Originally the topic for this post was set to be entirely different. As I began composing it, I opened up with an apology and explanation for my absence. And it was here that I found myself contemplating such thoughts. Mainly on the basis of why it is that we feel overly compelled to apologise and justify the humble action of needing a creative interval.
Aside from algorithm bashings (one I am known to partake in over on Twitter) there is another trend sweeping through influencers and creators alike and that is to step away from social media for a “creative interval”. Most without warning, because life. But also that need to break free from its all consuming clutches. The fervent need to disconnect your mind, body and soul from social media is becoming something of a metaphorical pandemic. As it continues to expand and devour, so does our ever changing role in it. From sponsored opportunities to that need to remain relevant and to perpetually grow ones following. This can be very much taxing mentally as well as emotionally especially as we attempt to balance this with everyday life. Seemingly the need to free ourselves from time to time is only inevitable.
So why do we feel compelled to justify a leave of absence?
Of course there’s nothing wrong in letting your readers and followers know where you’ve been lately. A blog or social presence is a personal labour of love and for some an extension of yourself, so keeping readers alert is a legitimate and proper thing to do. But for me there is a fine line between a humble explanation and justification, and I feel like we find ourselves tangoing more with the latter. So does it come down to guilt? Or perhaps something more sinister?
Time and time again I’ve noted these lengthy apologies that accompany somebodies unforeseen comeback and with it the wonderful array of support but also displeasure from some unruly followers. The latter has always left me speechless and I suppose a little fearful that one day I may experience such indignation myself. And in here lies the problem. Is it out of fear that we find ourselves overcompensating in hope of abating any unwanted attention? Or perhaps the unease that you’ve upset and lost followers? Which is absurd. But considering how the vast majority of the population don’t quite comprehend the amount of effort and hours it truly takes to properly curate does it really come as any surprise?
A creative interval is vital. Especially considering how the majority don’t have the luxury to manage such operations on a full-time scale. The ease of burning yourself out regardless is apparent and something which is occurring more and more frequently. We place an exorbitant amount of pressure on ourselves to perform and create so it comes as no surprise. The necessity to remain present outweighs that of drowning in a cyber reality where all is not what it actually seems. Working within such a tireless (and at times thankless) and grossly misunderstood industry takes real gumption and dedication. So to my fellow creatives, if you need a creative interval then by all means, take one. Rest and recuperate. Disconnect and connect to what and who is important because life is so short and unpredictable. And at the end of the day attempting to create when your brain is on the verge of incoherence is a futile attempt. Now, for those who follow, metaphorically it truly takes an army to run a blog and accompanying social media accounts so it is best to remember that for the most part, these individuals are doing all that albeit on their own. So remember to be kind and if you haven’t got anything nice to say, then say nothing at all.