-The internet is not standing still. At times, it can feel like a morass o' molasses. But your social media formats (for me, it's Twitter and Facebook) are constantly evolving in terms of both posting formats and algorithms for display. All bellyaching aside, these changes are rarely noticeable when you're engaged on a daily basis. But it's striking when you step out of the slipstream, then step back in. My feeds became more democratized, less self-segregated, which was both better and occasionally annoying.
-No one will guilt trip you because you disappeared. We were happy to have you there, we are happy to have you back. "Lost time" is negligible. 'Nuff said.
-Do not let the internet drive your work when you're freelancing. In the past few years, I recall several times when I sunk days into writing essays sparked by online discussion...then promptly pitched the finished produce to a print venue. Nope. You're going to end up with the wrong tone, the wrong level of depth, the wrong sense of timeliness. I'm not saying you should avoid online publishing--there are great venues--but make sure what you have to say isn't something with a 24-hour shelf life.
-The internet is a good thing. My writing community is larger because of the web; I have missed updates from far-away friends and poets. However, I can get everything done that I need to get done as a full-time writer in 2-3 hours a day online, through browsing and linking and commenting. Just gotta develop the discipline to stop there.
More soon. Just thought I'd post while I still had a trace of my Maui tan. If you're going to be in Tampa later this June, or in Mississippi come August 1-2, come out and visit.