I’m sure y’all have noticed that we’re blogging at slower speeds these days. And much as we wish we could post every single day, it’s looking increasingly likely that we won’t be able to make our once or twice a day schedule for some time to come.
There are a lot of reasons for this. Work is a big one. We all work full-time, and some of us are also in grad school and we have family and caregiving commitments…all of which can make it tough to find the energy to blog at the speed we originally established when we didn’t have all those commitments. Honestly, I think back to the days when I could crank out several posts a week and I think “OMG, who were you? How did you find the energy?”
There’s also, we’ve come to discover, a certain amount of burnout that none of us anticipated, perhaps because none of the original five of us went into this with anything approaching…y’know…a PLAN. Did we think we’d be blogging for six months? A year? I don’t think we had any idea. This blog was conceived of during the 2008 election season as something of a lark by a group of comment-happy feminists. We had no idea at the time that it would morph into a time-consuming hobby, and then an unpaid job. It’s led to some awesome things—gigs writing for other sites, the addition of three amazing new Harpies last year, and, of course, the creation and expansion of our beloved commenter community—but a blog, especially a successful one, is an engine that needs to be stoked, and we’re running low on energy and fuel. I remember that when Harpy heroine and role model Kate Harding took time off from blogging a while back, I was all “Waah! No Kate!”, I now totally get why she did it…and ladies, we’re not even near Kate Harding’s level.
Just this month, our domain name came up for renewal, and this precipitated a crazed scramble: Who had originally registered the name and where? If the domain name is registered somewhere other than the hosting company, what happens? Fortunately between us we are able to figure it out–it helps to have tech-savvy library science grads on board, one of whom has an IT-professional husband. I got the paperwork and the fees all straightened out with a few days to spare, and then heaved a huge sigh of relief because the one thing we all could agree on was that we didn’t want the site to go dark and while we’re slower and tireder than we used to be, it’s very important to us to keep writing and keep the lights on, even if we can’t post as often as we used to.
For me, this blog has been transformational. When I started commenting elsewhere, I was a mouthy woman with a lot to say. And then I met a bunch of similarly mouthy women with lots of opinions on life and boy, they were smart and funny and made me laugh and think in ways I never had before. We all believe that everyone deserves to make their voices heard, especially women, whose voices are all too frequently dismissed or ignored or deliberately silenced.
Admittedly, not everything I’ve said has been brilliant or worthy. I’ve said some stupid shit and gotten called on it, which is a valuable, if unpleasant, experience. I’ve been trolled upon and even cyber-stalked by an enraged creep who didn’t like what I wrote about him. I took both as a sign that I was doing something right, even if the latter thing was a bit scary at the time. I’ve ranted and revealed some ugly things about my family and friends that have both damaged relationships and, surprisingly, helped renew them. (Although, J, if you’re reading this, I’m still sorry and I hope we can work things out.) But most importantly, I’ve learned an enormous amount from commenters and fellow bloggers about my place in the world and all the work that we still need to do, particularly–although not exclusively–where women are concerned. Harpyness has been my gossipy water-cooler, my feminist activism, my place for reflection, and an opportunity to bond with women who I may never meet in person, but who have still helped make me a better person. This blog has also led to some of the best, most rewarding friendships of my life.
Anyway, this is all sounding very valedictory, which isn’t my intent at all. We aren’t going anywhere. We’re just trying to get our blogging mojo back. Marie Anelle pointed out that winter is coming—in a non-Game of Thrones sense—which means we may be at home hibernating with our computers more often, and thus posting more. In the meantime, if you have tips for us, things that catch your fancy or piss you off or that might inspire the Harpyness community, email them to us! Sometimes we just don’t have time to hunt down things to post about, but we love hearing about them. And if you’re inclined to do a guest post, we’d love to hear from you! Some of our best-loved posts have been by guests. In the meantime, hang in there, keep coming around, and we’ll make sure to leave the porchlight on for you.