Blogging Breaks: The Good, Bad, and Ugly

Hi, SEers! You’re with Mae today for one of my Good/ Bad / Ugly posts.

At the end of 2020, I took a two-month break from blogging. I’d only planned one—November, to participate in NaNoWriMo—but ended up with little time to spare in December. As lead coordinator on a physical move for the business that employs me, I put in a lot of overtime, which became exhausting. Throw in holiday prep, and I couldn’t summon the energy to be online. I did, however, make use of my weekends, setting aside Sundays to write.

In the event you’re thinking of a blogging break, I offer the following:

Silhouetted image of person sitting on a bench at sunset, bike beside bench

THE GOOD
I added 35K to an existing WIP (of 30,000 words) in November. In December, writing on Sundays, I added another 16K and finished the novel. This is a book that has been languishing an embarrassingly long time. I can’t tell you how good it felt to reach THE END.

NaNo gave me the push I needed, but having down time in December without blogging commitments, helped renew my creative energy for writing.

After two months away, I was excited to dive back into the fun of blogging, visiting, and commenting.

THE BAD
I missed my friends. The writing community is a supportive group, and I’ve made many wonderful friends over the years. I missed the regular interaction and felt badly for not visiting the blogs of those who have supported me.

Guilt. Feeling bad led to feeling guilty. I didn’t make a big deal out of the move before it happened, so most likely, my friends wondered why I suddenly vanished and stopped visiting their blogs.

Fear. Did they think I deserted them? Would they still visit me when I returned? Two months is a long time with barely a blog post to show. (BTW, of course they came back when I was active again. They’re all wonderfully supportive. But at the time… you know… fear).

THE UGLY
When you’ve been away from something for a while, you adapt and fill your time with other things. It was nice to be “off my devices” (phone, computer) and not have a backlog of social sites to visit. I stopped using Twitter, Triberr, and Instagram (I don’t use Facebook, and haven’t visited my Pinterest account in ages).

As an author, it’s not good to disappear. When you’re active on social media and suddenly go silent there are plenty of other places for followers to visit. Your streams and feeds become stagnant.

THE TAKEAWAY
This is the second year I took a blogging break. I did it last November for NaNo as well. Both times I’ve felt rejuvenated afterward. It’s not something I want to make a practice of more than once a year, but there are definitely benefits to going dark for a month.

If you do decide to take a blogging break:

  • Tell your followers in advance
  • Plan ahead to make the best use of your break (what will you be working on…new project? WIP?)
  • Continue to support others by reading and writing book reviews
  • Plan for your return to the blogosphere by writing several posts in advance
  • When you do return, reestablish your regular routine as quickly as possible

Now, it’s your turn. Do you have a blogging break experience to share? Did time away from social media benefit your writing? Let’s debate the good, the bad, and the ugly in the comments.

Ready, set, go!

Bio box for author, Mae Clair

125 thoughts on “Blogging Breaks: The Good, Bad, and Ugly

  1. I have only taken one blogging break of one month in fourteen years of blogging (eight years about my sailing adventures when cruising the world in our sailboat and six years on Roaming About, my current overland adventure blog), with an average of one post a week. In recent years, more guilt and personal pressure has arisen for me, regarding following, reading, and commenting on other blogs. This was not a thing the first eight years.

    Yes, I’m ready for another break, but, to be honest, it’s not so much from writing my own weekly contribution, but from feeling the need to read and comment on so many other blogs. That’s the time consuming part. Yes, this is all self-imposed! 🙂 After all these years, I’m still striving for a balance. I recently laid low on social media because of unreliable/no internet in Mexico and it felt darn good to be unplugged for days at a time. Until the guilt and pressure arrived again and the need to find out what was happening in the world became a priority! So I happily go without internet for a while, as long as there are no outstanding offers on houses or land, or work assignments might arrive, or research to decide the next step in our life is needed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Lisebet. I can’t imagine blogging for as long as you have without a break. I’ve been doing it nine years and have taken multiple breaks during that time period. I think as you said, it isn’t just the pressure of maintaining our own blogs, but keeping up with all that goes on around us, and visiting, reading, and commenting on the blogs we treasure. If I go too long without catching up with the blogs of my friends, I feel out of touch.

      I don’t think there is a perfect balance, but it seems all of us continue to try to achieve it. Thanks so much for dropping by to share your thoughts. I wish you happy blogging–and breaks when you need them! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: These 7 Methods Will Help Get More Readers To Your Blog – Hugh's Views & News  

  3. Thank you for writing on the subject of taking breaks! I have to admit, although I am new to blogging, the thought of not putting ideas into words when the moment strikes, fills me with anxiety. Did you keep a journal for your random notions while on break? Or did you go cold turkey?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Blogging Breaks: The Good, Bad, and Ugly – Aakash teach and technical

  5. I didn’t take a break per se because technically I’ve never really been blogging regularly so only recently gave I been able to stick with a schedule! It’s been working out quite nicely for me I might say, hope I stay on this path!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. First time visiting here. And I just started blogging. I have already planned my break so this was super helpful tips.
    Something that may possibly help future break times is a auto-posting app like planoly. Set stuff up to auto post including your reminder message that your away and not responding to post or messages and when you will be back maybe weekly.

    Liked by 4 people

    • HI, Kita! Welcome to the blogosphere, and many thanks for dropping by to share your thoughts. I’m glad you found the post and tips helpful.
      Thanks for sharing about planoly, too. I’m going to check it out. In the past I used a platform/program that let me auto post to Twitter, but it’s no longer operational. I’ve been looking for another to take it’s place, so I appreciate YOUR tip! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ah, don’t you dare feel bad for taking a well-deserved break! You’re one of the best supporters/promoters/blog friends in our community!
    As for me, I tend to take breaks when I go on holidays (which we’re lucky to have four weeks of in Australia), and I have one coming up, in fact. I have also ‘gone dark’ in the past when my head needed some time to get back together.
    All that said, I can understand the temptation to go dark to get some decent writing done. I’ve been trying for two weeks to get a big chunk done, and between the Day Job, blogging commitments (tours etc), and reading and responding to blogs, my time has been eaten up. Some days I just have to give myself permission to give a post a ‘Like’ and not a ‘Comment’ just to scrape back some time. And I think it’s ok to do that…right?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Awww, Jess, your opening line has left me with a huge grin. THANK YOU!

      I positively think it’s okay to like a post now and then and not comment. I do it too, especially I’m reading through a lot of blogs and I don’t have a significant comment to leave. I try to comment on all the blogs I follow on a regular basis. There are some I only visit now and then, and those are usually the ones where I might drop a like when I need that extra time you mentioned. Like you said, it’s really hard to get writing done, when there are so many other commitments tugging us in all directions. I’ve got my fingers crossed for you that you accomplish the “big chunk” you need to get done. And also that you enjoy your upcoming holiday. I love that kind of break 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • Wow. That’s a long break, but it sounds like the good is really good. Give the “ugly” time to transition back into the good again. After that long, it’s bound to take some time to find your footing. Fingers crossed for you on blogging!
      Thanks for dropping by and sharing your thoughts!

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Interesting. I think we all need breaks from anything from time to time. Taking a blogging break can be hard when trying to get back into it. Your tips are really great to keep reading other bloggers post – but then I find I get lost for hours without knowing it.

    Thanks for sharing your learning. It is important to use our time wisely.

    Liked by 5 people

  9. Mae, you expressed what so many of us feel. 🙂 I’m delighted to know you’ve finished your WIP. Cheers to you!
    I’m kinda still on a break from posting, but I enjoy visiting fellow blogger friends. The blogging community is amazing, the kindness and support are humbling gifts. Thanks for sharing this with us. Best wishes for a fabulous day!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hi, Natalie. Great to have you drop by, and many thanks for the cheers on the WIP. I’m almost done with editing mode—yippee!
      Like you, even when I’m not posting to my blog, I visit my blogger friends to see what they’re up too. When I go dark though, it’s a complete break. No blogging, no social media, no getting online. I need that complete step away from everything, but I miss my friends. When I come back, I’m always re-energized.
      Enjoy your break from posting, and have a fabulous day!

      Liked by 3 people

  10. I think breaks are fine! Especially if you have a full (or even part time) job. It’s near impossible to fit EVERYTHING in some days. So, whatever and whenever you do it, I’m a fan! 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hi, Sue. Great to have you drop by. Thanks for the comment. I completely agree with you that somedays it’s impossible to fit everything in—especially when working a day job. When I’m retired, I’m sure I will need less blogging breaks, but for now, I need at least one a year. I’m glad you’re a fan, too! 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

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  12. This captures the conflict I think so many of us feel. Most of the people I now see as friends will understand if I have to drop out for a while and I know they’ll still be there when I come back. I know we’re supposed to build as big a network as possible to raise our profiles above the parapet but perhaps it’s the quality of the support that counts and not the quantity…

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Glad to see you back, Mae! You’re so right that the writing community is supportive and forgiving. I’m embarrassed by what a fickle writer/blogger I’ve become. I’m trying a comeback lately and some of my old crowd is returning. As good as you are, it won’t be a minute before it’s business as usual. Good luck on your new work!

    Liked by 5 people

    • Hi, Linda! I have missed seeing you online. Consider me a follower who would love to see you back. I haven’t seen your posts in my reader so I may need to resubscribe again. We all need to step away now and again. The great thing is that when we return, our friends and followers remember us. I hope you are re-energized (as I am) and ready to embrace reading and blogging!

      Liked by 2 people

  14. I’ve stepped back from most social media. I tend to glance at it for my own amusement, but not to promote much. It never really produced anyway. I also toned my blog down, but that is a result of Covid. When you don’t do anything interesting, you don’t have as much to post about. I’m glad people stick with me when the weekend writing post is about all I have going for me.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I basically just have my Tuesday book review posts and guest visits (although I do hope to try to write a few posts about my own writing journey this year).
      Like you, I’ve stepped back from most social media, too. I rely on my blog, and I do try to tweet out what I can. Other than that….crickets.

      With as supportive as the writing community is, I’ve found that followers will stick with you even when you don’t blog as often as previously. I think what really worried me this past break is that I was off for two months. That’s a really long time and something I’d never done before!

      Liked by 2 people

  15. Breaks are soooo important. I took a week off (just last week actually) to build the word count for my WIP. It was great only working that, but I feel left out of my blog sphere. I hadn’t thought of taking a whole month off, but you’ve put that in my ear now, and I will probably do that next November. Good idea. Thanks.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi, L.K. I’m glad you made progress with your week off. It’s amazing how much we can accomplish on a WIP when that’s our sole focus.
      What I like about taking the time off in November is that many bloggers are offline for NaNoWriMo already, or reduce their number of posts. That way I don’t miss as much. And working on a WIP in November (rather than starting a brand new project) really makes a difference.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post and dropped by to share!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I sometimes take short blogging breaks, Mae. They are usually when we go away and it is difficult for me to be available to answer comments regularly. I often read posts, but don’t write any for a few weeks. I enjoy reading blogs and hearing all the news and updates so I find it hard to stay away for more than a few days. I often end up sneaking in a post or two but its usually when I know I can respond to comments rather than when I am actually on the move [flying, driving, etc. ]

    Liked by 3 people

    • That makes sense, Robbie. Like you, when my husband and I take vacation, I’m always offline. That usually only amounts to a week for me though. Taking a whole month off was scary the first time I did it.
      I usually only blog 1-2 days a week, but I always read the blogs of those I follow even when I don’t have a post—except for weekends, which is when I focus on writing. I’m sure I’ll do NaNoWriMo again this November. Even if I don’t actually participate, I’ll use that month to focus on whatever my WIP is at the time. I’m still amazed at the progress I made!

      Liked by 2 people

  17. I’ve been blogging for less than two years, but I can relate to many of these same sentiments. It is interesting how we feel guilt for taking care of other, more pressing needs. It is a bit of a mental health hurdle. Everyone knows and understands that we need breaks from things in our lives, but we need not be so reluctant to cut ourselves a break. I think a true blogging break has to be a clean separation for a time. It’s easy to get sucked back in if you think, “Well, maybe I’ll just take a peek.”

    I equate so many things in life to my years as an educator. I made the decision to retire based on my physical and mental health. It was long overdue, and I might have had a heart attack if I didn’t do something. It isn’t selfish to look after ourselves. I often say I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat, with one exception—to look after me as well as I did my students.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Family and health should always come first, Pete. Wow–it sounds like you really did need a break when you stepped back from education. I’m glad you decided to focus on yourself.

      I do agree that when we take blogging breaks they should be clean. I stuck to mine, with the exception of doing a post for a friend with a book release last December, and also my Story Empire commitments. Those I couldn’t step back from. Other than that, and checking emails (which only took a few moments), I was blissfully off-line, focused on writing. It still amazes me how much progress I made. Come November, I’m sure I will do it again!

      Liked by 2 people

  18. Thank you for sharing your blogging break enlightenment, Mae. You nailed every aspect (good and bad) of it. As authors, we have to stay relevant and in the public eye, or we are quickly forgotten. I’ve pretty much abandoned every form of social media except my blog and Twitter. I am hit-and-miss on FB and wouldn’t mind letting it go completely. But I consider my blog as such a vital tool to everything I do, from reading and writing to all things metaphysical. I don’t see myself taking a break from it anytime soon. Congratulations to you on the finished WIP!! Can’t wait to read it!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Jan, I got rid of Facebook about two years ago and found it was one of the best things I did. I was never very active on it to begin with, but it was another platform I needed to visit and make time for. Like you, I am all about my blog and Twitter. Those are my two go-to-platforms. One of these days, I’ll start sharing on Instagram again when I squeeze in more time.
      Thanks for the congrats on the book. I’m deep in editing right now.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I’ve seen so many bloggers fade away over time. I’m here for the long haul and I think you are, too!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I’m a creature of habit, so if I have time to get on my computer, I usually look at a few blogs and post something now and then. I’m slowing down on posting blogs, though. It’s hard to keep coming up with something new, and I get tired of hearing myself:) When we go on vacations, I don’t look online. But I’ve never taken a month off. I’m so nosy, it would be hard for me:) I am spending less time on social media, though, than I used to, and I’m trying to turn out more pages. When you disappear, I miss you, though:)

    Liked by 3 people

    • Aww, that’s sweet of you to say, Judi. Thank you 🙂

      I hope that I can become a creature of habit when I finally retire, and I won’t have to vanish for a month at a time. I used to blog a lot more than I do now. I keep it mostly at 1-2 days. Sometimes it’s 3, sometimes it’s only 1. Blogging and Twitter are really the only social media I do. I should get back on Instagram, but I tend to forget about it, and then there’s fitting it into available time.

      And I always enjoy your posts. You always find such clever ways to tie your topics into writing!

      Liked by 2 people

  20. Thanks for sharing your experience, Mae. I’ve have the same reactions to breaks – the good, the bad and the ugly. But I think the goods outweigh the bads/uglies. 🙂 We are writers/authors and need to make time for that work. I think we also need time for other parts of our lives that are repeatedly neglected. AND, after a break, I come back feeling refreshed and ready to engage. I used to take a week off every quarter and may start that up again. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • You said it so well, Diana. We are writers and authors and without taking the time to actually WRITE, we’re spinning our wheels. Breaks are so important to re-energize. I guess we’ll always have those demons of bad and ugly nipping at your minds, but the good far outweighs those moments. And the writing community rallies when we do return. I think everyone within that community can relate to the need for breaks now and then. I’m going to plan for November again for NaNoWriMo, and hope that I can be as prolific this year as I was in 2020!

      Liked by 2 people

  21. I’ve taken several blogging breaks in the seven years I’ve been blogging, and every one of them was excellent and did my body and mind a world of good.

    I didn’t feel guilty for taking one, nor did I feel guilty for not visiting blogs while I was away. And if anybody had a problem with that, well, as far as I was concerned, that was their problem and nothing to do with me.

    I recommend blogging breaks, and nobody should ever be afraid to take them. If blogging becomes a chore, stressful or starts to make you feel guilty, step back, take stock, and change the way you blog. And if that means taking a blogging break, I don’t think anybody in the blogging community will take issue with it, Mae.

    So glad your recent blogging break was a success.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Hi, Hugh. I do think everyone understands when we, as writers and authors, take breaks. Everyone is in the same boat and can relate. Unfortunately, I always feel those creeping sensations of guilt, whispering I’ve been away too long. That’s something I need to learn to turn off.

      I’m glad to know that you feel breaks are essential, too. I never want blogging or visiting and commenting to become work or a chore. I know many bloggers fade away for that reason (or loss of interest), but I’m in it for the long haul.

      Thanks so much for visiting today and sharing your thoughts. I wish you happy blogging!

      Liked by 3 people

      • Yep, you got to turn those guilty thoughts off, Mae. I’ve seen many give up on their blogs because of the guilt they feel for not keeping up with reading and leaving comments and taking breaks they feel they shouldn’t be taking. Of course, it’s all a nonsense, as I believe many of those in the blogging community understand.

        Liked by 2 people

  22. The only breaks I’ve taken are usually a week during Christmas and New Year’s. With NetGalley, I’m obligated to post reviews during a certain timeframe, and I always let the publishers know when that will be. I don’t mind it – it’s something that’s just a regular part of my day. I’m usually off on weekends, though. And of course we’d show up when you came back from break, Mae!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Aww, thanks, Teri 🙂

      I didn’t realize you were obligated to post your reviews during a specific timeframe. I’m guessing that’s due to books from Net Galley?
      It always amazes me, too, the amount of time it must take you each year with Black Moon Rising. That’s something I could never tackle. You’re a star, my friend 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  23. I’m kind of in the middle of a blogging break right now. Or just coming off of one. Unless an SE author told me to visit a specific blog, I haven’t been online because I was wrapping up a project for work and it needed extra time and attention. And I had all the same fears you spoke of. Thank God we have such a great community.

    And congratulations on your WIP!

    Liked by 3 people

    • I’m glad you got to wrap up your work project. We do have a great, wonderfully supportive community. I know you’ll find, like me, the fears are ungrounded, but it’s natural for us to have them. A “welcome back” to you as well. I know you’ll be posting on your blog when you’re ready.

      Liked by 2 people

  24. I didn’t intentionally take a blogging break, but it ended up that way. Like you, I felt SO guilty, which is why I shared my story of living with pain. Even though my audience rallied around me (you included <3), I had a difficult time getting back into the swing of things. An odd thing happened during that time, though. My stats skyrocketed. Hence why I only blog once or twice per month on my site (plus, twice per month on the Kill Zone). It’s plenty. And I get more traffic that way, too. Win-win!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Sue, I remembered that post you shared, and hope the days are much better for you now.
      Amazing, about your stats. I’m one of those people who never check mine—I probably should–but I am conscious of comments when I post something. When I started blogging, I was posting 5-6 days a week (back in 2012). Now I average 1-2 a week, occasionally three.
      It sound like you have a great strategy and it’s working for you. That’s awesome!

      Liked by 2 people

  25. Reblogged this on The Write Stuff and commented:

    Taken any blogging breaks lately? Mae Clair’s post on Story Empire today deals with the pros and cons of doing just that. This topic is especially interesting to me since I did have to take one this year, and am still not totally back yet. Check it out and you’ll see what I mean. And then please remember to share it far and wide so others can consider some of these well-made points regarding blogging breaks. Thanks, and thanks to Mae Clair for a super post! 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  26. First things first: I’m so glad you’re back, Mae! I’ve missed your steadfast friendship more than you can imagine. And being totally isolated for 8 months (and still “mostly” isolated now) made it even more noticeable that my Penderpal and fellow Dresdenphile was MIA. So happy you’re back again. (WARNING: I have a whole list of books that I’m dying to talk about. Be afraid. Be very afraid. 😀 )

    Yes, I had to take a break this year for the first time in more than 15 years of blogging. Health issues were the primary reason, and those, coupled with over commitments of time on my part, forced me to acknowledge I needed to step back and take a deep breath. I guess I thought I could still do every single thing I could do twenty or thirty years ago, but finally had to accept that I needed to slow down a wee bit. And then I had to learn it was okay for me to do so. (Still working on that part.) So my blogging break didn’t come with a single new word on my WIP, but it did teach me that life is easier when you use some common sense about how much you take on–and that you MUST look after your health if you want to accomplish anything at all.

    I’m so happy you rocked NaNo and that your huge moving job is over. Hopefully you can now do more of what you want to do and less of what you absolutely have to do.

    It’s great to have you back! Now about these books I’ve been reading ………. 😀 😀 😀

    Liked by 6 people

    • Ha, ha on the books! And don’t shoot me, but I still have to finish the Dresden series. I got sidetracked at the end and need to wend my way back.

      Wow, you’ve been blogging for 15 years? That’s astounding! I started in 2012, which is only half the time you have invested. It sounds like your break was certainly needed. Even if you didn’t use it for writing, I can tell it left you feeling better. Health is so important, both physical and mental. We need those abilities to concentrate on writing and blogging. Health and family should always come first.

      Thanks for the welcome back and I look forward to resuming our book discussions. The new Nora Kelly/Corrie Swanson is high on my TBR list right now 🙂

      Liked by 4 people

      • Ha, beat ya! Finished that one, and it’s on my list to chat with you about. 😀 And I was pretty sure if you’d read the last of the Dresden books, you’d have emailed me privately, break or no break, just to share a thought or two. They are jaw droppers.

        I’ve actually been blogging since before they were even called blogs, back when these communities were set up as bulletin boards. They evolved a bit and voila! Blogs. 🙂 And nope, I’ve never taken a break, though I didn’t used to be quite as active as I’ve been in recent years. I had a gardening nature blog (Who’s Your Granny?) and a book review blog (Bookin’ It), but those have been idle for years. I should remove them. When I wrote Wake-Robin Ridge, I decided to create The Write Stuff, and this one will likely be my last. Even if I quit writing, myself, I’ll still want to belong to the writing community, and share things for other writers. And of course, my own books will (hopefully) still be available, too.

        Blogging is my connection to the world, and it becomes more important to me every day. I’d miss all the wonderful folks I’ve met, like you, too much to quit before I fall face down on the keyboard. 😀

        Did I mention how glad I am that you’re back? 😉

        Liked by 3 people

      • You’ve already ready it? Now I really can’t wait. I’m hoping to make it next on my list as soon as I finish my current read. I need a good L&C book, even if it isn’t about a certain special agent 😉

        I remember fiddling with blogger in…2010?….but stepped away from it. I never did get it off the ground. I’m thankful I found WordPress when I started writing. It opened the door to the writing community and wonderful friends like you. I do remember your blog, Bookin’ It, but the nature blog preceded me. You’ve been really active, Marcia. No wonder you needed a break!

        Liked by 3 people

  27. I’ve been blogging for over eight years and have yet to take a break. The way I look at it is the kids are gone, and this is what I do now. I have not felt the need for a break, and I guess it will be a sign of something else if I do. Super post, Mae.

    Liked by 6 people

  28. I took a break as well from September until January. My blogging muscles had atrophied a bit, but I’m glad to be back. I missed the interaction with this great group of folks. Great post. I’m sharing it over on my blog.

    Liked by 5 people

  29. Pingback: Blogging Breaks: The Good, Bad, and Ugly | Legends of Windemere

  30. That ugly can be truly horrific too. Years back, I simply mentioned taking a break and my traffic plummeted. I didn’t actually take the break, but the numbers stayed low. I still don’t know what to make of it. Now I’m afraid to miss a day, but it’s hard coming up with daily topics after posting for so many years.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Wow, Charles, that’s shocking. I admit that I never check my blog stats but I am aware of the comments I get on my posts. When I first started blogging I used to post 5-6 days a week. That got out of hand, and over the years I’ve varied how much I do. Now, it’s usually 1-2 posts a week. Occasionally, I’ll hit three. I can imagine it must be hard to come up with daily posts, day after day, year after year. You’re a powerhouse blogger! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I didn’t pay much attention. It was enough for me to realize that something changed over the weekend. I was vague too since it was personal. By the time I revealed it was because I was going through a divorce, things were really down. I tend to schedule things weeks in advance. The weekends are really the only spontaneous ones.

        Liked by 3 people

      • It’s hard to share aspects of your personal life online. I’m sure that when you did, plenty of sympathy over your absence was there. I hope your followers have returned and your numbers are up again. I schedule in advance on Story Empire (often months in advance). On my own blog I usually only schedule a week or two out. Weekends are the time I try to squeeze in writing, so I’m almost always offline.

        Liked by 1 person

  31. I took a blogging break in November 2019 for NaNo. It was great in that I was able to crank out 50K words. The downside was that I found it hard to get back in the swing of things. With the “exhaustion” of writing all those words coupled with a bout of flu in December, I couldn’t summon the energy to write. Then came 2020 and…

    Lately, I’ve been going dark on weekends. Although I do let a few online activities sneak in, the breaks are great for word count. The last time I went totally dark from social media is when we took a cruise to Alaska in 2012. Outside of checking email, messages, and FB while in port, my phone stayed off the entire time. It was wonderful!

    Liked by 7 people

    • It is definitely hard to get back to the swing of things after an extended blogging break. Like you, I go dark on weekends and have been doing that for years. Also like you, I do let a few online activities sneak in with checking various blogs I follow. When hubby and I go on vacation, I’m definitely dark all the way around. I need those vacation times to recharge. A cruise to Alaska sounds wonderful!

      Liked by 3 people

  32. I don’t think I’ve disappeared completely in a long time. Gone dark, maybe, lols, and not been around that much. Even going on my honeymoon, I still scheduled what I could so I didn’t disappear from my Twitter feed for the whole time.

    It’s definitely a good idea to alert your followers in advance. And, as you say, what a wondeful and supportive community we all make 🙂

    Reblogged this on: https://harmonykent.co.uk/blogging-breaks-the-good-bad-and-ugly-story-empire/

    Liked by 6 people

    • You are a dedicated blogger, Harmony! I definitely have to unplug and disappear on occasion, 2019 was the first time I did it with NaNoWriMo. This year, it made such a difference with my writing. And there was simply no way to coordinate the business move I did and still maintain blogging commitments in December. That was totally unexpected, but turned out to be a blessing in the long wrong. I need to find a program to keep my Twitter feed active in the future. I had one in the past but it stopped working 😦

      Liked by 2 people

  33. Pingback: Blogging Breaks: The Good, Bad, and Ugly | Story Empire | Welcome to Harmony Kent Online

  34. Thank you for this timely and thoughtful post, Mae. 2020 was, and possibly 2021 will be, an unusual year of sadness, confusion, and health challenges. Sometimes we cannot escape a writing break because life demands it. Whatever the culprit, I think a break opens our hearts to deeper realities. And fortunately, friendships endure and an absence in your case truely does “make the heart grow fonder.” Welcome back, Mae. 💗

    Liked by 7 people

    • Thanks for the lovely thoughts, words, and the “welcome back,” Gwen 🙂
      I think my blogging break of last year was desperately needed in part because of the traumas of 2020. I was one of those people who just couldn’t write during the shutdown which put me further in the hole. It did me plenty of time to think and reflect. By the end of the year, after those moments of contemplation, then the creativity of NaNoWriMo, followed by the chaos of a business move, I found my focus again. 🙂

      Liked by 4 people

  35. I think guilt becomes the common denominator when taking a break – which is not a good thing. But how to avoid that, I don’t know. I decided I would take a break in October – but had some promotional posts to share. So November? It didn’t happen; same reason. December – needed to share a friend’s good news about her book. And January came with reviews to write and share. February? My book comes out this month and I have blogs to write to promote.I love keeping in touch with everyone – but which guilt to contend with – not blogging or not writing ( I haven’t touched my WIP for over a week). I think I will choose April to have time out from blogging… or not! A great post that has sot me thinking Mae. Many thanks. Now, must get on… lots of posts to share. x

    Liked by 7 people

    • Hi, Judith. Wow, you really had a lot of plans that got usurped by other commitments. I hope things work out for you in April and you get that long-awaited break.

      When I’m on a break, I’ll still post book reviews on Amazon, GR, and Bookbub. Then when I return online, I post them on my blog. I’m still working through posting reviews of books I read while on my blogging break. As for the guilt, I wish there was a way to circumvent it, but I think it’s part of the whole writer/author package.

      I’m glad my post has got you thinking. If you figure out a solution, please let me know! 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

  36. Great post, Mae:) Taking a break is necessary once in a while. I have for vacations but still check in. Like you, I find that guilt creeping in not visiting blogs or responding on Twitter. But it does give you time to reboot and come back refreshed. I wanted to take a blog break for NaNo last November but had a book coming out. I plan on making myself take some breaks this year.
    Congrats on your WIP 🙂 I’m happy you got that time to make some progression!

    Liked by 7 people

    • Hi, Denise. I guess we all feel a bit of guilt when we take time off. It’s only natural I suppose. I do think blogging breaks are beneficial. Sometimes, it’s the only way to catch up or really make progress with writing—especially when juggling a day job on top of all our other commitments. The nice thing about taking that break over November and/or December is that many people are offline for NaNoWriMo and the holidays. I’ll probably take November off again this year. Even if I don’t do NaNo, I think November will be my month to really concentrate on writing. Although, as you said, if you have a book release at the same time, that just doesn’t work!

      Liked by 3 people

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