Monday, January 16, 2017

3 Reasons Why You Need a Blog Break





 
Anyone who's been blogging for a while knows that it takes time, energy, and good doses of inspiration and creativity. If you add blogging duties to all those other items on your normal to-do list, it can be overwhelming sometimes. This is why I'm a firm believer in blog breaks. Here are my top 3 reasons:


1) We need to get away to maintain health and peace.

My husband and I have been self employed for 30 plus years. While there are many benefits, running a business is taxing, and time off is essential to not only our well being, but for relationships with family and friends too.  Our business runs from our home, so despite taking days off, its presence is ever near, a reminder of constant, necessary tasks. My point - we learned early on that "You don't really get away unless you get away."

I think this is true with blogging, too. There are constant reminders everywhere, from Facebook to Google+ and beyond. Taking a break helps us to step back and "get away" by setting healthy space between us and our blogs. For that matter, a break from social media is probably a good idea too. But that's a topic for another post. :)


2) We need time to rediscover our creativity.

Combined with other commitments, blogging's constant demands can dry out the creative well. Keeping up often crowds out creativity, and can cause stress and a drop in productivity. A break provides opportunities to work on other projects, and to rediscover our creative side in fresh, new ways.


3) We need mental and physical space. 

Between my laptop, tablet, and smart phone, I'm potentially connected 24/7. While this isn't a bad thing in the right measure, it can be detrimental to my life and worldview. I compare it to a vacation - sometimes we need a change of scenery, to get away from the "screens" of everyday life.

Distance from the blogging world can be therapeutic. So whether taking a walk, cleaning out a closet, or meeting a friend for lunch, you're gaining healthy space, hands on life experience, and perhaps some writing ideas too.


That said, what's the best way to take a blog break?


1) Just do it. 

Tell your readers you're taking a break. Follow up on prior commitments, such as guest posts or interviews, of course, but make a break a part of the regular schedule. For example, I schedule a 3-4 week break at the end of the year. I look forward to this break - it's delightful! It's not that I dislike my blog friends, it's just that by this time of year, I need a breather. My online classes are on hiatus as well, so it's a good time to kick back, read more, work on projects, etc.


2) Be disciplined.

Determine that this is your time off from blogging. Set boundaries, even limiting time on social media if that aids in your escape from daily demands. Make a list of items you'd like to accomplish if that facilitates staying focused and motivated. Don't put too much pressure on yourself, though. The break is meant to reap healthy benefits.


3) Get off the treadmill.

The blogging treadmill, that is. Sometimes we don't know what we're missing until we hop off. There's a whole other world out there for us to explore. We know this, but sometimes we get wrapped up in cyberspace and forget to direct our energies elsewhere. That "elsewhere" produces plenty of writing ideas for future use.  


4) Remember that it'll all be there when we return.

The blogging world will continue to spin in our absence. And our friends will be there when we get back. Unless they're taking a break, of course. :) 


A postscript of potential interest - after I wrote this, I spotted these related posts:

Grammarly's You Need a Break: How to Ease Into a Productive 2017
 
Pen and Prosper's 8 Tips to Maintain Your Blogging Appetite


Do you take blog breaks? Do you think they're important?

Happy writing,
Karen 



Photo: Free Images

27 comments :

  1. We do need breaks and I enjoyed taking one over the holidays as well. It's the real life experiences that will build us as a person and give us material to write.

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  2. Yes, I think blog breaks are important to focus on other parts of life and keep us excited about our blogs. I slow down in July, August, November, and December when blogging is slower due to vacations, NaNo, and the holidays. I always come back refreshed and more excited about my blog in the new year.

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  3. Alex,
    I agree, on both counts. We need the real life stuff to keep us grounded. :)

    Natalie,
    The excitement factor is a good point. It's hard to work up enthusiasm when you're burnt out. :)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  4. Hi Karen - blog breaks are a good idea - I just seem to roll along ... I'll stop when I need to and have done on occasions ... but I've lots to say!! I love real life too ... at the moment I'm in the right spot - but it may change ... cheers Hilary

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  5. great advice! love it - but i need to get on the treadmill, that's where i blog, ha haha! (seriously, i do though)

    and wanted to thank you for stopping by my cradle rock release party at diane's blog!
    write on!

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  6. Hilary,
    So glad you're finding the right balance that works for you. :) Your relaxed attitude is a good one to have. It's inspiring too. I appreciate that!

    Tara,
    Ha - well, I hadn't thought about that. Maybe I need to get my treadmill tricked out in a similar manner. :) Enjoyed your post at Diane's. Thanks for coming by!

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  7. JENNIFER BROWN BANKSMonday, January 16, 2017

    Timely tips, Karen. Thanks so much for sharing my post as well. Have a marvelous Monday!

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  8. I have to take breaks for a couple days just to catch up on everything I need to do for DLP and life in general. On regular days, those little breaks to go do something around the house help.

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  9. Jen,
    Thank you, glad you liked the post. As for sharing your article, it tied in so nicely that I couldn't resist! :)

    Diane,
    Tasks do have this way of piling up, don't they? I like breaks too. They help keep me from tipping over the edge, lol.

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  10. This is a perfect post for me. I'm scheduling a break in February, and am so excited to turn off social media for a while. It's absolutely necessary to step away once in a while if you're going to continue for any length of time. Thanks, Karen. And I loved the links you provided.

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  11. Yup, I take breaks. I'm just getting back from a break as a matter of fact.

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  12. Lee,
    I'm glad it is timely for you! Thanks for your insight and input. Have fun on your break! :)

    Holly,
    Hope you had a refreshing break. Good to see you again! :)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  13. I follow Jennifer's blog. At the end of this month, I have a blog post that speaks of my experimenting with taking a blog break between Christmas and January 2. My experience was wonderful and the lesson invaluable.

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  14. I've taken a few blog breaks but only over the last couple of years when hosting a link party became overwhelming. Usually I will announce a break, sometimes I disappear for a couple of weeks.
    I like the points you've shared, nice to know everyone ends up in the same boat at some time or other.

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  15. Cecelia,
    Jen's blog is helpful, isn't it? Will look forward to your upcoming post. Like everything else, a break is often a good thing. :)

    Judith,
    Yes, I think we all feel a bit overwhelmed or are just in need of a break at times! And the blogging community is wonderfully supportive, isn't it? Thankful for that!

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  16. Your wise words have come at just the right time for me, thanks! I haven't formally declared a blogging break but by the looks of it so far this year,that's what I've been doing. Will get back to it soon but in the meantime, not stressing out over it. And thanks for the additional links. Off to check them out!

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  17. Great post! I feel inspired when I take that freedom to break and address those other priorities at the time. I only want to write on my blog when I feel I have something I really want to say. I realize, too, how gracious friends are to welcome me back especially if I'm absent for longer sprints.

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  18. Yes, this is an excellent post, Karen. I love the snowman in the picture. You give valid reasons why writers and bloggers need to take breaks. And it is so true. The blog will be sitting there waiting for you when you return, make no mistake. All the best to you in 2017!

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  19. Hi Karen! As you know, I have taken blog breaks from time to time, the last one taking the summer off. I used to be very nervous about taking them, thinking I would lose so many followers. I have lost some, but you know, if I didn't take that break, I think I would have! It's all a balance thing. When I start to get overwhelmed, it's time to step out for a while and regain my balance.
    Blessings,
    Ceil

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  20. Excellent advise, Karen! I take two or three breaks a year and have reduced the number of blog posts to one a week. Blessings and more. =0)

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  21. Kenda,
    Glad this is timely for you. I think we often lose sight of our goals, and if blogging deters us from our writing, then maybe a break or hiatus is in order. It's about finding our right balance, I'm thinking. :)

    Saleslady,
    You know, that's a good point. We need to be authentic and share what's really on our hearts and minds. Gracious friends are such a gift, aren't they? :)

    Victoria,
    Glad you enjoyed the post. Speaking from the heart on this one! lol :) I need those regular breaks for sure. Wishing you well in 2017 as well!

    Ceil,
    Yes, I agree. It just isn't worth the stress over it. We all need to get away sometimes, and if it's not there when we return, maybe it wasn't meant to be. Our blogs, however, are there when we return, as are most of our followers. :) Thankful for that.

    Susan,
    Thank you! Yes, regularly taking breaks here too, and cannot remember how I managed more than one post a week! lol :) Blessings to you too!

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  22. I know you're right. Which is why I generally only blog once a month. But that's not the problem. I need more hours in a day to visit all my blogging friends. When I'm late I feel bad. Sometimes I miss their post completely and never catch up on all of them. I can stop blogging, that's no problem. What I can't seem to do is keep up with my blogroll. Plus my own posts aren't updated because that feature of my blog hasn't worked since early last year. I want to switch to Wordpress but the thought makes me nervous. Ah, the life of a perpetual worrier. LOL

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  23. Great post! I decided to do Mondays only last year and put more time into reading other people's blogs. But Tuesdays are for book promos and I like to put something up on Wednesday if I have a book promo, since I've found that few people will comment if it's just a blog promoting someone's book and I'm trying to grow my readership. So lately it feels like it's been a Monday, Tuesday, AND Wednesday thing! (But book promos are easy--just copy and paste what the author sends!)

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  24. I think it's a good idea to take a break and come back refreshed. I've noticed that bloggers tend to put a lot of pressure on themselves.

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  25. Joylene,
    Yeah, I could use more hours in the day too! lol But I guess we'll have to manage what we have. I'm thinking you're too hard on yourself. Do what you can, your friends will understand. If not, maybe they're not really your friends, you know? :)

    Stephanie,
    Thank you. :) Sounds like your blog schedule keeps you hopping! I'm thinking we all need to find the right balance just for us, you know?

    Jenny,
    Yes, I'm all for the refreshing part! I don't like just going through the motions for anything, blogging included. And yes, I think you're right, bloggers do put a lot of pressure on themselves.

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  26. LOL! I just realized I don't really take blog breaks. Usually, I'll binge write blog posts during time off to build 4-6 weeks when I get back. Hmm, not much of a break. I'll have to try your version.

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  27. Susan,
    Yes, you should! Who knows, you might come to like it! :) Although I do envy your advance post stash!
    Blessings,
    Karen

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your input. Have a blessed day!