Some months ago, I asked you to give me feedback about continuing (or not) to do Moxie five days each week. You indicated that you loved getting a dose of Moxie at the start of every day, and I decided to continue creating and delivering it to you.
But I have to tell you, I’m tired exhausted. Virtual Moxie is more than nine years old. And I’ve been doing posts five days/week for nearly two. For those of you who blog, I bet you have a sense of how I feel.
If I were coaching someone else around this, I’d ask her the question I asked myself last Thursday as I sat down to create tips for May and literally couldn’t make my fingers move on my keyboard:
Both in terms of coming up with original content and the time and energy it takes to write it, set it up for publication, maintain, amplify through marketing channels, etc., how long can you continue to do with ease and joy?
My answer that morning? Not one day more.
And the answer came to me without a second of hesitation. I didn’t have to think about it, or weigh it in my head or heart. It was just there…so very present, and so very true.
Immediately after that answer, though, came the reminder of another time when I’d not pulled back from something quickly enough, and ended up burning out and walking away completely.
If we went back in time to '97 when I started AssistU, long before blogging was even a glimmer in anyone’s eye, and before anyone was doing zines or really thinking about list building, I did a daily (5x/week) “email blast” called The Daily Assistant that some of you may remember (and God love you if you do!).It was managed via a majordomo mailing list, and was very high tech and high touch at the time.
After several years of creating original, high-quality content five days a week, I was fried. So fried, in fact, that I walked away from a list of 9,000+ subscribers.
At the time, I said publicly that I needed a little break, and would be back soon. But in truth, I never made it back to DA or my list. I just couldn’t make myself think about it, much less do it, and I wish I had words that were appropriately descriptive of how it felt in my body any time I tried to even think about how to revamp DA and get back to writing, but I really don't, even to this day.
Suffice it to say that the burn out was so bad that I couldn’t even make myself write anything that I shared outside the AssistU community until I started VMoxie in 2004. It took me years to make it back, not the little bit of time I thought it would take to do a revamp.
Two years ago, when VMoxie was seven years old, I decided to add Moxie Tips to the blogging mix. I thought that it would be easy for me; tips weren’t as time consuming as bigger blog posts and they would be fun to do. So I dove in, wholeheartedly. And as with anything, for a time, it was easy and fun, but one day I noticed it wasn’t either, anymore.
I started to feel the pinch at the point that I asked you to take the survey. I hoped that, through your feedback, you would let me off the hook. I hoped that you would say that something less (meaning fewer posts/week) would delight you. And while some of you did say exactly that, the vast majority clearly loved the daily thing, so I continued, warmed by your enthusiasm about getting a daily dose o’Moxie, and the opportunity to be of service to you in that way.
But now, here I am, feeling even more pinched (probably exacerbated by the fact that, in addition to daily blogging, there’s also all the repurposing for social media added to the mix—which, while fabulous, is also time and energy consuming), and knowing that I have to honor what’s true for me and do something about it—whether or not it’s your preference.
I have to make a change; I have to pull back. If I don’t, I can see a day coming when, like with The Daily Assistant, I’ll have nothing left to give at all. And that? That’s simply untenable for me. I am unwilling to go there again (I guess I really did learn from that experience!).And I'm unwilling to not model the sort of moxie for you that says you get to do things you way in your business, regardless of who likes it or doesn't. ♥
So the new plan, which starts immediately, is that while I figure out what’s next here at VMoxie, I’ll write the longer Tuesday post, which honors my original intention for the blog, and is something I can easefully and joyfully continue to create. And as soon as I have things figured out about whether there's something more, I’ll let you know.
As always, our archives include a virtual treasure trove of moxie, just waiting for you, on demand, any time you need a little somethinsomethin. And all the Moxie Tips are in their own space, too—in case you want just those.
If you have any thoughts, or commiserations, or ideas to share with me as I go off to think and plan, I'd love to see you in comments.
Thank you for being a Moxie reader, a Moxie lover, and for wanting more—not less—Moxie in your life. I appreciate you more than you know!