I was actually toying with the idea of not coming back to Betsy Transatlantically at all after publishing The Disconnect of Authenticity. Rather suddenly, I discovered I just didn't seem to need to blog anymore. I mean, I knew I'd been trucking along for the past few months with less gusto than earlier in my blogging career, but I didn't expect to feel so blasé about possibly quitting.
Then I read a post about storytelling on Found Love Now What that helped me clarify what I want to put into and get out of Betsy Transatlantically. "Without a doubt," Belinda wrote, "storytelling is one of my favorite reasons for dedicating time to this blogging space."
I realized, as I read that sentence, that I don't use this blog for storytelling anymore - not the kind of storytelling that I had practiced here for the last five years, anyway. Her post provoked me to ask myself three questions:
What kind of storytelling do I want/need to do now?
Why and for whom am I telling these stories?
What's the best platform to do it?
As I explained on Twitter, I think the answers to those questions have to converge in a very specific way for blogging (as I have been) to be fulfilling and productive, and my answers simply don't lead me there.
Most importantly, I don't want to continue the diary-like storytelling that has been a hallmark of Betsy Transatlantically. Belinda talked about how gratifying it is to look through her archives and see a record of what she's accomplished and how she's grown; I love that about my blog, too, but I don't feel I need to document my life in that way at the moment. Maybe it's because Jon and I have settled into a comfortable, stable place both geographically and emotionally, but I'm just not compelled to record our activities in blog post form right now.
I've transitioned to primarily using Instagram when I do want to take a snapshot of what we're up to - it feels more spontaneous and informal than my blog, and that's incredibly freeing. My captions on that platform are now more expository than they used to be, sure, but the interaction I have with you all there is more immediate and, in many ways, more enjoyable.
Once we take that sort of storytelling out of the blog, what remains are light posts - recipe experiments, home updates, and style picks, that sort of thing - and long-form writing.
So I wondered: is it okay for a lifestyle blog to bounce back and forth - infrequently, probably, because that's what my schedule allows these days - between those two poles?
Let's find out!