For the past week, I stopped publishing blogs. I haven’t released a podcast. I haven’t posted anything new in the social sphere. I went dark. I fell silent. I went cold turkey.
Typically I try to keep a backlog of content to post. For months I have been at least one or two weeks ahead, but just recently my well ran dry. My focus on other priorities had eaten into my writing time.
Instead of panicking to pull together content for my typical Mon-Wed-Fri schedule, I decided to fall silent. I decided to use the time to gain perspective and wait until I was ready to restart the engines.
Here’s what I learned.
My blogging break reminded me that this blog doesn’t run my life.
It’s easy to get caught up in the status quo and forget that the processes and routines that we set up in our lives are there to serve us. Sometimes I get out of sorts with blogging. It becomes a requirement rather than a tool.
For me, blogging allows me to thoughtfully digest my life and process information. It also allows me to articulate what I’m thinking and get clear about what’s going on.
It also allows me to put myself out there and stretch my limits. It gives me a platform to reach others.
This break reminded me of that reality. It taught me that it’s OK to miss a week. My blog is not a chore to make my life miserable. It’s a tool to make my life richer.
It gave me an opportunity to think in new ways.
Blogging helps me process and think, but when it becomes a chore, it can steal time from the real thinking I should be doing.
One of my favorite times to write is when I’m on a plane. As my backlog of content reached empty, I found myself on a plane ride home from Australia. I was faced with a choice.
My first choice, and frankly, the comfortable preference, was to use the time to blog. I had also committed to writing a training course on strategic thinking. I chose to follow through on my commitment and I wrote the entire training on that plane ride.
The 17 hours that I reclaimed from blogging enabled me to do some in-depth thinking. It allowed me to put together a thoughtful course that truly made a difference in others’ lives. It helped me to articulate something I’m passionate about in a deeper way. A blog never would have had me go that far into depth.