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Scheduled maintenance: I’m taking a break

The first draft of this blog ran to 4,500 words and that’s definitely too much for anyone except my therapist. The second ran to 3,500 so I cut it further, please excuse my brevity: I am not well and I need to take a concerted break from work to try and get better. For the next month, I’ll be off sick, logging in for one hour a day at the absolute maximum. Your patience is hugely appreciated, and I will hopefully be back refreshed and healthier on Monday April 3rd. Details below.

What’s wrong with me

Mental health shit, basically. The problem is mostly burnout (I think) with some weird additional extras that I won’t bore you with. Therapy has given me the tools to understand what’s wrong, and helped me value myself enough to dedicate a bit of time to fixing it.

Please don’t worry about me: not only am I in therapy, I’m also surrounded by awesome friends and family. As one of my favourite songs goes, the best people I know are looking out for me. Please don’t offer advice, either: it’s unlikely that you (a very kind and well-meaning stranger, but a stranger nonetheless) could have enough info to offer constructive suggestions, and I’m not in the headspace to receive advice right now.

As the saying goes: if you don’t schedule maintenance the system will schedule it for you. My system is teetering right on the brink of a crash: there are a thousand programmes open in my brain, every single one of which is hanging and spitting out error messages, and if I don’t do some maintenance the whole thing is likely to fail.

However, I run a blog (and a Patreon, and Twitter and Mastodon and a whole collaborative audio project). I’ve worked extremely hard to build what’s here, and I wouldn’t be able to rest if I thought the act of resting might annihilate twelve years of graft. I also have a team of amazing contributors whose work is powerfully awesome. They deserve to have that promoted properly, and you deserve to hear it because it’s incredible.

What to expect

Over the next month I will be drastically limiting the amount of content that is published here on the blog, and focusing on guest audio when it comes to promotion.

There’ll be one post a week instead of three: no guest blogs, no Wednesday blogs, just weekly smut on Sundays – the kind I discussed in Sunday’s blog post. It’s pre-written, uploaded and ready to go. Two of these posts come with audio porn.

Guest audio will still go live each week as normal. Usually on Thursdays. These are intense, beautiful pieces read superbly (often by the writer themselves, sometimes by fabulous readers who are lending their sexy voices to this amazing smut). Please share the ones you love, and tell the writers/readers that you loved them.

All the audio will go live on Patreon before it goes up on the site (as per usual), plus Patreons will also get bonus stories, because I won’t be able to record the rambling monthly update in March. Also, honestly, because I just thought it’d be nice – they’re the rock on which this project is built, and I wanted to show them some love.

During March I’ll log in once a day, for one hour maximum to promote what’s gone up, send links to audio guests and pay invoices.

Apart from these very limited things, I will not be working. Please assume that I will not see your messages (comments, emails, DMs, etc) during this time. I won’t be open to guest blog pitches, questions, sponsor approaches, advice, chat, collaboration, commissions or anything else. I am so sorry. If you want to collaborate, pitch or offer me your second-hand hoodie because you’re a hot guy who smells nice and will treat me with kindness: please hit me up after April 3rd. 


Last summer my laptop died and the Apple store people couldn’t fix it. I didn’t think twice about investing in another one. That laptop is a vital asset: the business couldn’t exist without it. You know what else the business couldn’t exist without?


I am a business asset, dontchaknow. It helps me to frame it that way. I spend a lot of time worrying that, if I disappeared tomorrow, there wouldn’t be anyone around to pay the outstanding invoices. What if I got hit by a bus? Who would PAY THE BRILLIANT PEOPLE?

(It genuinely took me till like the 4th edit of this to consider that maybe my contributors would be more upset/worried that I’d been hit by a fucking BUS than whether their invoice would get paid promptly)

But perhaps alongside using this worry to beat myself up, I should also reflect on what it says about my own value. I am valuable. I am valuable!

I do this thing and I think I’m alright at it. I certainly behave with the arrogance and audacity of someone who believes I’m so fucking good that I should keep doing it even when it’s hurting me. What’s more, I’ve been so trapped inside my own desperation to keep going that I only recently realised I’m not even doing it well any more.

I stare at my computer screen for hours, panicking. I freeze up when confronted with the simplest of work emails. I am paralysed by fear when I hit ‘publish’ on any blog that might be even a smidge more controversial than simple blow job porn. I am short and snippy with people and cruel to myself and I cry like… all the time. I behave in odd, out-of-character ways that are starting to cause me concern.

This job requires an enormous amount of emotional resilience, and I don’t have any of that left.

It’s getting close to the point where the business asset that is GOTN is gonna fail spectacularly and need to be hauled to the Apple store for a reset. And sadly if this laptop fails to boot one day, I can’t just buy another one.

So. I’m on a go-slow for the next month.

What happens in March

If you need something extremely urgently, you can reach me on my hellogirlonthenet [at] gmail [dotcom] email address, but I will not be monitoring the other emails, and even on that one I cannot guarantee a swift response. I will not be replying to DMs or private messages on any other channel. If you’re a friend, get me on WhatsApp/email. I might still be pissing around on Twitter/Mastodon sometimes, because they’re social media channels and I’m not going to cut off my social – I enjoy reading other people’s blogs, jokes and humblebrags about the sex they had last Tuesday. But I’m giving myself permission to not ‘engage’ if I can’t be arsed – just spaff my thoughts out there for you to like/share/ignore as you see fit.

Here’s what I’m doing in March:

    • Attending the mental health assessment that I have finally been given, having chased it for nearly a year (please protect the NHS: don’t vote Tory).
    • Lovely soothing DIY.
    • Riding my bike/walking.
    • Seeing more of my incredible family, my amazing friends, and my city.
    • Finding a boyfriend who wants to take me to karaoke, and when it’s his turn to sing he picks up the mic, flashes me a loving smile, says “This one’s for you, babe…” before launching into Westlife’s ‘You raise me up’. When he’s done, he sweeps me out of the pub to rapturous applause before whisking me home and bareback-fucking me till I see stars.
    • Probably a fair bit of wanking.

Tl;dr – I need to shut down and reboot.

If you’re a sponsor, you’ve automatically been given an extra free month on your booking, and you should have received an email with details of this. If you’re on the guest audio team, you’ll have a more detailed overview and plan (check your spam if you can’t see it in your inbox!). If you’re a Patreon, you’ll have an update explaining this plus (as mentioned previously) extra audio smut later this month which I hope you like cos I think it’s quite good (luxury Patreons: I’m really genuinely very pleased with your February bonus – if you don’t always get the chance to listen to these extras, have a crack at this one, I think it’s worth it). If you’re a reader, subscribe for updates if you’d like to know when new posts go live and check the audio page each week for amazing new guest smut.

If you’d like to help

So many of you are kind and caring and sweet. When I talk about my mental health being dodgy, often people chip in with tips on how to manage it, or they tell me not to worry that I’m taking some time off. I desperately need you to not do this please: I know it comes from a well-meaning place, but behind the scenes what you don’t know is that loads of other people are all asking for a piece of me. Each offer of advice, each kind exhortation to not worry about it, they are all based on the limited snapshots I allow you to see – tiny glimpses of a much more complex whole. It’s kind of you to care, and I really want to greet that care with kindness, but right now all I have to show you is a blue screen and an error message.

Please: no advice. No attempts to play this down like it doesn’t matter: it matters hugely to me, and will matter in other ways, even if you don’t mind because you’re lovely. It matters lots, and I’m doing it anyway. I hope when I return I’ll have gained the perspective you’re trying to show me now, but that’s a journey I need to take for myself, I reckon.

I know some of you will want to help, though, and I can’t bear to end this with a sales pitch – support me on Patreon if you’d like the bonuses, but please don’t do it out of charity. If you’re looking to be charitable in the name of mental health, chuck a few quid to Mind. And if you want to be of assistance to me specifically, here’s something practical: if anyone asks where I’ve gone, or you see them getting annoyed with me in comments, or asking random questions/trying to start a dialogue on social media, please do give them a (gentle, kind) nudge towards this blog post just to let them know why I’m not on top of things. That’d be awesome.

Any questions? No? Correct!

Thank you so much. I love you. I’m sorry to sound so dramatic about this (but let’s be honest: dramatic is very on brand for me). I promise I wouldn’t do it unless I believed it was absolutely mission-critical to protect an important business asset: this rapidly-crumbling brain.

As I say, this is scheduled maintenance. I’ll have emailed as many colleagues as possible with a heads-up before this post goes live. It is urgent, and I’ve definitely left it far too long, but now I am doing it in a managed way, rather than leaving it till I have no other choice. I didn’t actually know whether I was committed to it until I wrote the first draft of this, but the sense of relief I felt at polishing off that first 4.5k word draft ten days ago was so powerful that I was choking back sobs and shaking all over. By the time I hit publish today, I am already feeling like a huge weight has lifted. I’m looking forward to tackling this bump in the road, then coming back in April refreshed and excited for all the exciting things that are planned for later this year. This is definitely what has to happen. Thank you so much for your patience.

I’m going to tie up my last few loose ends of work, then I’m off for a lovely walk and to touch some grass before calling my Mum. I am painfully aware that not everyone has the privilege of doing this, and when I return I will do what I can to make sure I’m extending the same grace to anyone else who may need it. Meanwhile, please take whatever help you might be tempted to offer me, and look around to see who else could use it instead. I know I’m not the only one who’s struggling, and I promise you I’ll be OK. Your kindness is everything, it will definitely find a good home somewhere.