Water Under the Bridge

First the days pass and then weeks. You blink and three months of water flow under your blog’s bridge without a new post.

Do I care? Does anyone else? Do people read blogs anymore?

And anyway, I tell myself, I like my last post. It was for my mother for her 70th birthday. I like my mother. So I let the words I wrote for her rest there a bit.
For more than a bit.

Valentine’s Day lands on a Tuesday. Love is a subject worth discussing, or at least maybe the “Hallmark Holiday” aspect of February 14th. But my dear friend is recovering from surgery, so I cook her lasagna instead of writing a new post.

By March I begin to worry. Two months is too long for a blog to be dormant. But what would I even write about now? My family? My friends? My life as an author? Grammar tips? Who the hell am I?

After seven years of sporadic blogging, I succumb to a crises of niche. Ludicrous, but still okay, because I’m focused on a new fiction project. And writing a blog post is different than writing a novel, isn’t it?

My voice changes. The pace changes. The tense and POV change. When I try to do both at the same time, the waters get muddy. Or the words. The words get muddy.

So I plug onward determined to finish my project in April. A worthy goal. And achievable.

Until.

Until too much tragedy builds up around me, both little by little and all at once. In the lives of my loved ones. In the world at large.

My fiction brain derails and I can’t seem to reenter the headspace — or the heartspace — to craft the drama of a novel. There’s enough real drama and pain and heartache. I just can’t do it.

So.

I make no progress on my Work in Progress (which is problematic for obvious reasons) and I continue to neglect my blog.

And when three months pass without a new blog post, you start to feel (I feel? We all feel?) the pressure to come back with a bang!

I want to write something meaningful, poignant, important.

Who the hell do you think you are?

I confess this to my friends Kim and Charlene who have taken me out for happy hour to celebrate the signing of my second book contract. This is huge news all on its own. Happy news.

I could’ve written a blog post about it already. And yet I freeze, afraid that whatever I write won’t be wonderful enough. That it won’t be big or important or contemplative.

That it won’t be worthy.

Kim shrugs. “What if you just wrote it? Just do it.”

So.

Here I am, two weeks and four days later, just doing it.

Three months and seven days after my last post.

Today is my dog Bella’s 12 birthday.
And my heart is aching for some people I love.
And I have hope things will get better.
And some things might not get better.
And the world seems as if it has perhaps gone insane.

And we just do it anyway.

We just do.

LETTERS FOR SCARLET and the novella GUEST LIST are on sale for just 99¢ each until April 30th.

32 thoughts on “Water Under the Bridge

  1. Diane

    …and the lasagna was delicious and your words are not muddy and although the world has gone insane, things will get better; they always do. Love you my dear friend and your words!

    • Thank you for always believing. Love you right back.

  2. Jen

    We just keep moving forward. XO

    • You are in my heart always. Moving forward. Always.

  3. I also struggle with dormant space and stretching time… I’m glad you just did it.

    • I’m glad too, and I’m not at all surprised that you understand. XO

  4. Okay, seriously. I have to stop reading your blog posts at work. Because crying at work is not okay. And these words, YOUR words, are meaningful, poignant, important. And so very wonderful.

    And not the least bit muddy.

    I get you, my friend. And yes please, just keep writing.

    • Thank you, my writer-friend-who-is-also-a-friend-friend. For the drinks, the commiseration, for the part where you get me.

  5. I love you so much you know … your wonderful friendship from afar. When cleaning out old posts from my dormant blog , your comments are the most abundant, filled with hope and humor – a wonderful combo. As I continue to struggle with the whole other side of my life where it has found itself, friends in need have consumed my hours and my heart, thus keeping me from the elusive relaunch longer than anticipated. But friendships, and hearts, and hurting souls are way more important – and so it will languish a tad longer.
    And that is ok …

    • Nicole, I feel the same gratitude for you, and your warm heart and kindness. Those of us who count you as a friend are truly lucky. XO

  6. Wait, no one reads blogs anymore?
    I hear you and see you! I know how it feels to desire to write things of importance, and how that desire becomes even stronger when you see people in the thick of life’s struggles…you want to put words to it. But I’ve always admired that you seem to carve out time to intentionally sit and write. I hope you never stop! Also, I have no idea what I’m doing or talking about, so there is that.

    • Julie Gardner

      I totally read blogs – especially your posts! (I just hear rumors about everyone else stopping…So let’s be trendsetters and keep going.)
      But seriously, thanks for your humor and heart. For all these years. Means a lot.

  7. As you can probably guess, I vacillate between lots of production and then bouts of self-doubt. I’m getting better about “just doing it,” and I’m glad you did the same today. And the world, yes, seems a little insane .But it’s here and we’re here, and we have to keep on living in it the best way we can.

    • Julie Gardner

      You’ve been in my heart too, these days.
      And I’m always ready to read your words when they come.

  8. I’m so glad you blogged. You have so much going on, be kinder to yourself! I’m in awe of all you do.

    xoxo

    • Julie Gardner

      You, too, Back to Best! I was thrilled to see your words in my feed.
      No pressure, just when you’re ready. Whenever. Whatever you feel like saying.
      I can only imagine what it’s like.
      XO

  9. Kim

    Everything you write gets to me. Everything! Love this. So much.

    • Julie Gardner

      I’m the luckiest to have family like you.
      Thank you so much for supporting me always.
      I miss you and love you!
      XOXO

  10. I promise, people still read. The days have changed from how we respond. I’ll admit to often being lazy and using a like or “facebook reaction” rather than to comment. But I wanted to comment and tell you that I always love hearing from you. xo

    • Julie Gardner

      I do believe people still read blogs, since I do – I read YOURS 🙂 .
      It’s just sometimes isolating and I can’t help wondering if it’s worth it.
      So thanks for reaching out and letting me know you’re out there, too.
      XO

  11. I think it has been over 3 years since my last blog post so I think you are doing just fine. (I don’t even remember my password anymore, so not sure how to post.)

    You are writing my friend, and I am so proud of you. Whether it is a blurb here, or lamenting the lack of writing, a novel, or an insightful post about love. 🙂

    • You are one of the treasures from this blog life. I’m so glad we found each other and that the connection continues from those earlier days!

  12. I’m ALWAYS glad to read what you wrote whether it’s 3 hours later or 3 months! Just as long as you keep writing. ❤️

    • Same here (although you never have gaps as long as I do). I’m so grateful for your friendship that has jumped from our blog pages into reality. Even if reality is still not in person. I feel your love!

  13. Robin Goodheart

    Please do keep writing these posts, Julie! What you write is meaningful, poignant, and important. So much of what you write echoes my own thoughts and feelings about family, about challenges, about this world. Love you!

    • Thank you so much, Robin! This means a lot to me, coming from someone who appreciates words as you do. Love you back!

  14. No matter how long between your posts, your golden heart shines through each one. You are a busy writer and there’s many ways to share your words. Can’t wait to read the new book!

    • Julie Gardner

      Thank you, sweet Rina. LOVE YOU!

  15. Good girl.

    • You’re the inspiration. (And now I’m singing that Chicago song in my head…)

  16. Maureen Vasile

    You have such a great soul and heart full of love. Your blogs are a treat to read especially when some of us live so far from you. I feel close when reading. Keep it going.

  17. No break is too long . Your readers adore you. I know I do! We will always be here.

    I hear you re: niche issues. That’s been my problem since day one.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *