I once had a fantasy. I would devote a whole year, perhaps a sabbatical, just to reading and thinking, and would not write anything. I mean really nothing: no papers, no articles, no op-eds, no contributions to collected volumes. I would turn down all invitations to contribute papers to conferences or books by saying "Thank you. but I am just reading and thinking this year, not writing." The idea was to force a fundamental correction in the balance of trade between what went in my head and what came out.
I thought this had to make my subsequent writing better. After all, I would have had a long time to think about the literature and develop my ideas, without the pressure of having to spill them out.
And then there were also the inevitable narcissistic thoughts: Would anyone notice? Would anyone care? Would the world be a worse place as a result?
Call it an academic's fantasy.
Of course I never came close to fulfilling this fantasy. In fact, starting a blog was a move in exactly the opposite direction. With a blog, you have to write something most days--or at least you feel the pressure to do so.
It wasn't exactly by design, but perhaps the recent hiatus of activity on this blog was a small-scale acting out of my fantasy. At the very least, I have proved to myself that I can stay away--and not feel terribly guilty about it.