Sunday, September 06, 2009

About That Break Last Winter

I took a two month break from blogging, late November 2008 into January 2009; the stated reason was for a health issue. It is true that I needed physical therapy on a shoulder, but that was, for all intents a purposes, a ruse. The plan was to end the blog after the presidential election; I’d been intending to do that for about year. It was just getting a little tiring, and a few alarming things had happened. So I was on mental countdown for most of 2008. My strategy was to say it was for health reasons so it wouldn’t seem abrupt. Depending on how the election went, everyone would be excited or depressed and no one would notice when I didn’t come back. By the time anyone did, if they did, people would have moved on. Surprisingly more people took note of the break than I thought, and emailed me about it. Plus, while the blog had become more of a drain on my time and energy than I liked, I found that not blogging at all made life a little less fun.

So one day I posted a note about something. Then another some days later and the frequency gradually crept back up. It’s still not back to seven days a week and probably won’t get back to that pace. The weekly legislative updates are gone, as is the list of Pennsylvania mentions in the Wall Street Journal. Those were my usual weekend posts and both took up a fair amount of time.

Anonymity becomes more difficult as time goes on. People do tend to notice when the same face shows up at events but doesn’t seem to have any connection to the local area. A few people who had figured it out were telling some of their friends, as people are wont to do. As silly as it sounds one of my original goals in the blog was to meet people who enjoyed politics as much as I did and maybe make some new friends. That isn’t possible when you aren’t telling people what your primary avenue of political involvement is. I always try to interact with people in just one context, either as the blogger or the person, so no one would feel used. But that significantly limits how I can talk with people I see at events. While I have no plans to ever appear in public as Jane, talking and taking notes at the same time is beyond my mental capabilities and my preferred role is that of observer, I have been a little more open with a few people. There are dangers in doing that; we will see how it goes.

The big question, for me at least, is how long to keep this up? This fall will be blog’s fifth anniversary. Eventually all things must come to an end but apparently last winter wasn’t it.

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