On writing again

August 28, 2013

More than 2 years ago I abandoned this blog because writing ceased to be a liberating activity and became a heavy burden. Unfortunately, it wasn’t only the writing.

In part, it became a burden due to expectations of other people to which I failed to set an adequate response. Expectations to write consistently, to write a lot and to write well evolved into something even more burdensome – that I know the answer to every question, at any given time and that the quality of my answers is in accordance to these high expectations. It spread to my work and made me feel uncomfortable and anxious about everything I do. And that was ugly.

However, the main reason for this state was me. Since I was very hard on myself, to begin with, this extraneous influence resulted in even more increased expectations towards myself. Towards my writing and creating. To write detailed, excellent articles, always relevant, without errors of any kind, to express myself in English the same way I express myself in my native language, that the projects I work on should be brought to perfection as if that was possible at all. Instead, these self-imposed limitations deprived the act of writing and creating of any freedom. And everything lost meaning.

With such an increase of expectations, restrictions, and self-censorship, it was just a matter of time before breakdown and change happened. The abandonment of writing was symbolic. It was rather leaving this self-imposed way of life, work and the values that were valid for me at the time. I quit writing, I quit my old ideas, I quit my full-time job and started my own business. I returned to the path of questioning, exploring and learning.

Much has happened in the last two years and I’ve changed a lot. I have done a lot of new and wonderful things I really want to write about. With the difference that other people’s expectations are no longer a concern for me, nor do I pose any expectations and limitations to myself. I enjoy what I do just because I do it. All the fun is in doing the little things and being absolutely immersed in them while they last. Without expecting too much. A sort of being in a permanent state of flow. I don’t need a goal, a success, a lesson I need to learn. It’s aplenty that I’m here and that I write and create.

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  • Dejan (August 28, 2013)

    Welcome back! I kept an eye on your blog – and “voila” :)
    Please don’t be hard on yourself… do what you love to do, share as much as you want. There are a lot of us who would be happy to read your articles.

    Eto, da znaš da jedva čekam… A razlog za to je upravo ono što sam do sada ovde čitao. Zahvalan sto si dao deo sebe svima nama. Nikad kritičan i mislim da tome nema nesta. Ako se takvi pojave, ignoriši ih i misli na nas druge ;)

    Sa srecom.

  • Abdu (August 29, 2013)

    Just write whenever you feel like it. I have tens of feeds in my rss aggregator and I am not holding anyone to write a certain number of posts per time period. This whole notion is silly. If you set yourself to a very high standards and because of this you stop writing, whose loss is it. For a reader like me, it’s much better if you write randomly with spelling/grammar mistakes than not writing at all. It’s a personal blog. You’re not writing for NY Times where people pay money and expect high quality.

  • TweeZz (August 29, 2013)

    When reading this post 2 posts of Scott Hanselman popped up in my mind.. Once in a while I go back to them.. They help me stay on track..
    “Don’t build guilt piles” is a statement I need to keep remind myself of..
    I thought you might like to have a look at them.. If YOU feel like that is :) http://www.hanselman.com/blog/ProductivityVsGuiltAndSelfLoathing.aspx


    Welcome back!

  • Janko (August 29, 2013)

    Thanks @Dejan!

    @Abdu, you are absolutely right. It was irrational and affected everything I was doing, writing included, but I needed some time to step away and digest everything that is happening around. Glad I’m done with it.

    @TweeZz Thanks for these links, will check them out.

  • Dimitar (August 29, 2013)

    @Janko, that reminds me of one of my favorite quotes.
    “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.”—Bill Cosby. I mean whatever you do, there are going to be people who likes it and those who don’t.

  • Tor Løvskogen Bollingmo (August 30, 2013)

    Good to have you back :-)

  • Zoran Jambor (August 30, 2013)

    Thank you for writing again. Managing expectations of others is probably the hardest part of writing, and managing your own expectations is surely the hardest part.

    I’m glad that you found a way to cope with this and I’m looking forward to read more from you (although I’m not expecting anything). :)

    Welcome back!

  • Matías (August 30, 2013)

    I’m glad to read you again. Thanks for this post.
    Best for you Janko!

  • Janko (August 31, 2013)

    @Dimitar Good one! It’s more like the problem was in my own perception of what’s good and what not.

    @Zoran Thanks, mate! It’s a relief to start writing again. Just started working on another article :D

    @Tor, @Matías Thank you guys.

  • VUUB (September 1, 2013)

    Good to have you back mate. :)

  • Orla (September 1, 2013)

    A welcome return. Good to have you back!!

  • Rob (September 5, 2013)

    I always look forward to a Janko post, regardless of frequency. :-)

  • Chris (September 25, 2013)

    Sorry to hear about your troubles, some people can expect too much from one person. Glad to hear you feel better about writing.

  • vkramjeetpal (November 16, 2013)

    hello Janko, This is Vikram ! I read your full post and I just want to say that don’t be hard on yourself… do what you love to do !

  • John (November 21, 2013)

    I just read a few articles on your blog. Welcome back! It is nice to have some quality and academic articles in this community.

    With luck!

  • John (November 25, 2013)

    Great to see you back. Surely you are more experienced with the 2 year pause. New ideas,new everything. I did the same thing, I quit internet marketing for a year and now I’m back with my brand new website http://www.ebestcarspeakers.com going to shoot big, fresh start from scratch.

  • Kobicity (December 10, 2013)

    Welcome back! I keep eye on your blog

  • wiki (January 12, 2014)

    Welcome back!

  • wordpress.com (January 26, 2014)

    Wonderful article! We will be linking to this great post on our website.
    Keep up the great writing.

  • Dainis Graveris (February 2, 2014)

    Hey Janko, interesting to read this.. sounds like my own message a while ago.. there are always ups and downs.. but yeah, you should think what’s best for You. Hope to see you more, but there should be no pressure. We need to do on this world what we really desire..or feel like doing in the moment.

    For me..i missed writing now, because with all the perfection and time investment when crafting article.. You learn sooo much…! :) And save for yourself..for later..and can help many others!! win, Win! :) Good luck Janko :)

  • Janko (February 2, 2014)

    Hey Dainis, thanks for the support! Keep up the good work with 1stwebdesigner :)

  • Natália (March 6, 2014)

    Janko, I used to read your articles when I was in my first and second year of college. You have always been an inspiration to me and remains, even more so now that you exposed your desires and weaknesses.
    See you retaking a new phase, makes me look inside myself. After finishing college, I find myself lost and never good enough to get a long awaited career in Ux Design. You made ​​me feel more confident to take the first steps, without looking back, and always moving forward.
    P.S.: Sorry for my English, I am from Brazil. But despite the distance, you continue to inspire me always. Welcome back!

  • Janko (March 7, 2014)

    Natália, thank you so much, your comment came as a refreshment!

  • Frank (May 29, 2014)

    Great article again, very sincere, congrats! Writing is always a powerful thing…

  • daily news (July 24, 2014)

    this is a nice blog and l dont know why u paused already. take care ur blog its ur hobby or career. blogging is future.