Recovered from the Wayback Machine.
Phil Wolff’s bringing up David Weinberger’s old idea of a Blogging holiday – everyone take a week off in August. This is in response to some webloggers expressing what sounds like burn out.
This reminds me of when I worked for the tie factory in Seattle, spending all day long with big industrial irons pressing tie after tie, inhaling the fumes from the chemicals used in the material, trying to keep on my feet when the temperatures hovered near 100. Every summer during the hottest part of the year, the management would close the place down or otherwise people would start fainting from the heat. Everyone would have to take their vacations at the same time, and If I remember correctly, it was the first two weeks of August.
We’ve all gone beyond the time when we have to be here all the time, or have to provide excuses either to take a holiday, or return from a holiday. I would hope that each of us takes whatever time we need individually, without some kind of ‘group’ action, the thought of which is starting to get a bit scary at times.
(Okay at the count of three, let’s all reach up and scratch our noses. You know you want to, you know your nose itches. You can feel it, and your hand wants to reach up. Come on. Give in. Ready? One, two, three SCRATCH!)
But Phil is right, in that we do need time off here and again – even if for no other reason to wake our readers up and make them aware that we’re here as a gift, not as an obligation. He’s also right in that we’re going to burn out if we’re here day in and day out; we’re going to lose our sense of perspective, and our uniqueness and individuality. If we become too heavily immersed in this society, we’ll become too easily influenced by the buzz, the ‘leaders’, the comments, whatever. Time off can help us decide what we want this space to be when it’s spiraled out of our control.
Time off can also help us re-discover our personal lives when they’ve spiraled out of control.
You know, last week I found out a link to my weblog was removed from a blogroll of a person I called a friend, and it was a shock. Especially when I asked them why and they said it was because they never knew when I was going to erupt here – that my photos, pretty as they are, aren’t enough to cover the ugliness of these eruptions, and by this I assumed they meant tempermental explosions.
(I taked with AKMA about this – he did mention something about my ‘tempestuous nature’. I adore him and Margaret, I want them to adopt me.)
Reading the email was like getting hit by a wall. I wasn’t sure whether I even wanted to stay weblogging because I wasn’t sure what the point was any more. It seems as if I’m not writing about what I want to, my photos seem flat, my temper uncertain, and too much of my personal life is leaking through to this page – enough to make me reactive at times, but not enough for readers to understand why. So I took a long weekend, and stayed away from weblogging for the most part.
Did it help? A bit. The words still hurt, but I have a better sense of perspective about them. Reminded myself – again – that I’m supposedly here because I enjoy it, and should focus on what I want to write and not worry about the responses. Most of all I was reminded to stop reacting to people who know how to push my buttons, and who enjoy doing so.
I’m not going to take a group sanctioned blogging holiday, all respect to the good Dr. Weinberger. But I am going to walk away from the weblog when I find myself pushed into a corner, tired, or otherwise dull as dishwater. Or when I find that I’m allowing myself to be too influenced by the people around me.
Hmmm. In fact, I think I feel another long weekend coming up – I’m a bit miffed because weblogging has done absolutely nothing for my sex life – what a gyp.