10 Things I learnt on my summer "break"

Following just over a month of this self-imposed near-total break from my online life (obviously not including my paid work!) what have I discovered?

  1. WordPress’s auto-publish feature is bullet-proof and a real gift
  2. You hardly missed me as a result of 1. and my kind guest bloggers. Indeed, traffic remained pretty high considering it was August.
  3. Phil Moore is better than I am at explaining why digital fasts are so important.
  4. A week is definitely not long enough It took me much longer before I even began to experience digital withdrawal symptoms.
  5. It really is hard to stay away from the Internet for several weeks. My “fast” wasn’t total as the weeks drew on. I did scan-read Twitter, Facebook and a couple of blogs a little towards the end. I also started to write this post 20 minutes or so before my deadline,  and last week even wrote a couple of tweets ready for publishing later when my wife had gone away (the observant may have noticed that they appeared in my Twitter stream and were quickly deleted!) I also and scanned and deleted most of my accumulated emails on the same day. Finally, I started an Omnifocus to-do list to capture a small handful of ideas for things to blog about when they began to hit me about a week or so ago.
  6. The harsh truth is that I really don’t care about what my readers think about me as much as I thought I did (despite 5)   I trust I will continue to remember this and make sure that I take more care over being kind to my wife and children than I do over looking after you all!  Funily enough, I somehow suspect that the more I focus on pleasing my God and family, the more benefit I may be to you in any case.
  7. Learning more about how to not believe your own publicity is a vital result of such a break.  I can’t improve on what I said about this last year. Running a blog can appear to be self-serving at first glance. There has to be a good balance, however, between arrogantly pushing oneself forward, and on the other hand hiding whatever one can share with others under a bushel.  I am not sure I always navigate that tightrope entirely correctly, but, you have to believe me that I know that of myself I have nothing to offer you.  I will not ever apologize for shouting about my savior, and his death and resurrection for us. I know that if I can point you towards him, and to good resources that will help you in your spiritual journey I will have fulfilled one of the roles that God has for me in this life.  It is not the most important one, however.  That is clearly being a husband and father, which is much harder than helping at least some of people who read this blog for a few minutes a day.
  8. I remained really quite busy with secular work, preached three times, was on the radio once, and yet removing the digital piece resulted in me now feeling remarkably rested and refreshed. I may need to find some ways to lessen some of the burdens I carry.  Perhaps I need a secretary or something!
  9. Just hanging out with the kids in the evenings watching TV, playing Scrabble & Risk with them on the iPad, and being beaten at chess by my 11 year old son is a whole lot of fun. I need to carve out more time to do this better even with the blog up and running. If I could be a better husband and father and a worse blogger that would be fine with me.
  10. Having a break has made me itch to write again, and I have really enjoyed writing this post.  I won’t be giving up permanently any time soon!

Guest post: Singleness is a gift, have you unwrapped it?
SERMON: Abounding in Thanksgiving
Reflecting on twenty years with the same wife, church and career
Merry Christmas
About Adrian Warnock

Adrian Warnock is a medical doctor, and a writer. Since 1995 he has been a member of Jubilee Church London which has sites in Enfield, Wood Green and Ilford. Adrian serves as part of Jubilee's leadership team alongside Tope Koleoso. Together they have written Hope Reborn - How to Become a Christian and Live for Jesus, published by Christian Focus. Adrian is also the author of Raised With Christ - How The Resurrection Changes Everything, published by Crossway. Read more about Adrian Warnock or connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

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