lot on both posting and visiting
    actually creating a separate photo blog helped me do that - I find photography relaxing and then just posting a shot didn't take up a lot of time

    until I got caught in the trap of photo memes!! LOL
    then I started feeling as if I had a deadline
    until I decided to take photos for no reason other than taking them
    and if a shot happened to fit a daily meme then great

    I guess I'm going on a bit

    Blogging Without Obligation - or deadlines is the way to go

    happy to see you and ...

    I'll see you again when I see you! :)

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  13. Carol
    Thank you so much for staying the course. It is nice not to feel alone. I was so excited to read, that I read two books in the week off. I went to the library today for another and they said they thought I must have been sick, that they missed me. Awww.

    Wanda,
    Thank you so much for hanging in. You have the right idea, blogging plus a life. I so admire those who can do it all, I just can't. Enjoy the outdoors, my favorite place.

    Sunny,
    Do ya think we ought to see if there is a 12 step program? I am glad you saw the light, it just takes me a while.

    oklhdan
    It was wonderful. If you ever get the urge go for it.

    Arkie38
    Well you old "lurker" you. As I said, I do keep track of my site meter so you were not unnoticed. I have the greatest admiratioin for a daily blogger.

    Betsy,
    I do hope you get more time for the family history. Those Ballard boys are very interesting and someone needs to record it. Once it is on the net, it is golden. I have unanswered questions today about my family history because I didn't think to ask. Now it is too late. Wish there had been computers in my grandmother's day.

    4th Sis,
    So glad you checked on me. I know you are there and that means a lot.

    Nitwit,
    You hit the nail on the head about sleep. Didn't know how tired I was till I stopped treading water.
    Since I have become reaquainted with leasure, pretty sure it will find its way in my daily life.
    Totally agree on your view of Abe. He really sets the bar out of reach doesn't he?

    robin,
    I loved your(rather roger's) sea lion post today. You guys are the greatest with your volunteer efforts. It is such a sad state of affairs for the poor creatures.
    Think we both may have discovered balance, it just took me a while.

    Abe,
    You need to start another blog and call it SUPER BLOGGER. Mercy man, I have no idea how you do it all. Four blogs and I would need committed. You da man.

    Cheffie mom,

    Thank you so much. The saddle is not so painful when you give the bum a rest.

    Dianne,
    Please sign me up as a charter member of BWO and BWD.Very funny but great idea and probably would draw in 75% of the bloggers.
    I have just become an unofficial member.
    Beware those traps.

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  14. Welcome back, Patti! I've missed your highly enjoyable posts but completely understand your need to get away from the blog for a while.

    I check every day on my favorites, and if there is a post, I'm glad, but otherwise consider that the person is using his/her time to better advantage.

    I must reiterate NitWit's encouragement to SLEEP. It's vitally necessary to our physical and mental well being.

    See you when I see you! Enjoy yourself! Oh..if you like reading sort of off-the-wall books, allow me to recommend "The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet" by Reif Larsen. You can read a bit about it on Amazon.com, I'm sure, to see if you think it would be worth your time. Tastes differ. I'm enjoying it immensely.

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  15. I tried to post every day and just couldn't do it. I found myself frantically searching for something to say. So, now I post whenever the mood strikes. I don't think you'll lose your readers, you're too interesting. I'll still be here, reading whenever you have a new post.

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  16. Pat,
    Thank you so much.Think I am finally learning.
    I checked that book on Amazon and think I would like it. My uncle was a cartographer for the state of Florida in the 30's. My library doesn't have it but I will ask my librarians if they will get it. Thanks.


    kenju,
    Me too Judy, me too. I still don't know how you do it. Maintain a home,keep Mr. kenju happy and still work. Wonder woman you are.

    Betty,
    I am about the last to come to the table but I do learn. Plan to post along your lines. No sense making this a job when it should be fun.Thanks you.

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  17. You are a delight. Telling it like it is...who doesn't like that?
    I will see you when I see you.

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  18. I have no doubt that a blogger somewhere has set up a blog site, in addition to the three or four they currently maintain, where those of us suffering from compulsive blogging syndrome, here after named cbs..., could share stories and jointly post progress, sufferings, and backsliding! It is quite a thought.

    It is great to have a catch up with you again. Thanks for the wake up call to look at restoring balance in life. For various reasons I was at the computer about 13.5 hours yesterday, all on things that mattered, some even work related, but do these things matter that much???

    I had suspected that you were rising at a horrible time to do your blog and reply to comments. (I have been battling with similar tendencies myself.) I'm glad you were able to call "time out", and pull up some weeds and take walks.

    Your blog and comments are a great treasure and a gift to all of us. I hope you will be able to post weekly rather than daily! This will mean that you will be able to keep on doing so (which is great for us), it might also leave time for you to get back to those 2 books, and paddle your boat.

    Best Wishes, and happy thoughts, P.

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  19. Grayquill,
    Thank you so much for your patience. You guys are the best.

    Peter,
    Thank you for the support. Think we may need a 12 step program here or at least a warning label should be flashed each time we turn on our computers.
    Good to know I am not alone in my obsession. Wonder if we can get timers for the computer that will lock it up for long periods of time daily. Might be worth looking into the mechanics of that. I'd buy it just to save me having to exercise my puny will power.

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  20. You are right to slow down blogging! I try to do that too. I did it last week and it was great! This is a wonderful post!

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  21. Finding some kind of balance is the key, I guess....I have struggled with posting in the same way you describe---And it takes me a long time to organize my pictures, etc. And then to write what I want to say....So...I understand taking a break from Blogging....but....at the same time the joy of it and all the wonderful people like yourself, that I have met and so enjoy reading....I miss when I am away from it.
    Balance. Not easy to achieve, is it?

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  22. ooloh,
    Balance is the key and hopefully attainable. Going for it anyway. You always do such a marvelous job with yours.

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