by admin on July 16, 2008

in General

Largely as a result of a link back from Skagit IMS Tipline, I hopped over to David Maister’s blog. I’ve not read David for a while, only because my reading habits have changed. I was surprised to find that he has mothballed the blog for the time being and that over the last few months, the frequency with which he posts had declined. It’s a phenomenon I’ve seen elsewhere. Heck, I’ve been a bit hit and miss recently but then I’ve seen more of the conversations in which I am interested shift to Twitter. Most recently, Jason Calacanis simply announced he is giving up completely (although I’m not sure whether it is a stunt.) For those that don’t know, Jason was one of the early leaders in the blog space who now runs Mahalo, a human driven search engine.

I sense a certain fatigue creeping in and it’s not just among bloggers. A colleague of mine has been bemoaning his position the last few months and today came out with the classic: “It would be great if it wasn’t for the people.” How true. People are frustrating at times but then if we were all the same then we’d be a pretty boring bunch.

Even so, when you’re responsible for people, it can become exhausting, confusing and unrewarding. That’s the time to go do something else. How do you take those decisions? Easy. As David says, make a choice.

Some decisions are easier to take than others. I recall when I made the decision to bail out of practice. I had nothing much else going on and the thought of losing what amounts to tenure was terrifying. But then I felt like I could not go back. I was tired, I’d done what I wanted, there was nothing more to be gained by hanging around and I’d given all that I could.

Making that decision to *not* go back was simple in the end. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. Bringing this full circle, I’m tired right now. Many things are going on, most of which are pretty good but I’m at risk of getting burnt out. I’ll be switching everything off very shortly. No computer, no internet and no phone.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

Zoli Erdos July 16, 2008 at 4:27 am

Dennis, I hope you mean only for a while …

Dennis Howlett July 16, 2008 at 8:14 am

I'm trying to figure a way to get a break but leave a few things in the hopper.

Phil Hodgen July 16, 2008 at 8:45 am

You're not going Amish, are you?

Josef July 16, 2008 at 10:45 pm

Thanks for the link back to me. I hope I've caught a sense that I need to business blog at least once a week to stay serious.

David Maister July 17, 2008 at 5:48 pm

If you're even tempted to do it, I'd say go for it, Dennis. Taking some time off doesn't have to be a "drama" – it's just good mental health. We'll all be waiting for you when you return.

Francine McKenna July 18, 2008 at 12:42 am


Funny, I came to blogging late and it's the best thing I've ever done. I evangelize about it to many who would have never imagined they could get their thoughts out to a broader audience. It certainly crystallized my decison to give up trying to work for the Big 4 or a similar firm ever again. It was an almost religious experience when that lightbulb came on.

I'm just getting started. 564 posts as of October of 2006 and my energy is super high because the results have been kicking in. I have you to thank for some of that, but I also think there's a lot of mo' around my topic.

I keep telling people: No one else is writing about the things I write about in the way I write about them. That's what keeps me going. I'm in for a while.

Mark Lee July 20, 2008 at 1:58 am

I do hope you mean a holiday type break Dennis and nothing more permanent.

I know what you mean about breaking away from Practice. I explained my rationale for giving up giving tax advice (two years ago now) in a recent Comment article in Taxation magazine. Frustrations with the tax system were at the top of the list. A desire to do something more entrepreneurial was also a factor of course.

On the blogging side, maybe I'm bucking the trend. I've been blogging regularly (advice for 'Ambitious accountants' and also 'Accountant jokes and fun' for over 2 years now. My output was averaging 2 or 3 posts a week. Now it's daily, or pretty close to it. And I've added a tax commentary blog linked to the Tax Advice Network too. Just getting into my stride!

Come back soon Dennis. We'll miss you whilst you're away.

Dennis Howlett July 20, 2008 at 2:52 am

@everyone: I hope I've not conveyed the wrong idea. I'm desperately tired to the point where I know I'm adding very little value. I need a 'battery recharge' – that's all. Having written some 2,400 posts in < than 3 years, it takes its toll. I'll be back on 29rh July, hopefully restored. We'll see. And thanks for all the good wishes. They're much appreciated.

Emily Coltman July 21, 2008 at 1:56 pm

It sounds like you need some time out to recharge your batteries Dennis. Have a good break and a good unwind. And no sneaky switching on of Twitter to see what everyone else is up to. You'll still be there 5 hours later.


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