Ironic as it may sound, after the post on micro vacations, I report live from quite the opposite – the heart of an extended vacation. Sitting here in beautiful Bali after week long visits to Toronto and Singapore, I find it nearly impossible to focus on writing this next blog post. Before embarking on this journey, I committed to writing my regular twice weekly posts from vacation. The city vibes from Toronto’s TIFF10 and Singapore’s buzzing energy and activities with friends made it easy and natural to keep the schedule for the first 12 days. Even the exhaustion from hours of walking and little sleep did not meddle with the writing schedule. How easy it seemed to change environments, climates and even continents while keeping the blog going strong, I thought! Then I arrived in the paradise that is Bali and an immediate shift in energy and motivation overcame me. I lost all desires to write – or do much of anything except to take in all of Bali!
Here in the paradise of Bali, Mother Nature has taken over, beckoning me to listen, look, and let go of all else. A blue dragonfly hopping about near the pool has me utterly mesmerized by its daily routine, the sounds of time standing still rule over this Balinese jungle, and I want to rejoice in the island’s sweet harmony with nature as much as the wild life and the Balinese people themselves seem to do.
It has taken all of my momentum and discipline to write this post if only to reach out to my readers and blogger friends for some advice.
1. As a Blogger: What do you do when on vacation: Do you post or not to post according to your regular schedule?
2. As a Reader: What keeps you coming back for more – to see regular blog posts all the time or to observe an occasional break followed by a fresh start and renewed energy from a blog?
To answer the first question, I think we need to consider not only what blogging means to each of us but also the nature of our approach to taking time out for ourselves in life. The ideal balance between those two will determine how we approach a strict blogging schedule during time away from life’s ordinary routines, be it for a vacation or other reasons.
For instance, Jean from Virgin Blogger Notes takes regular digital breaks during weekends. When Katie Tallo went away for her vacation, she chose not to post – and she came back more rejuvenated and refreshed than before. Raam Dev who went on his 6-month journey to the furthest possible places away from his US home – India, Vietnam, and Nepal to name a few – would sometimes go days without posting either from lack of internet access or just to soak up all of his present moment experience. When Zeenat from Positive Provocations was moving and going through some life changes, she took a break from posting for a few weeks. I know all of this simply because I really missed their regular postings, energy and presence as part of my daily ritual – and I have no doubt their other readers felt the same. Yet I believe that these bloggers made a decision which best suited their well-being first and foremost at the time. Would this same decision for a digital break, as Jean calls them, serve all of us well during our needs to be away if for just a little while?
To answer the latter question, it takes knowing your readers and subscribers and understanding their expectations from the blog and then taking that into consideration when making your decision. I think you build your readers’ expectations according to your level of responsiveness, be it to comments, emails, questions and social media messages. Perhaps the best goal here would be to clearly communicate with the readers on any changes to the posting schedules in advance.
I used to think I am unconditionally for keeping my posting schedule until the unusual calmness and aura from Bali surprised me. My self-discipline is shaking like a leaf against these winds of supreme calmness and green beauty here and my motivation has all but deserted me. As much as my blogging is about sharing the experience of living a prolific life, sometimes living this lifestyle leaves no instant room for the act of blogging – it takes time, effort, focus, consideration, among other things such as dedication and passion – to write each post and the absence of each takes more away from the whole than should be compromised.
Sometimes, you fall such a victim to your own passions – borderline addiction and obsession cloud your best judgment and you become the opposite of what you advocate in your overall vision. If you sacrifice your own life’s balance and well-being for the sake of the blog, you are no longer living what you preach; you are simply beholden to a self-imposed schedule which serves neither you nor your readers well because once in a while, you need a break even from your most passionate hobbies and beloved responsibilities.
Before I close this post and return to the embrace of Bali for a few more days, I sincerely like to know your thoughts and opinions:
How do you handle your passions when away from home: be it from your blog’s posting schedule or other passions when you are on vacation or away for whatever reason?
Do you think it serves you well to keep the routines behind your passions going strong even when on break so as not to lose momentum?
Or do you believe a clean break from everything serves you best in the long run and allows you to return refreshed and rejuvenated so you can easily fall back into schedule?