After a Day Back at Work [en]

[fr] Journal. Retour au travail, découragement, rythme toujours agréablement ralenti, de la vie seul ou à deux. Et des fumeurs.

Demain, j'écris en français, promis.

A day back at work, or a day back home. It hasn’t been easy, to say the least. I’ve been feeling very discouraged by the state of things and the amount I have to accomplish.

What has changed? I still feel slowed down, in a good way. I’m rushing less. Taking more time to do things. Particularly silly things like make food, brush my teeth, go out on the balcony to look at the storm. Retrospectively, I feel like I used to be rushing around to scrape every minute I possibly could and get back to being “productive”. That’s not exactly what I did, of course (gosh, no), but the fact I remember myself like that pre-holiday is an indicator of my level of stress then.

I’m less stressed. I see a slightly larger picture. You can’t spend days in the mountains and stay stuck to your internal screen. A dear friend of mine showed me that, long ago — with the lake, not the mountains. When anxiety goes up, that life seems too hard, and troubles not manageable anymore, go by the lake and look out. Lots of water, and mountains on the other side. It helps gain some perspective.

A bit like this phrase that hit me, and stuck with me, from [Eight Principles](http://eightprinciples.com): “Think about what’s worrying you the most now. A month from now, will it still be important? What about in a year? In ten years? in 100 years — will anybody care?” It helps me not take everything to heart. Everything in my life tends to be a matter of life and death. Dealing with life and death situations from morning to evening is very, very stressful. It takes some effort to remember that these are not life and death situations. They are small problems.

Problems which will not matter much ten years from now, or even a year from now. I’ll have moved on. I always do.

One thing I’ve realized, now that I’m alone with cat again, is how much easier being with somebody makes certain things. Eating, for example. I ate late today. I managed to conjure myself up a nice lunch, but dinner was… well, there wasn’t much in the fridge or cupboards, so I made do with what I could find. When there are two of you, there are two people to think about / provide the impulse for things like shopping, cooking, taking breaks, going to bed, getting dressed.

Alone, it’s all on my shoulders. I have to make all the effort. I have to lead, always, never follow. If I’m hungry, I have to cook — each time. There is no chance for somebody else to say “I’m hungry, let’s make some food” before I’m starving.

It’s a bit (in a positive way) like the mutual encouragement smokers are subject to when there is more than one of them. Being a non-smoker, I’ve often noticed how my smoking friends smoke reasonably little when they’re alone with me, and often more than double when they’re together. Each time one smoker reaches for her pack, the other lights one too. They are not just following their pattern of need/desire, but adding to it that of the other.

Being a social animal has its advantages — saving energy.

Similar Posts:

Here We Are Again [en]

[fr] Journal. L'effet des vacances.

So, here we are again. I’m back with my familiar feeling of not wanting to get up in the morning and crumbling under “too much to do”, and some of them unpleasant things at that.

One of the reasons the mountain works (like the beach, I guess), is that it’s a space where I can’t physically do a great number of these things. Hah! I’m finally understanding the point of going on holiday.

Could I decide that I’m on holiday except for (say) 6 hours a day? I have the impression that would not work. It took me a day or so to “switch off” — more mysteries of the brain to delve in, I guess.

In any case, one benefit of this holiday (even if the “effect” doesn’t last long) is that it’s reset my standard for being “relaxed”. I remember what it feels like, now. And that memory is going to help me not get too carried away into stress and frantic activity.

I’ve decided I was going to back-post these “offline entries” to roughly the moment I wrote them. So, don’t be surprised if you see past posts popping up here and there (I’ve posted those that I wrote during my vacation, so now all you should expect is a night late).

Welcome to my series on trying to figure out some kind of balance in life.

Similar Posts:

Back Online [en]

[fr] Journal. Retour en ligne.

Maybe I’ll get back in the groove of writing at the end of each day. For years, actually, I wrote journals (paper and pen when I was a teenager, then on the computer when I was older). Not these last years, though.

So, since my last message (blog post, actually — funny for me to find myself suddenly having a spurt of journal-like blogging) I checked my e-mail, blog comments, twitter, friendfeed, etc. E-mail contained a few sources of stress (ie, “bad news”) which I’m still not sure what to do about. I noticed that as I was going down to the see the movie (X-Files première!) I was preoccupied. My mind was back on the “worry, solve problems” track.

Back from the movie, I went online again, and chatted a bit with an old friend who happened to be online and want my advice.

Writing offline is different from writing online. Online, I’m in the network, I have access to everything. Offline, I’m alone. Just like when I was a teacher, every now and again I would go and prepare classes or grade tests in my empty classroom rather than the staff room. I like talking, and honestly, given the choice between just about anything and having a chat, I’ll have a chat. So, I guess it’s normal that every now and again I need to isolate myself to do certain things. Nothing bad about that.

Time to sleep now. And try to wake up in my “holiday” mood, even though I have a day of work ahead of me.

Similar Posts:

Back Home [en]

[fr] Retour en plaine.

So, I’m back home. I haven’t turned on the router yet. Arriving in my flat a bit less than two hours ago, I saw myself preparing to leave, frantic, packing late, rushing to do things before my week offline (most of which I did not manage to do). I didn’t want to go on my holiday. If I hadn’t set the dates in advance with a friend, I certainly would have cancelled.

Back here after five days in the mountains, I feel different. I feel slowed down. I realize that I’m taking the time to do things. Unpack my toiletries. Empty my backpack. Take a bath. And I want to sit down and write a bit before I go back online, because I’m not sure what will happen when I will. It’s silly, isn’t it? I’m in charge, so I should decide — but there are different me’s, and it’s not always the one I want which wins.

Online — my office — is a fast-paced world. Spending five days away from my world of too many choices did me a lot of good. Nothing but walk, eat, sleep, read, and sort photos. In discreet but present company.

I can slowly feel it starting — this feeling that I need to quickly do this, quickly do that. But I don’t want to live my life quickly. I want to take the time to enjoy it. Slowly, more slowly.

As I was soaking in my bath a little earlier, I realized that I could enjoy this slowness whenever I wanted. I mean, there is nothing material to prevent me from doing so. Thing is… how do I switch into the mood? That’s the big question.

I’m a bit apprehensive right now. I want to go and check on my office, see what happened while I was away. It’s exciting, in a way. But I’m afraid of getting caught up completely. Where will I start? Do I just jump in? Do I take advantage of my “rested” state of mind (physically exhausted, mind you) to try and do things differently? Plan ahead? Tomorrow is catching up day. Go through e-mail (oh yes) and decide what I need to do next. Deal with emergencies. That’ll be enough for a day.

Online is fast-paced, but it’s also noisy, busy, full of people (and very quiet of course). It’s a busy city. As I’m “always on”, I think my life has become a bit of a “busy city”. So has my flat. Part of why I get sucked up in it has to do with how I deal (badly) with alone-ness. But maybe now that I’ve had a few silent days of walking in the mountains with myself, things will be different.

It’s quiet outside.

Similar Posts:

A couple more days offline [en]

[fr] Encore quelques jours à la montagne, et une réflexion sur l'e-mail.

Oh well — the text I wrote this morning was wiped by a computer crash. Maybe I should use a text editor with autosave.

So, back at the chalet after another day walking. About 4 hours today. 5 yesterday. The day before: raking, sawing, chopping, cutting, carrying branches — in short, transforming the jungle around the chalet into something resembling a garden. So, I’m physically exhausted, but I feel great. My brain on drugs. It must be all those endorphins.

I want to come here more, go walking in the mountains more, spend more time out of the city. I almost found myself wondering what kind of seasonly job I could find here — but it was just idle wondering, I don’t really want to do that. What I have done, though, is opened up iCal and blocked 3-5 days here every month. I wanted to do it before I left, because when I’m here I always want to come back more, but as soon as I go back to “regular life” all the “important things” get in the way.

I’ve been so busy doing physical stuff that my brain has been on hold these last days, which is a really good thing. I’ve tired myself out (went to bed and actually turned the light off before 10pm last night — something I hadn’t done in ages).

My time, when I haven’t been walking or cutting down trees, has been eating, looking at the view, chatting (a little) with the friend who came up here with me, reading, writing (this) and… sorting photos.

I’ve been taking photographs again. I think that one of the reasons I almost completely stopped taking photographs these last six months is that it had started to feel like work. Completely goal-driven, get the photos online, publish fast, sort, title, tag, sets, collections… I’ve known for a long time that one of my problems in life is that I’m too goal-driven. I don’t put enough energy into enjoying the process. Singing and judo are two process-driven activities I enjoy. But maybe I need more. And maybe I need to move most of my activities towards “less goal, more process”. Hmmm, maybe painting.

Being without e-mail has turned out to be easy. I had not decided beforehand if I would use my phone to access e-mail, chat and tweet while I was up here. I told everybody I would be completely offline, but I knew I had the possibility to “break the fast” if I wanted to. I think the first step was the most difficult one: the first evening here, I was tempted to check my e-mail, and almost did, actually. I think what kept me from doing it was that I had company. I could feel that the short moments when I was alone, I would reach for my phone and think about having a peek at my e-mail. But I didn’t. And right now, there’s no point. I mean, there is a pile of it anyway, and I’ll have to sift through it anyway.

I’m quite happy with how things have gone. In final, I’ve succeeded in taking my mind almost completely off my professional and personal worries, and when I think of them right now, typing away on the balcony with the mountains in front if me, they seem much more bearable. I guess that’s what holidays are for.

On the topic of e-mail, I have a theory about why it’s the first step that costs, and once you’ve gone without e-mail for a day, it’s easier with each day that passes (well, more or less). One book that I’ve been reading during my idle moments up here is Fooled by Randomness. At one point, Taleb explains how checking stock prices many times a day exposes one to the many ups and downs of random fluctuations. Lots of ups and lots of downs.

He also notes the psychological impact: if one is happy when the stock price goes up, one is unhappy when it goes down — but more unhappy. This is something I read about in The Paradox of Choice: losing 20$ makes you more unhappy than winning 20$ makes you happy. What this means, in Taleb’s example of constant exposure to random fluctuations, is that if the stock price at the end of the day is roughly the same as at the beginning, one’s psychological state, however, will not. All those “downs” take their toll, and the whole experience ends up making one more depressed or anxious.

Now, back to e-mail. For me, clearly, there is a “reward” factor in checking e-mail. We’re all familiar (I hope) with the intermittent reward reinforcement phenomenon which plays a part in how we train ourselves to check our e-mail more and more often. Good news, exciting news, a message from a friend we haven’t heard of in some time, a prospective client… all those are “reward” e-mails, “ups”. And then the downs: problems or simply… no interesting news.

So, imagine you check your e-mail 50 times a day, but you get about 10 “exciting” e-mails. That’s 10 ups for 40 downs. Now, imagine you check your e-mail 5 times a day. Even if your exciting e-mails aren’t spread out evenly during the day, there is a chance you might only experience one “down” (no news) e-mail check.

Should this argument be used to support the “check your e-mail twice a day” technique? I have a problem with that. E-mail is a rather high priority communication channel. Less than the phone or IM, though. I tend to deal with most e-mail either immediately (if it doesn’t require much processing or action), or within a few days. So… I’m not sure.

I do, however, think that this explains why it’s not very difficult to go another day without checking e-mail: I know that the next time I check it, there will be exciting news in it. And I don’t have the pressure of hoping to compensate for a series of “downs” due to checking it every five minutes on my cellphone for the last hour (particularly on a Sunday).

I also know that since I turned off Google Notifier for my e-mail, and put Gmail in a separate OSX Space, I’ve been checking my e-mail way less often (when I think of it, rather than when it thinks of me) and I’m much happier like that. I guess that if people send me an e-mail they need me to look at now, they can send me a tweet or an IM to tell me. (Assuming they’re Twitter- and IM-enabled, of course. But then, the people who aren’t probably don’t expect me to respond to their e-mail within an hour.)

This entry was back-posted upon my return online.

Similar Posts:

Second day offline [en]

[fr] Deuxième jour de vacances à la montagne hors-ligne.

My legs hurt. So do my feet. And my bum. We walked about 4.5 hours today. Not bad for two out-of-shape girls. The first bit was the steepest (quite steep actually) — about 45 minutes to the top of Chaux Ronde (I understood yesterday that there are two mountains around here called that, so this was the one with the cross). We sat at the top and just looked at all the mountains around us. A few yellow butterflies kept hovering around us and I got some photographs.

Bagha is settling down, after an encounter with his local “twin” (I got a photo with both the cats last time I came up here, about a year ago — even I mistake the other one for Bagha if I’m not careful). He’s not very enthusiastic about going out — quite out of character for him. But then, this isn’t his territory.

I’ve been completely offline today, except for a few TwitPics (wanting to make my offline friends jealous). A work phone came in and almost got me “worrying” about how to deal with it, but I quickly decided to put it out of my mind and deal with it when I came back to work.

It’s hard keeping my mind in “holiday-mood”. Well, not very hard actually, but every now and again I think about all I haven’t done for Going Solo and feel a surge of panic. Oh well. What’s not done isn’t done, and it will work out even so. I’ll be late for certain things, but hey, worse things have happened.

What’s important is that I’m realising how much I love being up in the mountains and the woods (we had both today). I’ve been in town way too long. I’ve been spending too much time in cities. I grew up in a house bordering the forest. After school fun was outdoors, playing with a few kids in the neighbourhood, but also flying my kite in the fields, howling like a dog wearing my home-made yellow cape at the top of our drive (and listening in delight at all the dogs answering me), running in the forest and building (rather unsuccessful) tree-houses.

Family week-ends and holidays were skiing in winter, of course, and in summer, walking in the mountains, sailing, or camping all over Europe (well, not always camping, and not quite all over Europe, but that kind of holidays — not hotels on the beach or city-life).

I spent an important part of my late teens with the scouts, making fires in the woods, camping, walking — again.

I love living in town. When I left my parents’ home at 22, I wanted to live in the city, near the centre. To be close to everything, instead of 15 minutes on foot from the closest bus stop. To be able to invite people over easily. It was great to be so close to everything, and I still love it, though when I came back from India, I moved to a more quiet and green part of town (still just 5 minutes from the centre by bus).

But somewhere along the way, I stopped going out of town. Once I had my own life (and wasn’t just following around my parents’) all my activities became more and more city-centric.

Over the last years, I’ve felt a need to get out a bit more. I ask my Dad to go sailing a few times a year. I keep telling myself I want to find some friends to go walking with in the mountains, like I used to do when I was a kid. And most of all, I remember that I own part of this chalet I’m staying in now, and that I hardly ever go there.

There are some family-luggage issues around it, of course. But my excuse is usually that it’s “too complicated”, specially now that I don’t have a car. Actually, as I experienced this time, it isn’t too bad. First of all, it’s one of the rare places I can take Bagha with me. Leaving Bagha behind when I travel is always difficult, particularly now that his health isn’t as good as it used to be, between FIV and old age. It’s 90 minutes by train from Lausanne, and with a taxi to the station it honestly isn’t much of a hassle.

There is also the fact that as I don’t come regularly, the chalet itself is not practical for me. If I came more often, I’d leave stuff here (or acquire it) to make coming here easier. Stuff as stupid as bedsheets (I have plenty at home) so I don’t need to bring back the “common” ones, wash them, and worry about how they are going to get back up to the chalet.

We’re hiring somebody to come and cut the grass (the garden is a real jungle, and it’s our turn this year to deal with the grass) and my brother is coming up tomorrow, so we’ll be spending the day armed with various tools to reduce the amount of greenery which is literally swallowing up the chalet. I looked at the garden with an owners eye for the first time, maybe (OK, co-owner). “If it was up to me, I’d knock some of those trees down.”

As we were walking down from Taveyanne to Villars, and I was realising I needed “more of this”, I made up a plan: come to the chalet for an extended week-end (3-5 days) every three weeks or so. Book in advance. Find a friend to come with me and go walking. I’ve half a mind to come back on the 9th of August: they’re calling out for voluntary help to remove bushes and saplings from Taveyanne on that day, to keep the forest from taking over the “pâturage” (no clue what that’s called in English).

A day of physical work, completely away from what my professional life is.

On the way up here, the friend who came with me was telling me she’d taken up cross-stitch (she started doing it to keep herself busy during the ads while watching TV). I thought of Suw and her lace and jewellery again, and the penny dropped. I need some kind of creative activity that does not involve words. Painting, maybe. I’m crap at it, of course, but I always enjoyed painting when we had to do it at school during art class. Mixing colours, putting them on paper. I wanted to buy a box of paint when we went grocery shopping, but unfortunately they didn’t have any.

Gosh, that’s a lot of writing for a day offline. I took lots of close-up photos of flowers — I’m looking forward to seeing them on the computer screen. But not today: I’m dead, and the grass guy is showing up tomorrow at 8am.

This entry was back-posted upon my return online.

Similar Posts:

First day offline [en]

[fr] Premier jour de vacances hors-ligne.

It’s not exactly a first day, because I was online this morning until 10am while I got ready. It was hard leaving and getting ready, because I was behind on a lot of things I wanted to get going before I left. But, oh well, the world will just have to continue without that.

I sent a couple of photographs through TwitPic. Been tempted to tweet another thing or two: for example, the idea that in the future, one will marvel not so much at what is possible — application-wise — online, in a web-based environment for example, but at what is possible with a computer disconnected from the network; a computer will be primarily defined by its connection to the network. This is a follow-up on my ongoing thought these days that the important invention/revolution is less the home computer than the internet. Yes, the home computer is important because it allowed the internet we know today — but the real revolution is the internet.

I’ve been tempted to check my e-mail tonight a couple of times, but thankfully my friend came back to the table fast enough to stop me short. I’ve decided not to check it tonight, so that I sleep without the excitement of good or bad news that my mail might contain. I haven’t decided yet if I would abstain completely from e-mail, chat and Twitter (which all work on my phone). I guess I will, mostly. It’s kind of fun.

This entry was back-posted upon my return online.

Similar Posts:

This is an Experiment [en]

[fr] Ceci est une expérience.

About Visibility [en]

[fr] Vous connaissez certainement des personnes qui excellent dans l'art de se mettre en avant ou de promouvoir ce qu'elle font. S'il est bon de savoir le faire, une réputation qui repose principalement sur des compétences marketing/vente plutôt que sur ce que l'on produit réellement, ça ne force pas tellement le respect. S'il n'y a aucun mal à utiliser de temps en temps des "tactiques marketing" pour se mettre en avant, et faciliter de façon générale la diffusion de ce que l'on fait/écrit, gare à l'excès. Si l'on se cantonne à "jouer avec le système", on n'est au final qu'une coquille vide avec une grande gueule.

Here’s another post I wrote offline while waiting at the cinema. I was going to post it tomorrow but I just bumped into this blog post by Seth Godin which is on a very similar topic (and way better than mine). So… I’m posting it now, and will go to bed a bit later!

Quite a few months ago I came upon a blog post explaining how to become a successful blogger. How to become “known” amongst the blogging crowd. It had some good advice, but it bothered me. And it’s only a few weeks ago that I understood why.

I’ve tried to dig out this post again, but (ironically?) I can’t make it surface. It was of the “x ways to …” type, “here’s how I did it”, “you can do it too” type.

See, as in the real, offline world, there are two things: the product, and marketing it. Of course, they aren’t really that separate, but please bear with the simplification for the sake of the argument. For a blogger, it comes down to what you actually blog about/do, and how you promote yourself/what you do.

As somebody who’s pretty bad at self-promotion overall (not hopeless, but not a natural by far), I’m pretty sensitive to those who are better at it than me, in a sometimes “jealous” kind of way. I hate to say it, but I sometimes resent it. Some people come across as “noisy empty shells” — good at marketing themselves and putting themselves forward, but not much behind when you start to dig a bit.

Now, some lucky (and talented) people both have something to say, and have got the “self-promotion” bit figured out. And I have no problem with that.

Back to the blog post I was mentioning: what made me uneasy was that I used some of the techniques described there myself. Was I dirty?

And now, I figured it out. There’s nothing wrong with using “tried and tested” techniques to drive traffic to your blog, get people to link to your entries or comment on them, or basically, to put your stuff out there.

However, if that’s all your online reputation is built on, you’re just an empty shell with a loud mouth. If you’re “being good at promoting yourself” and use it to give yourself a boost every now and again, I don’t have a problem with that.

Here’s what it comes down to, because, in the end, this is about my opinion on something and the advice I’d give to those who are interested in it. I’ll respect you more if your reputation is built on your content and actual doings than if it’s built on you making use of every possible technique to maximise visibility of what you do.

Similar Posts:

I Need to Blog More [en]

It’s been nagging at the back of my mind. Since before Going Solo Lausanne, actually — when I got so absorbed with the conference preparation that CTTS hardly saw 6 posts over the space of 4 weeks.

I need to blog more.

It became clear this morning, as a chat with [Suw](http://strange.corante.com/) led to a [long blog post in French](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2008/07/20/reflexions-freelance/) that I’d been putting off for… weeks, to be generous.

This isn’t the first time (by far) in my blogging career that I’ve been through a “dry” patch, and then one day realised that I had to get into the groove again. Life is cyclic. It’s not a stable line or curve that heads up and up or, God forbid, down and down. It’s ups and downs. Some days are better than others, some weeks are better than others. It’s the low moments in life that also make you enjoy the high ones (though I wouldn’t want you to think I’m advocating heading for “lows” just so you might have post-low “highs” — lows are just part of the colour of life, like the highs).

Some people have higher highs than others, and lower lows. Some people have more highs, some have more lows. We’re not equal — and in the matter of happiness in particular, I remember Alexander Kjerulf saying at Reboot last year that roughly 50% of our “happiness potential” is genetically determined.

So, pardon me the digression on the highs and lows, a topic that’s been on my mind a lot lately due to my own ups and [downs](http://www.bcwomens.ca/Services/HealthServices/ReproductiveMentalHealth/MentalHealth/PMSPMDD.htm). Back to blogging.

With the [supposed return of the tired “blogging is dead” meme](http://www.gapingvoid.com/Moveable_Type/archives/004603.html), which we long-time bloggers have seen poking its silly head up every year or two, oh, “blogging is so yesterday”, I once again sit down and wonder at what’s kept me going for over [eight years](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2008/07/13/eighth-blogversary/) now.

I know part of the answer: I’ve never been in the arms race — or at least, never very long. Arms race to first post, arms race to breaking news, arms race to most comments, arms race to more visitors, more visitors, yes, ad revenue, monetize, recognize. Oh, I want my share of recognition and limelight — I won’t pretend I’m above all that — and there are times when I feel a bit bitter when I feel I’m not getting as much attention as others who have louder mouths but not necessarily better things to say. What can I say: I’m only human, and I think one constant you’ll find amongst bloggers is that each in our own way, we’re all after some form or other of recognition. Some more badly than others, yes.

So, I need to blog more.

One of the things blogging did for me, many years ago, was put me in touch with other people who shared similar interests to mine. That is one thing blogging does well, and that it always will do.

It also provided a space for me to express myself in writing — forgive me for stating the obvious. I’ve always written, always had things to write, and blogging for me was a chance to really dive into it (actually, before that — this website existed before I signed up for a Blogger.com account many years ago).

Writing helps me think. Even though it may sound a bit lame to say so, it’s something I do that feels meaningful to me. It’s not something that puts money in the bank account (one of my important and ongoing preoccupations these days, to be honest), but it’s something that connects me to myself and to others.

Organising a conference as a one-woman endeavour can feel extremely isolating, even with a large network of advisors and supporters. But more than that, I’ve been a freelancer for two whole years now: working from home most of the time, travelling a lot, getting more and more involved in personal and professional relationships outside my hometown, and often in completely different timezones.

I don’t really have any colleagues I see regularly anymore. My client relationships are usually short-lived, given the nature of my work (lots of speaking engagements). I haven’t really had any clients in the last year that I saw regularly enough to build some kind of meaningful relationship with.

It’s not without a reason that I’ve become increasingly interested in [coworking](http://blog.coworking.info/), to the extent that I’m now working at setting up a space in the very building I’m living in (quite a coincidence actually, but a nice one for me, given I like typing away with [my cat](http://flickr.com/photos/bunny/collections/72157600210295068/) purring next to me).

What does this have to do with blogging more?

My feeling of isolation isn’t only offline. It’s online too. It feels that I’ve been spending so much time “working” (ie, preparing conferences or worrying about how to earn some money) that I’ve taken a back seat in my online presence. It’s time I started driving again.

I don’t mean that in the sense “agressively fight for a place in front of the scene”. I’ve never been an A-lister and probably never will be. I just want to go back to writing more about stuff I find interesting. Hopefully, not only long rambling soul-searching posts like this one 😉

Twitter, FriendFeed, Tumblr, Feedly, Facebook and Seesmic are changing my life online. I haven’t finished figuring out in what way. But what I know is that my online ecosystem, particularly around my blog, is not what it was three years ago. I am in no way rejecting these “newer” tools in my life, but I do feel at times like I’ve been neglecting my first love.

My blog is also where I give. Over the course of my blogging career, I’ve writen posts which are still helpful or inspiring to those who read them, years after. The more you give, the more you get. Well, maye one reason I feel things are drying up a bit around me is that I’ve stopped giving as much as I used to. Oh, I know it’s not magical. I don’t believe in “balance of the universe” or anything. I do believe in human relationships and psychology, though. If you care about other people, there are more chances that they’ll care about you. That’s what makes us social animals.

Part of it, over the last years, has been the challenge of transitioning from passionate hobbyist to professional. Suddenly my online world/activities are not just where I give freely, but also where I try to earn a living. Such a transition is not easy. And I haven’t found any handbooks lying around.

I’m going to stop here, because I think that this post has already reached the limits of what even a faithful reader of friend can be expected to be subjected to without complaining.

To sum it up: for a variety of reasons I’ve tried to explore in this post, I want to blog more than I have these past months. I think it’ll make me feel better. Blogging is something I enjoy, and if the way I’m doing things doesn’t leave me time for that, then something is wrong with the way I’m doing things. I became a freelancer in this industry because I was passionate about blogging and all the “online stuff” hovering around it — and wanted to do more of it. Not less.

Similar Posts: