Whither Goest the Bug Blog?

This will be a rather personal and introspective (i.e., navels gazed at) post, so if that isn’t your thing, just click away.

You might have noticed I haven’t been writing much lately. There’s a lot going on in my life, and I took some time off to decide what things in my life I’m going to keep and what things I’m going to dump.

Anyhoo:

When I started blogging in 2004, I was (I think) the only entomology blog out there. Now there’s a huge and thriving Bugosphere, and I don’t feel like there’s a shortage of good writing about bugs online.  I do think it’s safe to say that I still lead the Buggyblog Pack on cranky, profanity-laced blogging about insects, but that is a somewhat niche market.

The reality of my life right now is that I took a job almost 3 years ago that has taken over my life. It’s hugely stressful. I strongly suspect that if I hadn’t taken this job, I’d still be married.  I was outed as Bug Girl to my boss last year, and she ordered me to stop blogging. I’m just hoping her google-fu is weak and I don’t get caught.

So, the reasons to retire the Bug Blog (and the Bug Girl Persona, which is really just me with no polite censors applied) are pretty good.
But.

I do really like to write. And I’ve said all along that this blog is for ME, that it’s an exercise for me to practice writing about technical stuff in an entertaining way. And that’s…mostly true.

Along the way, though, I got into metrics and Technorati and blog rankings and lost sight of all that.  A deep inner secret about me: I am a very competitive person. I mean, scary competitive. I like to WIN.  I actually don’t play games if at all possible, because the aspects of my personality that emerge when I compete are disturbing. (I once found myself seriously thinking about cold-cocking a 7th grader that beat me at laser tag.  And I was 32.)

So, it seems inevitable, given the monsters hiding in my id, that my motivations would morph over time. “Getting better at writing” morphed into “Global Insect Media World Domination Eleventy!1!1!!”  Which meant posting something substantive and well written on a regular basis.

And I can’t do that with my current job or life situation.

A few people have suggested that I write a book instead of blogging, and while that seems appealing, I think that an entomology book heavily-laden with F bombs is not going to be a best seller. Again, niche market.

The one topic I’d really like to write a book about would be the whole Rachel Carson/DDT BS business, but frankly the people who are promoting that stuff scare me. I have gotten many, many threats over those posts, most of them threats of sexual assault. I can’t be force-fucked into believing their lies about a brave woman and a wonderful writer, but I have been convinced that I want to stay under their radar IRL.  I’ve also had some rather unpleasant encounters with white supremacists, which further reinforces the need for me to write as Bug Girl, not my real name.

What I can do is post completely random ranty rants and pretty photos at this blog on a highly irregular basis.  And that’s probably what I’ll continue to do.

What I’ll write about and when I’ll write it will be a surprise to both me and my readers, I suspect.

The absolute best part of blogging over all this time is the wonderful people that I have met–many of whom only virtually–who have been kind and supportive and wonderfully giving. Thank you all of you.

GROUP HUG!



20 thoughts on “Whither Goest the Bug Blog?

  1. Awww. I’m looking into some software-centric ways to turn blogs into ebooks and print books, so think about that; thanks to Paypal, you can stay anonymous.

    Why wouldn’t your boss want a world-recognized authority working for her? That just screams anal-retentive insecurity. Silly girl.

  2. LOL! “world recognized authority” is not quite the same as “notorious online snarker.” ;p

    And you and Stoney are definitely in my top 10 list of bloggers I’d like to go on a boozy pub-crawl rant-fest with. Someday….

  3. Well, you know I love you and love your blog and love your krazy (yes, with a “k”!) personality. So I will definitely keep reading. :)

    *HUGS*

  4. Glad to hear that you are sticking with it. You continue to be one of my favorite reads. Where else can I get entomology laced with references to cool, semi-obscure movies like Forbidden Planet?

  5. Alas, you are the only biology ranting blog that I can tolerate. I’ll miss you, but blogging should be when and what you want, not just another chore. Good luck.

    (Are you sure – I saw a blog with recipes for home-made DDT yesterday – so New Yorkers can fight back against the bed bug epidemic. I wondered what you might have done with that.)

  6. I’ve got my RSS feed, and I can wait… Alas, since I’m a new follower, it’s almost like withdrawal to have read the entire history of your blog in ~3 weeks and now I actually have to wait for infrequent updates! But we support you and your blogging in whatever forms you decide :)

  7. “World recognized authority” and “notorious online snarker” aren’t mutually exclusive. :-)

    I’m glad you’re still posting. I’d love to read a book by you on DDT and Rachel Carson, but I can understand why you wouldn’t want to touch that issue.

  8. I can relate to your situation. I have been blogging for almost four years now, and I have been toying with the idea of packing it in – or just changing the focus of what I write about.

    I hope you keep at it because you’re good at it. I’d never have learned so much about native pollinators or Rachel Carson except for this blog!

    BTW, that 7th grader had it coming, lol….

  9. Keep your sanity not your blog. Maybe you should switch to something like Tumblr?

    Oh, and you can be a wee bit competitive…remember that game of Spoons when someone almost lost a finger? ;-)

  10. I’ve always enjoyed your blog and tweets (oh, that sounds strange!) Wherever you choose to rant, I’ll be there. Thanks, Bug Girl!

  11. We have more in common than I thought, Bug Girl. I am highly competitive, too, which is one reason I HATE social situations where I’m supposed to “mingle.” I don’t like competing for attention, period!

    Personally, I’m happy that you feel obligated to yourself first in the case of this blog. Always good to take a periodic inventory of oneself and one’s goals.

    Must have missed the Rachel Carson/DDT posts. Would love to talk about that in-depth and in person at some point.

    We DO love you, in all your personas, and that won’t change no matter what you do :-) Take care, don’t be afraid to ask for help with anything.

  12. Sounds like you’re going through your own metamorphosis. I’ll be interesting to see what emerges. After long days with G-rated third graders, who are just gaga over observing mealworms, I like your ability to mix bugs AND the other F-word (For Third Graders, the F-word is fart). But a girl’s got to do what a girl’s gotta do.

  13. Metamorphosis sounds like a good metaphor. Whatever you decide to do, know that others do care. In the meantime, if it suits you, know that we’ll be happy to read whatever blog posts you feel like writing. If you do morph into something else, and it entails a public or psuedonymous persona, please leave a trail we can follow or figure out! I’m another one who’d love it if you can find a way to do a Rachel Carson book.

    (Anyone who wants to read some great back posts should check out the “Catagories” on the sidebar.)

  14. Oh thank god! I’m so glad you’re not quitting your blog. I love reading it. It’s one of the first of many that I look to in my feed reader. Two down, 741 posts to go.

  15. I like your niche market. Regardless of what you decide, I have enjoyed reading your blog posts and will miss them if you decide to stop posting. Eh well, I can totally understand when life takes its own course and you have to do what you need to do for you… ’cause, baby, no one else will!

    With best wishes,
    Katie.

  16. Good Luck with your blog. I would also like to add, thanks for posting the cat picture “I can’t brain today. I have the dumb.” It has made my day. It is exactly how I feel today at work, which is probably why I’m on the internet instead of working.

  17. I’ve been reading your blog for quite a while and feel lucky to have had the chance to intercept your thoughts (and cursing) for all this time. Speaking as a semi-anonymous blogger who ditched the project due to privacy concerns, I hear ya.

    FWIW, I think you are great and wish you well. Thanks.

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