Hope for your financial life and beyond

Knowing When to Give Yourself a Blogging Break

tied up handIs blogging wearing you down? I know for me there have been various times during the past year where it felt like a drag. I’ve seen this sentiment expressed elsewhere on blogs, so I am fairly certain it’s a common phenomenon.

If you are like me and feel a sense of commitment in keeping to a predefined schedule, you probably just suck it up and write through the tough days. A couple of times this year when I did this though, I felt my writing quality suffered.

If your main income is derived from blogging you don’t have much choice. You essentially have to keep working through the doldrums.

Whatever your situation, it’s a sickening feeling to be tied to something that you can’t (or choose not to) take a break from.

For 2014, I’m going to work on giving myself some freedom to take writing breaks from my blog if I feel the need. Nothing too extended – just skipping a post here or there. I think the benefit to me will be staying fresh and not forcing myself to produce writing that is sub-par.

Are there optimal times to take a break from your blog? I think you should at least consider it on these occasions:

Around Holidays

Holidays are great times to take a break from blogging. The big holidays we celebrate in the U.S. (Easter, July 4th, Thanksgiving, Christmas) are very family centric. Family members (especially children) and friends desire for you to be around and engaged during these special times of the year. The last thing I want my kids seeing on Christmas morning is their father tied down to his blog, only half engaged as they open presents.

Plus, the majority of your readers are involved in the same holiday activities you are, so they are less likely to drop by and read.

To begin training myself to do this in 2014, I’ll be cutting back my posts over the next couple of weeks. You might see one or two over that time frame and I’ll be doing some commenting on blogs as well. But I don’t plan to resume my regular 3-day a week posting schedule until the week of Jan. 6th.

During Negative Life Events

Life has a funny way of surprising us. Sometimes those surprises are enormously devastating. Instances such as the death of a loved one, divorce, loss of a job or severe illness would be times when blogging simply doesn’t matter. Life has more important issues for you to deal with in those moments.

With that being said, I could see how a blog could be a cathartic experience for someone going through a tough life experience. I would still be careful writing during such an emotional time. Writing through the pain may cause you to express feelings to the public you didn’t intend and might regret later.

Upon Experiencing a Content or Writing Drought

If you have been doing your blog long enough you’ve probably experienced the dreaded writer’s block. This pops up from time to time where you just don’t know what to write about. Or maybe it’s not that you don’t have quality ideas, you are simply having a tougher than normal time putting your thoughts together and constructing a well-designed post.

In those moments, it might prove valuable to skip a post or two and let your mind rest.

When it Interferes With Life Responsibilities

I don’t know the percentages, but I would guess the majority of blogs are produced as a side venture by the administrator. In other words, like myself, the blog owners have a day job that pays the bills and blogging is something they do in their spare time as a hobby or to earn some extra income.

I have to continually remind myself Luke1428 is a part-time venture. It cannot interfere with my primary responsibilities as a husband, father and teacher. If it ever begins to do so, I’ll need to scale back.

If Your Experiencing Frustration or Dread

Has blogging become the dread of your life? Are you waking up completely frustrated with the process of running one? If this is the case, it’s probably time to take a step back and think about why you are blogging in the first place.

You may find out you don’t really care about it anymore and decide to quit. Or some extended time away may give you an opportunity to reevaluate your agenda or simply get recharged.

It’s All Right

Don’t feel bad about taking breaks. We all need them from time to time. You may find that it reduces your stress and makes the total blogging experience more enjoyable.

The Internet is not going anywhere. The blog will still be there if/when you decide to come back to it.

Have you ever been frustrated with keeping your blog on schedule? How do you manage through the tough times? In what other instances might it be good to take a break?

Image at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Next Post: 3 Big Victories, 3 Big Disappointments From My 2013

Prior Post: The Value of Repetition – As Witnessed Through My Daughter

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Here are some Luke1428 articles that have been mentioned around the web recently:

My 8 Step Method For Writing a Blog Post in the:

How to Blog Carnival at Bloggers Classified

Lifestyle Carnival at Lifestyle Carnival and at Fitnancials

Carnival of Financial Camraderie at The Wealth Gospel

Is the Debt Snowball the Best Method for Paying Off Debt? in the Yakezie Carnival at KNS Financial

Defense Wins Championships (and Helps With Finances Too) at The Wealth Gospel and Staying on Budget

Thank you to these blogs and carnival hosts for including my posts!

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Comments

  1. I’m not easily impressed but you’ve done it with that posting.

  2. It’s great to find soeomne so on the ball

  3. I know how you feel. After four years of blogging, I have needed a break every now and then. I just downloaded DC’s “2014 Editorial Calendar”, so hopefully that will help me be better about scheduling posts ahead of time.

  4. I’m terrible about taking blogging breaks. I feel like I constantly need to be working on my site! With that being said, I did take the past two days off which was really nice. Now I have two days of PTO while my wife has work so I will most likely continue to try to get ahead on the site.

    Hope you had a great Christmas and enjoy the break!

    • We had a great Christmas DC. It’s been nice not focusing on the site the last few days. I know what you mean though about always feeling like you need to keep working on the site. I don’t like the feeling of things being stagnant.

  5. Enjoy the break! Writing ahead helps during the times of burn out.

    Happy hoildays!

  6. I will be taking a slight break during the holidays. I have scheduled out some posts, so I won’t be on the computer much. I also won’t be commenting as much. I know from last year that my blog traffic went down quite a bit during the holidays, but came back fine in the new year. I don’t expect this year to be any different.

  7. Student Debt Survivor says:

    Holidays are definitely a good time to take a break. I have a post ready to go for Christmas and then I’ll likely be taking a break for a few days. I’ve been feeling a little pressured lately to “keep up” with blogging and commenting, so I’m trying to remind myself that it’s not “that serious” and I can take breaks when I need and want to.

    • I think that’s wise. Anything you can do to keep it enjoyable and relieve yourself of the pressure. I’ve realized my pressure is self-imposed and that it can be a positive and a negative all at the same time.

  8. Brad Chaffee says:

    I can definitely relate to this feeling. In fact just last week, I wrote a post that I hadn’t let the idea fully develop and I wasn’t happy with the end result. It wasn’t horrible but it wasn’t complete. I rushed it just to say I posted something. So I took Thursday and Friday off.

    On the flip side, it’s easy to let writer’s block get the best of you. I have had moments where I not only stopped writing completely, but it got so bad that I stopped trying. So there’s definitely a fine line and a balance each writer must find based on their own strengths and weaknesses. Know yourself.

    Sometimes just picking up a book or a magazine related to what you write about can get the creative juices flowing. I for one, like to be inspired when I write so this does help me get out of the rut sometimes.

    • “… it’s easy to let writer’s block get the best of you…[and] stopped trying.” That’s very true Brad. Sometimes there is value in sitting at the computer and simply grinding it out. Now that I’ve purchased my first smartphone, I’m using the notepad to record ideas while I’m on the go. That has helped me remember things I want to write about.

  9. Alexa Mason says:

    I take blogging breaks whenever I lose the enjoyment. I hate to feel pressured to do anything. I find that if I take the pressure away from myself that “I have to post” then I actually want to do it more. Over the next few weeks I am working on putting systems in place so that I can spend less time doing blogging stuff but get the same results.

    Have an awesome Christmas, Brian!

  10. It’s crazy but we get so attached to our blogs that it seems like they consume all of extra time. I do need breaks too and I think we are better for taking time off. I know when I pressure myself to come up with something, it’s not nearly as good as something that I am excited to talk about and share with others. I’m glad you’re taking some well-deserved time off to enjoy Christmas with your family. I wish you and your family a very Merry and blessed Christmas. See you in 2014!

    • “…it seems like they consume all of extra time.” I know. I’m drawn to working on my blog during any down moment of time. I have to consciously tell myself “No” sometimes so it doesn’t take over other areas of life that are more important.It easily could.

  11. It’s funny I have the opposite feeling about blogging. My frustration comes from my “day job” so much so that it drives me to work even harder on my blog because I love working on blogging related activities SO MUCH! I think that’s pretty much a sign yeah that while my video work fills me with that dread feeling, blogging energizes me. But for most everyone those are common things that happen I think. And I do experience writers block too and it’s good to take a step back from blogging if that happens. For me this week, I’m just taking a break from writing, but I’m still working on my blog reorganizing some things. lol! At least I can say I found something I’m passionate about! 🙂

    • ” My frustration comes from my “day job”…” I can see how that would be motivation for you to keep pushing hard on your blog. I won’t completely put it down either. Having two weeks free from school gives me a chance to do some blog upgrades/projects as well.

  12. Kim@Eyesonthedollar says:

    I have a guest post for next week, but other than that I’m taking from today off until the 6th as well. I sometimes feel like I don’t have anything meaningful to say, and I don’t want to write 15 posts about the top five ways to save money. Every time I feel that way, though, something always seems to happen in life or in the new that gives me new ideas. If that ever stops, I guess I will too.

    • The biggest producer of content is our own life. I think that’s what makes reading blogs so attractive…we learn from one another. I know I’ve learned a lot by reading your articles. Enjoy your time away!

  13. Holly Johnson says:

    We go on vacation 3-4 times a year and I force myself to schedule some guest posts and let it be. I always worry that my blog will fall apart when I’m on hiatus…but it never does. We all need a break from time to time.

  14. John S @ Frugal Rules says:

    Good and timely post Brian! I’m somewhat like Emily and am a bit of a perfectionist myself. I may not take the Holidays off on the blog, but I will do something more “fun” like an infographic or something like that which doesn’t require as much time/work. That said, I think it’s important to give yourself a break, whether it be with a blog or anything else in life. The last thing you want is for your blog to become a chore as opposed to an outlet for you. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas Brian!

    • I trend towards perfectionism as well when it comes to my writing. Takes me too long to produce some posts. That’s one area I’m looking to improve on in 2014…writing faster without losing quality.

  15. Charles@Gettingarichlife says:

    When I first started my blog more than a year ago I did it for a month then quit because I wasn’t getting any traction. I came back 10 months later (august of this year) because I was hooked on the PF world. When I get really busy with work sometimes I’ll only post once a week if that.

  16. Emily @ evolvingPF says:

    Two years in and I’ve still maintained my new content MWF schedule. I’m kind of a perfectionist so I think it would take a lot for me to deviate, though a few times I’ve wanted to. I see that many bloggers take holidays off, but I basically don’t even acknowledge them on my blog! I did have one very busy period when I was preparing for my preliminary exam when I asked for some guest posts from other bloggers so I wouldn’t have to write as much, and that helped a little.

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