I've been rehearsing the reasons for giving the blog a break during Lent, and concluded that if they apply from Wednesday, then they actually apply now too....
1. Time: important stuff is being neglected, and spending an hour or so a day composing here and reading other people's stuff will yield a whole working weeks worth of time for Lent. I'm also ending up doing things late at night and playing catch-up a lot, which means there's too many plates spinning. This one can drop.
2. Vanity: it's nice to have a blog that people visit, and revisit. It's nice to get linked. It's nice to get comments. But if even 20% of my motivation for blogging is to get the approval and custom of others to bolster my fragile ego, then that's 20% too much. I imagine that's an under-estimate. Why else would I check the number of visitors on a daily basis?
3. This week there's been a sobering comparison between the number of followers I have on Twitter, and visitors to the blog, and the number of birthday cards which actually arrived. I'm poor at keeping in touch with people at the best of times, but I don't want to trade the few decent friendships I have for hundreds of acquaintances who, though it's nice to have them, didn't notice when I wasn't there before and won't remember if I'm not around in a few months. It's time to give time to the important stuff.
4. I don't actually process information properly any more. Every piece of news is potential blog fodder, rather than something I properly read/listen to. My concentration span is getting shorter - I can't sit through something as simple as the main BBC news without flicking through the red button and other channels. That's not something I want to continue - to work properly, to pay attention to my kids and my wife, to engage properly with God's world, I need to be able to concentrate, to listen, to take things seriously as they are not as things that I can use for a bit more blurb on here.
5. Compulsion: I enjoy blogging, but (this is partly vanity again) there's a compulsion to post things every day, to respond quickly to what's going on rather than reflecting at leisure. Richard Foster - my guru on spiritual disciplines - recommends that we fast from anything we sense is becoming a compulsion.
and the more I think about these things, the more it doesn't really make sense to wait until Wednesday. If they're valid, they're valid today. So I'm off until Easter, and we'll see what happens then.