For the past four (!) years, April 1st has marked my return to the blogosphere to embark on the A to Z challenge. For the past four years, it has also become the only time I blog, leaving this space to wither away and die during the rest of the year before I come back with a bucket full of water and some fresh fertilizer to try and bring it back to life. (That’s probably a really inaccurate gardening metaphor, but just focus on the metaphor part and go with it, okay?) And voilà, here I am, right on time, with my supplies!
Except, as the title suggests, I’m backing out of this year’s challenge. I did think about it, honestly. I thought about what the challenge represented for me in previous years. It meant stepping out of my comfort zone to pursue a skill (writing) and a state of mind (creativity) that I was increasingly growing out of touch with. It meant keeping my close and distant friends abreast of what was happening in my life (these posts are linked to my Facebook account) and it meant having my writing (and therefore the experiences and opinions contained therein) to come back to and indulge in whenever I wanted.
This year, as I was fretting about the challenge, I realised that I didn’t feel like enough had happened over the past year to warrant 26 new posts. I know ‘new stuff in my life’ is not the only criteria for blogging, but I’ve sort of emptied the tank in terms of ‘old stuff in my life’, and so the new stuff becomes quite critical to keep going. Last year, my big move to India gave me much writing fodder, but life’s been pretty steady and straightforward since then. Also, now that my job involves more actual creative writing compared to before, I feel like that tank’s far more depleted than it has been in previous years too.
This doesn’t mean I’m going to stop blogging. In fact, in order to assuage my guilt about not participating in this challenge, I made a deal with myself to make up for it by continuing to write when the inspiration strikes, and just spreading my posts out through the rest of the year (like I intended to at the end of last year’s challenge, but never followed up on). It will still have to be a conscious effort on my part (inspiration stops striking once you stop looking for it), but I hope I’ll be able to manage. That title isn’t entirely accurate – I am not completely out of material, just low on it. More will come to me in time, I hope. I also hope that what I write then will be more satisfactory to me than cranking out 26 not-well-thought-out posts in one month would have been.
So, good luck to me, and see you guys around throughout the year!