by Jason Snell
A sabbatical from a Weird Internet Career
Jason Kottke is taking some time off:
There’s no real roadmap for this, no blueprint for independent creators taking sabbaticals to recharge. The US doesn’t have the social safety net necessary to enable extended breaks from work (or much of anything else, including health care) for people with Weird Internet Careers. I support a lot of individual writers, artists, YouTubers, and bloggers through Substack, Patreon, and other channels, and over the years I’ve seen some of them produce content at a furious pace to keep up their momentum, only to burn out and quit doing the projects that I, and loads of other people, loved. With so many more people pursuing independent work funded directly by readers & viewers these days, this is something all of us, creators and supporters alike, are going to have to think about.
As someone who burned out from his corporate media job, I have tried to be careful with how I work as a “Weird Internet Career” person these past seven-plus years so I don’t do it to myself again. But Kottke is right, there’s really no road map out there for how this works and how people making stuff on the Internet can keep from burning themselves out.
I applaud him for taking a break to figure things out and to heal. Even a couple of days of focused time away from my routine were incredibly helpful for me. I hope when Kottke returns, he’ll have some lessons to teach the rest of us about how to stay fresh, avoid burnout, and keep navigating our careers.