21 months old.
That’s how old my “I’ll write a new article every Sunday” promise is.
It’s also how many moms refer to their toddler’s age for a reason beyond my comprehension.
When I started writing every Sunday more than a year and a half ago, I had my reasons.
I’ve talked about my what-s, when-s, who-s, and why-s in-depth, frequently, openly, publicly.
It’s only fair that I talk as openly now that I’m deciding to stop this experiment.
There are a few reasons I’ve decided to stop writing every week.
This is a screenshot from my time tracker, Toggl, showing the time I’ve spent writing for The Inner Dolphin in the last 90 days.
Time and I are in a healthy, lovely relationship. Time is a trippy concept that I think and write about often. I’ve dedicated an entire writing category to time.
I respect and pay attention to time. “Busy” is part of my dictionary, but I have my priorities straight. I “control” time rather than let it control me.
“According to the Newtonian paradigm, there’s a finite amount of time (“It’s exactly the same problem we would have if we assumed there was a scarcity of food. We’d always be hungry, and we’d always be afraid there wasn’t enough food available.”)The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level, Gay Hendricks
In Einstein Time, you are the source of time.”
I’ve spent 2 hours on average *editing not included* on every article from the last 3 months.
Time and time again, it’s been difficult to make (see how I said “make” instead of “find”) time to write for as long as I’d like.
This is not good or bad per se. I’ve had things to do. I’ve prioritized accordingly, still never missing a week despite how hectic things got. Reader, they got hectic, including an increasingly demanding work schedule, travel, a life-threatening health condition, and moving.
At this moment in my life, I would like to spend more time writing, which implies longer, less frequent articles.
I’m fine with this.
Exploring correlation between quality and frequency
2 weeks ago, I said that there’s something inherently sad about writing a new article weekly.
“While doing something frequently increases the chances of you becoming better at it, it also massively increases the likelihood that some of the times you’ll do the thing will suck, big time.
Having to face the fact that something you wrote sucks is difficult enough. Throw in the weekly deadline, and you’re in for a wiiild ride.
…But being able to say “I’ve written about _____” about so many topics brings me immeasurable joy. This joy beats the feeling of impending doom that surrounds the “Publish” button weekly by a long shot.”
This is still true.
Still, at this point in my life, I’m exploring the correlation between publication frequency and quality. I’m proud of the things I’ve written. I also have the feeling that I don’t need time constraints anymore. Maybe at this point, they’re more harmful than helpful.
Nothing is set in stone, I’m just considering all my possibilities.
I do not intend on disappearing from the internet as Jenna Marbles did after ending her successful decade-long YouTube career.
Far from it.
I’m relatively new to this “online creator” thing and still quite excited, potentially naive about how many readers I can reach and the type of community I’ll be able to keep building.
But because I have these big goals, I’m also eager to try new mediums, deliveries, and ways of expressing myself while staying the same self whose musings you’ve grown to enjoy and look forward to every Sunday.
Proved I can do it
I’m not big on revenge or doing things out of spite, but I am quite ambitious and persistent when it comes to promises I make my own damn self.
On February 23, 2020, I said I would write and publish a new article every week.
1200 people were there to witness it. Since then, my Instagram followers have doubled and the number of my readers has reached almost 12X that number (14,449 people have read my articles 23,745 times!!!), but still, the main person I wanted to impress and make proud was… myself.
I said I would. I did. For 21 months! This makes my heart all warm inside.
If you’ve been here for a while, you may remember that I wrote about the concept of “enough” and why one of my favorite writers, who coincidentally also wrote a new article every Sunday, was quitting his Sunday dispatches.
“Why did Paul Jarvis decide to bring his beautiful, change-making, successful endeavor to an end?
I read the email and listened to his Q&A, where he explained further.
Because he’d written it for eight years. He was running out of topics that he felt needed to be said in a Sunday Dispatch email. Because he wanted to focus on his privacy-focused analytics company Fathom, because it was enough.
Because it was enough.
Enough turns into that fine bottle of wine you’re planning to open for the right occasion, but never do.
You know when you’re on a road trip, and an uncomfortable piece of clothing you’re wearing, or your car sickness, or a burning desire to pee is keeping you from enjoying the conversation, the view, the journey, but you think to yourself, “we’re almost there, I might as well wait”?
That’s us on our quest for more, more, more, but the car never stops, and we remain in the seat, feeling uncomfortable, waiting to arrive at our destination any moment now, as the wheels roll and as we pass all the beautiful sceneries and milestones, waiting for it to feel suddenly enough.
Unless we clearly define what enough looks like for us, we’ll manually send our Sunday Dispatches successful email forever, even though there’s not much left to say and there’s no reason to continue. We’ll never get out of the car and we’ll never crack open that bottle of wine because nothing will ever be enough to rise to the occasion. Unless we make it a point to question what enough truly is for us.”
While I’m not big on revenge or spite, I’m BIG on practicing what I preach. This is me questioning what “enough” looks like for me.
What does the future hold for The Inner Dolphin?
Perhaps the most important reason why I’m stopping is because it feels right.
Here’s what else feels right right now: publishing a new article on the first Sunday of every month.
You will probably hear from me via email every week. As I work on new monthly pieces, I would like to highlight old pieces I’ve written. Pieces will be shared through bite-sized social media posts or through long podcast episodes on YouTube or through whatever medium I feel like experimenting with that week. I have a whole process in mind about how I’ll do this, but you’ll see for yourself.
I hope you’ll stick around.
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Cheers to enough, more, and new paths!
Grateful as ever,