Regroup, Recharge, Realign: Taking a Temporary Blog Sabbatical
For the last few months, I have consistently written a blog each Saturday so that it can launch into people's inboxes by Sunday morning. Last Saturday, I spent about an hour drafting a blog called "How Creating Features at Facebook Shifted My Approach To Life." For those of you who subscribe to this blog via email, you'll know that blog never showed up in your inbox. That's because I never finished the blog. After an hour, something didn't feel right. I wasn't quite sure what the problem was. Did the topic not excite me enough after I started drafting what I'd say? Was I worried about saying something about a previous employer that I shouldn't? Or was I simply burned out from an overly productive week?
Rather than fretting about the root cause of my feeling, I instead gave myself permission to not publish a blog last week. I did not have any other topics in mind, and if I was truly feeling burned out, writing about something else wouldn't help. I spent the weekend feeling guilty, remembering a few people who have told me directly how much they enjoy reading my blog each Sunday. But I knew that I had made the right choice to not put something out that I did not feel good about. And I was confident that I'd get past the slump and back on track this week.
Then along came the Energy Audit. This is an exercise I recommended recently to one of my coaching clients and to a group I'm co-running on Facebook. I figured if I had recommended it to others, I might as well do it for myself.
The exercise is as follows: Take a sheet of paper and draw a line down the middle. On the left side, write down everything in your life that energizes you. People, places, activities, anything you can think of. On the right side, write down everything in your life that currently drains you. Once you have a full list, look at each thing in the right hand column of energy drainers and decide whether it is something you want to transform into an energizer or if it is something that needs to be cut out of your life. For everything you want to transform, write down how you will do that. For everything that you want to cut, write down when and how you will cut it.
One morning this last week, I drew a line in my journal and wrote down everything I could possibly think of: work tasks, relationships/people in my life, extra-curricular activities, the city and house I live in. And when it came to write this blog into one of the columns, I had to be honest with myself. It belongs, for now, in the energy drainer column.
The good news is, I concluded that I want to transform the blog into an energizer rather than cut it from my life. However, at the moment, I am not sure what will turn it into an energizer for me. It may be that a weekly blog is too much work, but that the content can still remain similar to what I've previously written on. It may be that I need to reconsider what I want to be sharing on this blog content-wise. And it may be something else that I haven't even thought of yet.
So I am going to take a few weeks to regroup my thoughts, recharge my energy, and realign this blog towards something that both energizes me and gives good food for thought to readers. I do have some ideas for topics in September and October, so I don't anticipate my hiatus will be too long. Until then, if you have any thoughts or suggestions, I am all ears!