On Sunday I went into the mountains to clear my head and what I realized was that I need a lot more than one hike to do it.

I need to disappear for a little while.

I suppose it is the responsibility of every person to know when a reboot is necessary. And right now, a reboot is definitely necessary.

In 21 months I have yet to take an actual break from Single Dad Laughing. Even on the couple of trips I’ve taken, I had my laptop and phone on much of the time, always keeping my finger on the pulse of whatever was going on around here.

So, for one week (minimum) I’m going on an SDL fast. I won’t be getting on the blog. I won’t be looking at it on my phone. I won’t be reading or answering emails. There won’t be any new blog posts. I’m going to completely disconnect from the blog part of it all.

When multiple people that love me start suggesting such a move, I’ve learned that it’s probably best to heed their advice.

In late November, SDL went crazy viral. I’ve never received so much correspondence as I did in that aftermath, and in all honesty I had hoped to never receive that much again. So much of it was so heavy. So much of it I couldn’t ignore. And as much as I tried not to let it, so much of it really weighed me down.

So many wonderful emails came in. So many other emails came in, too.

Heavy emails. Thousands of heart-hurting stories were shared.

But what most people don’t realize is that other even heavier emails sometimes come in, too.

A handful of people threatened to kill themselves if I didn’t respond and befriend them. Adults posing as teenagers (I can only assume based on the wording of the emails) kept sending me sexually suggestive emails, trying to lure me into God knows what. Threats were made by religious fanatics. Digital threats were made by people on both sides. Rumors spread around the internet about my sexuality. Rumors spread around the internet about my intent, my honesty, and my genuineness. Trolls abounded.

And God… so much anger and hatred kept spilling into the comments.

The comments of a post about loving others.

Sigh.

It was toward the middle of March that it all finally started calming down. The emails had trickled to a few dozen per day. The blog was seeing regular traffic again. I was finally going to be able to take a breather.

And then at the beginning of April, I shared the post that went mega-viral. You know which one. When I received the email from “One Proud Mom,” I thought Hmmm, that’s really powerful and touching. I bet my readers would enjoy it. Never in a million years did I think that it would go viral. And when I saw that it was immediately going viral I wanted to cry. When I saw that it sent the November post mega-viral all over again, I did cry a little. I wasn’t ready to go through all of that again. A person can only take so much before he cracks.

And, sure enough, aftermath’s heavy history repeated itself, only with greater magnitude than before.

This time around, I hit my limit. I’ve been pushed to an edge that I never expected to be looking over, and I’m having a hard time coming back from it. While hiking on Sunday, I realized that I need to disconnect for a while or I’m going to go crazy.

I also realized that I need to change the way I do a few things around here when I come back in a week or so.

First, I have to get my brain balanced again. This blog has taken me down a road that is so deep and mental and heavy sometimes. And it’s good. I love the discussions we have. But it’s too much if it’s all there is. I need to use that creative/inventive side of my brain, too. My entire life I’ve loved writing fiction more than anything else. And so, that’s part of what I’m going to do when I get back.

I’ve started a blog called My Fantastic Escape. I hope you follow along, but I’ll be writing it for me. It will be my way of staying sane and more balanced in my writing and thinking.

It is the story of “The Fear Doctor.” A man who gets paid to make people face their worst fears, and how it all starts going terribly wrong for him. I already wrote the first post. Go check it out and if you like, follow along.

My Fantastic Escape is not Single Dad Laughing. As it is fiction, I plan to let my imagination go wherever it likes with the story. I plan to be true to the dialogue, expressions, and feelings that people would have in such situations. This means there will be swearing and a lot of things that aren’t politically correct or “in line with my SDL message.” It’s fiction, it’s a thriller, and it’s entertainment. If you can’t handle that, don’t read it. It’s my escape from the heaviness that this blog often is and I’ll write entries over there when I feel the biggest need to release some pent up creational steam. Probably once every week or so. I really think this will help my writing be more balanced here on SDL.

I’ve created its own Facebook page so that those who want notifications of new entries can have them. Click “like” here and you’ll be all setup for that. You can also subscribe via email and RSS.

I’ve also resurrected Will Work 4 Followers, my blog where I share all my secrets about blogging. Except, I’ve changed the name to My Big Blog Secrets.

You may remember that I retired that blog last year due to time constraints. Since then, I’ve had a whole lot of people ask me to please start it up again even if I don’t post often. That sounded fair enough. I really do enjoy sharing the secrets and tips I learn as I get past the learning curve here.

I’ll only be posting every couple weeks or so on that blog, but the posts will be extremely valuable to you if you’re building your own blog or wanting to become a better writer. From here on out, most of them won’t be traditional how-tos. They’ll be deeper discussions of the whys of blogging and writing as well as mistakes I’ve made in the big bad blogger world that you don’t need to make.

Because I changed the name, I also had to start a new Facebook page for that blog, so if you want updates on Facebook, be sure to like the new page. Click “like” here and you’ll be all setup for that. You can also subscribe via email and RSS.

As for Single Dad Laughing… fear not. It is still going to be my primary focus. There will still be daily posts. I love this blog. It’s my brainchild. My baby. My outlet for almost everything. I love the people here. I love the conversation. I love the silly bantering. I love the debate.

I just need to start taking a small percentage of my focus off of it so that what I do put into it is always coming from the right place, you know?

I love you. Thanks for understanding. And be excited because when I come back, I have some great things planned for you all.

I’m still not sure what I’ll do while I disappear for a little while. I’ll definitely take Noah to do some fun things. I’ll definitely spend some time up in my mountains.

And with that, I hereby am stepping away from my blog and my email. See you on the other side.

Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing

PS. I do not wish to sound unthankful at all for everyone who shared my posts with their friends and family. Your sharing is what puts food on Noah’s and my table at night, and without your sharing none of this would be possible. So thank you, thank you, thank you for every post that you continue to share.

I just have to learn when to step away if/when things go viral again. If I can always recognize when it’s time to do that, I think I can handle just about anything that goes on around here.

PPS. A link to this post will be shared on FB a couple times. This is automatic and doesn’t mean I’m sneaking on. 🙂

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Dan Pearce is an American-born author, app developer, photographer, and artist. This blog, Single Dad Laughing, is what he's most known for, with more than 1.4 million daily subscribers as of 2017. Pearce writes mostly humorous and introspective works, as well as his musings which span from fatherhood, to dating, to life, to the people and dynamics of society. Single Dad Laughing is much more than a blog. It's an incredible community of people just being real and awesome together!