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?
Photo: Free Images