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:
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.
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).
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.
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!