What If I Stopped Blogging? (The Value Of Me Time)
Morning/Afternoon/Evening, Sock Heads,
Today’s post will be a bit different and hopefully y’all can feel where I’m coming from. See, I’ve had a lot on my mind these past few weeks and I just haven’t been myself. I’ve felt in a rut, stuck and uninspired.
If you’ve paid attention to recent posts like “Could You Die From a Lack of Sleep? (A Living Nightmare),” “Do You Feel Underappreciated? (I Dunno)” and “How Will You Be Remembered? (My Life After Death)" you may have got the sense that something was up.
Or, maybe not.
Whatever the case I’ve just felt under pressure lately. Like I’m constantly being pulled in different directions and not going where I want to go. I make myself too available to people and have just been too damn reliable. So I needed a moment to myself.
So I stopped.
On a Wednesday.
I had too much on my plate and mind, and couldn’t muster the energy to write or edit a piece of erotica.
So I didn’t.
I worked on something that would put some money in my pocket and then went to sleep. I felt good not having this pressure to produce and promote my blog. I felt like I was back in college, where for my last two years I had a day off that was smack dab in the middle of the week. I still had to go to work, but after almost two years straight of blogging I didn’t have to blog.
I awoke in a good mood. I could sleep in and take a long(er) shower. I could take my time and make a hearty breakfast instead of tweets and FaceBook tags.
But when I did log into the Twitterverse I saw a few frantic tweets from readers wondering where their weekly dose of erotica was. Some pondered if something was wrong as if death, illness or tragedy were the only possible reasons for my digital absence.
I typed out a few responses to those that got @ me, before tweeting my general statement for the day: “No #WetWednesdays today. No Regrets. Talk amongst yourselves.”
I closed my laptop. Got dressed. And walked out the door.
I had no regrets. For once my Blackberry wasn’t flooded with a bunch of comment alerts that I painstakingly read each day during my morning and evening commute. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate everyone that contributes to the site’s community and shares their thoughts, because if y’all take the time out of your day to read what I’ve written it’s only right that I do the same and read every single comment. But as the site has grown, that part of the process has become daunting at times.
So I needed a day off.
I’ve spent the last year, 10 months and six days being reliable. Every day like clockwork I delivered a new blog around midnight. I even went on a blog marathon twice, delivering 90 blogs in 30 days in 2008, and 60 blogs in 30 days in 2009. With that said, I painted myself into a corner where people expected me to always be there. Whether I wanted to or not.
Do you know how much pressure that is?
Or, worse yet, how much pressure a perfectionist can put on himself?
Although I know deep down that people won’t abandon me or the blog if I skip a day (or two), it’s still a fear that I have. I pride myself on being reliable, dependable and someone that you can count on. I just don’t want to fail.
You or myself.
Before I started Naked With Socks On I sought the counsel of established blogger Eskay of NahRight and his one word of advice was to always be “consistent.” People can like your writing to death but they need to know that there is something to come back for. I took that advice to heart and ran with it.
For better or for worse.
So here I am one year, 10 months and six days later tired and burnt out.
I need a vacation…
Despite all the flak I got for skipping out on Wet Wednesdays and singlehandedly “ruining” some people’s week, I can’t promise that it won’t happen again.
In the past when I’ve talked about my workaholic nature, readers have said how I need to take more time for myself. All work and no play makes NWSO a dull boy and whatnot.
Well, I think I’ve finally reached that point where I have to listen.
I’m tired of waking up each morning to the sound of an alarm so that I can get to my computer and attend to blog business before eating and heading to work, only to get in front of another computer to do more of the same in the online sphere. Then, when I finally clock out, I hop back on the iron worm to read through emails on my phone before having dinner and jumping back on my laptop to write/edit another blog before my self-imposed midnight deadline.
But it’s what people have come to expect from me. All day Wednesday were comments and tweets from people asking where the day’s blog was. How dare I not deliver. Some people truly thought something was terribly wrong, just because there wasn’t something new to read.
I needed a day off.
Nothing more, nothing less.
I actually wanted to take the rest of the week off, but my workaholic nature wouldn’t let me stay away that long. Still, it felt good to be free of my blogging shackles—at least for a day.
Now, please don’t take any of this as me complaining. I love you guys and I’ve worked too hard to build this brand and community to forsake it like that. My professional career doesn’t afford me the freedom to write what’s in my heart and I’m usually restricted to penning articles about things that either don’t matter to me or are trite at best. But here, I get to write things with substance, that make me laugh or just let me vent, like now.
Although I’ve operated like one, I am not a machine. My fellow bloggers take breaks and step away. Some even have staffs to help carry the load. That’s partly why I’ve made the call to readers and anyone else down for the cause to join team NWSO, because if my plans for this site (and the books I have yet to start) are to truly come to fruition there’s no way I can do it on my own. I can’t count the number of times people hit me up thinking NWSO is comprised of several individuals only to discover it’s just one tired man with an opinion.
Again, I’m not complaining because I did this to myself, but I just needed to get this out. I needed y’all to know where I was mentally. If I continued to write just for writing’s sake like nothing had happened and didn’t keep it real, then I’d be fakin’ the funk and I don’t do phony too well.
I just needed some time to get my thoughts together.
The other day I left work and the weather was wonderful. Rather than rushing to the train station like I normally do to return to my bat cave to craft another blog I took the scenic route and strolled the streets of Manhattan for a bit. It was during that walk that I decided things would have to change.
For the most part, my workweeks are dedicated to work—both professional and personal. I don’t hit after work spots for drinks, dinner with friends, parties, events or bar mitzvahs. As soon as the 9-to-5 is done, it’s NWSO time but I’ve decided to call an audible.
From now on if the mood strikes me or someone invites me out during the week—even on a Wet Wednesdays—I’ll go with my gut. Of course finances and deadlines might not make that possible every single time and I don’t plan on abandoning Wet Wednesdays (the ladies would have a riot) but I’m going to give “me time” more time.
The world won’t stop without NWSO but sometimes…
NWSO stops me.
I know some might not be pleased with the possibility of less NWSO, but I hope most of you will understand where I’m coming from. Besides I wouldn’t want to see the quality of my work diluted in the name of quantity.
Don’t worry, I don’t plan on disappearing altogether but just opening up to the idea of more me time and not being a slave to the blogosphere. Sounds good, right?
Oh, and even when I do take a day off you can always get a dose of my inner thoughts on a smaller and more interactive scale on twitter follow @NakedWithSocks.
See y’all tomorrow… Maybe.
Were you upset/shocked when there was no Wet Wednesdays last week? Was your first thought that something had happened to me or was it not that big of a deal to you? How often do you get “me time” for yourself? Are you excited at the idea of me looking to take more “me time?” Are you secretly mad at the idea? Do you feel as if I put too much pressure on myself? Would you be willing to submit guest posts for the site or open to the idea of joining Team NWSO? What are your thoughts on stream of consciousness posts like this? When was your last day off? I need to book a vacation for this summer, where should I go?
Speak your piece…
BONUS: MEET NWSO LIVE IN NYC
Paul Carrick Brunson’s Modern Day Matchmaker Live tour is hitting New York next month and yours truly is on the panel, along with a host of other relationship bloggers and experts. (See flyer for specifics).
I’d love to see you in the building on Thursday, June 3. Not only will it be a great event but I don’t get to interact with my readers that often so why not now.
The venue is Providence, which is located at 311 West 57th Street, NYC. Doors open at 8pm and the show, which will be taped, will run from 8:30 to 10:30. The after party, which will give folks the chance to mingle with the panel, will kickoff right after until 2am.
CLICK HERE to purchase tickets. The tickets are $25 for the panel discussion and $10 for the after party, but NWSO readers will get 20% off the price by entering “NWSO” as your discount code.
It should be fun and I can’t wait to see you there.
For more info, hit the official FaceBook invite or the flyer below.