Confessions of an erstwhile blogger

“Please save me a seat!” I texted, frantically hustling down Pratt Street towards the Baltimore Convention Center. Naturally, when I had cut the time fine, every light would be red. 

I arrived at the Top Paper Panel (yes, that one, for my communication studies friends) with moments to spare and immediately started sloughing off outerwear in the over-warm ballroom. On my way to grab water before the proceedings started, someone in the front row who I recognized, but could not place for the life of me, called out something like: “I love your blog.”

I. Was. Mortified.

Partially because I could not immediately call to mind the name of this person I obviously knew (I hate that!), but mostly because I had not blogged in MONTHS. On either of my platforms.

I babbled something back, thanking him and lamenting not writing in awhile, but the feelings of shame have stayed with me. Especially when I realized, oh, just now, that a few months ago marked my tenth year of blogging. Ten years! And I didn’t even note the occasion. SIGH.

Of course I have my reasons. The tenure track hustle is no joke. Airshow wife life is ramping up something fierce (more on that soon, I swear). Walter and Clyde will not be ignored. Grading never ends. Spare time for recreational writing? What’s that?

But what kills me is that I still think in blog posts. Funny conversations around the house get marked with “that’s definitely a blog post.” Challenging or inspiring classroom moments? I think, “I should really write about this.” Great ideas, cooking failures, excellent books, commentary on cultural events, useful assignments, BOOK DEALS… I’m regularly thinking about writing and then, just not doing it.

Mostly, it’s the busy-ness of life. And the fact that my blogging community has all but disappeared (BlogHer, how I miss you!). And that I ruminate about the time gone by since my last posts. It feels awkward right now, for instance, to jump from summer book reviews and class reflections, with no commentary about the time in between.

I’ve also been pondering the vulnerability factor. I noticed a marked drop in my blogging five years ago when a student of mine took a deep dive in the archives and kept bringing up my personal life in class. It was awkward and embarrassing. I’m clearly okay with sharing my personal life publicly and I always assume (usually incorrectly) that students will find my blogs. But to have personal things, especially the old stuff, brought up out of nowhere? So jarring and distracting to the tasks at hand. So I found myself writing less and less. (The crazy commuting at that time didn’t help either.)

But I share all of this to say: I miss fun writing. I do so much academic scribbling, I sometimes worry I’ve lost my actual voice. And having recently watched the Greta Gerwig’s “Little Women” remake*, with all of its fabulous focus on writing, I’m itching to get back to it. Sooooo, one of my goals for next year (you knew this was coming, right?) is to blog more regularly. At least a couple/few times per week. And please definitely pester me if I don’t keep up with it. Thank you in advance!

–dr. shawna

* Absolutely LOVED every second. Go see it immediately.

Cross-posted from

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