Dear regular readers, I’m so sorry I disappeared with little contact or explanation. I was too busy nibbling on saltines and praying to God to take away my first trimester nausea…
But then I deleted that sentence. Why apologize when all I was doing was living my motto, walking the talk, practicing what I preach?
Yes, I spent the first few months of my second pregnancy feeling downright awful most hours of the day, and to deal with it, I turned to the very philosophy behind this site.
I prioritized what was most important to me at the moment—in this case, taking care of myself & my little fetus, spending quality time with my toddler whenever I felt capable of it, and managing essential work projects. Everything else (including but not limited to: chores, laundry, cooking, exercising, and blogging) simply fell by the wayside.
And like I always say, that’s ok. No need to apologize or feel guilty!
Now here I am, 18 weeks along and finally feeling like myself again, albeit a bit rounder in the midsection.
My belief is that my break from blogging wasn’t just necessary for my personal health and wellbeing (and that of my inside baby); it will also make me a stronger blogger in the long run. Win-win!
More specifically, here’s what I learned from my weeks away from the keyboard.
4 Benefits of a Blogging Break
1. You give yourself a chance to miss it.
Let’s be clear: Blogging isn’t for the weak. It requires a lot of hard work and dedication for payoffs that don’t always feel direct or tangible (i.e. not usually a big paycheck in your pocket).
All of that means it’s easy to get frustrated, tired, and burnt out. It’s easy to want to throw your laptop against a wall when your heartfelt post gets a few measly comments or when Facebook changes its algorithm again.
It’s easy to forget why it’s worth it.
Stepping away—be it for a week or a month or more—gives you the space to miss that which you love so much. In this case, absence really does make the heart grow fonder.
2. You discover your true motivation.
It’s not just that you miss the act of blogging; it’s that you have a glimpse into what exactly you miss about it, or why you love it so much in the first place. This is key for making blogging work for you in the long term.
Do you find yourself itching to write and create—to get your words, ideas, and photos “out there?” You probably blog out of a love for the creativity behind the craft.
Do you find yourself longing for contact with the friends you’ve made through the blogging world? Your primary blogging motivation is probably one of social connection.
Do you miss that paycheck, even if it was a small one, because it covered your Starbucks obsession or padded your vacation fund? You probably see your blogging as a side business.
In the midst of your blogging break, ask yourself what your motivation was when you first started out, and if and how that motivation has evolved. The true answers may surprise you!
3. You learn which aspects of blogging burn you out.
During my blogging break I quickly learned that writing is not the problem (no surprise there, considering I write for a living).
The other aspects of blogging, however, are a different story.
I struggle to make eye-catching, Pinterest-friendly images because a graphic designer I am not.
Keeping up with social media is a challenge because I have trouble setting appropriate boundaries around it. Either I’m on it all day or I don’t want to touch it.
My blogging break has brought these issues to the surface. I can now more clearly see where I struggle and where I shine.
4. You can be smarter moving forward.
The real value, of course, is in figuring out how to become a better blogger from here on out—with “better blogger” being defined solely based on your unique motivation and goals.
So, for example, if you’ve learned that posting three times a week totally drains you, being a better blogger means cutting back to a posting schedule that’s more reasonable for you.
For me, I’m left asking these kinds of questions:
What’s so important that it’s worth outsourcing?
What should I simply let fall by the wayside, acknowledging that it’s just not my strong suit?
How can I use maximum time and effort for the aspects of blogging I truly love and enjoy?
Sometimes it takes time away from the blog to identify and answer those questions clearly. In those situations, taking a blogging break is totally worth it.
What benefits do you see in taking a blogging break?
By the way, many thanks to those readers who reached out to check on me! I know I wasn’t the best at responding, but I so appreciate your thoughtfulness. I’m looking forward to stopping by your blogs again soon!
Did you enjoy this post? If so, I’d be honored if you shared it with other bloggers!