A little au revoir

So flipping good at this.

So flipping good at this.

You know, blogging is a funny old thing. I started in 2009 because I wrote diary entries from India and couldn’t stop once I got home. I feel about writing the way Harry Potter (aw!) feels about getting on a broomstick for the first time: a rush of fierce joy. Words are such intricate, beautiful things. You can search for exactly the right one and put it in exactly the right place, and all of a sudden you’ve created something that makes people feel. There are lots of things about my writing style I would change, and I’d love to do a creative writing course and get critically slapped into shape. The graft of it, though, fills me up like nothing else. And when you get it right, oh, you soar.

And so to this blog. I started writing about babies once I had them, and it was a way of recording things I might forget, and reaching out to parents in similar situations. It puts shape to the emotional seismic shifts that come with having children. If motherhood is a hopeful, flailing leap into the unknown – and it is, and the unknown includes much faeces – then blogging helps me map out the fall. Where are we now? What does this feel like? Where are you, dear reader? Are we both here together?

Here’s where I am: parenting blogging is sometimes overwhelming to me. We are in an intense phase of mother-and-toddlering at the moment, and it often feels like toddlering is all I can think about. Sometimes I want to read gentle advice articles, and humorous you-know-you’re-a-mother-when-this-sucks blog posts. Sometimes I want to write posts like that. Sometimes – more often, at the moment – I want to write about something else, ANYTHING else, and I scrabble around inside for another topic and can’t find one. And then I am frightened that I am an empty well, scraped clean by dirty nappies, and I have lost my words and they will never come back and nothing I’ve ever written has ever done any good.

I am keeping the melodrama tamped down tight, since you ask.

This means that sometimes the world of parenting blogging is my salvation, and sometimes I can’t bear to look at it another second. There are days I write something that gets picked up by Mumsnet and feel great about it, and days I want to be free from the anxiety that I am not as talented or popular as the people I follow on Twitter. I am very aware that these things are not Real People Problems, and that it ends up with me spending too much time on the internet. It all feels like a lot of bother, over a blog.

So I’ve decided to take a little break for at least the rest of the year, while I decide what it is I want this space to be. It might be a more streamlined place to talk about children, or it might be something else entirely. Or it might be just the same because, like Mariah Carey, I’ve decided I can’t liiiive if livin’ is without you[r stupid blog]. I can’t not write (I know this already) but I’m not sure what I can write that is worth the reading. I’m hopeful that it might, at least, be somewhere where I learn to write shorter sentences.

I’m sorry for rambling on at such self-indulgent length (if you enjoyed this you may also enjoy my sixteen-year-old diary) but I wanted to explain why Make a Long Story Short will be disappearing for a while. Because every single person who has ever read this blog, left a comment or told me they enjoyed it has done something for me I can’t really describe. Off I jumped into parenthood, arms flailing, wondering what in the heck I was doing. But there you were, too. There you were. Thank you.

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It’s all coming up gums around here.

17 thoughts on “A little au revoir

  1. Oh, Rachel! Please don’t go! By all means, take a break, take a breath – goodness knows you deserve it after the house move and all the other stresses this year. But this is my favourite place to come as a new mum, to peek ahead at what might be around the corner. I love your writing, your honesty and your sense of humour. Please find a way to keep this corner of the internet.

  2. I’m sure you will be hugely missed; you are a very talented writer and I wish I was half as good as you! Enjoy your break but do come back 🙂 x

  3. Oh yes. Please do take a break and its that time of the year for breaks anyway. But promise to come back. I love your mum-rambles. I love your posts about what you messaged Tim during the day. About the boys. Actually I started reading you because you are a mum blog. I was pregnant then and so were you so I found a strange companionship. I find it even now with our kids a few months apart. Please know that you write really well. Its witty, humorous and I even like the poop jokes. Who am I kidding, I go through the same sh*t 😉
    Why I am taking pain to write in such length is to convince you that you are doing a fine job and to get you back as soon as you’re done figuring out that thing you said you wanted to.
    Love n hugs. You’ll be missed until then.

  4. Oh my goodness, what will I do without your neatly wrapped word-parcels from England? Every single one of your blogs has been a treat and made me feel right at home.
    Sometimes I was so excited to receive a blog-entry of yours via email, that I needed to keep my English rust-free and red them aloud to my mom. She loved you and your little literature-treats without ever having met you.
    So whatever the future will bring, heck, you have a follower from Germany in me! I’ll be thrilled about whatever comes this way.
    All the best from Germany and Fröhliche Weihnachten!

  5. I completely understand how you feel, I’m sure that most of us have felt the same way at one time or another.

    Take your break and enjoy it! Hopefully we’ll see you back in a little while full of spirit, inspiration and joy.

  6. You are funny and insightful. I love reading your posts. So, I look forward to what comes next, whatever that may be. Being a mom is hard. Feeling like YOU are still in there, while being a mom is really hard. I get it. Good luck!

  7. You gave me goose bumps. I felt each of your searching words so poignantly! I love the art of finding the exact perfect word to describe what you are talking about! ( btw, my mommy brain is so jumbled tonight it took me at least 5 full mins to figure out how to spell ‘poignantly’, no other word was quite right. I wasn’t even close enough for the spell correct to set me straight. I had to resort to asking Siri on my iPad. Talk about feeling like my head only has mommy stuff jumbled in there! My vocabulary is so pathetic these days….) I love to read your blog and feel like I am in the thick of parenting alongside you. I hope you can sort through all your self reflective questions and discover what you want this space to be. Until then, I will miss your wit and beautifully funny British way of speaking! I will miss commiserating with you and laughing with you and triumphing with you. Much love and Holiday wishes from your blog reading friend in Oregon, USA. <3

  8. I have watched you grow from little girl to motherhood and i love reading your blog it brings back memories of my own children now they are grown too, but sometimes we need to do something different so we can grow in other ways too, just don’t forget to come back.

  9. It’s your decision to make and we will support you with whatever you choose to do but please know my heart lifts a little when I see your posts in my feed and that I read every single one, even when time constraints mean I skim other people’s. Your posts are well written; insightful and funny. I’ll miss you.

  10. Please post your Christmas Tree video this year – I love them!

    I am echoing many sentiments above which refer to your ability to capture motherhood with such honesty. The words you weave in this space about the joys and challenges of parenthood resonate so strongly with me – no other blog (and I read a lot!) compares to yours. I am a mother to a son with another on the way (also I suspect another boy) when my eldest will be aged 2 so you have been preparing me well. Enjoy your break and the festive season. x

  11. Oh, I’m sorry to hear you’ll be gone, and I’ll miss you. But I hope you figure out what you want to figure out and that you come back, and come back happy and fresh!

  12. I sure will miss you. I love your humorous outlook on this stage of life with little ones and often read portions of your posts out loud to my husband. I also love the clever little phrases you throw in – they wrap up a feeling so nice and neat. Please don’t feel pressured, enjoy your break, clear your head and I’ll be looking for you when you return. 🙂

  13. Oh, everyone thank you, thank you! Honestly, your comments have been lovely little sunshine spots in my day (which is a sick day, and much in need of cheering). Thank you for all your beautiful words, and I’ll definitely be back in some form or another in the new year. Though I will pop back in to post our Christmas Tree video, thanks for the reminder, Katherine!
    Much love! xxx

  14. For what it’s worth Rachel – your blog is one of my very favourites and i am always in awe of your writing style and talent. I have no idea how you make an ordinary day sounds so beautiful 🙂
    You will be very much missed but i won’t convince you not to go, i am only envious to be fair. Sometimes i rue the day i started blogging and gave up so much of my free time.
    And i know what you mean about parenting blogging, i have become so immersed in it i am often bored to tears! ahh well much plod on! ;)) x

  15. I’ve been a silent follower for almost 3 years now. I have your blog filed under “Friends and Family” in my RSS feed because it is one that I have to read — I don’t want it to get lost amongst my other feeds that I just skim through. My husband knows of you as my ‘English Blog Friend’, I hope that isn’t creepy that I consider you my virtual friend despite never meeting. I love your writing style and would love to read about any topic that you choose!

  16. Rachel! I do not know you personally and I am not a mommy blogger, but I can tell you that your posts have been important in my life. I am a proud “breastfeeding loser” and I felt like you were reading my mind when you wrote open your hands. I have two children close to the ages of yours. The way you write about each topic brings out the beauty and difficulty of motherhood. I cried when I read your recent post about being consumed in your children. Spot on of course! I don’t have an answer on how to solve that one (lots of girls nights maybe?:) but I am proud to be a full time mother alongside beautiful and intelligent women like you. I hope you enjoy your break. Just know that you are such a talented writer and we will be glad to hear from you again.

  17. My lovely friend Emily Cole introduced me to your blog and I really enjoy reading it. I completely understand that you need a little break to decide where to go next (we all need that sometimes) but I will miss your words. Becca x

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