It’s considered good form in the perfume blogging world to give your readers a heads-up if you’re going to be away from the computer for a while. This is not that kind of notice. I’m still writing posts; it’s the reading and commenting I’m taking a break from for a month.
The Engineer and I decided about ten years ago to see what would happen if our family took a month-long hiatus from the media we typically consume. The experiment turned out to be a success, so we’ve done it every year since. Basically it means no TV, no internet except to check e-mails, no music for 30 days. It’s a kind of recalibration: we rediscover some of the simpler things like getting outside, reading, playing board games, getting enough sleep, and the highly underrated phenomenon of quiet. After the month is up, we look forward to turning the TV on again and blasting the tunes while dancing in the kitchen, but the aftereffects of the break linger on.
I recognize this all sounds very Brady Bunch, but it works for us. And to be perfectly frank, the first week is always BRUTAL – I’m at that beginning stage where I’m questioning why we’re doing something this moronic and gritting my teeth through the withdrawal. But I know from past experience that this will pass, and the rest of the break will be enjoyable.
This year presented a never-encountered-before dilemma. What about my posts for Beauty on the Outside? Being a group blog, I feel like I’d made a commitment to my fellow writers. Should I stop writing for a full month? After talking about it with The Engineer and the Wild Things, we determined that it was appropriate to continue posting, but my Google Reader would go unopened for a month. (We could have a count-the-jellybeans kind of contest, just for kicks: Just how many unread posts will be in there after 30 days?)
I don’t think my absence in the comment sections will be that obvious, personally. It was only about Christmastime that I decided to move from the lurking fringes of perfume-land and become more involved by actually commenting regularly. However, this break presents me with an opportunity to ponder a question I’ve been grappling with. Namely:
What’s an appropriate balance between reading and commenting on perfume blogs, and writing your own posts?
My Google Reader has grown a great deal since I joined Beauty on the Outside. I understand more how nice it is to have comments on a post, which is why I try to read the blogs of those who comment and respond to their posts. Unfortunately, it seems that lately I spend far more time reading and commenting than I do writing, plus I’m online a lot more than I’m really comfortable with. The irony is that taking a break from the computer will probably result in more posts.
I don’t have an answer yet to this dilemma, but hopefully the hiatus will provide some perspective. Has anyone else struggled with this? What works for you personally? I’d love to hear how other bloggers have found a balance that works for them. And after June 22nd, I’ll follow up with some thoughts.