breaking routine

A farewell for the year … and a little longer


That’s the number of entries I have posted on this blog since I began in February 2013.

Writing a blog, producing a podcast, and interviewing fellow storytellers has been an extraordinary experience. I held off on starting a blog for a long time because I did not believe I could commit to it on a regular basis. But for three years — with the exception of a few holiday and vacation weeks — I did just that.

The good news? This 283rd entry will not be my last.

The bad news? It will be my last — or, at least, my last regularly scheduled entry — for a little while.

I am taking a break from the blog through the first quarter of 2016. I will be working on some big projects, both inside and outside of work, and need to be able to commit fully to them. I plan to resume at some point in April, continuing with the same interviews, story compilations, and reflections that have filled this space for the past three years.

I might also dip in every so often, if I feel the need, with an unscheduled entry. I have learned quite a bit since launching this blog, but more than anything I have seen the positive impact of discussing the oft-untold side of my field. I do not want to lose that, even as I scale back temporarily.

In the meantime, thank you for reading Post #283 as well as the rest of my Telling The Story offerings. I truly appreciate it, and I look forward to returning to the blog next spring!

Matt Pearl is the author of the Telling the Story blog and podcast. Feel free to comment below or e-mail Matt at You can also follow Matt on Facebook and Twitter.

Jason Collins, and why storytellers succeed by breaking routine

He has been analyzed and over-analyzed.

In the past two weeks, a wide swath of writers, bloggers, broadcasters, and pundits have dissected the words of Jason Collins, who became the first American active male pro athlete to come out as gay.

But very few of them have addressed the paragraph that stood out most to me.

It is perhaps an afterthought in light of Collins’ many revelations in his Sports Illustrated article, but early on the NBA center talks about what made him decide to come out now.

Why am I coming out now? Well, I started thinking about this in 2011 during the NBA player lockout. I’m a creature of routine. When the regular season ends I immediately dedicate myself to getting game ready for the opener of the next campaign in the fall. But the lockout wreaked havoc on my habits and forced me to confront who I really am and what I really want. With the season delayed, I trained and worked out. But I lacked the distraction that basketball had always provided.

Think about that for a second. Collins essentially put off making a major life decision because he became stuck in a routine.

He is, of course, not the only one. How many times in our lives do we put off potentially troubling decisions because we do not want to break our everyday patterns? After all, thinking critically about oneself is a difficult task; it takes effort, humility, and the ability to admit that our current routines may not always be the correct ones.

We all fall prey to this line of thinking.

And that is why we all should take a cue from Collins.