Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Thinking and Rethinking


I've written this post twenty times in my mind and at least three more here at the computer. Hopefully, I'll get it right this time.

A couple of weeks ago, I was ready to ride into the sunset, done forever with blogging. I always told myself that I would quit when blogging began to feel like a job. It seemed that time was at hand.

I am quite aware that both the quality and quantity of material on MBS has been in decline for months. I too often felt as though I was "phoning it in." I needed to post something, so I reached for the easy stuff - Ask Bonnie, Keyword Chaos, polls, generators, and so forth. The heart of this blog - accounts, stories, and tutorials - became increasingly absent. I am disappointed by this trend.

What's more, I'm tired, in every sense of that word. I still have plenty of subjects about which to write (thank you, dear readers, for your inspired suggestions), but I lack the drive necessary to convert good ideas into polished articles.

I feel two conflicting tugs. On one side, I have beloved friends asking me to assist, to entertain, and to educate. On the other, there are the green pastures of freedom and projects unexplored.

I can leave anytime I want, right? I can walk away and not look back, can't I?

After a whole lot of soul searching, I must admit that the answer to these questions is no. This blog and this community are a part of me. I cannot pretend the past two years never happened. I will undoubtedly retire for real one day, but that day is not today. I'm still a dedicated spanko and this is my blog.

So where does that leave us? I'm not entirely sure. I want to rediscover my spanko muse and flood you with quality content. I would love to surprise and delight you. I desire to keep up with all the obligations inherent in running a blog. But I can make you no promises beyond remaining true to the spirit of My Bottom Smarts.

And blog on we shall...

45 comments :

Mary said...

Hi Bonnie,
You have my loyalty - no matter if you post once a month or once a day. I consider what I find here a gift and a pleasure to read and enjoy. Personally, I will continue to check in and if there is new content I will gladly accept the gift. However, if nothing new is posted - I can empathize with a busy life and in my thoughts I will be wishing you well. Rest away - and post when your muse decides to rise.
Always thank you so much for what you give to us readers.

Anonymous said...

Whoa, my heart skipped several beats, no more MBS the thought sent me into a spin. Had the day I feared finally arrived? Then I read on and my heart settled down. As Mary said above no matter how often you post we will be thankful for what you are able to give. You have given so much it would be selfish of us to not realize that you need time for you! Please know that as I am very thankful you have decided to continue on for now I would understand your need to have time for other pursuits. Maintaining such a wonderful blog as this must be very time consuming and draining. Hopefully you know how much you mean to many of us and how this blog has brought so much to our lives. Thank you for all you have given and for any further gifts you are able to give.
Warm Hugs, Sally

Anonymous said...

I've just started learning about the spanko in me and Bonnie, I have learned so much from you. I'm with them, even if it's only once a month--I'll still look forward to hearing from you.

I understand how interests and the time to pursue them can wax and wane. Perhaps during this lull, some of your regular readers could help you out... Sharing their stories. Guest-blogging--if you will. Personally, I just started working with a disciplinarian and since none of my close friends are spankos I have no one to share my experiences with.

Lisa Simpson

Brooke said...

Dear Bonnie,
I so understand where you're coming from. Life inevitably gets in the way of things sometimes, and projects that once held such appeal get lost in the woodwork. I hope you regain that zeal and spirit to blog and have fun with it! This site is an invaluable resource for spankos, and even if there were only archives and no new posts, I'd still visit frequently. It's all about the quality, which you obviously have. Thank you for this blog!

Anonymous said...

Your writings are both interesting and inspiring - I hope you will keep it going, even if on a less frequent basis. As a regular reader, your postings would be severly missed! Thank you for such a high quality blog!

Anonymous said...

Many thanks for your sterling efforts over the past couple of years Bonnie.

Like the others I will check in from time to time, and will be grateful for any offerings you may be able to produce.

You are correct in wanting to maintain quality at the expense of quantity, your time and that of your readers is too precious to waste on pontless postings, so thanks again for all you have done for us.

Yours faithfully,

Ollie

Anonymous said...

That is great to hear Bonnie as your blog is a source of information unlike any other. I still check you out every day whether I post or not and I simply love the MBS's with your insightful questions and the answers of your many and varied readers.

Thanks for staying with it.
Hugs
Dove

littleone said...

phewwwww.. you had me a bit worried there Bonnie...... as always i arrived here at "My Bottom Smarts" a day late and a dollar short.... it would have been close to tragic if you closed up shop before i got to read more of your inspirations.......

i (for another one) am glad you are staying ......

morningstar (owned by Warren)
co-owner of drakor

Paul said...

Bonnie, I can hardly improve on what the others have said.

But I'll add my tuppence* worth anyway.

Yours was the second blog I found, can't have been too long after you started, as I read all your archives before starting to comment.

Mainly because of you I found many friends.

Your writing is always honest, insightful and thought provoking. Plus the fact that you write very well.

Lots of people get tired as winter approaches.

Post as frequently or as infrequently as you feel like, I doubt that you will lose many readers.

I hope that you fully realise just how much you are loved.

Warm hugs,
Paul.

* An old English way of saying two pence.

Sara said...

Bonnie, I can only add to the chorus. You are so appreciated and enjoyed! What you do is important to very many people. Your blog is not just about spanking, but self exploration, self acceptance, and community as well. Like the others, I will read if you post weekly or monthly. I am really so glad you decided to stay!

Anonymous said...

Dear Bonnie,

I agree with everybody else, of course. I don't know how in the world you have kept blogging so frequently with such high quality for so long! It must have become increasingly difficult after you had gone through the stack of stories you'd written well before the blog started. In fact, when the posts slowed down, I found myself almost glad that you were taking a bit of a break. I just smiled and began re-reading your stories from the archive.

One of the reasons I love your blog so much is that you clearly have so many other interests. As you know better than anybody, there are plenty of places to read about spanking on the web. Your blog is special because of the person behind it. The work you've put into making this blog so welcoming, informative, and entertaining won't go away no matter how infrequently you post!

All the best,

Indiana
(I've called myself Loyal Lurker when I've commented before)

Ofia said...

Yours is the first spanko blog I found ... and loved! You can't go away yet! :p

I'm very glad you are going to stick around, especially with the people recently who aren't. I hope you do what makes you happy too. :)

Anonymous said...

Dear Bonnie,

thanks for not quitting. Your blog really helped me a lot. It is so wonderful to see, that strong, caring, interested people do spanking. That it something I never believed before internet times. (And this, by the way, is my first internet comment ever.)

Thank you, Bonnie!

Tina

Anonymous said...

MBS is the greatest; you have only got to see the number of times it is referred to in other blogs.My own bottom woud not smart so happily, where it no for reading about yours.Susan.

Jim said...

I will keep coming back here to use the superb list of links. I also love the look of MBS, particularly that gorgeous pale-blue, denimed, bottom. If the apple trees aren't always in bloom, that's fine--doubtless, their roots are collecting nutrients for the spring. And, as long as there is a brunch to natter over--now and again--things will be just fine!

Anonymous said...

Dear Bonnie -- A blog is, first and foremost, for the writer; a place to express one's thoughts and experiences, with hopes that one's words might resonate out there with a few. Most people blog on and remain in relative obscurity; you touched a huge community and have gained an enormous following. Among many other things, you have helped put other spanking bloggers on the radar (myself included, and I thank you). So... I can certainly understand the dilemma and the pressure you're feeling.

Ultimately, your readers want you to be happy. If it does come to pass that blogging becomes obligatory and a drain, then I would suggest you stop, or at least take a break from it. It's become almost like a part-time job, hasn't it. But if you still love it, then by all means, soldier on. And don't worry about flooding us with great content, entertainment and wisdom. Just be where you're at... we love you no matter what! -- Erica

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU BONNIE!!!(WIPING SWEAT FROM MY FORE-HEAD)-TERESA

SelfSpanker said...

Bonnie,
The blog is for you and you alone. You owe us nothing and we would be selfish indeed to demand that you spend one moment engaged in an activity that is not feeding your soul. I must agree that even if you posted infrequently it would be nourishment to the community but it must first be nourishment for you. Respectfully,
SS

Anonymous said...

we LOVE you!!! Do what makes YOU happy

hermione said...

Dear Bonnie,

I don’t have much to add to what has already been said. And for every comment submitted, there are probably a hundred readers who don’t comment, but feel exactly the same.

Like Mary said, you have my loyalty, and agree wholeheartedly that what I find on MBS is truly a gift, from you to us. And like Sally, my heart also skipped a beat, dreading to read what must be your last post to us. You can’t imagine the relief I felt as I read to the end.

I’ve been in the spanko lifestyle for over 30 years, but have learned more in the few months since I found your blog than in all that time. You have been a godsend, a generous mentor, a role model, and a friend.

I’ve always enjoyed the variety your blog provides. I love your accounts of spankings, the fiction and the tutorials, and reread the archives often, for entertainment and edification. But polls, mailbag, keyword chaos and all the other fillers are so much fun. It seems that no matter what you post, it always provides a chance for your faithful readers to comment. And that’s another very important function your blog provides. It is such a gift to give your readers, many of whom have no one else to talk to about this very private subject.

I am so relieved that you have decided to continue with your blog. How difficult it would be for thousands of faithful readers to explain their sadness, depression, red-rimmed eyes and tear-stained faces to friends, family, and co-workers. What would we say? A friend who has a blog about, erm, well, a blog, has stopped writing.

Please do let me know if I can help you in any way. I care.

Hugs,
Hermione

Anonymous said...

Dear Bonnie,
this is the first time I leave a comment, but I'm a faithful reader of your blog (from over the ocean and far away....). I love your writing, your wit, your sense of humour... Please feel free to post as often or as seldom as you wish, compatibly with all the engagements of your life -- but please STAY!
Love,
Calypso

jammin33333 said...

as others have said you had me going until i reached the end. take as much time as you need. i will check back each day to see if you've posted. i've been a spanko all of my life. i just found your blog last year. what a delight your blog is i've laughed... cried... please take as much time as needed to recharge. love jam

Sub Nouveau said...

I'm glad you started to stay. You were one of the first bloggers to reach out & say hello, give me props & advice. You are truly a gem in the sea of adult blogs.

I totally understand losing your muse. It can get frustrating. I've been there of late. I feel a sense of obligation to my readers & myself.

As someone else wrote, we'll all be here for you whether you post 1x a month or 11 a day. You have such a backlog of stuff, you'll be making new readers happy every day!

New Beginnings said...

“I can leave anytime I want, right? I can walk away and not look back, can't I?

After a whole lot of soul searching, I must admit that the answer to these questions is no. This blog and this community are a part of me. I cannot pretend the past two years never happened.”

This really hit home for me Bonnie. Blogging gets into your blood. The friends we make here are real. Just in the time I have been blogging I know I see things in a different way. Something happens or I see something and I know I want to share it with my friends. Blogging does become part of your life even when it can seem overwhelming at times when you really want to post on a regular basis.

Bonnie when you decide to hang up your keyboard you can go knowing you have helped an untold number of people. If you just knew the positive change your blog brought about in my marriage you would realize what benefits MBS has provided! I just hope that that point is way in the future.

PK

Anonymous said...

Dear Bonnie,
Everyone has responded so beautifully here that I do not know what to add. Only that whenever I read your posts I feel like I am home. It is so comforting to me and I feel a friendship in you...though I have never met you and have only begun commenting a short time ago. I so appreciate all you have done and will always look at what you offer as a gift. Just follow your heart wherever it takes you...Best wishes, "Terpsichore"

TX Spankogirl said...

Wow Bonnie. I understand so much. It has been harder and harder for me to write since my life has changed so much. But I still love and will ALWAYS love your blog. It was the first that I really read when I was learning how to accept my "spankoness" and it helped me more than you know. But if you need a break, by all means take one.

I'll miss your blog if you decide to stop for a while. But other things are more important. You'll continue this if it's right for you. And if you decide to stop and start writing again later I'll definitely be a loyal reader.

But I have to say thank you Bonnie. Thank you for helping me to understand how to be ME and to ACCECPT me. You have my support whatever you decide.

~TX Spankogirl~

Anon VII said...

Bonnie, you're surely the most beautiful incarnation of encouragement, tolerance, non-judgementalism, and uncolmpromising fidelity where such is due on this planet, and I mean _beautiful_ in far more than just the visual sense of that word, although I by no means exclude that sense. Please, therefore, tell us what we need to do to give you a respite. I'll join at least one other respondent in offering to be a guest blogger. After all, I've been both a guest lecturer and a guest conductor (of an orchestra, not a train!), a guest composer, a resident writer, a guest consultant and also a guest witness (in the sense that all witnesses are either voluntary or conscripted guests of a court) in civil cases involving copyright. So, _ergo_, why not a guest blogger? The credentials above, in conjunction with my frequent presence and statements on this forum, should suggest that I share the inclinations of many here, that I speak from considerable experience, and that I'm not shy about stepping up to fill in until you feel prepared to juggle all the tennis balls yourself again. If the answer to that implied question is "Never," then I believe I speak for others as well as myself when I say that WE will help keep this old ark a-moverin', but always with you at the helm.

Anon VII

Bonnie said...

Mary - You're very sweet. Thank you for your support.

Sally - I certainly didn't intent to give anyone cardiac troubles! I think life is about balance. Finding a comfortable equilibrium has long been a struggle for me. I always want to do everything for everyone. Intellectually, I recognize that's not possible, but at a deeper emotional level, it doesn't change the way I feel.

Lisa - I am delighted to be able to aid you in your journey of discovery.

If you have some experiences that you would like to share in a guest post, I would welcome your participation. Please e-mail me. We've done this before and it's always been well received.

Brooke - Aw, thanks. There will definitely be some new posts. I just don't know how frequently.

Anon #1 - I appreciate both your generous words and your presence here at MBS.

Ollie - Interestingly, you just made the argument that had me convinced I should hang it up. Quality definitely matters.

Dove - You're very welcome!

morningstar - I really didn't intend to worry anyone. My purpose in posting was to bring readers up to date about my physical and emotional whereabouts.

This outpouring of support is lovely beyond words, but I didn't mean to solicit that either. Thank you for your understanding and for your many contributions!

Paul - Mary Poppins taught me about tuppence when I was a kid. She also taught me that Britain was a lovely country across the sea where people talked rather strangely, especially Dick Van Dyke!

Your loyal support is second to none. You're one of the people for whom I want to continue blogging.

Sara - Thank you, dear Sara, for your kind words and continuing support.

Indy - You're right. It did become more difficult when I ran our of archive stories. I miss the luxury of pulling out one of those nuggets when I would otherwise have had little to say.

I do have a number of other interests, many of which I seldom mention here. I wish I could spend more time on these activities, but we can't do everything.

I appreciate your expression of support!

Ofia - Nope, I'm still standing (sitting is rather uncomfortable right now!).

Tina - Welcome! I'm proud you chose to delurk here. You are always welcome at MBS.

You've touched upon one of the major themes on this blog. Plenty of normal, strong, capable, gentle, upbeat people share consensual spanking and they find the experience to be beneficial. If the reader walks away with little else, I want them to understand that we aren't weird or sick at all. We simply love one another and choose to express it through spanking.

Susan - I'm pleased to be able to assist good people like you.

Jim - The blogroll is a lot of work, but I recognize that it's a service upon which many people rely.

Erica - I know you do understand the dilemma. There are few definitive answers and I realize that I'm trying to steer a delicate middle course.

I am particularly grateful for your unconditional support. I hope when quitting time finally arrives, that other readers will be as gracious.

A.S.S. said...

We're glad you've decided to stick around. We have to say it would have been a truly sad day had your decision gone the other way.

As for finding your spanking muse... not sure what we can say there. For us, it is more a matter of finding the time. The ideas are there, just a matter of finding the time. Time gets short because it seems we're always working to get a post up TODAY... and some projects take more than a single day.

The solution might be not posting everyday... or posting short posts, or even flashback posts. We just don't know!

Glad you're staying!
:)
Todd & Suzy

Robin said...

Bonnie,
Everything I want to say has already been said by everyone else -- Do what is right for you, post as often or not as you need to, and if you decide to give it up, just remember how many people you've inspired who will never forget your support. (Of course, selfishly, I hope you keep going for a long, long while to come).
Robin

Bonnie said...

Teresa - It's really OK. I promise!

Self - I guess I agree, but only to a point. I consider this blog to be part of me, but also a part of the community. I feel a certain responsibility for both halves.

Anon #2 - Ah, therein lies the real enigma! It makes me happy to help others.

Hermione - Thank you for your generous praise. As a matter of fact, there is a task with which I could use assistance. I'll write you soon.

Calypso - Hi, and welcome! I'm glad you're here.

Jam - Thank you!

Sub Nouveau - Thank you for your support.

PK - We can't know what the future holds. We can only live today. For me, right now, that means more blogging (punctuated, of course, by the occasional brisk spanking!).

Blogging has indeed become a part of my being. That's why it's so difficult to walk away.

Terps - I hope I can keep this home a comfortable one for a long time to come.

TSG - Hi! It's great to hear from you. I thought your most recent post was excellent. I'm delighted for both of you!

Thank you for your support.

Anon VII - OK, OK! Let's talk. Thanks for your help.

Bonnie said...

Todd and Suzy - Thank you. I'm not sure there is any single answer, but I'm going to try some new ideas.

Robin - I really appreciate your support!

mthc said...

Bonnie, Everything else has already been said. Just a thank you for allowing us into MBS for many days to come.

*hugs and grins*

Mthc and David

Anonymous said...

How about taking a sabbatical from blogging for a while? Before my last sabbatical, I was so burned out on teaching I thought I'd never want to it again. A little while away, and I'm enjoying it again.

Maybe some time away during the hustle and bustle of the holidays would help, and you could come back to it when the days are still short, we're all stuck inside, and blog reading (and I assume writing) becomes very attractive.

I hope you won't feel the need to respond every time I comment-- the last thing I want is to make more work for you!

Indiana

Jujubees said...

I agree with a lot of what has already been said. I also understand where you are coming from. Here's my two cents -- Life is too short. Do what you can when you can. Savor each day and don't get bogged down by something you no longer feel you have the energy for. What you created here is great as it stands and when you get around to updating it, that would be great too. I hope you don't feel pressured or obligated though, that takes the fun out of it. My hope for you is that you find that balance you seek, you deserve it more than anyone I know. Thanks for your kindness and generosity to the spanking community.

Anonymous said...

Dear Bonnie,
I, like most, held my breath when I began to read you post, and sighed with relief when it ended and you stayed, BUT those were selfish, first emotions. What follows are real caring thoughts for a dear friend.
First, for the day it may be real, I want you to know what you have done for me, and mine. For my 50th birthday, I asked my husband for a birthday spanking. I began in the weeks leading up to it, hinting around, getting gradually closer until I screwed up my nerve and was out of the closet. This after 29 years, was due in large part to the knowledge, understanding and encourgement I found in your blog. We were on our way, and are still traveling that road that has brought me so much fulfillment, the realization of my lifelong fantasy and with the man I have loved for so long. I can never thank you enough, and should have long before now.
Please take what you need when you need it. What you love should never become a chore, and you need time for what is important to you. Only then will you recharge whatever spark YOU feel is lacking. We love you in whatever form you take. If you are truly burned out, consider a sabbatical. All the great professors take them, and you may need the complete rest one would provide. The benefit there is you get to announce the length, return when you want, and are free to visit and comment on all the blogs you always want to, but never have the time to visit. Since the blog would announce when you would be back, I really think your audience would be back with baited breath at the appointed hour of your return. Just another idea to add to your musing...Please take care of you and yours and feel no pressure to add us to the list. We are your friends. We care about you and want the best for you - whatever you decide that is.

SPANKEDHORTIC said...

I have not got the time to read the thirty odd comments that came above this today so please excuse me if I repeat what another has already writen.

The light house at the start of this post is most apt, like a light house you have guided and helped many into the blogging world. One day you will have had enough and this blog will end but I for one of many, am thankful that you have decided that that time has not come yet.

I do think you should take it easy on yourself over what you consider quality. Even the space fillers and generators that you post are well chosen and worth the posting. May I suggest that you be a little less citical of yourself, If I saw somebody else critisizing you as you have I would jump straight down their throats.

Prefectdt

Lost In Our Eyes said...

Let me chime in (a lil late to the party!) that I understand 100% the conflict, concerns, and all that jazz. The only thing I have to say in regards to that is just keep trying different things until it clicks.

If you have to slow down the posting rate in order to nurture the muse...it doesn't seem like you'll be risking many readers. I personally have MBS hooked up to Bloglines so I won't miss a thing, however often it happens.

Above all, thank you for the Blogroll and the networking you've done...it's been invaluable to us as we've worked on getting our own blog off the ground, and quite entertaining to boot!

Just don't forget the story about the oxygen masks on the airplane...

---Him

Bonnie said...

Indy - A sabbatical was one of several options I rolled around my brain before settling upon the one I chose. It could yet happen.

As for answering your comments, my philosophy is that when people take the time to contribute, I ought to expend the time necessary to acknowledge their gift. I don't always do so, but that is my goal.

Juju - That's almost word for word the very advice that Randy dispensed. Thank you for sharing your insight!

Anon #3 - Hi! Thank you for sharing that lovely story. I hope the coming years hold many more enjoyable spanking adventures. If you would ever like to tell your tale in the form of a guest post, I know MBS readers would love to hear about your discoveries.

As I say, a sabbatical isn't out of the question. For now, though, I'm going to blog when I feel I have something to share.

Prefectdt - I chose the image of the lighthouse because I am searching to find the proper direction. I want the various aspects of my life to be in balance and I struggle sometimes to achieve that equilibrium.

I don't think of my assessment of the blog as being critical so much as not measuring up to my expectations. I am a writer by training and occupation. I judge the blog on that basis. I know it can be better.

Him - I like how you think. Trying different things is in fact the approach I am using. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Bonnie,
It saddens me to see you look upon your blog as a burden. It has helped me to see that I'm not "abnormal" and allowed me to accept myself more completely even with all of the kinks! If I've learned anything in my 46 years it's that you have to take care of YOU first. So please don't think of your readers first, think of yourself and do what you need to make things right in your world again. Whatever you decide your readers will remain loyal. At least I know I will. I check your blog every week and LOVE the content. I guess I'm just saying that you ROCK!! And that there simply not enough adjectives to describe the impact(pardon the pun) that your blog has had in the spanko world. Thank you for you.
Megan

Anonymous said...

The first time i discover your blog, im captivated, spends hours reading and find you are considering stopping. i hope it will not happen, i for one have a long journey through the past of your blogs but the people who have been with you throughout would be devastated, however jaded you feel, this is always fresh for someone.

lola said...

Bonnie,
I am so glad that you have decided against leaving us. I have been one of your lurkers for some time. You have educated me, amused me, titillated me and inspired me to start blogging. I have always found your content to be of high quality and worth my time to read. I appreciate all of your efforts.
Lola

Blushingbride said...

Bonnie,
I too am pleased that you have decided to continue this blog, as it's one of the few that I do try to read as often as possible. However I have always wondered at how you managed to post so regularly while I can't even manage to read it every day.
As others have said, take the time you need, and post when you have things ready. I, and it appears many others, will still be here when new stuff comes up.
Blushingbride

Bonnie said...

Megan - I'd be lying if I told you that the blog didn't feel like a burden sometimes. On the other hand, there are many times like last night when the words flow from my fingers like water from a spring.

I do understand about doing things for myself. The trouble is that the ideal formulation has thus far eluded me. So I'm going to push forward slowly and see what develops.

Thank you for your generous praise. The fact that MBS is meaningful to readers is definitely a factor in wanting to keep it going. However, were it gone, I doubt anyone would miss it more than me.

Anon #4 - I appreciate your concern. Come what may, I have no intention of deleting this blog. You needn't worry about that. MBS represents two years of hard work. I can't imagine throwing it away.

Lola - Thank you!

Blush - Hi, and welcome. It's a pleasure to meet you.

I have slowed my pace a bit, at least for a while. But I assure you that if I have something worthwhile to say, you'll have the opportunity to read it here.

julie said...

I enjoy reading your blog and it's great that you decided to keep writing! Thanks!

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