Hiatus Disease is one of the biggest causes of blog death although there is a great deal of contention regarding the best course of treatment. Personally I think it’s more important to address the underlying causes and put them right before they get to become a problem: getting your blogging mojo back is harder than trying to stop losing it in the first place. I’ve been watching a lot of anime recently and I’ve also been packing in a fair amount of overtime at work (I have a sizeable overdraft and some important things to save up for) so writing the sort of post that appears here is becoming more difficult than ever.
I believe the caption reads “pulling another all-nighter”, which is something I really can’t do any more
It might seem a bit out of the blue to say “I might stop posting on my regular blog,” in the same way that a couple’s divorce is unexpected when they never seemed to row about anything. This isn’t really inspired by other bloggers’ bouts of hiatus disease either as far as I can tell – it’s mostly spurred on by my own reasons. There are of course some sad cases that make me worried though…realising your own mortality I guess. KT, Jeff Lawson and IKnight, three of my favourite bloggers, have experienced burnout and plenty of others have fallen by the wayside too. I’m now at a bit of a crossroads where I need to do something before something disasterous happens to my blogging too.
Reasons to stop
1. The current format is constrictive
I’ve been blogging at TEotW for nigh on two and a half years now, which means there are expectations from both visitors and myself in terms of post length, tone and content. There are things I want to do that don’t fit in with the format of my blog as it stands.
2. I want to blog about other, off-topic, things
Elaboration of reason #1 above. I want to include ‘off topic’ stuff such as non-anime music and Japanese cinema – I’d like to do a J-popular culture site rather than just anime and manga.
3. My archives are getting unmanageable
The number of posts and comments is both difficult to list and if anything goes wrong, a DB of this size would be difficult to back up. The tag cloud is also so large now that I’m worried that it’s difficult for visitors to find anything.
4. Time is in short supply
I need a style of blogging that’s easier to fit around real life things. Part of this is my own fault for trying to watch too much but writing 1000+ word posts with any regularity is so difficult these days I’m worried that the quality of my writing will suffer. I’m not actually sure how I’ve managed for this long because I’m feeling run-down in a lot of areas, and blogging is one of them.
Reasons to continue
1. I’m in 9rules
It took a long time to get up to the standard to qualify, and of course they only accept established blogs with a certain regularity of posting. I’d have to wait for months before a new blog is eligible, which would be a real shame considering how overjoyed I was in being accepted.
2. Visitors will have to update their feedreaders
I place a lot of value on good accessibility and navigation. I don’t know how many people are subscribed to my RSS feed but they’ll all have to update. I’d feel a bit bad about that and I’m not sure if even Feedburner offer a merging service to keep a new and old blog on the same feed.
3. I’ve come so far already
I’ve had one of my posts quoted in an anime-on-line advertising newsletter e-mail and the Eve no Jikan page on Crunchyroll links to me now. It’s done wonders for my e-ego (e-go?), but this is all probably down to the fact that search engines favour established sites that have been around for ages, rather than newer ones.
4. I have a reputation to maintain
While my blog has never been one of the most popular ones, I seem to have acquired a cult following of sorts with a small but loyal group of regular visitors and commenters who I value very highly. When so many blogs, both old and new, are falling victime to Hiatus Disease I feel like I’m one of a proud minority who have been able to overcome the odds and keep posting with relative regularity for an extended period of time.
The mission statement
WordPress 2.7 will arrive in the next few days which means we’ll have a shinier and more efficient interface to blog with; if there’s a time for starting a blog from a software/installation point of view, now might be the time to do it. I was planning on a new layout for the winter anyway, but the idea of an even more fundamental change to my blogging has snowballed in recent weeks. Rest assured though that even if I take a few weeks’ break from posting anything, writing is a compulsion as well as recreation for me so I probably couldn’t stop writing for good, even if I wanted to.
The current state of things gives me a potential solution: when 2.7 hits the ‘net I’ll make a start on an alternative blog without any links elsewhere to find my feet and figure out where to go with it. It’ll be a shame to leave this one when I’m so close to the 500 posts landmark and I hate to think a post like this comes over like some sort of attempt at attention-seeking dorama but with any luck it’ll all work out for the best. Watch this space.