Taking a break
The Grand Opening party for York & Friends Fine Art was held on a perfect spring night several years ago. A tent was erected and covered one third of our parking lot. Our neighborhood liquor store provided wine and managed the bar. Childhood friends, who were also caterers, provided a lavish spread and over 300 people attended and offered their good wishes.
We repeated that event on our first anniversary with just as many, if not more, attending. The second anniversary was more of the same but by the third, attendance was down. Of course, we still had more folks than most so it was definitely considered a success as was the year after that – even though the crowd had dropped even more.
I have also worked on major non-profit events which have been huge successes for many years but then found that after a while, there became the need to reinvent to keep things fresh and exciting.
With that in mind, I’ve come to a similar conclusion regarding my weekly blog. Nearly two years ago, I began writing a blog to compliment and expand the story which I was finally ready to reveal – secrets within my family. It was a shock to most and there seemed to be an outpouring of interest to learn more. Many people signed up to have my blog emailed to them weekly while others waited until I posted it on Facebook. I would often receive phone calls or messages as well as, comments and “likes” on Facebook. But like my gallery events, things tapered off. A few friends have unsubscribed to having an email reminder sent to them each Monday. And rarely does anyone still send a personal message. The comments on Facebook have become fewer although I can still count on 4-5 faithful followers to click “like” each week. But as with my past party events, the number has decreased.
Does that mean that people are no longer interested in what I have to say? It’s difficult to tell, just like it is with advertising for my gallery. Unless I ask everyone who comes through my door how they first heard of us, I’ll never know if they saw and responded because of an ad. I know that there could be those who read my blog and never comment. It certainly isn’t a requirement or an obligation. And yet, I’ll admit that it is very encouraging when someone does take a moment to express their thoughts.
Have I run out of things to say? Not hardly. But weekly messages dealing with abuse can get old. It’s not like it is no longer in the news, as evidenced recently by the horrific stories coming out regarding the Catholic priests in Pennsylvania. But like many difficult subjects such as politics, animal abuse, sex trafficking etc., we can listen and read just so much before needing a break – something positive, something uplifting in our lives. Does that mean we no longer care? No. But it is understandable for us to want a little joy in our life.
I have not given up writing or being outspoken or an advocate for the abused. But as far as my weekly blog goes, I’m going to take a break. I may come back twice a month or maybe just once a month when I feel I have something I want or need to say. In the meantime, I will share with you that I’m in the editing stages with my third book. This time it’s a novel. Even I felt the need to write something fun, light and breezy for a change.
So, I thank all of you who have been faithful followers since I began my journey. And I appreciate your understanding with my decision to take a break.
J. Ronald M. York, author of Kept in the Dark, is also an accomplished musician and founder of York & Friends Fine Art Gallery.
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