... this morning. I'm in a bit of a quandary, and would love to hear the wisdom and experience of readers of The Buddha Diaries--most of whom, I assume, are fellow-bloggers.
Here's the context: I need to take a vacation. I started blogging shortly after the November, 2004 presidential election. I was in shock and disbelief that the American electorate had "re-elected" (I still don't believe Ohio) the current occupant of the White House, and wanted to "do something." Writing is the only thing I know how to do, and I fell into the blogosphere like Alice through the looking-glass. I started with The Bush Diaries, and when I tired of waking up with that man in bed with me every morning, I switched to The Buddha Diaries. Altogether, it has been nearly four years of almost daily entries.
And now I worry about taking a vacation. In part, it's the old, irrational writer's problem that I'm sure many of us are familiar with: if I don't get up and write this morning, will I ever be able to do it again? Will I lose motivation and momentum? Will I lose my thread? It's that compulsion, that fear, that insecurity about doing something so totally beyond the norms of profession and career, so much about the inner rather than the outer necessities. I recognize all that and live with it. You can't help me there.
The other part has to do with blogging, and there you might well have wisdom and experience that could be valuable, if you'd be willing to share it. My concern is about the momentum of the blog itself. I have been fortunate in putting together a wonderful readership over the years, and have this superstitious feeling that unless I continue to up the ante on a daily basis, I risk losing the interest and support of you good people out-there.
So here's my question: what's your experience of taking a long-ish vacation? I'm talking three-four weeks. As I've mentioned here before, Ellie and I are taking a road trip up north with George the dog, while work continues on our cottage down here in Laguna Beach. I'll likely be writing along the way--I'm thinking something along the lines of "On the Road with George." (John Steinbeck did something similar with Charley: I have his book on order from the library.) But I think I want to relieve myself of that sense of daily necessity, which those who follow The Buddha Diaries will know about from past travels, when I have dutifully made my entries every day that I find access to the Internet. I want, in a way, to liberate myself, to wake up in the morning and, er... lie in bed. Listen to the birds. Without needing to gather thoughts to punch into my laptop.
What's your experience? Did your readership lag? How did you set about building the blog again, on your return? Was it hard to get back? I'd love to know...