I've been getting this question a lot lately. Certainly, since December 2011 and what I like to call "Grandmothergate" I haven't posted much in the way of big thoughts or serious rants. And everybody had a theory as to why. So let's deal with that.
No. Not really. Am I still upset by the fact that a simple piece of writing caused one relative to threaten me with legal action that would make me "poor for the rest of my life" and others to call me rude, stupid, disgusting, selfish, etc.? Sure. These things sting. How could they not? But in general, those jabs weren't really about my writing. Mostly, they were about other things -- various other personal grievances, confusion and misunderstanding, personal vendettas, and other things both minor (ie. being deleted from Facebook) and major (ie. not knowing how to deal with excessive emotion in the face of loss). So no, I'm not afraid to write because a few angry bio-relatives went way over the top with their criticisms. I mean, I can be a wimp, but I'm not that big a wimp.
"Are you depressed?"
No. Not that I haven't been depressed before. I took a pretty long break from blogging back in 2007, and that was largely because of depression, but other than my usual anxieties, I feel pretty good these days. So, no, it's not about that.
"Have you changed your mind about what you think is appropriate for a blog?"
NO. Absolutely not. I think calling the (sometimes confessional) personal essays I write for this site "inappropriate" is crazy. Sometimes, looking back, I'm not thrilled with the quality of my prose, but content-wise, I'm proud of everything I've ever written here (and in most instances, elsewhere). Telling the truth is important. Sometimes, it hurts people, and sometimes others don't agree with what you've said, but in my experience, more people are helped and comforted by confessional writing than are hurt by it. When hurt happens, it's mostly about ego and narcissism. It's not really about the writing. So I'm still completely cool with what I've written (and with what I plan to continue writing in the future). In fact, my strongest feelings about my own writing and about the blog were recently summed up by the wonderful writer Anne Lamott, who said, "You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should've behaved better." She's a wise woman. (Note to aspiring writers: If you want an inspiring read, try Lamott's book Bird by Bird. It's great. Side note: Ironically, the person who first introduced me to Lamott more than 12 years ago is also one of the ones who practically threatened to sue me over the Grandmothergate blog. People are weird, eh?)
So... what's the deal? Why no big stories? Why no deep thoughts?
Seriously, dudes? The truth is this: I have no idea. I don't have enough to say at the moment, but I don't know why. When I really want to write something, I can't help but get it down. I climb out of bed in the middle of the night to write the posts I really need to write. And that just hasn't been happening lately.
I'm sure it'll pass. One of these nights, I'll have a dream, or read a book, or see something that reminds me of something really worth writing about, and when that happens, I'll scrawl it out. And then I'll share it with you here. And I won't vet it through anyone first. I won't censor it, or temper or, or shy away from it. And it'll probably be riddled with typos. But I'll share it, and with any luck, it will speak to you and you will share it forward. That's what we do in the land of the interweb. It feels good when it happens and I'm positive it will happen again for me one of these days.
Until then... I'll try not to be TOO boring. But no promises, kay?