Taking Stock and Slowing Down

I’ve lost track of how long the English Rules website has been running, but its transformation from a simple online reference for my students to a multifaceted weblog occurred in August 2003, when I installed the Movable Type Publishing Platform and posted my very first entry, The Economist Steven Levitt and Other Heroes, which was based on a New York times article I had just read.

Since then I have posted 220 blog entries, 435 words of the day, 56 writing-guide articles, and 258 photos. Add to that the over 1,200 comments from others, and it starts to look like there is a substantial amount of content in this place. For me this site has been a labor of love, a learning tool, a playground, and a meeting place.

I regret having to say this, but I am in need of a break. There are too many other projects and responsibilities competing for my time. The next six months or so are set to be some of the busiest of my entire life. The only way to keep myself sane during this time is to pare down the number of things I feel I have to do. I may post an entry here and there, and I’ll try to get a few more photos of the kids on the site, but the updates are going to be a lot less frequent for a while.

Thanks to all of you who read my ramblings. Thanks to those who comment, to those who send emails, to those who keep in touch in other ways. Thanks to all the “lurkers” out there, too. It’s nice to know that there are people out there who care enough to read what I have to write, even when it starts to lose any sense of coherence, as it is doing now.

So that’s my message. I’ll touch base again in June—and I hope a few times between now and then.

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15 Responses to Taking Stock and Slowing Down

  1. nicole says:

    The blosphere has shed a tear for the dimming star that is Englishrules. Karl, you have touched us, your words (of the day) have moved us, your ramblings at once making us feel welcome and completely technologically disabled.
    In all seriousness, know that Julian and I are in your corner supporting you in all your endeavors.
    We love you!
    nic and j

  2. Debbi says:

    I am sorry to hear that you are taking some time off. I looked forward to your postinigs. It was a nice way of staying connected with you guys! We will just have to call you more often. I will hold you to your promise of posting updated photos of the kids! Best of luck!

  3. Dad says:

    Thanks, Karl. I’ve enjoyed it.

  4. Dennis says:

    Karl, you’ve had a great run and clearly invested a lot of time, energy and talent. I tried keeping a blog a few years back and made it, oh, 4-5 days? That estimate may even be somewhat generous.

    Anyway, enjoy your “time off,” but it sounds like you don’t really have any . . .

    Cheers,
    Dennis H.
    Berkeley, CA USA

  5. Darl says:

    I will miss it, especially your word of the day! Best wishes as your activity picks up in other areas.

  6. tammy says:

    oh, karl – now you sound like zach braff…..a good comparison, in my book! i hope the new adventures are indeed that for you – things that you’ll enjoy and grow from…..i’ll miss your ramblings and all that goes with them, and hope that perhaps we’ll get a word or two once in a while. i must say also that i’m happy to see bill bryson on your bookshelf – i read The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid recently, and almost always enjoy his work. i hope your new, uber busy lifestyle allows for you to continue with reading the many books you’ve got your eye on. thanks for such an enjoyable way to start so many of my days in the past, and who knows? maybe you’ll be back with more to enthrall us sometime. cheers!

  7. dean says:

    Karl I am going to miss your blogs. Its one of the only emails I get that I like to read. The only thing I will request you still do is post pictures of Ben and Lucy and send them out. I don’t want to miss any great pictures of my nephew and niece. I’ll talk to you soon. Enjoy your time off. Hopefully you’ll be well rested when you come back.
    Dean

  8. john f connors says:

    First time reader, happened to come across your blog while tracking down Thomas Merton prayer to send to a friend in need. Have a fruitful time off, be looking forward to reading again down the line.
    All the best
    JFC

  9. Dad says:

    You must be touched, as I am, by “first time reader” John F. Connors. I guess this exemplifies what I really haven’t understood about the blog-world. Cool.

  10. Karl says:

    Hey everyone, thanks so much for the well-wishes!
    Tammy, Sara is a huge Zach Braff fan. Not sure why this reminded you of him. Maybe because “I’m no superman”? I’m hoping to get to the Bill Bryson book soon. Got it from dear friends for my birthday. I loved Bryson’s book about Australia.
    Dean and Debbi, I’ll definitely do my best to get some pics of the kids up here. Thanks for checking in.
    John, how nice of you to post a comment! Thanks.
    Dad, you’re right. Definitely cool.

  11. tammy says:

    karl,
    zach braff is the only other blog i read regularly – over the years he has had periods of silence because he is so busy with his various projects, then he comes back with an apologetic and appreciative blog and makes everyone keep loving him…..which is why i keep going back. so when i read your plans for the next few months, i thought i might be rereading one of his blogs!!! yes, it’s clear you will be missed a great deal, and how cool for the newbie to write to you!!! now i want to know him, too!
    again, the best as you juggle your activities – enjoy them all!

  12. tammy says:

    oh!!! if you haven’t yet read A Walk in the Woods by Bryson, you simply must! (if i keep commenting here, i feel somehow that you haven’t given up sharing your musings yet!!)

  13. Cynthia DeBoer says:

    Karl, as you pursue other areas of interest and growth, I’ll be missing your musings on ER. Maybe we the readers would benefit from going back into the archives and recalling some of your past reflections. Photos of the family? I’m always up for more of them! And I’ve come to enjoy seeing familiar names posting responses – – family and friends in the Swedberg-DeBoer milieu. Enjoy your sabbatical, buddy. Hope it’s profitable in many ways.
    Love, Mom

  14. Diane says:

    BOOOOO HISSSSS how dare you attempt to have a life and not support ours anymore!
    love love love, diane

  15. Aunt Ginny says:

    WHAT! Bummer! I’ve enjoyed ER so much. You’ve done a masterful job and given some real moments of pleasure with your insight, farflung areas of interest and your wicked wit. You were my role model and encouragement for ART ALONG THE WAY aka http://www.vwieringa.blogspot.com and you gave my paintings their first home on the web! Thanks, Karl, blessings on you in this busy time.

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