Rumors Of My Demise… (an unplanned tutorial in blogging, and explanation for my disappearance)


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Ok, rumors may be a gross exaggeration. I’m not sure anyone is really reading this blog anymore; I’ve barely written anything in months. There would need to be an audience, for there to be rumors. And demise may be a stretch too. I haven’t written much, but I’m alive. And mostly well. Ok, this title may be a bait title. Or, it’s all true. The dictionary provides the following definition of demise: “• the end or failure of an enterprise or institution.” That’s not far off the mark when it comes to Tales From the Motherland. Demise is not too far off the mark, but one might argue that the word rumor stands as bait. 

Let me shed some light on this issue and make a humble attempt to explain myself, for whoever shows up. I’ll start at the beginning… So if you’ve been around The Motherland for a while, this is your big chance to slip out quietly. Hit like at the bottom, and I’ll never know. Wink wink. For newcomers–– are there any out there; do I even show up in people’s links? This is how I got to this exaggerated demise.

I started this blog in June of 2011 when my eldest child was getting ready to fly–– not on a trip, not a plane, but from the nest. I was probably peri-menopausal (sorry, TMI, unless you’ve been here long enough to know that nothing is TMI), and I began to really question what I wanted from life. “Me” or “I” had become completely tangled with mom, wife, and I felt like a woman who’d become a cliché, as I surged toward empty nest and mid-life. I didn’t necessarily realize all of this at the time. I just knew that something had to give, and my mental health seemed to be on the absolute edge of the abyss. Not an exaggeration. The name Tales From the Motherland had been kicking around in my thoughts for years, and I’d heard about this thing blogging, but honestly, I knew almost nothing. Ok, that’s an exaggeration; I knew nothing. I Googled it all.

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One day I’d Googled enough to get started and I signed up with Word Press and wrote my first post. No one read those first posts. I wrote them; I sent them out into the world, and crickets sang. But I felt better just putting it all down and watching it float off.

Shortly thereafter I ran away from home (as in packed my SUV with everything from rain boots, to food, a flashlight, books, a dressy outfit… in case I went to fancy place, and a full mishmash of things I thought I might need), and I spent 2 glorious weeks in Yellowstone–– a magical place that is perfect for finding peace and silence, and providing space to to dig into inner turmoil. It was divine. I met sexy fly fishermen, a mysterious old man at the top of a mountain, dined alone for those two weeks, and ate some balls. I got lost and was found.

Along the way I had a few–– and by few, I mean 1-3–– people read my posts. I won’t lie, it was a bummer. I wanted to be alone, but as I wrote those posts and sent them out, having no one to read them made my isolation seem that much more real. If you think this is an exaggeration, go back in my vault (on the right side of the main blog page) and check some of those early posts out. You will find likes and views by people who went back, like you, but in the beginning there weren’t even these guys. No one read them when they first came out. But, it was also one of the greatest adventures of my life! I came home refreshed and feeling fierce, and ready to blog.

Shortly after coming home, I wrote a post called The Grass Is Always Greener On Someone Else’s Head, a post that launched my blogging “career.” (The word career is definitely an exaggeration, but I’m running with it). It was Freshly Pressed, the predecessor to WordPress Discover, an honor. I didn’t even notice, because… well, frankly, I was used to not being read. Instead, I showed up at my 30th high school reunion and others told me that I was “famous!” I laughed. I cried. I was stunned. I looked up the word exaggeration. I read and answered every single comment, something I believe in and still do. It’s a lot easier now that my demise has come. Back then I hadn’t really dealt with comments. But at the time I would have responded to a thousand comments vs the 500 that came with that one blog post. I was that excited to just have others finally read my work.

Yada-yada-yada. From there I tumbled head first into the expansive world of blogging, with all its shiny moments and its pitfalls. It’s fun to put your visions and ideas out there and find an audience. It’s fun to connect with other bloggers and readers, who like what you do. I learned how to bring in readers; I figured out how to make each post more enticing. I wrote more often and engaged with other bloggers. I even made friends. Some of those friends were “famous” bloggers and I felt like I was lucky to be part of their group. And when you’re engaged in the comments, others skip over to your page to see what you’re about. Engagement begets more engagement. There are a lot of great bloggers out there and it’s well worth the work and commitment to get to know them. If you’re new to blogging, all the hype about connecting with other bloggers, it’s true. Don’t second guess the process; just do it.

There are folks out there who won’t like you or what you put out and that side can be draining. Trolls are real. There are family and friends who will not always understand or approve of what you put out there; that’s tough to balance and move around. I have two blogs, the other one, The Huntington Chronicles, is a much more intimate look at my family’s experience with Huntington Disease. My posts there have rattled some cages, and that feedback has not always been easy for me to deal with. I feel it’s my right to talk about my experiences with HD, and having family members who have it. I also know that there’s a tight line to walk with that. There are a lot of us out there who need to connect and find solidarity. But it’s also hard for my family members to always feel good about what I say. I don’t write there often, but when I do, it’s very real.

Here on TFTMotherland, my topics vary a lot more, and I find it easier to put my words out there. My kids are not always willing to let me share their stuff. I can’t use pictures for one; I have to change names sometimes; there are things that are totally off limits, and should be. I try really hard to respect their boundaries. I’ve long told younger bloggers–– those with younger kids, that it’s easy to write about our kids when they are small and either don’t know they are part of our groove, or like seeing their pictures on line, but when they get older that is much harder. I believe they have a right to say “this is off the record,” but it’s a buzzkill when I can’t share things that fill my world and then fill my head with words that want to find a place.

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Any way, throw in some depression; some exceptionally dark days where I wasn’t sure about living let alone writing, then some serious health issues (that I continue to juggle) and a political/national climate that has shaken me for two years–– and my blog has suffered. It might surprise you to hear that I probably write a blog post in my head, nearly every day. I think of blog titles, articles I’d like to write, and things I’d like to satirize or comment on. I have 56 drafts in my draft folder, of posts that are entirely written, partially written, or merely have titles. I promise myself I will start writing again. I want to do it. I really do! Then a week goes by, a month and months, with nothing out there.

You don’t have to sooth me. Don’t cheer me on either. I’m fine. I’m not looking for reassurance, ego boosting, or the likes. I’m ok; I’m just putting it out there. I’m making another attempt to get this rodeo going again. I want back on my horse. I’m ready to do the 4th annual Attitude of Gratitude (contact me for details if you’re curious), and I’ll be contacting a bunch of you. Because, while I may have had my head in the sand, there are so many of you that are in my thoughts often. You are blog buddies. Whether I’ve met you or not in person (and oh what fun it’s been to connect with so many of you!), we have shared connection and I think of you. I miss my flash fiction friends over at Friday Fictioneers. I miss reading your words and engaging with your comments. I save your posts, but then it becomes another barrier to writing, and I become paralyzed. But, I’m getting back in the saddle. You’ll see.

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So this post is a re-introduction to Dawn at Tales From the Motherland. This is me reaching out again. This is me telling you I’m working at this; I’m trying to ride that horse for real. I’ve got words to share. I’ve got experiences to put out there. I miss this, whether any one reads or not. I’m willing to start from the beginning, with my 10,000+ subscribers who don’t know I’m even out here (she said with a hint of sarcasm). I’m here and I’m not going away. If you walk away from this post with nothing else, know this: rumors of my demise were greatly exaggerated.

Bonus for New bloggers: there are lots of hints here to getting your blogging mojo, but here’s the brief synopsis: be authentic (seriously); connect with other bloggers; respond to comments (why would I come back if you don’t even notice I was there?); know what you’re writing about; add pictures and fun links; link back to previous posts (man, this has been a virtual smorgasbord of my previous posts, luck you!); do some homework (Word press tutorials rock!), and be consistent– if you write, then disappear, so do your reads. Then, you too will have to write a post like this one, about your demise.

Stay tuned for the plugs below.

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GIPYKAPOW! Have you stopped by Tales From the Motherland Facebook page to spread some fairy dust? I’m grateful for each Like. Follow me on Twitter, LeBron James does (for real… well, he did. But he may have dropped me recently)! Most importantly, if you like a post I’ve written, hit Like and leave a comment. Honest, constructive feedback is always appreciated. Click Follow; you’ll get each new post delivered by email,  no spam.

©2011-2019  All content and images on this site are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless specifically noted otherwise. If you want to share my work, I’m grateful, but please give proper credit and Link back to my work; plagiarism sucks!

 

 

 

About Dawn Quyle Landau

Mother, Writer, treasure hunter, aging red head, and sushi lover. This is my view on life, "Straight up, with a twist––" because life is too short to be subtle! Featured blogger for Huffington Post, and followed on Twitter by LeBron James– for reasons beyond my comprehension.
Aside | This entry was posted in Awareness, Blogging, Connections, Dawn Quyle Landau, Honest observations on many things, how blogs work, Midlife, Motherhood, Musings, Tales From the Motherland, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

43 Responses to Rumors Of My Demise… (an unplanned tutorial in blogging, and explanation for my disappearance)

  1. HUGS to you. Welcome back. Maybe you’ll inspire me too. If I manage once a month, I’m doing well. And I hear you about the political setback– so chilling hard to find the words. xo

    Like

  2. Psychobabble says:

    Hello!! Hit me up for the gratitude post. Hugs!

    Like

  3. Oona Cava says:

    Way to come back!

    Like

  4. Marian Exall says:

    Welcome back! And sign me up for the gratitude thing. I’m ready.

    Like

  5. Lynn McKinster says:

    Welcome back. I’m looking forward to more posts already, but no pressure.

    Like

  6. Laila says:

    Life happens and no matter how much we want to do things sometimes the energi just isn’t there.
    But we are still here, and it’s nice getting a blogpost from you again ❤

    Like

  7. Nahid says:

    I’m glad that the rumors were greatly exaggerated 🙂

    Like

  8. Dale says:

    Rock on Sistah! Ya do what ya gotta do, yanno?
    We are still here. We are ready to read you when you are ready to write!
    Lotsa love,
    Dale xo

    Like

  9. Cathy Ulrich says:

    Hey Dawn,
    Loved the post. I, too, have been away for a very long time but maybe you’ll inspire me to start posting again. Have been doing a lot of photography recently, so why not share it? Happy New Year my friend!

    Cathy

    Like

    • Yes, yes, yes! I love seeing your photography; bring it back! It’s so wonderful to see folks I love here, and you are way up on that list! If I inspire you, start with the Attitude of Gratitude; it’s a wonderful place to start. Happy New Year friend! xo

      Like

  10. janiscouvreux says:

    Such a nice surprise to have received this in my in box. From time-to-time I’ve wondered at what point you are at. I’m fairly sure I read your last post, yes, a long few months ago, and I was quite saddened by your news of your struggles. I sincerely wish you the best recovery and getting back the life you love, and/or are happy to live.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much Janis; that’s incredibly kind of you. The blogging community has been very good to me, and so very supportive. It’s great to hear from folks who have read my work, or have wondered about me. Thanks for taking the time!

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  11. jgroeber says:

    Two weeks ago one of my kiddos was in with the OT doing some eye chart thing. She then asked me back to show me what she was doing. She held the eye chart thing up and I was like, “Oh my god. Put that thing away. That’s horrible to look at. All the yellow hearts are popping out and pulsing and the blue ones are floating away and all the black lines are wiggling every time I move my eyes.” To which my child’s OT replied, “Oh, my. That was unexpected.” and to which my child replied- “EXACTLY!! That is EXACTLY what I’ve been saying all along.” (I could tell that child of mine was very relieved to be in good company…)
    Which is to say, I am so there with you, sister. Although I never suspected your demise. Quite the opposite. It’s living life I find that gets in the way of writing the most. (If I had a dollar for every haf-written post in my iphone notes app I’d have enough money for a new pair of John Fluevog shoes, and that’s saying something.)
    Always grateful for you. Take care of yourself and those you love and all the other stuff eventually falls into place. (Except those damn yellow hearts on the eye chart. Ack!)
    xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Here’s to pulsing, popping, yellow hearts, floaty blue ones and wiggly black lines! Here’s to a blogging community who is always there to support me and remind me of why I love this special world–– yes, even when the real one gets in the way. And oh, to have JF shoes! Just went to his story in Victoria and wanted to curl up and watch all those colors blend! Happy New Year, friend! xox

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  12. Good to see you again! I miss your flash fiction pieces. I also hope you’re continuing to heal. My own process is still ongoing, causing a lot of “life interruptus” which makes thing like sustained reading and writing a challenge (still). Looking forward to more of your presence here.

    Like

  13. I’m here and I’m reading every word you write. I can relate to that feeling of limbo….I want to blog, I have half-written posts dying a slow death in my draft folder, but maintaining my sanity with the typical trials of life and growing older just get in my way. Oh how I miss engaging with readers! Having that creative outlet is what makes life worth living. Keep it up and I’ll try to as well. Happy new year to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • We can all inspire each other and remind each other that the draft folder will wait. The words don’t die, they just wait to be released; and we are all here to read them! Join us for the Attitude of Gratitude. Should be out in the next day or so. Wow! Look at me; two in one week! (she says, optimistically). Happy New Year, Darla!

      Like

  14. Ruth Lerner says:

    Welcome back..I’ve missed these blogs and am looking forward to manymanymanymny …..more. xoxo Ruth

    On Fri, Dec 28, 2018 at 4:24 PM TALES FROM THE MOTHERLAND wrote:

    > Dawn Quyle Landau posted: ” Ok, rumors may be a gross exaggeration. I’m > not sure anyone is really reading this blog anymore; I’ve barely written > anything in months. There would need to be an audience, for there to be > rumors. And demise may be a stretch too. I haven’t writt” >

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Lynda says:

    Dawn, you are not the only one who is/has not been blogging or writing much. I find that I too have been overwhelmed. Glad you are OK! I’ll look forward to your posts whenever they may appear.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Valery says:

    Worth the wait. Always.
    For the record, I remember reading every one of those early posts – and not having a clue as to how to reply. It was an embarrassingly long time before I finally figured that out.
    I, for one, am quite glad that your writing is real. And as such, not on anyone’s schedule but your own. Rock on! 143❤

    Like

  17. I intend to read more of your blog Dawn. And have ‘rebranded’ recently with the intention of writing more (flash fiction being one of my favourites). See around Friday Fictioneers…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh that’s glorious! I have an entire collection of my FF stories, under one of my page headings. Didn’t miss a one for nearly 2 years, and hope to get back to it soon! Thanks so much for stopping by, Carol; Happy New Year!

      Like

  18. Jackie Weber says:

    You have been one of my favorite bloggers since I started this journey. I lost my way in 2015 in the transition of my parents retiring and me being on my own for the first time. Sort of similar to your initial reason for blogging except in reverse. Having the sounding board to vent, observe and just throw everything out into the cyber sphere was helpful but the need for a building of a brand and the instant gratification of getting one bit me in my ass, combine that with insecurities about my writing and I’ve hit a wall. My passion since I could spell has been writing and I’ve tried every which way to accomplish scratching that itch with little payoff.

    I’m glad to know I’m not alone when you say you write posts and never publish, I have a huge list of work myself. Here’s to hoping 2019 is a good writing and living year for us both.

    All the best!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are always, AlWAYS, so very kind! I’ve really appreciated your support and encouragement for so long now, so thank you for all of those kind words!

      I love your words, Jackie and I hope you find your way back to them. Perhaps join our Attitude of Gratitude party, and you’ll be dipping your foot back in the waters, and finding all kinds of reasons to smile. I’d love to have you! Happy New Year darlin’! xo

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Sharon Jenkins says:

    I am always glad to have your blog show up in my mailbox. Often, I save it for a time when I can devote my full attention to your writing. Glad that you plan to “get back up on the horse”.
    Wishing you much warmth and gratitude for putting feelings we all have out there to share. You are appreciated.
    And, congrats on grandchild #2!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank so much Sharon. It has been so heart warming to get so much encouragement. I am determined to get back in this saddle and really write regularly again. Keeping up with the Attitude of Gratitude blog (just after this post) has taken time, but I’ve got posts in mind. I’m excited to get back and so grateful to wonderful people like you, who help me feel like I was missed. Happy New Year and thank you so much for your kind words; they are much appreciated! xo

      Like

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