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Reasons for not blogging, or whose idea was it to blurt out my life in the first place?

November 24, 2014

Yes, here’s yet another post from Dancing Beastie. I know, I know, you must have had trouble keeping up with them all recently, I just can’t stop blurting forth, can I?

Or not.

Actually, I have written plenty of posts this year. The problem is finishing them. Most of my dialogue in recent months has been in my head, as I try to work out why my inspiration has deserted me, and what I need to straighten out in my mind before it can return. Tentatively, I think I can at last say that I am beginning to make a tiny bit of headway; and I feel I owe an attempt at an explanation to old blogging friends who have wondered at my silence, as well as to new ‘followers’ who have found nothing to follow.

Um. Well, when I began this blog, there seemed to be so much to share. Life here at the castle still felt fairly novel, so that I could still empathise with, and enjoy responding to, the curiosity of friends who saw my life as a tartan-clad fairy tale. On top of that, my children were both still very young: young enough to come out with gorgeously quirky takes on life which seemed (to their besotted mother) worth recording for posterity. And motherhood was still a new enough experience for me to be still adjusting to it, pondering it, and occasionally kicking against it.

My little boys are both big enough to be at boarding school now, and even the younger one rolls his eyes when we remind the children of the baby words they used to have for things. (‘Clip-clops’ for high heeled shoes was a good one; ‘big flower’ was an early attempt to describe a tree.) Motherhood is my state: no longer a novel experience, it is just blessed, pedestrian, everyday life. And so – at least until the teenage years hit with a vengeance – there seems much less to write about it all than there once was.

As for the tartan-clad fairy tale… well, it still holds true. (Followers of the wildly popular ‘Outlander’ books and TV series would no doubt think so, at any rate, if I say that my very own flame-haired, kilted Highland laird swept me off to be his bride in his medieval castle! Ooh, I can imagine my husband’s blushes from here, not to mention his sisters’ snorts of derision, heh heh.)

One can even get used to living in a fairy tale, however, and we have made our home here at Castle Beastie for over a decade now. Sometimes the wonder of the place is rather obscured by mundanities: by building maintenance and roof repairs, by red tape and hostile government bureaucracy, by trying and failing to accommodate the conflicting wishes of walkers, fishermen, mountain bikers, deer stalkers, picnickers, brides, sporting guns, birdwatchers and all the other parties who use our land – not to mention us, the family who lives here. Of course it can be wearisome sometimes, and I don’t like to dwell on wearisome topics on this blog.

And the other side of living here for all this time is that, naturally, I am no longer seeing it as a newcomer. Rather than wanting to stop and explain things about life here, I am usually just getting on with living it. You might say that, as the glitter has worn off, it has become more precious to me: the castle with its land is a wondrous place, but it is also the home where my family is growing up, and the scene of the same private joys, griefs and trials as any other family might live through. This perhaps makes me increasingly wary of what I share in public, especially as the blogosphere seems so intimidatingly vast and anonymous now in a way that it didn’t when I first began to publish.

For all these reasons, then, I have become rather uncertain as to what and how much to write. The natural world is a continuing source of inspiration and delight to me: I’m not sure what else I want to add into the mix, however. After writing busily and happily all through the years of my recovery from brain injury, it seems rather ironic that I should falter now, but there you are.

Which leads me back to that dialogue, or rather monologue, in my head. (For those of you still awake, I’ll keep this bit brief.) When not taken up with the vital topic of Why I Can’t Finish A Blog Post, it has mostly been pondering the broader background issues. There is no doubt that M.E./ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has knocked me for six this year: I thought I’d be better by now, and I’m not, and waking up every day with weak aching joints and the same exhaustion as the day before is what it sounds like: a tiresome pain in the backside. Quite honestly, there hasn’t been any energy left over for writing. I’m hopeful that there is progress I can make here, however. While the physical origins of the disease M.E. have been clinically proven (pace the naysayers), there is no doubt that one’s health is also affected by psychological factors. With the help of two wonderful ‘wise women’ – one, the cranio-sacral therapist who was such a Godsend after my head injury, the other a medical herbalist and Jungian psychotherapist – I am beginning to understand a little more about  myself than I used to. This will not be of interest to anyone else, which is why I haven’t written about it. But this ‘inner work’ is keeping me busy and I believe is important, as it will be helpful to me and thus my family in the next stage of our life’s journey, whatever that may bring.

Finally, this is not a finale! Writing a blog has brought me such inspiration and pleasure, mainly through the many people who have contributed so much to the process by their comments, encouragement and friendship. (You know who you are, and blessings upon you.) I wouldn’t want to give that up for anything. Dancing Beastie will keep going, if only in fits and starts, for the foreseeable future. I hope that, by explaining to you why the ‘fits’ have outweighed the ‘starts’ this year, I might have cleared the path to get it running again. Thank you so much for your patience.


You might enjoy Ten years and an age: the family in the castle and, on blogging, Hello, World!



29 Comments leave one →
  1. Catherine Cooke permalink
    November 25, 2014 12:35 am

    You may not post too often, but I always look froward to your words and wonderful photography. Also very much like those times when you note what book you read during a month.
    Write when you can and most importantly care for yourself, your family cherishes you. catherine

    • December 3, 2014 11:18 pm

      Thank you, Catherine. It’s helpful to know that you like the (rare) book entries: I’ll try to do more of those.

  2. November 25, 2014 2:57 am

    I firmly believe that blogging should be done primarily for oneself. Therefore, you should write and publish as and when the mood strikes and time allows. Whatever their frequency, I do enjoy your posts.

    • December 3, 2014 11:19 pm

      Yes, I guess that’s what it comes down to – thanks for reminding me! And I’m glad you like visiting. 🙂

  3. November 25, 2014 7:32 am

    I agree with the other replies, Anything you write is a joy to read. But only write if you are enjoying it . You say your blog has brought you such inspiration and pleasure – it does the same for me . I feel like I am reading a page of a cross between Country Life and Country Living . To an Australian – your words are magic on the page

  4. November 25, 2014 9:09 am

    Don’t feel guilty, because you owe none of us anything – it’s just your conscientious mind telling you so! Give yourself a good break from blogging and then come back with a fresh purpose, when and if you want to. I agree with Papict (above) – “blogging should be done primarily for oneself.” Meanwhile, enjoy yourself, and have a wonderful Christmas!

    • December 3, 2014 11:22 pm

      Thanks for your generous take on it all! Hope you have a lovely Christmas too when it comes. (I am looking forward to starting my new Hazel Tree calendar too!)

  5. hmunro permalink
    November 25, 2014 12:03 pm

    I selfishly do hope that the “starts” will one day again outweigh the “fits.” But this avid reader of yours does understand that some journeys are meant to be private — and also that the Blog Muse can sometimes be horribly elusive.

    So, please take the other kind commenters’ thoughts to heart and don’t worry about blogging. Just take good care of yourself and your family, and know that your community of online friends will be here for you whether you feel like writing once a week, only once a year … or not at all. (Because it’s YOU we love, not just your posts.)


    • December 3, 2014 11:24 pm

      Bless you, I feel all pink and fuzzy now. 🙂 I knew you’d be understanding. This lovely group of bloggers inspires me to keep going!

  6. Helva (aka Julia) permalink
    November 25, 2014 8:11 pm

    Dear DB, you have been missed, but as I haven’t even got started on blogging yet, despite Perpetua having set me up to do so, I do understand the inability at times to finish what has been started (particularly as I’m not a natural writer!) But I do love reading other folk’s efforts, and especially yours. Anything you feel able to write will be seized upon eagerly by your many blogging friends and followers. Look after yourself, and have a blessed and happy Christmas, and all the family.

    • December 3, 2014 11:26 pm

      It’s lovely that you came here via Perpetua, and I’m so glad that you find it worth revisiting. Thank you for your very kind words. A blessed Christmas to you and yours – and maybe the new year will bring new blogging inspiration for you, too!

  7. boyd permalink
    November 26, 2014 5:07 am

    when i reached the words”this is not a finale” i breathed a heavy sigh of relief. i think maybe you don’t know your own breadth and power. for a blog that was for some reason an apology(you owe us nothing that i can think of) you managed to make it a journey that was as gripping as your photos. the power to move people is a wonderful thing. against all the strident yammerings we hear every day your words bring peace and calm and insights into another’s life that we are unable to find almost anywhere nowadays. just tell us like it is, like you are which is warm generous insightful and i have no doubt a great mom. keep wandering and wondering i like to revisit places and i am sure everyone else does too. should you ever decide to stop it will leave a black hole here on earth but you have contributed so much to our lives we will never run out of stories. all best wishes for the coming blogs and for 2015

    • December 3, 2014 11:28 pm

      Boyd, your lovely comments actually brought tears to my eyes. I am going to copy them down to re-read when I need encouragement. Thank you so much! All best wishes to you, too, for Christmas and the coming year.

  8. Erika W. permalink
    November 26, 2014 9:56 am

    Correctly put by Jo “You do not owe us”. As always this long entry essay gives much food for thought and I always keep in my mind as I read you the long and lonely struggle you have with your mind and body. Family and Church can help only so much, as well I know. It comes down to your own strength and how best to discover and use it.

    Keep writing when you wish to and can, your friends in this blogging world appreciate you so much.

    • December 3, 2014 11:31 pm

      As always you put in a kind and encouraging word just when it is most needed, Erika. Thank you. I do count my blessings,always remembering that there are many, many others living with challenges so much greater than my own. Take care.

  9. Toffeeapple permalink
    November 26, 2014 5:26 pm

    As those before me have said, blog when and if you want to. We all enjoy reading your words but if you are struggling to finish posts, then step back and re-evaluate after the festive season. It is always good to see you in my list though…

    • December 3, 2014 11:33 pm

      Thank you, Toffeeapple. It’s always a pleasure to see a cheering comment from you, too!

  10. cath permalink
    November 30, 2014 4:20 pm

    It isn’t about how often you write. I found you on the internet because I was looking for support in the bewildering world of ‘after brain injury’. Learning to cope with a changed me, I was looking for someone who was living the same process. Who was reinventing a new life too while continuing the old as well as possible under the circumstances. And when
    only recently I realised you found ME/CFS on your path, I had to step forward from ‘reading only’ to commenting. I found an until now undiagnosed auto immune disease on my path that started almost three years after my brain injury. I do not tell this here and now to draw attention to myself. Just to let you know, I am aware how much effort goes into a normal day’s life often. Yet writing is also who you are. Not how often or how much. But writing. Here or for your eyes only. I hope you will continue.

    • cath permalink
      December 1, 2014 3:18 pm

      When I wrote undiagnosed I meant diagnosed but unspecified.

      • December 3, 2014 11:44 pm

        Cath, I am so glad you took the time to write your thoughtful and thought-provoking comment. Yes, you are quite right, writing is part of who I am and it is necessary to keep at it. It’s helpful to hear that from someone else.

        You have my great sympathy in being another survivor of brain injury. It is indeed very bewildering, being the same only different; not recognising the person you have become. Quite enough for anyone to deal with, without other illness on top. (I’m sure I’ve mentioned somewhere that there is a large body of anecdotal and medical evidence suggesting a causal link between brain injury and auto-immune disorders, including M.E.) I sincerely hope that, like me, you will more or less ’emerge’ eventually. If you want to contact me for further discussion or pointers to helpful web forums, etc., you’re welcome to do so: you can email me at . All the best.

  11. Lorraine permalink
    November 30, 2014 8:59 pm

    Hello – Its always so nice to read your blog, but as the others have said, blog when the mood strikes you. I enjoy reading about your life, and photos of the natural beauties that surround your home. I also enjoy the photos of your home that you feel comfortable sharing. However, privacy, peace of mind, family concerns are an understandable priority. As mentioned above, you owe us nothing. I’ll enjoy it whenever you write, and send you good energy always. Take care of yourself and embrace your healing. It’s all good.

    • December 3, 2014 11:46 pm

      What lovely positive things you say, Lorraine – thank you very much! 🙂 Sunny wishes to you too.

  12. Jenni permalink
    December 9, 2014 1:36 pm

    And thank you for the little snowflakes across my mucky screen! Enjoy the real snow, too, but drive safely! xo

    • December 9, 2014 11:11 pm

      I switched on the snow gizmo a few years ago, and now it is a happy surprise every December. 🙂

  13. December 12, 2014 12:14 pm

    I can empathise with your blog post. I’ve not posted so much this year partly due to being busy with work, and also low energy. But like you – life settles into a pattern and each year turns with events being repeated. And like you, there’s lots going on but I don’t particularly want to share it over the internet! I’ve noticed a similar pattern with other favourite bloggers I follow so I think maybe it;s part of the cycle of blogging. Or maybe it’s not a cycle and it becomes a more linear, beginning, middle and end. I’m hoping not! Take care and I do so love seeing your part of the world and hearing about your life. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas with all the family, and a brilliant 2015!

  14. December 12, 2014 8:39 pm

    How interesting that you’ve noticed the same mood in yourself and others. I choose to believe that the pattern is cyclical not linear, but we will see! I love hearing about *your* part of the world – indeed we were thinking of you this week as we watched the weather reports for Orkney. Thanks for your lovely comments: you take care too in what I know is not your favourite time of year. Have a happy Christmas, however you choose to spend it, and here’s to a New Year of fresh inspiration! 🙂

  15. December 14, 2014 9:38 pm

    I am not a mother, but I often wonder how mothers decide what to blog. This blog reader enjoys your bluebells, trees and landscape, or a shareable moment out of your life – just a glimpse when your muse has something.

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