An impromptu hiatus

Over the last month I have taken an impromptu hiatus from writing in this blog. This is not entirely unprecedented—earlier this year I went nearly three weeks between posts, in 2020 I went almost a month, and in 2019 there was an entire calendar month in which I did not post—but certainly it is an outlier. For context, I have averaged roughly six posts of roughly seven hundred words each month since 2012.

My writing in the first half of the year continued in the trajectory I had been on for the last years, with sometimes fewer total posts but substantially more words in each post.

On the one hand, taking a hiatus isn’t an actual problem. I aim to post at least once a week because I like writing regularly and writing here creates a positive feedback loop for my other writing, but this is also a personal blog. I am neither writing here as part of my scholarly oeuvre nor a columnist with an editorial schedule to meet. There is also a reasonable argument that taking a summer hiatus more often, perhaps with a sprinkling of flower and pet pictures, would be a healthy addition to my routines, given how worn out I felt most of this summer.

On the other hand, this particular hiatus has weighed on me because it was brought on by how I felt about writing overall rather than a byproduct of being particularly busy or a deliberate choice to recharge. In fact, the last post to go up here explored these issues in an attempt to escape this funk. At the same time, I ended up teaching a summer class on short notice, which took up a lot of time and gave me cover to avoid writing.

I wish I could say that I am coming back from this hiatus refreshed and recharged, but the truth is that the looming start of the new semester has allowed me to fall back into old routines like rusted and cobwebbed gears slowly grinding into motion once more. In any case, the machinery creaking back to life should result in somewhat more activity here over the next few months and I expect that just getting back to the regular practice of writing will help me break free from what has been plaguing me over the past two months.

Now, enjoy some flowers.

White wildflowers from our garden.

Programming Update, September 2019

The summer heat hasn’t broken Missouri just yet, but the semester is fully underway––and rapidly closing in on the halfway point. I have managed to stay one step ahead of all of my responsibilities to this point, but the week that just ended drove home to me just how little downtime I have allotted myself, particularly after accounting for maintaining personal relationships.

What this means for this blog is that posts are going to be intermittent for at least the next few months. Whatever “spare” time I have for writing needs to be spun toward my academic work, at least to the extent that I have the brainpower for it.

This is not a total blackout. I have a few thoughts about the handful of books I have managed to read this month, perhaps for a quick-hit post, as well as a “what is making me happy” post I want to have up this weekend, and there is always a chance that inspiration will strike. Rather, I am relieving myself of the anxiety that comes with the feeling that I need to write, ironically in the hope that it will help the words flow.