September 22, 2014

Cutting Back My Blogging and Other Online Activity

Man thinking on a train journey.
Man thinking on a train journey. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I have been writing Atheist Revolution since February of 2005. In that time, I have had fleeting thoughts of quitting but nothing I'd call serious. I've always had something to say, and I've always found writing to be both enjoyable and therapeutic in the sense that it helps me clarify my thoughts and engage with topics I rarely have the opportunity to discuss with others in real life. I've taken some short breaks from posting, but I always knew I would return. Even though I have had periods of burnout and disillusionment, I've never seriously considered walking away.

Something has changed over the last month or two, and I find myself considering the possibility that the time to wrap things up might be on the horizon. No, I have no plans to end Atheist Revolution just yet. This is not a farewell post by any means. I'm not testing the waters or fishing for people to persuade me to stick around. I'm merely considering the possibility of someday wrapping things up in a way I haven't previously considered.

Why? What happened? What changed? Nothing particularly earth-shattering has happened. The best explanation I can give is that I have gradually come to suspect that the amount of time and energy I devote to writing here (or thinking in advance about what I will write here) might be better applied elsewhere. As beneficial as writing this blog has been for me, I find myself wondering whether investing more of my time in other pursuits might be even more rewarding. It has become increasingly clear to me that I cannot do everything I want to do. The thought, time, and energy I invest here means that less is going into other parts of my life (e.g., my job, my health, all sorts of things I'd like to do that do not involve sitting in front of a computer).

I've always known that I'd walk away from this blog with no regrets if I reached the point where it was no longer fun. It is not my profession; it is a hobby. It is a hobby I have enjoyed very much, but it is still just a hobby. I have not reached the point where it is no longer fun. I still enjoy writing here, and I still find it beneficial. I'm not ready to let go, but I am ready to cut back significantly on the amount of time I spend here.

I have decided to make a more serious effort than I have previously to scale back the frequency with which I post. I've tried to do this before and it never seems to last, but I am convinced that it will be different this time because it has to be different this time. I never had a clear goal before of what I was trying to accomplish; I think I have that now. I was never willing to let myself cut back to the degree I probably needed to cut back; I am willing to do that now. If I fail this time, I'll have to take a serious look at ending the blog. And since I don't want to do that, I have a different sort of motivation than I've had before.

I'll give some more thought to how best to implement my new plan and set some specific goals, but some of the changes you will start to notice right away include:
  • a reduction in the frequency with which new posts appear
  • a less regular posting schedule
  • reduced activity from me on social media
I expect that there will be entire weeks (or even longer periods of time) where things go quiet around here. I am determined to give myself the freedom and flexibility to do this as needed. I'm not doing this because I've given up; I'm doing it because I think it is necessary to keep Atheist Revolution going without continuing to let it cut into my life to the extent that I have been allowing. I am hoping that these changes will make it easier to keep the blog going for the long haul.