Monday, April 6, 2015

On The Eve of My Fifth Blogiversary

Forgive me, dear readers; it has been three weeks since my last blog post.

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!


  1. I think with all blogging the most important thing is to do what feels right to you and then it will be engaging and you will enjoy creating the content and the interaction with it.

  2. I totally agree with Bailie! Do what feels right for you. Personally I'm much more of a fan of blog posts than long Instagram posts, but you're right: Instagram is so immediate and easier to connect. I'm a huge fan of your blog so I hope you do continue posting here!

  3. I think it's fine to use your blog however it currently works in your life! We are constantly changing and growing. It's only natural that our blogs should grow with us.

  4. Betsy,
    I love the way you pose questions so thoughtfully as a challenge to yourself and your fellow readers, either through your blog or the informal Instagram. I think you have a wonderful way of looking at the world, and I find myself re-reading your posts of the past because your writing is captivating. But writing to that level consistently takes time and energy. And maybe that isn't where you are in your current story, which allows you to grow and evolve your story telling medium. Whatever you decide, I look forward to following along. I am so glad that a few of my musings could lend you some inspiration!

  5. I fully realize that there are periods and phases to life where you want to do some things over other things. In January, I read 5 books. In Feb and March, I read 2 books combined. I've said this before, but once I cut back to only writing 2-3 posts per week, I have been so much happier with my blogging. I don't at all feel the need to keep to a schedule, and I know my readers will be there when I come back, whether that's every other day or every 3 or 4 days. Probably once I have Baby Bum, I won't have as much time to blog, but then again maybe I will. Who knows? I'll just see what happens when I get there. (P.S. 5 years of the Lady Okie is in May!)

  6. I'm loving your Instagram game these days... but your blog always gives me something to think about (though I will say, it doesn't HAVE to do that every post - I like quick, short, picture-laden posts too)! I like how you think about the act of blogging and I really do think that blogs evolve over time and they serve different purposes for us as our lives change

  7. I'm absolutely, completely agreement with you, Erika.

  8. Yes, I think your blog can bounce back and forth; interests do change over time, as do schedules, so it's not surprising that your blogging activity has descreased. "Light posts", as you've described them, are still better than no posts at all.

    I do, however, really miss the interactions that you and I used to have; I don't really know what happened there. :'(

  9. Dude, go for it! Blogging is what you make it! PS you are totes rocking instagram, keep it up.

  10. I'll stick around whatever you do! :) I wandered away from my blog because of time-consuming school priorities (ahem, dissertation), and then I realized when I started my postdoc that I actually prefer devoting my open, non-work time to other kinds of self-care. Our lives fluctuate, our needs and creative outlets develop and change over time... and I think that's okay. We have to do what feels right for whatever phase of life we are in. I have actually found that staying connected via Instagram feels more intimate at times than blogging, if only because we get to share those little moments that shape our day.

  11. I think it's totally okay for our blogs to evolve - because we as people evolve. And you have such a great community around here that whether you're talking about deeper issues or whether it's a bunch of folks sipping wine and talking about the best way to roast whatever or decorate, it's still going to be fun! Cheers :)


I love reading your thoughts and suggestions! Please do leave a comment so we can get to know each other better.