Yesterday Kate over at Views & Mews By Coffee Kat wrote an interesting post. It’s about how she misses the friends she’s made here, on WordPress, who no longer blog. Fellow bloggers who became followers of hers and vice versa. It made me think of similar experiences I’ve had.
This is a funny, interesting little world we inhabit, for as many hours a week as we spend on our own blogs, and those of others. We get to know each other quite well, when you consider we don’t ever see each other in the traditional ways. We don’t go for coffee or lunch or dinner. We don’t talk on the phone or go for walks or go shopping together.
Not that we wouldn’t if we lived in the same cities. In fact, I’m sure we would. But we live all over the place. Different cities. And even different continents. I have met a fellow blogger for coffee twice, because we both happen to live in Toronto. Although in my experience, that’s rare.
But despite the fact our WordPress ‘friendships’ are untraditional, in some cases we become quite close. Kate said, yesterday, she understands how couples decide to get married after meeting online. I do, as well. In some ways I think we learn more about each other this way, than when we see each other face to face, but really say less about who we really are, what we really hope for, what makes us happy, what makes us sad, etc.
Here we talk about very personal things. To be honest, sometimes I surprise myself when I realize what I’m sharing. With strangers really. Things I’ve never talked about in my offline life.
And so here we are, with a core group of fellow bloggers we’ve gotten to know well. Who have gotten to know us, just as well. Intimately (not in the biblical sense), even. We visit each others’ blogs faithfully. We comment regularly. We participate, and offer advice and encouragement and support. We consider ourselves friends, even if we’re just blogging friends. Although sometimes it feels more like a regular friendship.
So it’s not really surprising we feel a bit sad, even a bit bereft when they suddenly disappear. Stop blogging. Disappear, in a puff of smoke. With nary a word. No hints. No warning. No goodbye.
They’re just here one day. And gone the next.
Kate’s not the only one who’s experienced it. I know I have. Have you?
It’s strange, isn’t it? Our first instinct is to worry. Is so-and-so okay? What’s happened? “If only they’d said something”, we think. We miss reading what they have to say. What they’ve been sharing with us. They made us think. Or laugh. Or cry. Or share their frustration. They inspired us. They told us we did the same for them. So now there’s a void.
You have to wonder why they didn’t write a farewell post. Just something short to let us know they’re okay (or not), and moving on. Maybe they didn’t realize how much time a blog takes up. I know I spend at least 3 or 4 hours a day on mine, between thinking of an idea and sitting down to write. Maybe they’ve run out of ideas. Maybe they’re just bored with it. It’s happened to all of us. I started blogs I gave up on after a while. Maybe they just ran out of steam, had other priorities, who knows. It happens.
Now that I’m so ‘invested’ in this blog, and I have so many followers who seem to be invested in 365, I know I’d ‘sign off’ instead of just taking off. I’ve followed two bloggers who’ve done the same.
One, is someone I am friendly with in Toronto. We’ve known each other a long time. She blogged, for a few months, and then sold her house and bought a new one; and had too much going on to spend time blogging. But she did write a final post, explaining she was stopping and why. The other is a blogging friend. I first ‘met’ her on a blog she contributed to, not on her own blog. I liked what she had to say, so I started to follow her blog, as well. And then we also became Facebook friends. She stopped blogging in order to spend more time writing a book, which she has now finished. She also let her followers know she was giving up blogging and why.
As it turns out, though, they’re anomalies. At least in my blogging world. And clearly in Kate’s. What about you? Do the bloggers you follow give you a heads up when they’re about to pack it in? How do you feel when they just up and leave, without a word? Are you a little bit sad? Are your feelings hurt? Does it frustrate you? Piss you off? Disappoint you?
Offline friends don’t move away without saying goodbye. Why do we?
Hope you don’t think I quit! Last week was the first nearly 70 hr work week I’ve worked in a very long time. Not only was I physically exhausted, I was tapped out mentally. That’s why I haven’t written since Wednesday. But I have planned a long post today since lots has happened since then.
No worries, I did not think you quit. You wrote about how busy you were going to be. Can’t wait to read your blog, though. Hey, now that I think about it, how come Bruce didn’t guest blog??
Ha ha ha! Bruce was busy with his “projects” so he bailed on guest blogging.
Tell him his fans missed him 🙂
I had a lot of experience with this phenomenon long before I got a WordPress blog. I watched people come and go from the message board community I’ve been a part of since 2000… and more often than not, those who move on simply fade away rather than bid farewell. At least those who fade away offer some insight into the fact that, for whatever reason, they weren’t spending as much time with the community anymore… it’s the ones who just up and disappear out of the blue that can be puzzling. I still wonder about some of my old online friends who up and disappeared out of my life over a decade ago…
It is a strange feeling. Like, somehow, we’ve been abandoned. Like we never really were friends. Which, in the strictest sense of the word, we weren’t . But still …
Today’s post really “talks” to me. I would definitely miss my blogging friends! But I have stopped blogging for awhile to work on my book, but my solution was -is- to outsource my blog 🙂 I really don’t want to give it up, but for now I just can’t expend the time and energy blogging if I want to finish the book and get it published. In any case, I actually feel I’m a much better fiction writer than blogger. Meantime, I keep reading my favorite blogs, so I feel I’m still connected.
Yes, I know you are “out-sourcing” your blog. It’s a great idea. And I know first hand how difficult it is to blog and write a book. I am in the same boat. And I also have work I do for clients. Some days I feel like my head is going to explode.
Oh didn’t I mention I work full time too? 🙂
Head exploding is a great analogy. Mine fell off about 3 weeks ago 🙂
Some days I wish mine would 🙂
Before I found my way to your blog, I was following another one titled 365… With every post it was like a count down, till post 1 (or 365) came and she said her good-byes… Now, it’s happening with you, with every post I feel adieu is closer… Will you give the sand clock a flip and keep going? 🙂 I do worry when a fellow blogger plays hookie but life can get in the way of blogging, so I just wait for them to come back and make a fuss on their first post back from hiatus, jijijiiiii…read you soon Fransi, Alexandra
Oh, I had no idea there was another 365. Sorry I missed it.
No adieu for me. I will continue to blog but maybe not every day. Playing that by ear for now. 🙂
I’m so glad I was able to inspire you! No don’t go leaving me!
No worries. I’m not leaving you.
Well done post, Fransi. And so true. We come to know each other and look forward to hearing from our blogging friends. I have been amazed by how much my blogging friends have come to mean to me and by how much their comments matter to me. It has been a wonderful experience.
And, yes, I am disappointed when a blog I like has packed it in. I’ve only experienced this a few times. One said she was taking a break and the others didn’t.
Thank you! It is so interesting how close we become. But we really share a lot, when you think of it. I just can’t understand why bloggers who have followers would just stop blogging without a final post. It’s odd.
I agree! We do share a lot and we do become close. I intend to write a final post if my blog ever meets its demise (or if I do) — as a thank you to my readers, at least. Anything less just wouldn’t feel right.
I’m glad you wrote this post — I think it needed to be said.
Thank you. I would do the same 🙂
I’m glad, but I hope there’s never a need for you to write a ‘final post’! 🙂
Same to you! 🙂
I know exactly what you mean, there is one in particular I wonder about! I think some people probably think it’s a good idea at the time, then find it is quite a lot of work, keep meaning to write another post and then find themselves out of the habit. By that point they probably feel embarrassed it’s been so long and don’t dare post again!
That’s exactly what I think.