… is this thing on?

So… the hiatus lasted a little longer than I planned.

Some of the reasons were entirely out of my control. The redesign didn’t go as smoothly as I planned, and I had to start from scratch. (Twice.) There were some scheduling issues that couldn’t be helped. Storm-related power outages and COVID-related delays.

And, yeah, some of it was just me and my usual habit of overthinking and second-guessing everything.

Mostly, though, I just didn’t want to think about it.

I liked not thinking about page views or visitors or whether I should be putting an actual effort into building an audience. I liked not worrying that I should be blogging more, or feeling guilty about the bits and pieces of posts that I started writing but never finished. I liked not scrambling to write a half-assed blog post (or newsletter) to meet a self-imposed deadline that doesn’t really matter, all the while neglecting the writing I’m much better at and that I want to be doing.

That’s the big one.

In the months that I wasn’t working on the blog, I finished the first draft of the novel I’ve been working on for the past year. I accidentally outlined three-quarters of a different story (I’m still pretending that I’m not going to write it, but we all know the truth), and I’ve got ideas for half a dozen others. I’ve started rewriting a novel that I’d very nearly given up on, and in the process, I’ve somehow fallen back in love with writing itself. 

These have been my most productive writing months since before the pandemic began. And even leaving aside metrics like word count and time spent writing, they’ve been my best (most delightful, most relaxed, most natural) writing months in at least a decade.

And that’s just writing. In the past few months, I’ve revamped my workouts, I’m watching movies on a semi-regular basis again. I’ve been trying new recipes. I’m learning new photography skills. (And finally getting around to editing some of the photos from… last summer.) Emotionally, I’m doing better than I have in years.

I’m learning how to knit, of all things. 

(That’s not meant to be a slight against knitters, by the way. It’s more that I’ve spent nearly my entire life—from age ten or so until two months ago—convinced that knitting required some fundamental skill or talent that I just didn’t have.)

I know that none of this happened because I’ve been on hiatus here. Maintaining this site doesn’t take that much time or cause that much stress, not really.

But I also couldn’t have done any of these things if I hadn’t taken a break. 

To make this progress, I had to start prioritizing the things that mean the most to me, and yeah… there have been some growing pains. I’ve had to abandon routines that I’ve cobbled together over the years and rebuild them into something that genuinely works for me.

And, for a while, that meant setting aside some things. Like this site. 

I’m still figuring out which of those things I need (or want) to bring back, and how I want to do it. 

I have no plans to abandon the blog, but I am taking this opportunity to change how I do things around here. That might mean that I’m writing here less frequently (which hardly seems possible, I’m aware). It might mean that I’m writing here more frequently. It might mean going against all marketing advice and shutting down the newsletter, or (more likely) it might mean that the newsletter’s focus will change. It might mean posting more photos, or talking about different things, or… I really don’t know.

I’m letting go of the expectations I place on myself when it comes to the blog. I’m letting go of the pressure to post, and the guilt when I don’t. I’m remembering that this blog means nothing if it’s the only writing I do, or if it somehow becomes more urgent than the rest of it.

Things are going to change, but in a good way, and while I may take the occasional break, I’m not going anywhere.