Monday, July 28, 2014

Back to blogging: When a day at the beach is a day at the beach

One of the most exasperating aspects about my blogtending is realizing how my readership increases whenever I don’t blog.

It happened again last week when I took my longest sabbatical ever. We were at the Outer Banks and I didn’t once for seven full days try and compose a single blog. In six years I’d never previously gone more than four days.

Yet last week my readership actually increased. It’s a terrible message to send to someone so prone to soulful laziness.

It leads me to believe I could become a much more successful blogger if only I’d take steps to ensure I’d never blog again.

But I’d miss blogging. I missed it last week.

And I felt bad for you, you readers who look forward to taking a few minutes every other day or so to check in. I felt like I was letting you down. Something you’d come to rely upon just vanished without warning.

Of course, my wife contends it’d be stupid for me to blog that we’re out of town and I don’t like writing in advance, preferring to write that morning what I’ll post later that same morning.

Val suspects criminal elements may read my blog and would break into our home if I wrote we were away on vacation.

I disagree. I think if I announced that we were away, teams of devotees would spontaneously form vigilante security squads to safeguard the home. Others would mow the lawn, wash the windows, and cut and stack stray firewood. I’ll bet my friend Marty, one of my most manic readers, would use the spare time to dash over and put a brand new roof on the place.

That’s how much I think of each and every one of you.

But just imagine the spousal blowback if I blogged that we were away and returned home to find we’d been cleaned out by sassy bandits who’d left a note that said, “You went to the Outer Banks and all we got was your TV, your jewelry, your stereo, etc. . .

“P.S. Love your blog!”

I’d never near the end of it.

The other reason I didn’t blog was the Kill Devil Hills home where we were staying had no internet access. Heck, it barely had “Seinfeld” reruns.

I’m telling you, it was primitive.

But it was near the beach, near a great BBQ joint and near a place that shucked some mighty fine oysters.

Thanks to my travel writing opportunities we’ve been able to enjoy some snazzy vacations. Remember, when I started freelancing in 1992 I called my travel writing venture Palm Features because I wanted it to convey tropical intentions. But the real reason I called it Palm Features was because my hand was always reaching out for freebies.

And it worked like magic. The free travel poured in.

But there’s something so absolutely wonderful about an unhurried and under-scheduled family vacation. People often use the phrase “no day at the beach” to describe something difficult.

So it’s surprising you rarely hear the cheerful reverse because a day at the beach is a truly a day at the beach.

Nothing else feels so transformative. There’s no lines. No admission. No jostling.

Just pure rejuvenation.

We played in the sand, rode the waves, dashed after crabs and just filled up our tanks for the 4-degree February days when we’re outside waiting for the school bus.

So it’s back to work for me, or whatever you call feeling an obligation to do something so time-consuming for free. I’m immediately resuming blogging with a frequency that somehow seems to guarantee fewer readers will check in than when I take a day or two off. 

I’ll spend a lot of time trying to conjure up topics that’ll either inform or entertain and I’ll be up with the roosters to try and get it all done before the productive husk of the day dawns.

Don’t get me wrong. I really enjoy blogging, have no plans to ever quit, and am grateful to all those who take time to stop by.

I just want everyone to understand blogtending is no day at the beach.

And thanks to the past seven days, I know exactly what that means. 

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