In The Matrix, when Neo self-actualizes as the One, the world slows down around him. It's a popular "power" in video games these days, this bullet time effect.
My experience the last two weeks has been the opposite of bullet time. The world seems to have sped up all around me, and I'm still trying to catch up. I've been pulled back and forth from East coast to West coast, had a few big decisions drop into my lap, and been buried under some urgent, late-breaking deadlines. I'm just now starting to come to grips with some major life changes in the offing.
It's starting to take its toll. I locked my friends out of their apartment the other day when I locked the lock they told me not to lock. A few nights ago, I left a tie out to pack the next morning. It sat on that dresser all weekend. My shower had no hot water this morning, a cruel reality that set in slowly, as I stood there au naturel in the shower, my toe held under a stream of cold water like a war prisoner under interrogation. A nasty cold took hold of me somewhere in LA and is in the process of pummeling my immune system, and my body clock has just gone tilt.
All the recent chaos has accelerated the onset of a long-planned hiatus from writing here. I'm not sure how long it will last, but at least a month, one in which I'll be traveling anyway. I considered letting a few people guest blog here for a while, but only for a moment. Having a guest blogger seems as satisfying as going to one of your favorite French restaurants and finding out the chef has been replaced with the chef from the sushi restaurant next door. That's an alternative, not a substitute.
Maintaining a blog can be rewarding. I enjoy hearing from old friends or perfect strangers who stumble across my website while Googling something else, and keeping a rough sequential history of one's thoughts can prove useful (I recently used my weblog to recall when I'd purchased a printer, helping me to complete a warranty claim). When I first started writing here, it was mostly for an audience of far-flung family members, but over the years, the majority of my readers became a silent audience of mostly strangers, and that in turn caused me to shift my tone from that of a personal journal to one of sharing my preoccupations.
Tending to a blog can also be a massive distraction and time-suck (as more than one person has pointed out). I check my traffic stats about once a month, for the most part to make sure I don't go over my bandwidth allotment, but it's fairly clear that frequency of posts and frequency of visits are strongly correlated. The months my traffic takes a big leap forward are always the ones with the most posts. It makes sense. The only sites I visit daily are ones that offer new posts consistently. All others are rendered to my newsreader or neglected for weeks at a time.
The correlation between post frequency and traffic volume can come to feel like a burden, which is silly. But more than that, the last few months, even weeks, I've hit a rut. My mind has rebelled against the off-the-cuff nature of the blog writing, and many posts that I would've tossed up in the past without hesitation have been left in draft form, failing to pass the scrutiny of some phantom editor. Life has been busier, and so site updates have fallen further and further down the priority list.
More than one writer has discussed the conflict between blog writing and their other creative endeavors like fiction writing. Count me a believer, and not just because of inherent conflict in free time. As I have some other types of writing I want to spend time on the next several months, this is a good time to make the break. With a fair amount of travel in my immediate future, I may still use this site as a travelogue, so those of you who enjoy the occasional pic or travel story might wish to poke your head in every now and then (or take a peek at my Flickr photostream). I have no idea if I'll have decent Internet access where I'm headed, but I do tend to fall back on my weblog as a place to post my travel updates to friends and family, if only because it allows those who could care less about my whereabouts to discreetly self-select out.
Eventually, I'll return here. Brain-dumping here is too much of an outlet for a natural introvert like me to keep my written voice quiet for too long. Until then, thanks for reading. Cheers!