Taking a Break

Posted by Thomas Gideon on 6 May 2016

The time has passed to admit that I am burned out on reading and writing about technology and technology policy.

A few weeks ago, I pruned out some of the noisiest feeds in my news reader, especially Hacker News. This week, I found myself muting or unfollowing accounts on Twitter sharing thoughts and stories on these topics. Increasingly my reading, writing and enthusiasm has shifted away.

My podcast has been very hit or miss since about two years ago. Around that time I went went through some heavy stuff. At first I struggled tried to keep up with the writing and recording, though less regularly. I wrote or spoke more to help me in processing what I was experiencing than for any other reason. More recently I have been learning how better to cope and have been finding more spare time, to once again focus on other things. I tried to use that time and attention to keep the podcast going but that met with mixed results. My most recent podcast episode is now several months old.

I started the podcast out of a desire to better understand the various themes I addressed--technology news, technology policy, the practice and profession of programming. The more I read, wrote and talked about these subjects, the more interested I became. I still care about these subjects, just perhaps not to the same depth as I once did. I am not sure a podcast or a blog are the most valuable tools for exploring them right now.

Writing a story, as an essay or a podcast episode, takes a high activation energy and enough enthusiasm to see it through to a relatively finished product. At least for me, that is how it works. My recent track record shows I haven't found the energy or the will to invest in these outlets. The pruning of my various feeds tells me that I don't even want to spend as much attention on these subjects right now.

For the foreseeable future, I won't be updating here regularly. After more than a decade podcasting here and even longer blogging, I think it is time for a long pause. Maybe it will be indefinite, I honestly don't know yet. I may come back to these projects, I may even post the occasional essay or thought from time to time. It is nice to have a place to do so. I kind of want to keep the door open, for now, but want to be clear that my attention and energies will be invested elsewhere.

Will I still be around the social media sphere? Of course. At this point online sharing in the ways I have been doing is as natural, and in some ways as essential, as breathing. Many of you already know I have had another project going on, Of a Peculiar Character. You can still expect to see my short, weekly off the cuff podcast episodes as part of that site. I am considering what it would mean and take for me to increase my writing volume there too.

I am still reachable through all the means listed on this site. For now you will more likely find me talking about my other passions and focusing on other projects.