When Bloggers Stop Blogging

A substantial number of bloggers, like the “old soldiers” in the antique song, “never die, they simply fade away.” Some are captured by other priorities or overtaken by demanding events. A few write books or publish elsewhere. And some, I believe, are “written out.” At least for a while.

I’ve posted in this space since 2009. Almost 600 essays. From the beginning, I wondered how long I’d have something new to say; well-crafted ideas bright people might want to read. But especially to spill out my brain for my kids and future grandchildren. To leave, in the composer Bela Bartok’s words, “an empty trunk.”

I didn’t liken myself to Shakespeare and, while I note some improvement in my writing , my belief hasn’t changed. Though several dedicated readers suggest I should compile the best of these in a book, we are overwhelmed with print already. Nor does ambition drive me to take on such a task.

I wrote while recuperating from surgery. I scrawled when embroiled in difficult moments in my life. Words appeared on the page in times happy and sad, when energetic and tired, when I was kind to the people I loved and when less than my best.

That’s the way writers are. Not all of them are “called” to write, but they must expel whatever is inside. Compulsion describes the act. A real writer, adept or not, doesn’t wait for the conditions to be perfect. His industry summons the muse, rather than being summoned by it.

I have less interest now, I’m afraid. The lure of other parts of my life draws me more. I don’t intend to abandon the blog, but I imagine I will space out my attention to the space.

Thank you for reading. Please continue to read. Your kind words are appreciated. Thanks for disagreeing with me or asking questions. I’m not disappearing and I’m not dying. Whether my posting life “fades away,” I cannot predict.

Remember, you can still peruse 10 years worth of my efforts.

Or read Shakespeare.

I won’t be jealous.

—–

The top Cartoon of Skywriting Aircraft by NASA was sourced from Wikimedia Commons.

43 thoughts on “When Bloggers Stop Blogging

  1. I am sorry to read that you will be ‘fading away’. I look forward to your weekly essays & enjoy you sharing your expertise & experience along with a bit of who you are. I will miss you & your words. I must admit, I certainly won’t be taking your advice on reading some Shakespeare instead, as if you remember, I chose him as one of the people I’d like to have dinner with, from the past, in one of your other essays!
    I would like to thank you for all you have written for us all.

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    • You are welcome, Joanna. And thank you for your sweet sentiments. Of course, you will still have me around, only less often. And I’ll meet you at the Shakespeare dinner, assuming you can track him down!

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  2. I will read you alongside Shakespeare 🙂 I know this feeling well, as you know….though I’ve been posting for half the time, I too am fading away as it were ! And what was for a few years a discipline (there was much muse summoning involved ), is now an outlet only when I really need it or really feel called to use it, sometimes by the sheer sense that there is something so important (not about me, but about a concept, that might help others) that I have to share it. It’s been a joy to read you, and know you 🙂 and that continues 🙂 the stories that you have to share now are lively and immediate and shared in person with a smaller group, or in other ways. You were very formative for me – in so many ways – I’m glad, however, I’m past those early Oedipal days! You informed my ideas and my thoughts, and it was lovely to write sometimes in answer to your thoughts, or sparked by them. You will be missed , and some of us came to know and read each other through you. But you will be remembered and delighted in each time you visit and enrich this space 🙂 x

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  3. I look forward to your posts every week, and I enjoy reading your past blog posts as well. I hope and pray that you are in good health, and that your life is long and joyful. I was saddened by this particular post. I don’t know you, but I drew close to the words you wrote and the wisdom you have imparted on us readers. Reading your words and interacting with you and others have given me courage to revisit therapy again, and to work out all the kinks that I failed to acknowledge. It’s hard not to read in-between-the-lines without wondering if you’re okay. Regardless of my own desire to read your words or anticipate a new story, because that would just be selfish of me, I hope that whatever life brings in your life is met with nothing but love from your family, friends, and self. Relationships matter, when all else is stripped away. Relationship with others and with the self. Your beauty resonates through the words you write, and your words reflect the heart that you have toward helping others. Often times, helpers rarely get their own efforts reciprocated; they give without reward, and if they must receive a reward, it’s usually found within the betterment of others. But helpers need comfort and help, too. Helpers need encouragement, enlightenment, and stimulation beyond what they can do or offer – beyond their many talents and intelligence. I hope that whatever you are able to do or decide to do (or both), you are happy, loved, comforted, and fulfilled. I’m sure your children and family will cherish the words you’ve written here. I’m a mere stranger, hidden behind a pseudonym and a screen, but I will always cherish the words you’ve written and (hopefully – wishful thinking on my end) words you will continue to write.

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    • We’ve all got a few kinks to work out, Multinomial. In fact, I’m surprised I don’t carry around an ironing board! Don’t read between the lines to find some disaster that doesn’t exist in reality. I’m fine. As I’ve said above, I expect to write here, but less often. Your encouragement is much appreciated.

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  4. Aaaah, Dr. Stein … I am sad.
    I have recently had thoughts of getting closer to you.
    This is no small thing – I have recently had thoughts of getting closer to myself.
    Clara and Multi have spoken so well…
    Shalom – Dafna

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  5. “I have less interest now, I’m afraid. The lure of other parts of my life draws me more. I don’t intend to abandon the blog, but I imagine I will space out my attention to the space.”

    Honesty is kind. 🙂 I hope that the other parts of your life bring you joy and happiness. Writers cannot write forever; they must live a little, too! If that means travel, spending time with loved ones, painting, doing something for yourself, and exploring so much life has to offer, then that is well worth it! I’ll miss you and your writing, but I’m hoping that there are many other interesting things you find in life to do as well. I’m glad you’re not dying; I had to read that again, just to be sure. Losing interest in something you’re great at is not a negative; it may mean the start of something even more adventurous in your life – something that us readers can only imagine. 🙂

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    • All of the above, though not painting. Keep imagining! Here is something I received from another dear person:

      “Hope shapes intention. It leaves improbable possibilities open, which means that it influences the unfolding of future time…Hope is our capacity to predispose events to take a certain turn, by preparing for it or by recognizing tendencies favorable to it. But if futurity, time that is not yet present but will be, is an aspect of cosmic reality, like the decay products that will displace radioactive isotopes, then our acting on the future intentionally or not puts us in an effective relationship with an aspect of cosmic reality. So how alien from it can we actually be?”
      – Marilynne Robinson

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      • I prefer cosmos-thinking over chaos-thinking, the benefits of hope and the benefits of the good things we get that we never hoped for (or dreamed of). Now that is living!! I will keep imagining! Thank you, Dr. S! May you have the best adventures ever (and, hopefully, visit us here to tell us a little bit about it, when you get a chance). 😀

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      • I have never heard of Marilynne Robinson before now. What you all say make me want to read her works, which I may just do.

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      • Try one … I started with Housekeeping – the rest is a trilogy… award winners .. If it’s not in the library, I now find I can get most (not recent) paperbacks in good condition on ebay for around $4, including postage. I haven’t found a magic trick for making more shelf space.) TS

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      • Thank you for your suggestion. One “magic trick” to shelf space is the use of ebooks. You do not need a Kindle or Nookbook for ebooks; there are free apps out there. Although, ebooks are probably more expensive than real books. EBay or Amazon works for me. I will try Housekeeping first, as you suggested. It will be a while before I read that though. I have so much on my plate that I think my eyes are bigger than my stomach. I also gave away over 100 textbooks to a college friend. I miss the books but not the clutter. I prefer real books over ebooks, but I only purchase real books that are keepsakes now.

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      • I love Marilynne Robinson…..I love this quote…

        Liked by 3 people

      • Oh – I do love Marilynne Robinson – Over the last year I read Housekeeping, Gilead and Home – and Lila sits right here next to me, waiting for me. Her work is like Music and Art and Poetry and History and Psychology, all in one glance.
        And I go faithfully, over and over and over, to therapy, with This hope. Dafna

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  6. My first reaction is “Please don’t stop.” But since I’ve almost stopped myself, I totally understand. And, it’s a wonderful experience, isn’t it?

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    • Everything has its season, as Ecclesiastes reminds us:

      To every thing there is a season,
      and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
      A time to be born, a time to die;
      a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
      A time to kill, and a time to heal;
      a time to break down, and a time to build up;
      A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
      a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
      A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
      a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
      A time to get, and a time to lose;
      a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
      A time to rend, and a time to sew;
      a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
      A time to love, and a time to hate;
      A time of war, and a time of peace.

      Peace, Joan. Dave Garroway’s sign-off, as you might recall.

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  7. Wow! So beautifully and realistically said. You will continue to be in my heart, as you post or not post. You are here and have left your legacy whether new material posts or not. You may fade, but not away, because once it’s out there, it’s out there forever. Kudos and thank you for all these years. You have felt real and an integral part to my world.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh no! 😪😭😪😭

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  9. Dr. Stein, I will miss this opportunity of connecting with you. Your posts have been insightful, motivational, and informative. May you find joy and fulfillment in all that you do ❤

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  10. You’ve been my Saturday night “date” for quite sometime now. Every Saturday at 8 p.m. You answered questions about therapy and therapists I was afraid to ask my previous therapist. Still miss him and will miss you. The novel I was writing with a man like him as the main character has fallen by the wayside and like you, other things have taken it’s place. I never finish things. You have been successful in all your endeavors and will continue to be, no matter in what direction you choose to go.
    Will really miss you my Friend. You’re the Best. Stay healthy and happy.

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    • Well, Judy, our clandestine “Saturday night” relationship would come as quite a shock to my family, as it has been to me! But don’t despair too much. As Richard Nixon said after he lost the California Governorship in 1962, to assembled members of the press, “You don’t have Nixon to kick around any more, because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference.” Rumor has it, it wasn’t his last press conference! But seriously, thank you, Judy, and while we won’t “meet” every Saturday, some such meetings are ahead.

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  11. Thank you for the encouragement and comfort that you have created and leave behind. Your thoughts and words have been warm company during the long dark teatime of my soul. No doubt I will be returning to them again. Enjoy the escapades that call you – you deserve much after all you have given.

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  12. And I want to add, thank you for giving us a sort of closure. That’s very meaningful.

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    • It has been nice to read comments such as yours here, Al. I feel almost like someone who gets to hear his own eulogies! I am fortunate in that and much else. The models we have for “returns,” include people like Dougas MacArthur, and The Terminator. I’ll try to be less ominous and not take so long.

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  13. Thank you so much for your meaningful blogs. I realise that they will appear less frequently however as long as you feel to write an occasional blog, I shall be grateful to receive it. I wish you ‘bonne continuation’ as we say in French, I wish that all you wish for comes quickly to you and Many Thanks to you.

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  14. Dear Dr Stein over here in Britain I have enjoyed and appreciated your emails drifting into my in box in the early hours of a Sunday morning. You have taught me much more about my humanity and that of others with your wisdom and depths of knowing and unknowing. You must have reached many people with this and you wear it lightly. Whatever your new chapter brings I wish you well.

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  15. This makes me feel sad. Thank you for everything! I’ll enjoy your meaningful posts and unique style of expression when you’re here and miss you when you’re not. Andrea

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  16. Much appreciated, Andrea. Everything changes, a difficult lesson for us all. We will see what the future holds.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. My heart just lept into my throat, though I am not surprised. I have wondered to myself how long you would be able to continue this weekly commitment….and it is a huge commitment. I thank you from the bottom of my heart Dr. Stein, for all the help you have given me. Your articles helped sort-out things I grappled with, and helped me to bring it to my own therapist so it could be discussed. If I had not stumbled upon this blog in my quest to figure out what I was dealing with internally, I never would have brooched the subject with my therapist. Because of your articles and comments to my posts, in addition to my own therapy, I have reached a place where I am at peace within myself and for the first time I am becoming a more confident person. I will miss your weekly posts but I am happy you can now enjoy your retirement. Godspeed, Dr. Stein!

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    • Thank you, Nancy. You are more than welcome. I didn’t want the weekly essays to become an obligation. As I imagine the future, my less frequent posts will allow me to retain the pleasure I take in the writing of them.

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  18. I have come to your blog so many times over the past few years, just as I did tonight, hoping to better understand myself. It’s always a special visit, as you connect your love of art so beautifully with your posts, and I usually end up staying a while and enjoying the “view”. Thank you for giving so much to so many. I wish you much happiness.

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  19. How lovely to read your words, Patti. You are welcome. I’m not done writing, though, but will probably post with less frequency.

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