Even though I’ve been working quite a bit “behind the scenes,” my official online break ended last Friday. This means, logically, that I’m back online.
But I gotta tell you… things will officially be different online for me. I think this will be true after every summer, but this time, it’s actually true.
This has been the first summer work break (I take 4-6 weeks off from the internet every summer) that gave me both unquantifiable clarity and just enough chutzpah to call a spade a spade and own up to what I’ve wanted to do for a long time.
I’m gonna stop blogging for awhile.
Because here’s the thing: it’s been hard for me to write here on the blog for quite awhile. Because I no longer love this place? No. Not at all. Simply because I feel like I’ve said what I’ve needed to say.
There are upwards of 2,000 posts here in the archives, written over the past decade. (That’s a lot of posts.) 99% of them are evergreen—meaning, they’re about timeless topics that remain as relevant today as the day they were written. I still agree with about 72% of them.
“You don’t have to write on the blog, you know,” she said. “Your people don’t need another blog post in their lives. You’ve given them plenty, and the internet is already full of clutter from people writing because they think they’re supposed to be constantly publishing.”
The lightbulb’s glow then brightened a bit more when, instead of filling my usual posting days with guest posts like I usually do on my summer breaks, I simply shared older posts of mine from the archives. And not only did you guys not care, but I’d wager most of you didn’t notice.
Great conversations still happened in our Facebook group, analytics showed that traffic to AoS even went up a bit, and I had more creative energy to work behind the scenes on bigger projects (I’ll show you soon) without having to make sure something new was being published here every Monday.
(Side note: If you’re curious… Aside from 4-6 weeks every summer and 1-2 weeks during the holidays, I’ve written on this site at least weekly since early 2008. Religiously. In the beginning, I personally published 3-4 times a week. After a few years, I published my own writing twice and one contributing writer’s piece weekly. When we switched the podcast to weekly, we did what felt like a huge risk at the time, and went down to me writing just one post a week (gasp! the horror!), producing one podcast episode a week, and a contributor continued to publish once a week.)
The lightbulb finally lit up to full incandescence when the podcast hit record-breaking download numbers this summer, consistently.
Summer is usually a slump for podcasts. But you guys seemed to like what we were doing there.
Here’s what’ll happen
Things are changing. They may not seem too monumental on the receiving end, but on my end, the producing end, it’s all pretty huge.
I’m gonna podcast more. I absolutely love podcasting, and want to devote more energy and focus to making it better. (I also have ideas for a second podcast.) Podcasting has helped me connect to you all in ways I hadn’t imagined. It reminds me of the early days of blogging, in many ways.
I’ll also more deeply focus on book writing. I’m more of a writer than ever before, which is why, yes, it’s a bit ironic I’m quieting the blog a bit. But releasing me from the burden of a tight pub schedule on AoS will free me creatively for more longform pieces.
My writing in At Home? Is what I love to do. I want to dive into more of that, as well as some fiction. I can’t do that well, and constantly publish blog posts, and podcast, and and and.
I’m also devoting more energy to teaching online, both because I love it, and because, quite frankly, it’s a better ROI of my time than publishing blog posts. In full transparency, there are things I’m happy to talk about …if I’m reasonably compensated for it.
This is for two reasons: one, because it’s fair to my family to spend time on things that help keep the lights on at home. And two, because those who want my stuff will benefit, too. My teaching will be tighter, a better use of time, action-oriented, and higher-quality.
Those who know me well know that I’m passionate about creators being fairly paid what they’re worth. I’ve realized for a year now that I haven’t fairly done that for myself. No one benefits from that.
So, these changes come from a mindshift in response to the industry, my own personal wiring, and a love for you all… the community around AoS, The Simple Show, and all the other ways that have brought you here, reading this.
I’m a 4 on the Enneagram, which means authenticity is one of my highest values. I care about honesty and transparency above just about anything else, as well as creative integrity.
Vulnerability is also hard for me, ironically, which is why I think this post is such a long time coming. All this has been on my heart and mind for a year now. But I haven’t had the cahones to do it …till now.
We all benefit when we’re willing to be real with each other. And though I haven’t written anything fake here, per se, it hasn’t been giving me life for awhile. And that’s not fair to you, reader.
(p.s. – Several of you have asked me when I’ll write another State of the Blog Union, since the last one I wrote was a few years ago. Well, if you’d like to dive deeper into the industry side of all this… here you go.)
Here’s how it’ll look
Honestly, this isn’t earth-shattering, hold-the-phone news. There’s a chance you’re reading this and thinking, “Yeah? …So?”
I get it. This shift might show up 90% internally, and except for that whole need to be vulnerable, I second-guessed even publishing my thoughts about all this.
What this means behind the scenes is that we’re hard at work redesigning the site to make it much easier to find older posts. We’ve got a wealth of archives full of great stuff written by lots of people, and it deserves to be read. You deserve to find it easier.
I’ve got a new mini-course—affordably-priced—that’ll break down into 7 projects what I think are the most helpful, foundational tasks for curbing overwhelm. This way, when you come to AoS looking for a life preserver because you feel like you’re drowning in chaos, I can point you to a clear, easy-to-complete, short resource that’s practical (yet still infused with my personality—important for that whole authenticity thing). Enrollment closes Monday, August 7, and there’s room for you!
I’ve re-written and overhauled my flagship course, Upstream Field Guide, and it’s gonna be amaaaaazing. Seriously, you guys—it’s so good, and I’m so thrilled to show it to you. It’ll be ready in September. New name, new content, pretty much new everything. This is the course that’ll help you finally figure out what you’re about, and then how to point your life in that direction. It’s life coaching, only cheaper and you get to keep it forever.
The Simple Show will still publish weekly episodes (new season starts next week!), but with each show notes post, I’ll infuse a bit more of my writing. We’re tweaking the show’s focus ever-so-slightly, and it’s gonna be fantastic. (Plus, new co-host!)
In October, I hope to start writing my next book. Early, early, infantile stages, people.
Since I apparently can’t leave well enough alone, I’m also in the early stages of planning a new potential venture with a dear friend, and if it works out, boy howdy will it be good.
I’ll still be publishing weekly posts here from my contributing writer friends. There are still life-giving things to say, of course.
And? I’ll still be publishing posts here when I have something to say. What a concept, waiting to publish when there’s things to say. Seems so silly, I know, but when regular publishing has been your bread-and-butter for so long, it really is a mental shift.
The thought of posting when I feel like it feels like being awarded a major award, I tell you.
I’m still a writer and a podcaster. But now, it’ll mostly look like writing of the book variety while still podcasting of the weekly variety (with a possible second show, if I don’t explode).
This place isn’t going anywhere. It’ll just look a little different.