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Almost Quit Blogging

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I decided to quit blogging last weekend. I just did not feel like doing it any more.

“I would rather be the worst author than the best travel blogger,” I declare to nobody other than myself.

I decided to quit. I decided to write books instead. I wrote up a quick outline in like 15 minutes, looked at it, and said, ‘Hey, this looks pretty good.’ I decided that I would write books without care or regard as to who reads them. I would get back to the source, I would write for me.

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Tonto National Forest, Arizona, Southwest USA, North America
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Wade’s Travel Gear | All Travelogue Entries
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This blogging venture turned into a grossly contorted Frankenstein sort of block headed green beast. This was only suppose to be a writing exercise for other publishing mediums.

Then it grew into something that I did for my family and friends — something to allow me to keep in touch better while traveling. (little did I know that families and friends don’t really read travel blogs).

Then I became friends with Andy Graham, the Hobotraveler, and a carrot was dangled in front of my nose:

“Hmm, if I work really really hard and type my fingers to the bone — if I wake up at 5AM every morning and start publishing pages, maybe I could make enough money to travel off of this website.”

The idea sounded good — hey, Andy makes a good living off of his site — but years of waking up at 5AM and ticking these words and pages off into oblivion have left my pockets perilously empty. For the amount of time that I have put into this site, I estimate that I may have made 25 cents an hour.

And this is a liberal estimate.

I have enjoyed publishing this website for a long time, and this was more than enough to cover the fact that I make a penance off of it.

Then I realized something:  I enjoy writing, but I don’t like pushing all of the buttons and formatting the pages and doing all of the excess computer chores that publishing online necessitates. I realize that I could just write without all of the baggage.

I could write the stories that I put up on this website a little deeper, I could take my time with my writing, I could not be bound to publishing 1 – 2 articles a day. I could write to enjoy it and sluice off a good deal of the pressure.

This sounded good to me. I decided to quit blogging. I decided to work on a book and publish it myself and hand it out to whoever would want to read it.

I decided to enjoy writing again.

So I told my wife that I quit. She did not believe me, but did reveal an odd show of disappointment when she realized that I was not joking. She even offered to learn how to make pages and help out a little more. Chaya hates this internet shit. This offer meant a lot.

“But you like your website,” she said.

“I like a lot of things,” was my only reply.

I was done, finished, completo, finito.

Then Andy called last night from the Philippines, and a little glimmer of hope reemerged. We talked of new ways of promoting our sites, and of how to use the print media in our favor. Maybe, just maybe, I could still make something of this internet publishing fiasco? Maybe.

We hung up the phone. I quickly smothered these residual hopes. I am done, I reminded myself. I am going on to another path, going to climb a new mountain. I would rather be a bad author than a good travel blogger.

I met the archaeology crew in the parking lot of the Motel 6 in Payson the following morning. My friend, K., mentioned something to me about Vagabondjourney.com. I too, told him that I was done, finished, completo, finito.

He looked a little disappointed. Why? he asked. I told him that we would talk about it later.

We talked about it at a cheap Chinese restaurant. I told him why.

Then I went back to our hotel room and blogged. I suppose the train was not derailed after all. I looked up to find that my new path was really just a detour to the old. I must declare that I am on the same path that I have been walking for four years, I look back at a trail that leads so far back that I can no longer see its beginning.

I have no idea where this all began anymore, but it was so long ago that I can’t quit now. I just may be passed the point of no return.

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I wrote the following over the weekend to state the reasons why I intended to cease the publication of this travelogue. I publish this segment “as is.” I am a little unsure of what it says, and I do not feel like re-reading it.

Perhaps unfortunately, I am a man who abides stringently to Newton’s First Law of Motion:

“An object at rest tends to stay at rest, unless another force acts upon it; and likewise an object in motion tends to stay in motion.”

If I do something one day, I will do it all day long; if I do something all day long one day, I will do likewise the next day, the next day, and the next day on towards infinitude.

For years I have blogged pretty much daily. An impetus of inertia hit me and no other force was able to act upon it. Until now.

I sat for two days in a hostel in Flagstaff, Arizona. I sat in an upper bunk in a dormitory that just so happened to give me a view of myself in a vanity mirror on the wall above the sink. When I sit around I like to look at myself in a mirror. It is perhaps a strange preoccupation, but I like to watch myself think. My idea set up would be a table, my computer, and a mirror right in front of me so I could watch myself tick off these words.

I have never claimed to be removed from vanity. I think I look good. Well, I sat for two days looking at myself in a mirror in the upper bunk of a hostel in Flagstaff, Arizona thinking that I look good thinking. I also ran smack through the brick wall I have been running into for the past three years.

I lost my inertia. I lost my inertia for blogging. I lost my inertia for being an internet “writer.”

I all of a sudden no longer felt like a man bashing through a thickly vegetated woods trying hard to get to the glory land pastures on the other side, but as a dumb donkey tied up to a tree in a desert — just dreaming about being in the woods working hard to get somewhere.

I am getting nowhere by blogging. I am getting nowhere putting up all of these pages of “travel information” on VagabondJourney.com. I knew this for a long time, but I kept at it because I enjoyed it.

I enjoy writing words. But it is unbelievable how much time I spend pushing buttons rather than writing words. If my enjoyment is found in writing then way do I spend more than half of my time pushing buttons and formatting pages — I am not even writing most of the time that I am on the computer.

I don’t like this anymore.

I feel sick when I look into my computer screen, I feel sick when I open my email and find a dozen emails from people who want something from me, I feel sick when I skip a day of writing to walk in the mountains and feel overwhelmed with double the amount of work the next day. I suppose this is a sign of success. VagabondJourney.com is bringing in nearly 2,500 unique daily visitors, we are ranked 220,000 in Alexa. I am getting to the place that I set out for all those years ago, and I realize that I do not really want to be here.

I seriously feel nauseous as I type. I miss my family and I hate the time that this f’cking website takes away from them. I hate that I feel like I have to write rather than be with my wife.

The internet is a taker’s market, and I am sick of giving. I am sucked dry. The internet is candy for people who want something for nothing. (I want something for nothing, too, so I use the internet. I am not going to pay for something online — Are you crazy?)

I have “suggested donation $2” written all over the travel help portion of this website, but nobody contributes. Instead, they ask me the same questions that I have answered a dozen times over and just expect me answer them again. The internet is for people who take.

But it takes a lot of time, effort, and inertia to publish this travelogue everyday. Seriously, readers, I put in over 5 hours a day into this site. Why?

I don’t know anymore.

The well is dry.

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Filed under: Vagabond Journey Updates

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 76 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3048 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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Wade Shepard is currently in: Polis, Republic of CyprusMap