“It’s better to burn out, than fade away”…thank you, Neil Young

Is it better to burn out or fade away?

As this expat life winds down, I’ve been contemplating the future of this blog. Initially, this blog was to be about adoption and my book about adoption. And that was its focus for quite a long time.

But I found myself evolving away from the adoption theme several months ago. The evolution culminated with a blog stating that I was done with the “adoption thing”. And it’s true. I have gone as far as I can with this and it’s time to move on.

This blog had already evolved from adoption and my book to the expat life and my experience during this year that I took to research my next book, find more family and live in Italy. What is next?

I am very seriously considering ending this blog after I return to America. To be sure, I will write for a while after I get back to Portland. But, I figure there will be less and less to discuss once I’m in Oregon and settled down, working and living in my own place. What will I have to say?

In my mind, I won’t have much more to say. Discussing adoption is something that interests people; it’s been in the headlines for years. Discussing my book on adoption was a natural evolution. Since I began writing about my expat life, I’ve lost most of the followers who were avidly reading my adoption posts. But I gained many more who are interested in travel.

But life will be going back to a sense of normalcy. Work, home, friends, dining out. Does anyone out there really care? I doubt it.

Mind you, I haven’t decided for certain. But is a 90% decision to terminate something considered certain? I would argue so. Of course, even if I were to say I definitely will quit the blog, one never knows what might come down the pike.

Facebook will be another casualty. I have a Facebook account for the book as well as a personal Facebook account. Without any blog postings, the FB account will no longer have any postings. The same holds for Twitter which will also fade away. The website I suppose might stay up, although I can’t imagine why. The book would remain available on Amazon.

So what will I be doing? Fading away? Or am I burned out? I suppose the former is more accurate as I feel I won’t have anything relevant (or interesting) to say anymore. Burning out I suppose would result in postings where I show pictures of my new puppy or wax rhapsodic over a new casserole recipe. And isn’t that what FB is for?

I had written in an earlier post that one of the marks of maturity is realizing when something is over. I guess this is another casualty of the end of my expat life. It doesn’t mean that I will never have another blog, only that this one has run its course.

I have mixed feelings. I have to admit that sometimes trying to write is a chore. Any writer will tell you that. No matter how much you might love something, it isn’t always as easy as punch. I won’t miss that frustration.

Yet I feel like I’m abandoning an old friend. Like I’m taking my sick yet faithful dog to the vet to be put down.

This blog has been a friend. Living here in my little apartment on Italy’s Adriatic Coast, where no one speaks English, has been lonely at times. This blog was a bit of a lifeline. Hearing from friends and strangers was encouraging. Virtually every blog post resulted in numerous emails informing me that someone liked what I had written or had started following me.

That’s flattering.

And as I traveled–Sicily, Poland, Ukraine, Germany, England, Switzerland, San Marino, Israel, Turkey, Slovenia, Croatia, Tuscany–I felt I had someone with whom to share my experiences. During some of those travels I had a companion. Most of the time I was alone. But my audience enjoyed my stories and experiences which made the trips more memorable for me.

I don’t want to get too maudlin over this. I’m not leaving for more than four weeks and, as I said, I will still write some once I’ve returned to discuss settling in and perhaps some lessons learned. And I could change my mind. Who knows?

But one thing I promise, I will know when to pull the plug. I will not burn out.

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3 thoughts on ““It’s better to burn out, than fade away”…thank you, Neil Young

  1. Your next book should NOT be about adoption, but ABOUT finding your extended family and the ADVENTURE OF IT. Do you know how wonderful it is it to see all the many places you have visited and knowing that I will NEVER do that but only THROUGH YOUR EYES, AND WHAT A WONDERFUL GIFT FROM YOU. !!

  2. Well, who knows – when you get back to Portland you may still do some regional adventuring. And for your European readers, that’s still pretty exotic. They do say, Portland is weird…

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