Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A Heart to Heart

First, I just want to say thanks to those of you who have participated thus far in the giveaways. Giveaway #2 is still up and running, so if you'd like a chance to win, please get your responses in soon (You'll have until Monday morning - Dec. 15 - to get your name in the hat pull).

On that note, I have decided to end the giveaways with that second round. There doesn't quite seem to be the interest that there has in the past (and that's completely okay) but I still want to do something with the items I had ready to go. I'm debating what to do, but I'll either donate them to a local bicycle group that can give the items to those less fortunate, or I may store them for a bit and decide what to do after we're through the holidays. Either way, the items will find a way into the hands of someone who will use them and/or enjoy them.
*Image found here
If this blog is still up and functioning, I may simply do one-at-a-time giveaways over the next year. It's difficult to say at this point.

Which brings me to my next point for this post: The blog itself. The last several months I have been debating whether or not to continue the blog. It's not the first time I've questioned why I continue to write here, and if the blog continues to exist, I'm sure it won't be the last, but I have seriously pondered walking away. I have been writing here about bicycles and related topics for the last nearly seven years and it's difficult to think about giving up on it.

I started writing as a way to document my own experiences and to use this platform more as a journal type of spot and it has remained a great location for me to get out my frustrations, ideas, and it has grown into a place to get input from others who may or may not agree with my thoughts.

Right now, I think it's possible that I am clinging to a lost form of communication (It's a bit sad when even blogging seems antiquated). I know that many prefer to get information via Twitter, and while I have an account, I frankly don't use it as much as I should. Twitter is an easy way to get small tidbits of information out without having to sit and think more thoroughly, edit, attach photos, edit the photos as needed, and so on. However, as someone who doesn't sit at a desk a good chunk of the day, it's a bit more challenging to use it regularly.

Even with that, there are so many different ways that people are communicating. Twitter is a big one, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Google+, and on the list could go. It's challenging to keep up with all of the different possible forms of communication in this day.

I wish that I had the time to be active on all of these sites, but the reality is, it can be challenging to choose even one and remain a valid participant. It is really why I have clung more to blogging over the years. It simply made sense to me to have one location to share ideas and then link to the thought via other outlets on the web. I don't know how valid much of this has been, but it's been a lot of fun for me to get feedback from others and to talk with people via e-mail about various happenings with bicycles in their own lives. I wouldn't trade that for anything.

From the beginning, I never sought out a means to be a superstar blogger. I never worried about how many people were reading or whether or not I hit a list of the web's greatest. I know I'm not the best writer and I have never pretended to be. There are those who have found a way to remain relevant, funny and insightful, and I enjoy reading their blogs (and will continue to do so) as well, regardless of what takes place here.

Perhaps in my passiveness with blogging it has prevented me from remaining of interest to others. It's difficult to say as I know there is an ebb and flow to many things in life.

Much of my motivation with the blog has been simply to share my experiences and to get thoughts from others who may have their own opinions. It can be challenging to continue when I'm not sure I should further spout the thoughts in my head or the things that take place every day on a bike. We all have our own experiences and perhaps this space is simply no longer needed or even a source of information -- or perhaps there are just better places to get the information.

While I could go on about reasons for thinking perhaps it's time to give up the blog, there is no point in further boring anyone who does read here. I suppose I have simply reached a juncture at which I must make a decision whether to continue on in this same manner, to move on to other possibilities, or to give up on any/all of it, and I thought it was only fair to share this with those of you who have remained and/or continue to offer your responses.

If I do choose to continue blogging, I know that posts will be sporadic for quite some time. Our family is preparing for yet another move (It's a local move, but it's time to move out of our rental... and, hopefully, we can stay settled a bit longer this time, as moving is getting quite old). With this impending move comes a substantial amount of renovation which is going to keep us busy for some time. I'm expecting long days of labor for many months, so I am already aware that posts will likely be more sparse than even the norm for this space if the blog continues on.

As always, your thoughts are welcome on any/all of this. Perhaps there is a better way to communicate and I should seek it out, or maybe you think blogs are still relevant? While your ideas may or may not influence my decision, I am always open to opinions so feel free to comment here or even drop me an e-mail if that is more comfortable for you.

Thank you to all who have continued to support my sometimes crazy and more often than not erratic posts, and particularly I am grateful to those who have offered your own thoughts along the way. We will see where this journey takes us, but no matter what I am grateful to have had the opportunity to chat with some really amazing individuals along the way. I will keep you posted! {Ha! No pun intended} :O)

22 comments:

  1. Well, I for one hope you don't give up. I came to your blog when looking for info on the Betty Foy - which I later bought - and stayed because of your honest, heartfelt take on life (and bikes).
    I'm very much looking forward to reading about your latest bike and any subsequent adventures too.
    Good luck with the move!

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, and I'm glad you were able to get a little bit of info on the Betty (and I hope you're continuing to enjoy it!).

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  2. I selfishly would like you to keep blogging. I believe blogging is a unique way of expressing and communicating. Of course, I would say that, wouldn't I! But I do use Facebook and Twitter quite a lot and they have very different uses/advantages. As for you and your blog, do what feels like the right thing for you. I think you have a unique and valuable voice and yours is one of the 3 or 4 blogs I check regularly (even though I subscribe and know I won't 'miss' anything!) and always look forward to the next post. But the pressures and expectations of your audience should not be the deciding factor. If you are no longer getting something for yourself from blogging, then it may be time to find a different outlet. Whatever you decide, I hope it works for you. Meanwhile, let's keep in touch somehow, somewhere out there on the Interwebs, okay?

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    1. It could simply be that a break is needed, or that I'm feeling overwhelmed at the moment. Part of me can't imagine no longer blogging because it's been a part of my life for so long. The other part of me wonders why I continue. I appreciate you always checking in and offering your thoughts, Rebecca. Reading your posts have been very helpful to me as well - and it's always nice to know that others are going through similar situations. What comes from here, only time will tell, but I truly appreciate you and we'll definitely figure out some way to continue communicating - whether here on the blog or by some other means.

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  3. Rebecca Olds said exactly -- and I mean exactly -- what I was thinking. I really would hate to see you go. This is one of the few blogs I visit regularly. But I also get why you might need a break. If you give up here, I'll hope to see you on Twitter.

    One thing though: You absolutely must let us know how the custom build works out for you. I'm the kind of person who can't stand not knowing how a story ends.

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    1. As with a few others, I have found you to be quite insightful, Kendra, and have appreciated your thoughts on many matters. Perhaps a small break is in order and I'll feel a sense of renewal on the other side? I'm not entirely sure, but regardless, I promise I'll figure out a way to let you all know about the new bike and how things come along with it. :O)

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  4. It's the end of the year, you're facing a move, and I know this all weighs heavily on you. Don't give up the blog. Take a sabbatical. Just put it on the back burner for a bit. We understand that and will look forward to the time when you feel like sharing with us again. I'm a bit sad that many of my favorite reads are falling away. I know we're a fickle bunch, dropping by for a read but not commenting. That doesn't mean we don't enjoy it just the same.

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    1. :O) I like it. A sabbatical. Perhaps a break is exactly what the doctor ordered. It is a tough time of year and with the added move (and impending demo/re-construction) there is a lot to face in the coming weeks (and likely months).

      I think you may be one of the "old timers" here, LC! I still remember your email about the dog kennel you built up... I keep thinking one of these days I'm going to do the same and steal your plans. :O)

      I appreciate you coming by to read - even if you don't comment. We will see where we end up, but hopefully I'll fee a sense of renewal with a little break and can move forward.

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  5. I second what others are saying. The blog is for you first, readers second. If it makes you feel good, do it. I am foregoing Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ because all I want to do is write for myself. Those avenues are valuable if you wish to grow your readership, but it's certainly not a requirement.

    I love your writing and your fleet of bikes, but I can wait. Take a break.

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    1. Thanks, Annie. I appreciate your feedback! :O)

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  6. Don't give it up just yet! I'm still waiting for your promised write up on the custom Rodriguez. Plus, I find your discussion about fit very illuminating.

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    1. :O) I promise to at minimum provide some sort of info on the Rodriguez.

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  7. Don't give up yet!!! Maybe you just need a break. It is a busy time of year, andyou have a number of stresses in your life right now. Take care of you, and then come back to writing. You'll be better for it! I'd really hate to see you exit the whole scene.

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    1. Thank you. I think a break is definitely needed, and perhaps it will provide a sense of renewal/rejuvenation to have a bit of time.

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  8. Blogging is something that needs to be for you :) Sure, I'm "on fire" right now, but that doesn't mean things won't slow down for me, either. I think you have a great blog, and maybe all you need is just a break. Take care of your life-things for awhile, then you can come back and feel fresh!
    Kudos for keeping it real!

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    1. Josie, this has nothing to do with readership, but I can see how it could be perceived that way. It's something that I've just been pondering for awhile and wondering if this is still an appropriate means to chat with others or even to provide my experiences. I've always blogged for myself (selfishly) but completely enjoy when someone can take a bit from a post. I suppose we'll see what comes in time, but I know a break is definitely on the horizon for at least a small amount of time. :O) Thanks for your words of encouragement!

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  9. You've grown as a cyclist and though I'm not into riding competitively myself, I'm always interested in a blog by someone who loves bikes and cycling.

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  10. I enjoy reading about your cycling adventures and appreciate your honest opinions. While I would miss reading your blog if you decided to devote your time and energy to doing other things in your life I would completely understand. It sounds like you are going to have a lot in your life over the coming year so maybe the best thing for you is to take a break. Do what is best for you!

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    1. Thanks, May! I appreciate you taking the time to offer your thoughts. I hope to find some clarity over the coming weeks.

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  11. My take on this... Maybe you do not need to decide. What if you take it one post at a time, one day at a time? Don't feel like posting on the blog today? Okay, then don't, no worries! Feel like posting on the blog today? Okay, great, let's do it!

    And when you do write, write about whatever you like. Don't worry about the audience's expectations, reactions and whatnot. Don't worry if you said earlier that you'd review your custom bike and now people are expecting it, but for whatever reason you don't want to write about it just yet (or at all!). Just write whatever you like, whenever you like.

    Thinking about it this way may take the pressure off and make the whole thing feel less stressful. It has worked for me on occasion.

    Take care of yourself, and best of luck with your move, cycling, art, writing, and other endeavours!

    - V

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    1. Thanks, Velouria. Definitely some good points to ponder. It's easy to get caught up in feeling the pressure to put something up at a certain point, but it's entirely self-imposed. Cutting myself some slack and just putting something up when I'm ready is probably the best solution.

      Thanks again!

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