Hello my lovely readers! I hope this week has been treating you well. Today, I’d like to talk about blogger guilt and taking breaks. Recently, I haven’t been posting much to this blog. I didn’t add any content and I felt awful about it. I felt like my blog was going to die, I’d lose my followers, and I was disappointed in myself that I messed up my carefully planned schedule. But, I didn’t have the time or energy to devote to this blog. I had a lot of my plate these past weeks and it helped me figure out where I stand with this blog. I enjoy this blog and I definitely plan on continuing to post, but this is a hobby blog. I make no money off this and that’s okay. My lovely followers didn’t abandon me. Thank you all for that by the way. I actually gained followers oddly enough. It wasn’t the end of my blog that I took a break and it was good for me. It gave me time to breathe. I had no reason to feel guilty and if you choose to start your own blog you shouldn’t feel guilty about it either. Now, I know that’s easier said than done, but we’re all people writing these blogs and people usually get the need for breaks. Starting a blog that you’re passionate about can be an exciting and kinda scary thing. When you put a lot of love into it stepping away even for a day or a week can feel like a loss. I think that’s why it’s important to remind ourselves that it’s okay.
Below is a TED talk about the importance of taking breaks. This talk is given by an artist who regularly takes breaks and it has allowed him keep his creativity alive. This advice can seem obvious when you think about it, but we are a society that is generally focused on product over process. It trains people in many ways to work themselves until there’s nothing left and I want us all to avoid that.
How to take a secret break
Now, you might not understand the title, but what I mean is: How do you take a break without it being super obvious you are taking a break? If you’re worried about about keeping up with appearances or you don’t want there to be a time gap in your posting there are a couple things you can do.
- Create a schedule– this is probably one of the easiest things you can do. When I first started blogging I wanted to post everything I wrote right away and wanted to share all my ideas with readers RIGHT NOW. While it feels really good especially when you get reader feedback from all your hard your work that sort of posting schedule is hard to keep up with. However, if you have better self control than I had when first starting out posting only a couple of times a week while saving drafts for future posts is SO helpful. I try to have an ongoing collection of reviews saved up just for this reason. It takes some of the pressure off.
- Partner with someone – if you know you’re a busy person, but would still like to blog you could always share a blog with a friend or interested person. This means that if you get busy then hopefully your partner could take over and vice versa. This option can be a little tricky depending on what vision you have for your blog and how protective you are of it. I’ve seen it work well in the past, but personally don’t think I could handle it.
- Guest posts – what I’ve seen done before and actually really enjoy are guest posts by other bloggers. Now, this is usually done when there’s a particular topic being discussed that different bloggers will do a guest post on their thoughts or personal experiences. This one takes a bit more planning at the beginning and you have to have bloggers willing to participate. This has a double benefit though. Not only do you not have to post something on that day, but you’re bringing more attention to the guest and their blog and possibly vice versa. True booking community spirit here.
Breaks of Different Types
If you decide that a break may be helpful there are always different types of breaks you can take based on your needs. Here are some types of breaks and what might be helpful to do during them.
- Radio Silence – This is the best break to take when you’re so exhausted and frustrated with your blog that it’s seeping into your every day life. Radio silence break is where you don’t post anything. You don’t read other posts. You temporarily forget that wordpress even exists. I would even recommend not reading books during this break either. Sometimes we need a hard reset before we can get back into enjoying something. I recommend doing something else you enjoy or going outside for a walk. Whenever I reach this level my brain feels foggy, my eyes hurt, and I have a headache. If you can get away from the screen for a little bit or a long time (if you need) it can allow the physical needs of your body to be taken care of as well as your mental and emotional ones.
- Snail posting – This is when you’re just getting a bit overwhelmed by your previous blogging schedule. Slow down, it’s okay not to post every day or even every other day. This is where my above suggestions would be most helpful. You need to let go of some of the pressure you are putting on yourself.
- Readers Block – If you’re dedicated to writing review for your blog then the pressure to read books quickly can take away the joy of a good book. If you have a book blog chances are that you enjoy reading. Don’t let the blog take that away from you! Depending on your readership the least interesting part of a book blog are the reviews. Readers often enjoy content such as lists, book meme posts, or other fun posts that allow them to participate more in your blog or at least give them something new to read that might now spoil a book for them.