Last year, when Shaunna and I were interviewing Jena Holliday for the Creative Exponent podcast, Jena mentioned she took the month of January off. Not off in the sense that she didn’t work at all, but off in the sense that she took a break from certain aspects of her work. I remember thinking…wow, you’re really doing that? Good for you. And that thought evolved into…hmmm, can I do that? After giving that option some thought, I realized I could do that. Not only could I, but it would most likely be very beneficial for me and my business in a variety of ways. I decided earlier this year that I would take a break from certain aspects of my work in January. I didn’t know the exact amount of time, but I knew what I needed a break from was sharing online, which has evolved dramatically since I started my blog in 2009.
Not only has sharing online expanded from just writing a single blog post to posting and interacting across multiple platforms, but the amount we see of what everyone else is doing has dramatically increased as well. Instead of checking on a few blogs each day, we’re now seeing a collection of what dozens or hundreds of people are sharing. And, I’m sure many feel the same inner conflict of enjoying the community and inspiration while simultaneously feeling like it’s all just too much to take in on a daily basis.
So, I’m taking a short break from consuming and creating on social media. And, I have to admit that as the time has come to take that planned break, I find it’s a little scary to take more than just a few days off. Maybe that indicates an even greater need to press the pause button.
While I don’t really feel the need to shout from the rooftops that I’m taking some very normal time off, I did want to let my blog readers know for a few practical reasons. First of all, I have been a very faithful blogger for over 12 years and you might think something horrible happened to me if I fall off the online earth for more than a few days without notice! I’ve posted on holidays, while traveling, while recovering from surgery. Not posting for a few weeks would be quite an anomaly. Second, I want you to know that I’m not taking a break because I am burned out or tired of sharing online or anything remotely negative. In fact, it feels like a very positive, healthy, normal thing that I’ve been putting off for way too long because I love what I do. Because I’m almost always bursting with something to share, words to write, and pictures to post. I genuinely enjoy the community and inspiration I find in connecting with people who love the things I love.
Lastly, I hope it will encourage you to take an intentional break if you need one and you can give yourself that gift. Too often, we take breaks for vacations, to visit family, or when we’re sick. It’s much harder to take a break from something just because you feel like it will be good for you. Just so you can do more creating and less consuming. More reading and less scrolling. More analog and less digital. More in-depth and less surface-level. More slow-and-steady and less hustle.
I need to give myself a little time to see how it feels to create in the wings instead of on a stage. As someone who did theatre as my “main thing” from an early age, we were always encouraged to be involved in the crew of a play at least once. We needed to experience the creative process of a production without the spotlight, curtain call, and applause.
So, this is an intentional break with all of those things in mind. A break with the goal of giving myself space to create, plan, play, learn, read, and rest. You know me…I will definitely still be working! It’ll be a time to take classes, read books, visit a new town, work on pet projects, play creatively without any deadlines to meet or posts to prepare. I don’t have to be immediately focusing on productivity or profit.
So, what will I be working on? Well, I’m definitely going to give myself a lot of flexibility, but I mainly see myself working on oil paintings, pattern design for papers and fabrics, a few home projects, planning, organizing, some creative endeavors like knitting mittens, and purposefully establishing some new healthy habits.
Of course, I always plan more than I can fit in. I certainly won’t be bored and I know I will be bursting to share again after this break. I plan to rejoin the online world in 2-3 weeks, depending on if I feel ready to share or am craving a little bit more time off.
If you want some things to read in my absence, there are over 3,500 posts to choose from. Here are some of the most popular post categories…
You can also watch video tutorials on my YouTube Channel.
And, of course, you can read my book, Feels Like Home.
But, maybe you want or need to take a break from the online world as well.
I wish you all the happiest new year and I’ll catch up with you in 2-3 weeks. I’m off to finish a Fairfield Porter study and continue knitting a “practice mitten” as I learn to make Norwegian Selbu mittens…