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.
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.