The Best Way To Take A Break From Blogging

break from bloggingDo you ever wish you could take a break from blogging?

You may be hesitant to do that but that’s exactly what I did.

I haven’t written a blog post since last November :-|

Yes November!  That was a long time for me to be away.

But I needed a break. Writing was getting harder.

I would get about half way through a post then not go back to it for several days. Sometimes I’d simply lose interest in the post or the topic altogether.

Of course there were those days when I would force myself to persevere, but if you’ve ever persevered through something with lost interest the outcome is never as good.

Ultimately I was getting bored with what I was doing and running out of ideas to keep things fresh.

So I took a break from blogging.

But let me clarify.

I took a break from writing blog posts, I didn’t take a break from my business, my friends or my social connections.  I don’t know what I would have done without my online friends. You’re all SO wonderful :-)

Stopping everything cold turkey isn’t always wise, especially if your blog is your livelihood. You have to find a happy medium.  For me it was writing less.


How Taking a Break From blogging Has Helped Me

For many of you the words ‘taking a break’ from blogging or writing is not something you would consider. But I challenge you to rethink that.

Of course you don’t have to take as long a break as I did but time off is good.

Taking a break forced me to slow down and reflect on what I’m doing, what my goals are and if I’m actually achieving those goals. In many cases I wasn’t.

Because my need for a break came from my inability to focus adequately on my writing this was a time for me to regroup and regain my writing soul as Jeff Goins put it. I needed to work on recovering the confidence I needed to become a better writer, blogger, and find ways to improve my creativity.

Unfortunately my blogging break was about 2 months longer than I anticipated and it didn’t come without it’s share of anxiety, guilt and frustration.

Oh the guilt :-(

I feel obligated to show up here and taking even a much needed break felt like abandonment.

Today I’m back with renewed energy and excitement to begin writing again but not without a few lessons learned.

How To Take a Break From blogging & Feel Good About It

- Schedule blog posts in advance. Keeping your blog current with blog posts is important, especially if you’ve always stuck to a schedule.

Pre-write your posts and create a blog post schedule before you take your break.   If writing another post just isn’t possible at this point try a simpler approach using PLR content that you can customize or another option is to have a few articles written for you that you can schedule in advance.

Not having done this added a new level of guilt to my blogging break and definitely boosted my anxiety about lost traffic.

- Republish Old Content.  Take an inventory of old blog posts that could use some updating.  Rejuvenate the post by adding a few new ideas and updated information.

- Ask for Guest Posts. Connect with trusted colleagues and associated to write a guest post for your blog.  A thoughtful guest post written on a topic of interest can bring new ideas and a fresh perspective to your blog.  Your guest blogger will also be delighted to promote the post too giving your blog some extra added reach.

- Schedule some quick short posts.  All your posts don’t have to be long and ambitious. Schedule some short 1 or 2 paragraph posts or a fun graphic with some funny or insightful updates.

-Use Your Tools.  Use pre-planning tools like Hootsuite, Facebook’s ‘schedule post’, JustRetweet and other pre-planning tools to schedule comments,  shares and ideas.  These are tools that will bring visitors back to your blog keeping your visitor count up while you take your much needed break.

- Don’t write a blog post that you’re taking a break.  I don’t advise notifying the blog-sphere that you’re taking a blogging break.

There are bloggers that may disagree with me on that but if I were to go to a blog where the latest blog post said I was on a blogging break, I probably wouldn’t go back.

I would on the other hand recommend notifying your newsletter subscribers,  loyal commenters, close friends and colleagues of your break from blogging.  This is especially important if you’ve kept a consistent schedule with your steady visitors. They deserve better than that. After all it’s their page views, social media shares, clicks, comments and loyalty that have kept your blog afloat.  This was something else I did not do which elevated my stress level.

Now make a break for it.  You’ve done your planning so now you can take your break without any reservations or guilt. Turn off your computer and don’t think about your blog. Go to the beach, take that long weekend away or do whatever you need to do to clear your head.

My blogging break wasn’t as organized as I would have liked but it made a huge difference in my attitude and how I feel about my business.  It just took longer :-(

But through it all I have new found energy, more patience, ideas flow easier and I’m more productive.  But best of all I’ve recovered my love for writing.

A few words to the wise

Two things that hit home for me…

Number 1. Renewed energy, ambition and a change of attitude don’t just happen. You can’t simply take a break, sit back and wait for these things to change.

Take a break if needed but don’t lose sight of your purpose which is to improve yourself. Do the things that will help you get there but don’t expect that it will simply happen without a little help from within.

Number 2.  Don’t succumb to guilt. Society teaches us that in order to ‘be’ we have to ‘do‘.  So if you stop ‘doing‘ that’s bad.

Not true!

Guilt, like worry is a wasted emotion.  You can’t do anything well without taking care of yourself first and if taking a much needed break is what you need to regain your sanity,  and you follow rule #1, there won’t be any room for guilt.

Taking a blogging break has been a good thing for me. Now that I’ve done it and learned from the experience I may do it more often as an annual therapy. ;-)

Have you been thinking about taking a break from blogging?  Share your thoughts with us.  Or If you’ve taken a break share your experience.

Blessings,

Photo by tiverylucky at Freedigitalphotos.net

Comments

  1. Hey Liz,

    Well I’m thrilled to have you back but only happy if you’re happy to be here. I think a lot of times we all put way too much pressure on ourselves to be the best we can.

    I took a mini break over the Christmas holidays but although I wasn’t blogging for two weeks I was still responding to comments and I did tell them I was taking a break. Try not telling my community and you’ll soon learn how you’ll be spending your next week responding to emails, calls and social messages. Oh my goodness girl, it’s great to have an awesome community but they worry about you so if you’re not sticking to your schedule then they know something’s wrong.

    This year didn’t start off very well for me either with my hosting service getting hacked and then they moved me to probably the crappiest server they could and that had nothing but issues that they loved to ignore. I was down more then I was up so I finally had to take my blog down until I could move to another company. That just happened last week.

    You know though, I did take some time to work on my product and reflect about which direction I needed to go this year so although I had headaches to deal with during my break it gave me that chance to get mad about it and now I’m ready to conquer the world.

    Bravo to you and I hope you’re refreshed and feel like this is going to be a great year for you too.

    Welcome back Liz!

    ~Adrienne
    Adrienne recently posted..Thankful Thursday: 403 Pages, Triberr, WP Plugins, Branding, InterviewMy Profile

    • Thanks so much Adrienne. There are always headaches aren’t there?

      My problem is when they all come at once, you just want to walk away and never come back. The key I’ve found is lots of patience and persistence.

      I’m glad to hear you made it through your difficulties but it also gave you time to reflect on your business and your new product, so there are often silver linings in those clouds :-)

      Hope all stays well for the both of us this year. Seems the toughest parts are over :-)

      Blessings,
      Liz
      Elizabeth McGee recently posted..The Best Way To Take A Break From BloggingMy Profile

  2. Joseph E Rathjen says:

    I like republishing old content and also doing short posts when I’m in a creative slump. I search my archives and look for an old topic that has sprang new life in the news media. Working full time and blogging is a detriment for me that sometimes stalls progressive momentum in my own blogging and writing goals. Unfortunately, it’s a creative quagmire that’s frustrating to deal with sometimes. When this happens, I take my time and try to create something new and unique that will surprise my readers and give them a reason to be coming back for more.

    • Joseph, short posts and and reviving old content is an excellent way to keep afloat when you’re in a creative slump. Being on the lookout for ways to create something new and unique is the way to go but if you’re not very creative, like me it can be a real challenge. However reading our blog Joseph you don’t ever seem to have a problem. You’re quite creative. :-)

      Thanks for stopping by. Good to have your input.
      Elizabeth McGee recently posted..The Best Way To Take A Break From BloggingMy Profile

  3. Hi Elizabeth
    I have not been to your blog before so of course I did not notice your long break!
    But I think if you have lost enthusiasm for your posts then for sure it is a great idea.
    I am sure many of your audience will still be here or come back once they know.
    I know with many bloggers that is the case.
    And there are so many other things going on in our lives that it is sometimes hard to blog.
    Sometimes you have to make some money too.
    I am at that point with my blog. Time to make an income.
    And then the blog kinda takes a back seat while you work
    hope things go well for you with renewed passion in 2014!
    ashley

    • Thanks so much Ashley :-) You’re right we wear so many hats and do so many things that it’s hard to keep it all together sometimes.

      I so appreciate you stopping by and your words of encouragement. They mean a lot.

      If there’s one great things about blogging it’s the awesome people we meet and get inspiration from :-)

      Blessings,
      Liz
      Elizabeth McGee recently posted..The Best Way To Take A Break From BloggingMy Profile

  4. Hi Elizabeth,

    It’s good to have you back, and I’m glad you took a blogging break too :)

    I took mine during Christmas too when I had my Dad visit us, and I think it’s absolutely essential to take some time off to reflect on things, be with your family and loved ones, and just because you want to! I don’t think you need to justify why you are taking a break – after all we too are humans and have our moods, which swings up and down, isn’t it?

    I agree about scheduling posts in advance or putting up smaller posts etc, but I tried all of those and the backlog of taking up the comments, social media and everything on those posts once you return, tires you down. I’d rather prefer not posting anything at all and letting my readers know I am taking a break – yes not this long, but perhaps a week ten days. Yes, letting your close friends or subscribers know is a better option.

    Oh yes…you truly are rejuvenated once you return, though I found my pace a little slow as compared to what it was before I took my break – I think you take time come back into form having been away so long, isn’t it? ;)

    Thanks for sharing. Happy weekend, and take it slow :)
    Harleena Singh recently posted..The Aha!NOW Chat With Neil PatelMy Profile

    • Hi Harleena,

      I’m learning that taking a break, from anything, is a good idea. It refreshes your mind and rejuvenates you as you said. Getting back into the swing of things can be slow but I have a renewed sense of getting things done so, at least for now I’m keeping up a good pace :-)

      Thanks for stopping by, ALWAYS good to hear from you Harleena :-)

      Blessings,
      Liz
      Elizabeth McGee recently posted..The Best Way To Take A Break From BloggingMy Profile

  5. Hi Liz!

    These are fabulous tips on how one should properly take a break from blogging. I have taken several breaks over the years. Some planned and a few not so planned. I did however manage to stay in touch via my blog pages, G+, and FB. That was important to me. Sometimes you just need that break to sit back, reflect, and regroup.

    I hope you enjoyed your break. I knew I hadn’t seen any posts from you in awhile. Glad to have you back!

    • Hi Bren,

      You are so right.

      I think taking a break from anything is good now and then. The problem for me is my break was much longer than expected. I think I could have had a much more beneficial break if I’d planned it out a little better. I spend the first month or so in anxiety and frustration. From my experiences planning can help a lot with that.

      But sometimes we just go out on a ‘need to get away NOW’ and that’s what happened to me. Perhaps a little insight as to how to deal with pressing anxiety is a good thing to have some insight on as well :-)

      Thanks for stopping by Bren. BTW I love all your posts, comments and social musings :-)

      Blessings,
      Liz
      Elizabeth McGee recently posted..The Best Way To Take A Break From BloggingMy Profile

  6. Srimanta Ghosh says:

    Hello Liz,

    Taking a Break, its not only to fresh our mind or health, But also it gives us a new Idea to write something on blogs. Sometimes, I feel that my head is like a blank hard-disk when I can’t find any idea to write.

    Thank for sharing this type of blog post.

    • Hi Srimanta, taking a break definitely helps but there should also be a method to taking a break and that means planning for it and also planning for getting back to work. Unfortunately I didn’t do any of those things and consequently I not only took longer than anticipated my rest wasn’t always restful; I had lots of anxieties.

      But on the day by day troubles of finding things to write about try taking a walk or surfing sites with topics similar to yours. Just by reading what others are writing about – or not writing about, you can get those ideas flowing.

      Thanks for stopping by :-)

      Blessings,
      Liz
      Elizabeth McGee recently posted..An Easy Yet Irresistible Way To Attract Blog TrafficMy Profile

  7. Jeevan Jacob John says:

    Awesome :)

    Good to see that you are back, Liz.

    I had seen your profile in Triberr (I do check the tribe members list every now and then….and I had wondered what happened. My best guess was that I deleted your blog from RSS feed. I didn’t check the feed reader either).

    Anyways, I am glad to know that you are back in action! Breaks are awesome…they have helped me too….to energize both my body and mind (it’s really easy to get tired of blogging, well the process of writing, marketing and networking. Breaks make them more interesting by giving us a time period to relax…to just enjoy, instead of worrying about our blog).

    I have contingency plans for most emergencies (breaks, planning). But, honestly I haven’t implemented many of them in action. Got to do that soon :D

    Anyways, thank you for the update, Liz!

    • Hey Jeevan,

      Good to hear from you! I glad to know I haven’t lost touch with you. Although sounds like it was a close call, LOL!

      My break was longer than anticipated and I learned a few things from it so I did want to share. I’m glad that you have contingency plans but it’s a good thing you haven’t had to use them :-)

      Thanks for stopping by and talk to you soon.
      Elizabeth McGee recently posted..An Easy Yet Irresistible Way To Attract Blog TrafficMy Profile

  8. Hey Liz,

    These are some great tips. I actually had to take a little break myself. I had to regroup. I had lost my focus when writing, mainly because of personal reasons.

    I am getting back into the swing of things but I can say that although I have not been actively writing, I have been doing a lot of stratigizing. I have come up with some great ideas and look forward to implementing them here soon.

    I had to take it and think my blog will be better for it in the long run.

    I was curious about what happened. I had just recently found your blog right before you took your break and was wondering what happened. I enjoy your post and glad to see that your back at it!

    Take care Liz!
    Steven J Wilson recently posted..How To Identify And Crush Those Pesky SpammersMy Profile

    • Hey Steven,

      The truth is I’ve been spreading myself too thin. I also have another blog in the women’s interest field and writing for both blogs, promoting and all the other various things I do for my blogs just got to be too much.

      Also I’ve had lots of personal things going on including becoming a Grandmom just recently that filled my days and my mind with so much that it became a little overwhelming. I advocate planning before taking a long break but sometimes life just grabs you by the throat and says you’ve got to change your focus for awhile.

      Anyway, thanks for asking Steven and I’m glad you enjoy most posts, that made my day :-) I also enjoy your comments, ideas and strategies on SEO. I’ve always been a big SEO enthusiast and your posts are a great resource.

      Thanks for your thoughts and for stopping by Steven :-)
      Liz
      Elizabeth McGee recently posted..An Easy Yet Irresistible Way To Attract Blog TrafficMy Profile

  9. Hi Liz..

    Thank you for this awesome post… :)

    I am going to bookmark it, as I believe I need these advices 2-3 years later… :)

    But, I do NOT know why, after reading your post I feel motivated to work harder…

    I believe… It has given me an idea about how hard you have worked to built this blog and what about me????… I am NOT feeling exhausted… I believe this is because I am NOT working that hard…

    So, I am looking forward to see the day when I have to decide about a break… Because on that day I will do the justice with my blog…

    Regards,

    Karmakar

    • Hey Karmakar,

      I would never say that you are not working that hard. You have an awesome site and it’s a tribute to hard you DO work. I’ve worked hard as well but my personal life, just like all of our personal lives, are filled with events, problems and tasks that simply force us to step back and reflect a little. We all need time at some point to take a breather.

      Thanks for being here to offer your insight. It means a lot :-)
      Elizabeth McGee recently posted..40 Things You Should Give Up… Today!My Profile

  10. Hi Liz,
    Nice to see you back. I’ve taken little breaks but not more than 10-14 days at a time. When I’m short for time I use infographics to help me with posts. I’d like to start with videos by the end of this month too. But real life can get in the way too, right? It’s tough when things outside need your attention more and more. I still like you, would always be on Twitter. If I miss a day or two there I do get a few emails or tweets asking what’s up.
    I think a break is great if it gets you refreshed and refocused. It can sure be a help.
    Look forward to more posts from you Liz.

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