I disappeared again. I know.
The funny thing (although it’s not really funny so forget I said funny) is this:
When I was “gone” this summer, I was actually still writing posts. It’s just that my blog was “broken” so only a few people were reading.
I kept posting. And reading other people’s blogs. Engaging in the time-sucking affairs of the blogging addict. Because it is like a drug, right? Complete with its own highs and lows:
A. The fear of losing readers B. The thrill of receiving comments. C. The heady rush of compliments bestowed upon you by strangers who become friends. D. All of the Above
And also, YES YES YES! I am wonderful! Someone notices me!
I soaked it up and worked hard at it, blogging. And – in the process – I neglected my fiction. My dream had long been to publish a novel. Someday. But on the path of scattered success, I self-medicated. With By Any Other Name.
So one day my blog was FIXED! and I published a post announcing I’m BACK! even though I’d never been GONE!
And then (because I’m an IDIOT!) I actually did stop blogging.
I was Gone Girl (which I’m reading now and damn, Gillian Flynn’s smart. Like, GENIUS!).
Then I decided not to post about not posting. Because it seemed oxymoronish; and I aim to be the regular kind of moron.
Plus who cares, really? I’m just Julie and you’re all BUSY! with probably too many unread posts in your own inboxes to worry about someone who’s gone.
To be honest, there were days that I wished for no new posts in my inbox. You see, I fail at moderation even when an endeavor becomes too much. So I kept on posting. And reading. And commenting. And replying. And sinking. And not working on my fiction.
Until suddenly I didn’t. (Post, read, comment, reply, sink.) I worked on my fiction.
I hoped no one would notice. But they did. You did.
I received personal emails and messages, inquiries about my well-being. Your concerns were lovely and daunting and eye-opening. I couldn’t simply disappear.
Gone Girl is a novel not a life.
I wrote my first post two years ago (the anniversary passed without a BANG! or a whimper) and in it I said this:
“My work never feels done. I could always write more. Edit more. Research more. Promote myself via social-networking sites more. So rather than navigating the waters of my career in a rowboat with at least one paddle, I am holding a teacup in front of an ocean, aware I’m supposed to do something, but not sure what. So, yes, this morning I’m the tiniest bit adrift, wading into the tide. But that’s okay.
It looks like a nice day for a swim.”
So I hope you *get* why I’m temporarily course-correcting back to my original goal. Because I sort of lost sight of the finish line while being loved by (perhaps) and loving you. (Not perhaps.)
I owe it to myself, my family – my children who are watching me – to finish what I started. And I’m trusting my friends to be patient in the interim.
Because I am not gone. I promise. I’m simply aiming my teacup at a different wave today.
With my head held high and my fingers crossed.
My heart still full of hope.
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