Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Monday, October 01, 2018


One of the trends throughout this blog's existence is that our posting has generally decreased each year. 2006, our first full year of blogging, we put up 524 posts. Last year we had only 145, and last month was one of our lowest on record with only seven posts.

There are a lot of reasons for this. Social media to some extent has gobbled the blog world. I read Facebook and Twitter more and blogs less, and as a result an idea sometimes gets no further than a longish post on Facebook.

I'm also busier than I used to be, both at work and at home. I used to write most of my posts during quiet moments at work. These days I pretty reliably do not have quiet moments at work. It's not exactly that I'm doing more as that what I do has changed, following the path which advancement often causes. Twelve years ago, I often had stretches of time where I'd kick off a database to update and have thirty or sixty minutes of downtime while I waited for it to finish. My work was mostly focused on producing data (pulling it from my company's massive enterprise data warehouse and compiling it into useful data cubes) and then processing it into reports that would be useful for the teams that I supported. Once in a while, because I still know a little more SQL than anyone working for me, I still have stretches of quiet project time pulling data, but in general my work these days involves meeting with people on other teams, understanding what they need to know in order to run the business, turning those questions into projects for my people to investigate, and then explaining the results of those investigations to the proper audiences. Rather than spending my time coding and analyzing (with breaks while the processor did my work for me) I spend my time meeting with people, often with few breaks.

And when I do have breaks... Well, too often I'm wasting them on the social media listed above.

Blogging in the evenings would seem a rational response to these problems, but our time of life has shifted since we began our blog as well. Back in 2005 when we began, our oldest child was three years old. She's now sixteen. Divisions and alliances shift among children as they age, but at the moment one of our divisions is between the big three and the little four. The big three are all girls: 16, 15, and 12. All are full grown enough to regularly steal their mother's shoes (except those who are now a size larger) and they are deep within their own projects. Our second oldest organized, directed, filmed, and edited the Spiderman trailer from this last weekend, a project which brought the whole family to a cluttered standstill for three days worth of crunch time as they completed it. The oldest has set out to complete Inktober, with daily ink drawings throughout the month. But more often, it's simply that the teenagers like to stay up late and still enjoy talking to us. This is a thing not to be wasted, and so many is the happy hour I've spent listening to one or another of them talk about her current interests and concerns.

For many people a little older than we, this would constitute the fullness of family life, but of course we also have the small four: three boys and a girl, ranging in age from 10 to 1. They also keep us on our toes. I provided quite the show taking all four of them grocery shopping Sunday afternoon, with the ten year old pushing a second cart so we could fit everything. People shake their heads and say, "You have your hands full." And I don't have to decide whether to say, "This isn't all of them," because they happily do it for me. The performance art of shocking people with our family size is apparently something in which all ages can happily indulge.

And, of course, I have other writing projects now that I'm trying to get under control. I took a pause on the World War One novel earlier this year in order to try to get If You Can Get It (a light modern day novel of business and sisterhood) polished and submitted for publication. Ninety-eight queries later, it's starting to look like if I want that novel to see publication (and I do) I'll have to go the indie route.

Yet despite all these reasons for writing less, I value the blog a good deal. Furthermore, some of the things on which I've been spending my time (cough, Facebook, cough) are not ones that I find all that valuable in my life. So for this month I'm setting myself the challenge of writing a post a day. Some may be short, but then, one of the freedoms of blogging often is that one doesn't feel the constraint that every post must convey something significant in the most exhaustive and correct way possible. Blog writing and at times should be occasional and brief, providing a first assay at laying out some thought. And too often, as I've written less and less on the blog, I've allowed the idea of sitting down to write to be too daunting and thus too slow, thus making posting even less frequent.


Jenny said...

I never quite realized we were sitting on opposite sides of the desk. My coworker, with whom I shared an office for many years, did your job. I was the data loady-upper and she was the data pulley-outer.

mandamum said...

Yay! (for the upcoming posts and for pursuing publication)

Performance art of shocking people with family size puts it very well :) I think sometimes with the littles, it's just a scrupulous attachment to exact truth - when my 7yo corrects people, she's worried the person who says, "What a nice family" is missing part of the picture. And after all, while she's the oldest on that trip, carefully shepherding the 2yo she usually doesn't get to boss, she's far from The Oldest, and it seems like a lie to let the false assumption stand :)