I Quit Blogging Yesterday

You probably didn’t notice, but I quit blogging yesterday.

I alluded to it in this post on Work It, Mom! about my son needing braces, but I didn’t spell it out. I had decided not to say anything, to just fade quietly into the Google Wayback Machine, thereby proving a point to myself about the relative unimportance of my blog and making it easy to come back if I ever wanted to.

Let me back up to why I quit.

In a nutshell: my kids went to the dentist yesterday and my oldest needs braces. I had my compulsory unexpected expense freak out, like I do, and then began looking for a J-O-B. And then I realized that it was stupid of me to be looking for a job that would take time away from my family, the people whom I profess to value above most anything else, when I already have ample writing contracts to pay the bills. You know what I don’t have? Ample time and energy. So, I decided to quit blogging here in order to save my creative juices for my paid gigs.

I also quit blogging here because I was sick and tired of feeling like a failure.

I’ve been feeling for a while like I’m writing into an abyss, like I’m pushing flaxseed oil when what people really want is – well, I don’t even know what – but spellcheck doesn’t even know that flaxseed is a word. How’s that for an effective metaphor?

I began spending a good chunk of my day trying to prove to myself that I was relevant.

I tried to write better posts. I checked and rechecked to see if my posts had been shared. I refreshed Twitter to see if maybe the reply stream was just… like… delayed… or something.

And then a dentist told me my kid was going to need braces and I almost went and got a part-time job and I realized that reserving time in my workday for making sure the Internet knew I existed was freaking INSANE.

So I quit blogging.

It was fantastic.

I felt like a burden had been lifted. I felt, I assume, just like feminists who finally decide to stop shaving their legs. I was suddenly free of an archaic measuring system that would never quite fit me. I was breaking the mold of old ways and redefining the new based on careful thought and examination of my values.

I told my husband. He said he was… surprised. I shared the profound revelations I’d had, and he shrugged his shoulders and asked me if I thought the end tables needed another coat of polyurethane. (They did.)

And then a few people commented on my Facebook page and told me how much this site meant to them, how much it helped them.

Ah, that’s nice. But I do not need your validation anymore! I reminded myself.

I told my mom that I quit blogging. She said she was… surprised. She went so far as to say that I “lifted her up”, and then asked me if I’d seen the video clip of Michelle Obama describing her first date with Barack. (I hadn’t, by the way, but you can see it here.)

And then a perfect stranger emailed me to tell me that she had stumbled on my blog, really enjoyed it, and had put it in her favorites to visit later.

NICE TRY, STRANGER! I thought. But I’m totally past needing that kind of validation now. STOP TEMPTING ME UNIVERSE, I GOT THIS!

And then this happened:

I so do not got this.

That made an impression on me.

And fine, people put these lists together in order to generate traffic for their own sites. I know this. But still. There was the name of this site, right under three other sites that I know and respect.

Suddenly I wasn’t sure if I’d really quit blogging.

(Right about that time, Faiqa called to tell me that she does read my blog, even if she doesn’t comment. No matter what I had told myself about not needing validation, it was nice to hear that she was reading.)

The thing is, this cycle of “oh, wah, I suck, I’m going to quit” and “oh, no, you totally matter!” and “oh, well, I do? OK, I can’t quit anyway. I do this because I love it! Really!” is not new. It’s as old as blogging and it is exhausting for all involved, readers and writers alike.

As a rule, I’m not a fan of exhaustive cycles.

I’m just not sure how to break this one.

I know this:

I want to encourage people to become more aware of how they think and what they do. I want to lead a conscientious life of happiness and positivity, and I want to share the idea of empowerment through accountability with other people.

I believe that matters, and that the importance of that message cannot be measured by numbers on a traffic report.

But I also know this:

It is hard to shout into the abyss without becoming hoarse.

I do not have an endless reserve of time or creativity.

I need to think about my definition of relevance and how I measure success. I need to think, too, about how much validation I need to continue a labor of love and where I can get it. I definitely need to stop sacrificing paid-writing time for Twitter checking/blog pimping/site redesign time. (Man that’s embarrassing to share.)

So maybe I’m not quite ready to quit blogging here just yet, but a change is definitely a-comin’.

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  1. I have been thinking about this so often lately. And while I have nowhere near the number of readers you do, I too get emails from people telling me my posts matter to them, but I don’t buy it. And I feel like everything I’m writing is so “wah-wah.” Sometimes after I write and post I spend the majority of the rest of my day checking my numbers and it’s exhausting. And makes writing so much more tedious and NOT fun. When I started it was FUN. I’m venting…but so were you…my point is this: I really do love your blog. I think it’s fabulous. Not that you should continue doing something that is sucking you dry for little old me. But it appears that I’m not alone? Maybe what you’re doing DOES matter more than you think?
    Carrie Monroe O’Keefe’s most recent post: Down. With. The. Sickness.

    • Miss Britt says:

      You know, the words “it matters” are the ones that have really meant the most to me in all this. It reminds me that I have to keep writing because I believe it MATTERS, not because I hope to be rich, famous, popular, or a top blogger. That’s when I get exhausted.

      May we both keep having things to say that matter. xo

  2. Dee says:

    I read every post! It’s usually through your Facebook links, and I don’t comment, but I read every one and have even shared a couple :-)

    I hadn’t ever really thought how much you might need to know someone is listening (partly because miss-Britt had so many comments I figured you already knew). You are reaching people, we are just not necessarily great at reaching back :-)

    • Faiqa says:

      This.
      P.S. Britt, OMG, this post was awesome! Heh.

    • Miss Britt says:

      Dee, you are always so supportive on Facebook. I want you to know that support doesn’t go unnoticed. In fact, one of my favorite things about that page is how much of a community feel we’ve built over there!

  3. jodifur says:

    I quit blogging like every other day. WELCOME BACK.
    jodifur’s most recent post: Parenting: The Easy and The Hard and The Lucky

  4. Loukia says:

    It scares me when people I admire say things like this! I would notice if you truly quit. I’d miss your words. Your posts are inspiring. So, I’m glad you’re sticking around. (Also, you’re not the only one who has felt this way recently.)
    xo
    Loukia’s most recent post: 36 Things I Love On My 36th Birthday

    • Miss Britt says:

      I think it is very common. I think a lot of us start blogging because we need validation, and comments did that, and Twitter kind of interrupted that feedback.

      By the same token, I thought I had moved past the need for validation for blogging, so this kid of pissed me off to see in myself!

  5. Holly says:

    I have also hit a wall. I think that many of us are going though the same exact thing. Glad you’re sticking around to figure it out and so I can keep reading your blog.
    Holly’s most recent post: Twitter Therapy

  6. annettek says:

    Almost every blogger I know feels like they are shouting into an abyss at times. No matter how many comments/shares/likes we get, it’s never really enough if that’s how you get your validation. When you stop looking at your stats and figure out another way to find value in your blog you’ll be a lot happier with it.
    annettek’s most recent post: summer of fabulous

    • Miss Britt says:

      YES! This I know!

      But… do you have any suggestions for other ways to get validation for your writing? (That’s a completely serious question. That’s kind of where I’m stuck.)

  7. Loukia says:

    P.S. You were one of my blog idols like, on my top five list, before I even met you. When I met you (and I still vividly remember that night in 2010 in NYC at the Nikon party, where I was chatting with you for 10 minutes before screaming out loud, “Oh my GOD, YOU’RE Miss Britt?!?!”) U adored you even more. :)
    Loukia’s most recent post: 36 Things I Love On My 36th Birthday

  8. Dawn says:

    Hi! I read every post that you write. I just don’t often comment. But I do read. All of it. And I enjoy it.

    I’ll tell you the truth, though: Not in any “peeking into your diary” way, but I did enjoy your other blog better.

    Why?

    I felt that you were vulnerable there. You told stories — it’s the STORIES that I miss — of your triumphs, but also of your failures. And when you needed a hug. So I guess I liked being a quasi-virtual-caregiver sometimes.

    Conversely, this blog feels like you’re the caregiver to your readers. And, while I like that too, I miss giving you a hug when you need it.

    Does that make any sense?

    You keep writing, I’ll keep reading.

  9. Kathie says:

    Gee, I hope you don’t quit blogging! I love to read your blog and tweets and rarely ever comment. I so understand the need for feedback and pledge to let you know how much your words encourage me, amuse me and in general inspire me to be happy! I appreciate you and what you do! Thanks so much! :)

    • Miss Britt says:

      You know, as a rule I think we should all make it a point to be encouraging to other people more often. HOWEVER, it is not a readers job to encourage a writer. It’s a writer’s job to say the things that have to be said, even if only to an empty room. The feedback is gravy.

      When the feedback becomes the purpose, it’s time for a writer to step the hell back and rethink things. :-)

      • Kathie says:

        I agree that we do things as a creative outlet; and to get postive reinforcement is gravy..or icing on the cake. But I am thinking that if it was not an important part of the process for bloggers would writing in a journal serve that purpose? I am not sure — just putting it out there!

        I think the doing is the purpose….

        Any how, I enjoy reading your blog and appreciate your insight and perspective. Happiness is certainly a worthy pursuit!!! :)

  10. Bonnie says:

    Britt, you are so much a part of my life, and have been for several years. You are regularly a part of our dinner table conversation, and when you went on the road, we followed you daily. When you mentioned you were coming to Toronto, I told lots of people. When your trip got cancelled, I was sad. You’re relevant – to me and my family.

  11. jan says:

    Well, what can I say. I am… surprised! Surely not! I do understand the amount of time goes into our blogs and the feeling that nobody really cares. Of course they do. I do wish they would comment though. I totally understand if you quit because you need to generate more money – braces are a biggie. But being number 4 on that list is a biggie too!
    jan’s most recent post: Quirky Budget Hotels

    • Miss Britt says:

      You know, the older I get, the more I realize my knee-jerk reaction of “all or nothing” may not be the only possible solution. :-)

  12. meg says:

    I hear ya. Like many good things, blogging is cyclical. Maybe there are other (paying?) Ways you can spread your “gospel”? My money’s on yes, there is. You are talented and insightful; I think you can accomplish your goal here, or through the right paying gig. I will be watching… and rooting for you to pursue YOUR happiness!
    meg’s most recent post: DIY Dryer Repair Part II

    • Miss Britt says:

      I think you are right and that I do need to think about making time in my day/life for several types of writing. I think that’s easier to do if I let this blog remain a labor of love, something fun and simple, and not a PLATFORM.

  13. Lana says:

    If you do quit, I will miss you but I will understand. I love reading your blog and I have followed since before you went on your RV trip. I have often wondred when I will quit. Obviously, I do not have as many followers as you do but I blog about chronic illness and I recieve comments and emails about what my blogging means. I am holding back because I don’t want to disappoint but that is kind of what was you said. :-)

    • Miss Britt says:

      EXACTLY. Not wanting to disappoint can’t be a sustainable reason for doing ANYTHING. I mean, I feel like I finally figured that out a few years ago in my offline life, but the lesson has been slower in coming online.

  14. Nanna says:

    Babe, since you were little, you write because, well, YOU WRITE, like a bird sings because it has a song. I know what it feels like to wonder if anyone hears, or cares. Just please know that what you say here is who you are, our at least who you are and what you care deeply about at this point in your life. If you need to spend less here, that’s ok. You’ll be led to the next right thing, the next right, uh….how do you say that? Aspect?
    Nanna’s most recent post: The hallmark of a good Nurse Practitioner

    • Miss Britt says:

      1) Really? I don’t remember myself as always writing. Huh.

      2) The next best step, I think, is how I say it. :-)

  15. I’m amending my previous comment. I just read your “Work It, Mom!” post. You have to do and focus on the things that bring you joy. If this blog isn’t one of those things you have to let it go for your sanity and happiness! We will find your writing elsewhere (tell us where!) and will support you no matter what because we believe in you!
    Carrie Monroe O’Keefe’s most recent post: Down. With. The. Sickness.

  16. the muskrat says:

    I have a bunch of posts in my “drafts” folder that say blogging is stupid and I should quit doing it and just watch TV at night like the rest of America. But then I don’t do it. Being indecisive is hard.
    the muskrat’s most recent post: new beginnings

    • Miss Britt says:

      This really surprises me. You seem to have a really healthy perspective on blogging.

      Also, I would not be using my extra time to watch TV, asshole.

      Also, also, I miss your face. Seriously. Can’t you go on some military assignment to Pittsburgh?

  17. Audra says:

    I too would miss your blog…but I get the need for change. I’m there too…I don’t know which direction tto go in (and I gave my blog a name that is sure to breed ill feeling and negative body image issues for my youngest if it continues much longer). I read many different types of blogs and your honesty and willingness to examine the complexities of the issues you discuss is something I really appreciate. You advocate minimalism, but acknowledge that it is hard to do and imperfect.
    Audra’s most recent post: Etsy Craft Party At Stitch Cleveland

    • Miss Britt says:

      As you’ve probably seen, I haven’t always been good at “change in moderation.” I tend to be like “OH, WE AREN’T DOING THAT ANYMORE AT ALL!” Maybe this will be a lesson in moderation for me.

  18. Sarah says:

    I really enjoyed your post. I have similar revelations on a daily basis. Not specifically about blogging, but about all the projects I have on the go. Every second day I say I need to get a real J-O-B (as though being a full time mom to 2 children and running a business isn’t). The next day I think I am crazy for even thinking about it. It goes on and on. Sigh.

    • Miss Britt says:

      I try to remind myself that I am a horrible employee. Fantastic contractor and service provider, but HORRIBLE long-term employee.

  19. Can’t stop laughing!! Sorry. Funny Karma is the best :)

    Maybe “Karma” isn’t the right word, but I hope you know what I mean…

    Congratulations too!
    Gary LaPointe’s most recent post: Silhouette Photography

  20. Carly says:

    Welp, I am shocked that THIS blog is what you were talking about in that other post. You know, you gotta do what you gotta do, right? Let this blog evolve into something less time intensive, let the words be the power and stop marketing it. Ultimately you’d want to write it purely for your own catharsis, right? Like a previous commenter said, no matter how much validation, it’s never enough. In fact, YOU put into words exactly what I experience with all that internet validation when I heard you speak at Podcamp last year. The slot machine analogy.

    For me, it makes more sense to strike at the roots of what feeds on that validation instead, which it sounds like you did yesterday. Accept that you help people, you contribute positively to the world whether you write here or not. You are not obliged to maintain an eternal spring of inspiration for the internet, especially if it compromises your own peace. It is not your responsibility to facilitate everyone else’s personal growth. Just my 2 cents. Easy to spend now that you’re local. ;)

    • Miss Britt says:

      “Let this blog evolve into something less time intensive, let the words be the power and stop marketing it.”

      YES. Because you’re right, and I’ve found myself trapped in the slot machine cycle again. Man, I’d forgotten about that analogy. Thanks for the reminder.

  21. Semele says:

    I read a lot of blog posts every day, and I rarely comment on any of them. Partly because I don’t feel I have anything compelling to say, but – ironically – partly because I assume all you bloggers are so busy you don’t have time to read my comments anyway! Until I read this post I had never considered whether bloggers crave comments as validation that they’re reaching people. I wonder how it is for book authors, or journalists, or painters? Are we creating a world where creative types have so many new ways to get feedback that they’re stressed when no feedback comes in? Very interesting to think about.

    I may never comment again, but I do read you faithfully. I loved following along on your trip, I cried when your brother was sentenced, and I wait eagerly for details about your new life in Pittsburgh. Whether you do or don’t continue to blog, I wish you all the best. But please consider sticking around. :)

    • Miss Britt says:

      “Are we creating a world where creative types have so many new ways to get feedback that they’re stressed when no feedback comes in?”

      That is something interesting to think about. I wonder, too, if it’s not just creative types, but all of us? Perhaps we’ve fallen out of the habit of relying on our internal motivation to keep going because we are so used to having external feedback every step along the way.

      Pretty insightful for a first-time commenter. :-)

  22. Pamela says:

    I totally get the limited stream of energy-time-etc. thing. I stopped blogging in March because I was just crazy exhausted. I hope you are able to do what makes your heart sing, and keeps your kid in braces. Blessings.

  23. I read. I go away, I get overwhelmed by the volume of what’s available on the internet. My own life gets hairy, or messy, or sick, or stuck. And then I need care and feeding. Sometimes care and feeding comes in the form of meeting the humanity of another, of feeling less alone because someone else feels vulnerable, too, or feeling less alone because someone else feels happy and grateful and positive and they’re being accused of being a Pollyanna, like that’s even a bad thing. I come back. I read.

    And then I feel less alone. Thank you for that. It’s nice to feel less alone.
    Jet Harrington’s most recent post: the hills are alive

  24. Bruce Robinson says:

    I’m not surprised by your decision, one of the things that makes you, you is your constant need to question yourself, your motivation, your direction, what matters, and why. That being said, congrats on the well deserved recognition. I live in a small town, in a small state. Many of the folks here simply don’t see the world as I do, have closed minds, and frankly, bore me. So I search for community, and for me, you are part of that community. Now I am one of the commenters, so you know I’m out there, have even offered you, and your family quarters, and great food if you ever head this way. all that being said, you need to take care of yourself, and your family first, and if the blog is not conducive to your well being, I’ll certainly understand. Perhaps if you did this as a gift to us, and yourself, and not an obligation that would help, for it is a gift.

  25. Andy says:

    I have never commented before, I stumbled on your blog a few months ago (right before you moved home temporarily) and read some of your back posts. I probably don’t count towards your numbers because I have subscribed through RSS, but I do read every one of your posts, and I enjoy them. Please don’t quit. Monetise the blog or get some advertisers but don’t quit. You will be missed.

    • Miss Britt says:

      Actually, it’s the attempt at monetizing that makes me go crazy about blogging. I can make money from my “real” jobs, but I get distracted by trying to make this blog something profitable, too. Weird, isn’t it?

      I think letting go of the money idea here may actually help!

  26. I still read every post.

  27. Wonderful…don’t give up. I’ve been toying with the idea of quitting too but 6 years…I’m not sure I can.
    Jill of All Trades’s most recent post: Polishing The Pearl

  28. Peggy says:

    Oh Britt, of course we read. We just don’t let you know unless you need us. Congratulations on the ranking! I remember distinctly Devin saying once something about “you were a big deal on the internet” quite a while back. He had it right didn’t he! It’s just a thankless job most of the time.

    You have to do what is right for you guys. Devote your time where it makes the most sense for you and your family. Life is the journey. Everyone understands that, or should. Life changes and so do people. After all, if you’re not changing, your dying. That’s Woody’s motto, so we change. You know how many times we’ve reinvented ourselves and tried new things! Always evolving. We enjoy watching your changes too…

    • Miss Britt says:

      I love that you guys are constantly reinventing yourselves!! And thanks for commenting here, Peggy. Love you guys. xo

  29. Allyson says:

    All I’m going to say is this… Faiqa posts sometimes one time in three months, I still check her blog everyday. You post at least weekly, I check your blog everyday. I’ve been reading you for six or seven years now, and from the start I felt like you and I were meant to be friends. I can’t really show up on your doorstep and hang out, and I’m not much of a talk on the phone for hours person, but when I read your blog, I feel like a friend does. I cry with your pain, I surge with your excitement, and I’m proud of you when you make a new discovery.

    I know you believe in God, and it seems to me that when you’re interrupted from quitting – several times – it’s time to listen. Maybe quitting would be too much. Maybe, taking a break – or honestly, I just found the WorkIt, Mom site, because even though you mentioned it before I thought it was a ‘zine so I hadn’t checked. But I’ve been reading them, and those are good posts. So maybe just re-direct your readers there – if you get paid for that gig, then you could have the best of both worlds.

    In the end, Britt, I think it comes down to this; do what is right for you and your family. Your readers will support you, and we’ll come back and read if/when you’re ready to write more.

    • Miss Britt says:

      Some signs do seem a little too loud to ignore, don’t they?

      I think I am definitely going to keep blogging, but when I have something to say, and not to maintain some “schedule for success” here.

  30. Helen Wolwyn says:

    I know EXACTLY what you mean! I sell women’s accessories online and run a blog on it that I write an entry for once a week. It’s like torture sometimes trying to think of something to write when in the back of your head your voices are telling you, “why bother, who the heck is reading this?” and you virtually get NO feedback. Although my numbers show that there are some readers, and the number is growing, I have yet to get one lousy comment that isn’t spam in almost a whole year of blogging! AND, any orders I get don’t seem to be coming from that readership yet. It’s true that we need to find some other reason to do it. I ultimately like doing it but my fantasy is to start a great dialogue one day with it, and that just may not happen. I stopped short yesterday of adding a post literally begging for comments and wrote about facing things that make you nervous instead relating it to my son going to camp.
    Helen Wolwyn’s most recent post: Events

    • Miss Britt says:

      Those types of blogs can be VERY difficult to maintain because they traditionally get very few (if any) comments. That was a difficult transition for me when I first started doing business blogs and other paid writing.

  31. Megan says:

    Look at all the comments you got; I think I’ll quit too! ;)

    I believe we had this conversation recently, and I told you to remember why you write this and who you are really writing for. Validation is awesome, but if you need other people to make you matter you will never be satisfied.

    Allyson pointed out that she liked when you showed your vulnerabilty more. That’s one thing you are good at that I suck at – being vulnerable. That quality is what makes you popular. I can talk about being depressed and not get the response you can if you talk about going to the grocery store and feeling like a dork because you don’t know how to choose a melon. You can use that in this new context to connect.

    /advice (You know I can’t help myself – I should really just write a column)
    Megan’s most recent post: Falling Into Darkness

  32. Loco YaYa says:

    i totally get it. i have a very measly following. and i have thought about not writing anymore either. (especially after my dad divulged that he had read a rather emotionally charged post … ugh! family!!) i think all bloggers go through that at some point. and it is ok. i feel like that all. the. time. why do i write? no one really comments. or reads. but at the end of the day i enjoy it. and really that is all that matters. i write when i have something to write. regardless of whether or not i think anyone will enjoy it. i just write. to write. and it works for me. at least for now. until i get all ‘i am not teh internets worthy’ again.
    Loco YaYa’s most recent post: 21 Years and a Rental Car

  33. Hockeymandad says:

    I’m glad you didn’t quit or else I’d have to resort to email to follow up on what’s going on in your family’s world! Ugh, email is sooooo time consuming! ;) Of course I would if I had too, but you cannot quit your blog because after all, you’re kind of a big deal on the Internet right?

    • Miss Britt says:

      Do you know I am actually NOT a big deal on the Internet anymore? WHAT THE HELL?!?! Fortunately, I still know a lot of big deals, so I can probably get invited to a cool party or two if I had to.

      • Hockeymandad says:

        Hmmmm, well if you’re no longer a big deal on the Internet then our friendship is on probation. I mean, I have to stay with the cool kids or else I get left behind right? hahahaha…. Maybe that can be lifted if I can be your +1 when Jared can’t make it to the cool parties? hahahaha

  34. Michelle Moy says:

    Britt,
    I, too, am one of those lurkers who enjoy reading your blog and following your adventures. I am in awe of how you can be so honest about things we find so hard to admit to others, and ourselves, that make us feel like failures or “less than” and are afraid about being judged on.

    THANK YOU for shouting into the abyss, and even when you get hoarse, please know that your words and hard-won wisdom are echoing through the canyons reaching many just when they need it.

  35. Naomi says:

    Dude … it is such a cycle isn’t it? If you write with to much conviction or knowledge or information, readers say “I had nothing valid or worthwhile to comment with, so I just stayed quiet” … if you write with too much whinge or sharing deep stuff about yourself, you feel like no one wants to / needs to hear THAT …

    When you pour your soul out, or publish what you think is a great post and no one comments … it is kind of like a big question mark just floating there.

    But sometimes it’s all simply about timing. It’s also about community … and if the people on the other side of the screen aren’t reaching back out, it doesn’t work. Otherwise, we’d all just blog with comments closed.

    I’m trying harder to comment on the blogs I read, even if it is just to say “amen” or something equally simple. EVEN on those blogs that already have 42 comments!
    Naomi’s most recent post: Box 53b

    • Miss Britt says:

      I’m trying to do that more often, too. Because you can’t expect from others what you can’t do yourself.

  36. Liz says:

    I quit writing Sandpaper Fidelity the other day. And then I got smacked in the face with an idea for a new character.

    Sometimes it seems like the universe is working through us, whether we like it or not.

    For the record, I love In Pursuit of Happiness. I check it almost every day — and I don’t have a whole lot of extra time to read blogs. I don’t think you actually need to spend a lot of time on pimping. I think you’ve reached a point where your blog pretty much promotes itself. You have sharing buttons, and if you set up Feedburner or WordPress or any number of other services to auto-tweet your latest post when it goes live, you don’t even need to worry about tweeting the initial post. I also have Hootsuite automatically posting my latest to Facebook. Then, every so often, I tweet out a link to a post that hasn’t had many comments or that’s been really popular, just to make sure it’s still getting eyeballs.

    Let your blog do the work for you for a while and see if that helps.

    If you decide to really quit, though, I totally understand. It does get exhausting!
    Liz’s most recent post: How Acknowledging My Jealousy Fueled My Creativity

    • Miss Britt says:

      “Let your blog do the work for you for a while and see if that helps.” That’s what I need to do.

  37. Kent says:

    Glad you’re gonna stick around. I guess that’s all we can ask for now :)
    Kent’s most recent post: Be Well

    • Miss Britt says:

      Well otherwise it would just feel like I was stalking you guys. Now at least I can say I’m a fellow blogger. ;-)

  38. Darla says:

    I read every blog post. Every one of them.

    I liked the seedy Britt, the angry Britt, the trying to quit smoking Britt (see angry Britt), the honest to a gasp Britt, the happy Britt, the evolved Britt. I don’t know that I’ve seen a side of you yet that I haven’t like.

    I say all that to say this: I’ll be reading.

  39. Becca says:

    I told you, so many of us read your words and are uplifted through out the day. I know we don’t know what goes on in your private life, and I do know what it’s like to feel like you’ve lost your reason or want to fight to be heard.

    This is not a please keep writing response, but an I hope you know there are many of us who know how this might feel.

  40. Nicole says:

    I know you don’t need my validation, but you know what? It’s nice to be appreciated, so please take my response as that. :) I appreciate the beauty of every single post your write. I comment here and there and share once in awhile. I often read your posts on my phone or on Google Reader where those options are not immediately available to me, even if it is something that I feel especially drawn to.

    So you know what? I’m going to make an effort to SHOW my appreciation for the wonderful work you do on this blog. I stumbled upon (literaly. On StumbleUpon) at just the right time in my life. Every post I read comes at an appropriate time. It’s a bit creepy, really. ;) THIS post came at an appropriate time- just when I started thinking more about appreciations in other aspects of my life.

    So, Britt, this appreciation comes with my deepest aloha from the middle of the Pacific.

    • Nicole says:

      One more thing! Should you choose to stop blogging, please keep the site up so I can reread posts that mean a lot to me and that I can share when others might need them, too! You have beautiful words here!

    • Miss Britt says:

      Thank you, from the heart of Pittsburgh. xo

  41. Heather says:

    I have to say I freaked out just a bit when I started reading your post. I go through this cycle too. And I certainly don’t comment nearly enough. I’m one of those commentors who, if I haven’t anything good to say to add to the discussion, I don’t. I don’t like just throwing up a “nice post” or “lol ha ha ha” to me that seems disingenuous. People put themselves out there on their blogs and deserve more than that.

    That being said, you happen to be one of my favorite blogs. You did something I dream about – hitting the road with your family – and you offer honest, heartfelt words about life.

    Blogging fills a need for us, I think, that need to feel like we matter, that there are people out there who can sympathize and empathize with our feelings and yet we still get the relative safety of anonymity.

    Keep blogging because you ARE reaching people. People ARE reading your words and taking them to heart!
    Heather’s most recent post: I Broke the Lawn Mower (And They Say it is a Capital Offense)

    • Miss Britt says:

      You know, I often think that this need to matter is a side effect of my narcissism or something. It is nice to know that is more common.

  42. Hi Britt,

    I actually just came across your site from THAT LINK being number 4.

    One thing REALLY struck me in this post, is your REASON for writing… it came through quite strongly that you write for validation. If you eliminate this and refer back to ‘what you know’ and your ‘why’ behind writing (apart from validation) perhaps this well help enlighten your decision.

    Brendan
    Brendan Baker’s most recent post: 27 Experts Share Their Thoughts on Starting Happiness In Their Own Lives

    • Miss Britt says:

      Yep. That’s exactly where the disconnect has been, and why it was actually so easy for me to decide to quit, because I do not want to write for validation.

      But I’d forgotten that there were other reasons I started this blog, reasons that didn’t have anything to do with validation. I needed to be reminded – and to take a look at how all those other expectations got picked up.

      Wise comment. :-)

  43. Reading your blog makes me miss you so very much. I really liked your “I Know This” paragraph. Think I might need to write one of those myself…

  44. Britt, your blog is an inspiration and I would miss reading it if you decide to pursue happiness in different ways. That being said, I wholeheartedly support you, whatever your decision will be and know that I am thankful for your voice here, your insights, and your stories that always remind me to find my own happiness.
    Andrea | EC Simplified’s most recent post: Reader Round-up! What Blogs and Forums We’re Reading

    • Miss Britt says:

      Andrea, one of the greatest blessings in my life is this right here, this kind of support that has come from people I’ve never met. It is amazing and humbling all at once.

      Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Your kindness and encouragement makes my world more beautiful.

  45. Leslie L says:

    Just found your blog and I’m saving it. Please don’t quit. Just do it for yourself. I think it can be therapeutic if I don’t pressure myself. I am http://www.readingheavenward.blogspot.com and I haven’t blogged in a while. But I’m still able to if I want. Nuff said. Good luck.

    • Miss Britt says:

      I definitely need to stop doing it for all the weird reasons I’ve been doing it for lately!

      Welcome. :-)

  46. [...] I decided to quit blogging, one of the things I knew I would miss was this weekly accounting of blessings. I even considered [...]

  47. Mara says:

    Oh my, oh my, oh my! How I love this post. (Although I don’t want you to quit.)

    So yes. You’re totally right. And for this same reason I’ve made a schedule for myself that allots tons of non-blogging writing/prospecting time. I’ve also allotted blogging time and my attitude is that what I get done in that time is what I’ll publish on my blog. End of story. It can no longer be open ended.

    And I’ve promised to swear off checking stats, constantly pimping on social media, and obsessing about what everyone else is doing/winning. (I have so many bad habits in that arena that I’m like a junkie.)

    If I can make that formula work, I think I’ll be on the road, if not to success than to satisfaction. That’s a big “if”. But know that I’ll be thinking of you now as I do it, and holding you up, and hoping you can achieve all the things that you both want and need to do for yourself and your family. I’m definitely pulling for you because I think what you say and do matters.
    Mara’s most recent post: 10 days, 10 lives with Water.org

    • Miss Britt says:

      “And I’ve promised to swear off checking stats, constantly pimping on social media, and obsessing about what everyone else is doing/winning. (I have so many bad habits in that arena that I’m like a junkie.)”

      This is a change I need to make, too. Definitely.

  48. I can totally relate to what your feeling except my blog is minuscule compared to yours so I really probably should quit. Every time I want to quit, someone tells me they love reading my blog and it keeps me going for a little while longer, but the fact of the matter is it like a habit, really hard to give up once you have been doing it for awhile. Something happens to me and I immediately start writing a blog post in my mind.

    I think there is a business opportunity here that I haven’t fully wrapped my mind around. People are reading and yet the writers are not feeling the love. Most people don’t make the effort to comment. There must be some other way to change the platform of blogging such that the lurker majority can give a shout out with minimal effort. I am still pondering this…let me know if you have any ideas.

    Anyway, I am glad you are back!
    Alecia @ Hoobing Family Adventures’s most recent post: Crossroads

  49. Avitable says:

    There would be a hole in the Internet if you didn’t blog, even if you change your focus or the way you blog.
    Avitable’s most recent post: An Eternity In Heaven Or How To Give a Nine Year Old Control Freak A Panic Attack

  50. I would really be sad if you stopped blogging for I greatly appreciate your daily doses of optimism and wisdom. But on the other hand this whole blog is about pursuing happiness and if blogging here is not what makes you happy any more, than quitting is the natural thing to do. So good luck with whatever you intend to do! :)

  51. Kathy says:

    Yep – this blogging thing does take time and you have been at it longer than most. The balance is always skewed when you also earn an income from writing; there’s only so much of that creative kind of energy to tap into. I suspect that many of us will still check in to see what you’re up to … and, if you blog occasionally, sometimes, once in a blue moon, that will be enough for us and more than enough for you. To know that you have enough paid writing gigs to pay your bills is a huge and wonderous thing. Why would anyone in their right mind (smile) squander that? Go be a writer for hire and don’t forget to come back here … sometimes.
    Kathy’s most recent post: What Elder Dog Said Or All Roads Lead to Home

  52. Ken says:

    I just started reading…and hope you don’t quit!! But, I know you will make the right decision for you and yours.

  53. Don’t ever think you are shouting into the abyss. I read you all the time, even if I don’t always comment
    Corey Feldman’s most recent post: More Egret News

  54. autumnesf says:

    Your story and journey of this blog has so much relevance on so many levels. Looking forward to hearing about your changes. Glad you are sticking around.
    autumnesf’s most recent post: After Labor Day Camping

  55. [...] I’d forgotten all that. I’d gotten tied up in what I thought this place had to be, what it had to produce, and how it might fit into a bigger plan. I spent as much time thinking about optimal schedules and organic search terms as I did turning my internal thoughts about happiness into words to share. I also started giving what I thought I should and not what I could. I was running dry and had become dependent on using the feedback as fuel to keep going, which is pretty much a foolproof recipe for ending up broken down on the side of  People Have Other Stuff Going On Highway. [...]

  56. i read this line. “I had my compulsory unexpected expense freak out, like I do, and then began looking…” and read the “like i do” part in your voice. cracked me up.

    also made my heart happy to know you are not done blogging, that you aren’t walking away.

    i hope you don’t feel pressure to write on a certain schedule (most of us use feed readers anyhow). what if you don’t put pressure on yourself to write in a certain style and write when you want? i get the feeling that you enjoyed blogging more when it was all “write whatever whenever!” and not stick to a theme and schedule.
    hello haha narf’s most recent post: Adventure in Tahn

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