Jason Kottke is good at the internet. His blog, Kottke.org will turn 25 years old this year. He pioneered many of the features that we take for granted across the internet. And it continues to be one of the absolute best reads on the internet. (Along with his newsletter). Even more impressively, he took a break. You may be thinking, “what’s the big deal, you’ve taken years off of blogging?” Sure, but unlike me, Kottke is good at it, and he’s a professional. Kottke.org is member-supported (I am a member). So, taking a hiatus from an ember-supported site was a risky move. But this is not just admirable, but should be an example.
In the US, we don’t respect vacation enough, and we don’t have the social support infrastructure (like public health insurance) to allow people to take meaningful breaks between jobs or any type of sabbatical. Employers rarely support meaningful sabbatical programs, but we should treat that as an essential retention tool. It’s very easy to get burnt out and not have a way to take a pause to be able to come back to do better work.
Let us all learn from Kottke: not just in terms of interesting links, but in being able to step away for enough time to grow.