If you look at the number of entries I’ve written every month since 2005, there has been a clear decline. While I was averaging almost an entry a day in 2005 and 2006, that dropped to 2-3 entries a month since mid-2007.
This doesn’t bother me. I’ve been lucky to never have lost sight of the purpose of this website. This website is meant for me. Not for you, the reader. For me, the author.
Writing helps me clarify my thoughts. It forces me to learn. It gives me input from a broad audience. It preserves my thoughts. It kills boredom. But nowhere in that list is the need to entertain or enlighten you.
Not that I care less about you, but rather that I care more about me. If I start writing because I need to keep up the pace of output, the quality declines and I stop enjoying it. (This contradicts what I said earlier about Quantity Always Trumps Quality. Well, let me take back the “quality declines” part. If I stop enjoying it, it’s not worth doing.)
So I’ve been taking micro-sabbaticals. Just 3 posts between July – November 2007. No posts in June – July 2008. Whenever I have something to write, or feel like writing, I just go ahead.
It’s very relaxing. I don’t feel the obligation to keep up the readership. In fact, I don’t keep track of the readership, so that helps.
But in fact, while the number of posts has dropped, the average volume of writing hasn’t changed all that much. If you look at the size of writing (I write about 25KB worth a month), except for a blip near end-2007, it hasn’t changed that much. Those blips in the middle were me copying and pasting articles on Classical Ilayaraja, so they don’t really count.
In other words, I spend about as much time as before writing. I write about the same stuff as before. Except that I’m putting in a bit more work into each piece, and it takes longer.
It’s just a different way of doing things. I’m getting more out of building larger pieces than blogging fragmented threads, so I’ve moved that way. And in doing so, I need to take a break every now and then, because you just can’t get some stuff done at a stretch.
That’s fine by me, and I hope you don’t mind. In fact, as Asimov put it, “I’m not too proud to ask a favour. Please don’t mind.”
I’m writing this for two reasons. One is to tell you why you don’t see stuff regularly from me, and to tell you not to expect any regularity. Just subscribe to the RSS feed and we’re all better off.
The other is because I see bloggers abandoning some great blogs. (You know who you are.) I think it’s sort of like earthquakes and forest fires. The pressure to take a break from blogging keeps building up, and unless indulged in, bloggers quit. Something like Guru’s sabbatical is a great idea. It provides the option for the return, and reduces the cost of taking a break.