First, thank you to all of you who sent me such lovely messages these past few weeks wishing me well, telling me it was okay to take some time off and letting me know that you wanted me to come back. Those messages truly did mean a lot to me. (“You like me! You really like me!”)
I took some much-needed time off from blogging so that I could create some space in which I could do a bit of exploring. The truth was, I was getting bored of this blog. I was stymied by the limitations I had set for myself regarding what I could and could not write, limitations that had been set years ago when I first came to Turkey
I’ve been writing on this blog for four years now, and I hadn’t realized just how much my original goals for it had changed since the early days. For a long time, this blog has been about expat life in Turkey. It offered readers a view on what living as a foreigner in Turkey is like, at least in my experience. It also offered travel tips, and hotel and restaurant recommendations.
The problem with that was it precluded me from writing about a lot of other things I wanted to explore, and it narrowly limited my view on the world, on life and on myself.
I realized that I was focusing too much what my life meant in Turkey and not enough on what my life meant period. For four years, I’ve been looking at my life through a prism. Everything has been juxtaposed through a single lens: in Turkey.
“Well, in Turkey, we….”
“Things in Turkey are like….”
“The way it’s done in Turkey is…”
Somewhere along the line, I got too focused on the “expat” in “expat life” and lost sight of the bigger “life” part.
I realized that what I wanted to write were about things that really mattered to me. I wanted to tell stories, to describe people and events, not just cafes and restaurants.
And then one day it occurred to me that I could that, here, on this blog. All I had to do was do it.
So what does this mean? Well, first, it means I won’t be writing exclusively about Turkey anymore. It means I’m going to write about lots of things, like food and art and travel and cats and (gasp!) politics, all things I touch on here but not in a lot of detail (with the exception of the politics part).
It also means that I will do more long-form, essay-type writing and probably less pithy blurbs. I know, I know, essays aren’t exactly suited to the blog format, but I actually don’t care. There are plenty of good essayists out there who have blogs and I think the two can go well together. I won't subject you to any poetry, though, don't worry.
I know that this means I will likely alienate those people who came here strictly for the content about Turkey, and for this, I am sorry. I will still, of course, write about Turkey, but hopefully a little differently. If you decide you don’t want to come back, though, I would understand.
The other reason I need to change up what I’m doing on the blog is because I’m writing a book. It’s about – wait for it – life in Turkey. No, I’m not kidding. It really is. It’s a cross between a travel memoir and a regular memoir. Call it an expat memoir, if you will. I’m not sure if such a thing exists, but it does now!
And I know what you’re thinking: But I thought she just said she wanted to write less about Turkey?
But the book is one of the reasons I need to move away from writing about Turkey exclusively on this blog. In order for me to concentrate on writing the book, I need a space where I can be free to play with words, experiment with ideas and let loose on some other topics to create breathing space for writing about Turkey.
So I hope you’ll stick around. Though I haven’t been on the internets in recent weeks, I’ve been hard at work writing and I’m eager to share some of that with you.