Sunday, September 02, 2007

Goodbye to Goldpoppy

When your mentor for something decides to retire, you immediately question your own next steps. Blogging has suffered another loss as my friend Reya decided to quit writing this week. As with so many big questions in life, I find myself now asking, “How do you know when it’s the right time to stop?”

When Reya first wrote her Blog address on the back of her business card and gave it to me in December of 2004, I didn’t even know what a Blog was. I logged onto my computer maybe twice a week to read e-mail.

That was the point at which my computer-usage changed radically. I had been doing some personal writing, but I had no where to put it. Creating my Blog gave me the instant status of being an author. I was hooked.

Then DC Blogs came along in November 2005 and our world was enriched with hundreds of local Bloggers doing the same thing we were. After having 0 comments for almost a year and knowing only of Reya’s Blog, I felt like I suddenly had a family!

The following month I somewhat reluctantly took myself to a happy hour at Eye Bar where I met people like DC Cookie and Direct Current. Everyone was so nice and welcoming, despite the generation gap. I first learned of StatCounters from Direct Current.

My next years of Blogging were occasionally punctuated by being “featured” on DC Blogs, WaPo Express, and Wonkette. What an ego boost (and a StatCounter boost) every time that happened.

But one of the things I most enjoyed from the very beginning was a daily dose of Reya’s wisdom and all those wonderful photos each morning. Her mind is so unique that you could never predict what the next post would bring.

I was utterly shocked when she decided walking home from work one day this week to end her Blog. There was no warning. It was just over.

And in so doing she joined the ranks of many of DC Blogs’ finest who have moved on from (almost) daily writing to occasional writing or to not writing at all. The ones that come to mind include:

Direct Current
Rhinestone Cowgirl
DC Cookie
Circle V
Washington Cube
Always Write

I’m sure there are others, but those are the names that first came to my mind.

Of the locals that I read regularly and who were in this from the beginning, I can see only Kristin (Candy Sandwich) and Jamy (Grateful Dating) who are still actively Blogging.

I have loved discovering new DC Bloggers and Bloggers outside the DC area, as far away as Ireland and Australia, many of whom are closer to my generation. So I have a secure feeling that Blogging in general is alive and well.

But I’m already missing Reya terribly. And even she is feeling the pangs of leaving this era of her life behind, as she said in an e-mail message to me today, “I'm having terrible withdrawals from blogging. Don't quit until you HAVE to, that's my advice.” She has a talent for giving advice.

Of course this leaves me with some questions, like:

– Does Blogging of necessity have a natural life cycle that implies we all must quit someday?
– How will I know when that time has come?

Meanwhile, I still have a lot to unload on you faithful readers, so please keep coming back and please keep giving me your own thoughts when they spill out onto your Blog.

Farewell to Goldpoppy! You are always a much treasured and welcome reader here.


Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

Thank you, dear. I am having withdrawals, but it was time, so I pulled the plug. Already I notice how much more time I can find to devote to a variety of tasks and fun creative projects. It's all good.

You'll know when it's time to quit. Until then, blog on!

8:45 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Maybe she just needs a break and will come back in awhile. I enjoyed many of her posts. She has a unique perspective.
Or maybe blogging has run its course for her. I don't really know how much longer I'll want to do it either. I never think I have much to share with people at times besides the odd piece of creative writing, mostly poems.

10:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh barbara,

another heartfelt post .... and a question i myself have struggled with so much this last year. Yes, a year ago this past June, i began my first blog. Since then i have ended and begun many times: Often because of the pressure from my husband who could not understand my need for a creative outlet and the 'voices' of others as I was (and still am to date) a stay at home mom, alone.

I understand what Reya says: more time to devote to other tasks, creative projects, even connecting to friends ... another favorite blogger of mine, Woolgathersome, also quit recently citing many of the same reasons.

All I know is that you and all of you, my blogging friends, create for me a strong circle of support and care. A circle that yes, I need and lean on heavily at this point in my life.

I am here because I need to be here. And so very grateful that you are here as well.

1:39 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Reya -- I selfishly miss you so much already. But I do wish you the best in your next ventures. Your creative spirit will shine forth in whatever you do.

MOI -- Part of Blogging is that regular greeting, where you know someone has had to think of you to check in. You don't always have to have something earth-shaking to say.

Red -- I look at Blogging as therapy. It has connected me to a web of people I trust who now span the globe. I would be hard-pressed to give that up now, but the time may come when I will feel differently about it. For now, I hope to continue writing and enjoying what everyone else has to say.

9:38 AM  
Blogger Pauline said...

I'm going to want to write, no matter where I do it. My blog seems as good a place as any and I enjoy the "community" of writers and readers that share this medium. I'll be around around and I hope you will, too. Your unique perspective on things always makes me think.

8:28 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Pauline -- You are a favorite member of my Blogging family. I'm glad to hear you will be around at least for the foreseeable future.

8:47 PM  
Blogger bozoette said...

I started my online journal in 2002, moved to Typepad in 2006 when the service I was using crashed and burned, but didn't discover DC Blogs until earlier this year. I was happy to discover you. For me, blogging helps me practice writing, but it also connects me to a world of friends I've made as a result. I'll keep at it until it's not fun (or cathartic) anymore.

9:16 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Bozoette -- I agree completely!

9:39 PM  
Blogger GEWELS said...

I think, at times, we all feel the need to reevaluate how much time we spend and why we blog. I know I did that a couple of months back. But then I got such great comments from you all and I felt that I didn't want to miss that connection either.
I have also since found out that I am a crappy writer- but I'll continue to post photos and quotes and the odd short essay. It gts me thinking outside of the box a little bit.
Besides, logging on to see who has visited me is such a thrill!

1:36 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Gewels -- Will you puh-lease get it out of your head that you are a crappy writer? Anybody who can talk as much as you do about such interesting things can very definitely write. Just do it!

4:57 PM  
Blogger Junk Thief said...

I came across your blog as a regular at Reya's. I was a latecomer but at least can take solace in reading the archives before I got hooked on her great stuff. Though we've never met, her style has really inspired me.

9:54 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Junk Thief -- I couldn't agree more. She has inspired me in so many ways. I will miss her unique ideas about life that she illustrated so beautifully.

If it's any solace, you are always welcome here!

11:00 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

It's disappointing when one of your best outlets for creative expression becomes the one thing you just don't have time for anymore.

I hope you stick with it for a while. Despite my infrequent writing, I still enjoy a good story and you tell them so well.

2:26 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

I found myself unplugged for a week, more than a week, while on vacation and I noticed that I didn't miss the blogging at all. Actually, I could have gotten online at any point. I just didn't...

Nevertheless, I wrote every day. Sometimes twice a day. Not for the blog (where I did eventually post some of it) but for me. I like to write. Whether or not I publish, I think I'll write forever.

Here's hoping that blogging treats you well, whatever lifespan it holds for you. I so enjoy your stories.

8:18 AM  
Blogger Cape Cod Cube said...

I'll be back, Barbara. I had a surgery and death in family to work through. I've currently got four blogs going and suffering from life's pull. I'm working on building up Cape Cod Cube in the next few weeks, then when I return to Washington, I hope WC is out and about more. Reya's blog was always something to look forward to. I'm glad she's back in a new format with new insights.

6:20 AM  

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