There seem to be a decent number of bloggers who take “blog breaks” or “blog vacations” every now and then, usually to catch up on life and re-focus on why it is they write a blog in the first place. Famed blogger Scoble recently returned from his latest blog vacation, and noted:
See, a good blog is passionate and authoritative. Lately I’ve been going through the motions. Just blogging to keep blogging.
Over the past week I focused on rediscovering myself. What do I like to do? This is my blog. It better be fun. For me. Or else I’ll stop doing it.
I agree – it better be fun for me. Fortunately, I’ve never felt the need to take a blog break, but rather, have been forced to at least twice because of server problems (which we are doing everything possible to prevent from happening again). This last time was the longest period for me without blogging, and so I made a number of observations:
- I realized that one of the main reasons I like posting to my blog is because I am creating content. I like the idea that people are reading what I am writing.
- I also realized that I don’t need my blog to create content. Even though I wasn’t posting to my blog, I could still post pictures at my Flickr account, or bookmark and tag links at del.icio.us.
- I sometimes post things here about my life, or things I have done recently. The reason I do this is so that friends, family and colleagues can easily read my blog and see what I’ve been up to, even if we don’t get the chance to talk. Some of my friends have remarked that as a result, one tends to become cut off from social interaction and thus is harmed. I am pretty confident I have reaffirmed that isn’t the case, as during the blog break, I didn’t talk to anyone more or less than normal (except that I got a lot of IM’s asking when the servers would be back up).
- As much as I like creating content, I think I have found that the main reason this blog exists, the main reason I post to it every day, is that I like to have a “play by play” for my life – for what I am reading and finding interesting, what I am doing, and what I am thinking. What was I doing two weeks ago? It sucks that I wasn’t able to post it to my blog, because now I’ll forget it. I like the idea that if something newsworthy happens tomorrow, I can look back in two years and remember what I thought at the time. That’s pretty powerful stuff to me. For instance, I can look back and see that on August 8th of last year I didn’t post anything, but that was probably because I was busy with my parents, who were in town. How did I remember that? Because I posted on the 7th about going to see The Village with them.
- I figured that if I wasn’t posting, I wouldn’t be reading blogs as much either. In fact, I kept reading as much as normal. Maybe it was because I could tag interesting things at del.icio.us, or maybe it was just that reading and posting to blogs aren’t as linked as I had assumed.
I guess the main observation from my little blog break is that I enjoy maintaining my blog, posting new things, and having others read them. I suppose the true test will come when I take a voluntary blog break, instead of a forced one, but for now, I’m happy to continue blogging.
Read: Robert Scoble