When it comes to creativity, I have periods where I feel so inspired I have more ideas coming out than I have time to process.
During those periods I utilise as much of the momentum as possible. I’m at one of those peaks at the moment, but unfortunately the pressures of life have got in the way.
After weeks of struggling, I began thinking how I could be more productive with my time – which is why I decided it was time for a social media switch off.
Although it’s been good for me, it wasn’t the unicorn I was hoping for to free up loads of writing time.
As publication day for my next post approached, I realised my idea talking about how social media impacts your wellbeing was too bloated with scrappy ideas, so as Wednesday reached it’s close, I admitted defeat and called it a night.
Thursday was productive with editing, but I realised I was nowhere near happy to call it a finished product.
It was there I realised I couldn’t keep working like this, and decided despite it breaking my weekly posting habit, I would take a blog break, so I could catchup, and get back to working in a less frantic manner.
Although I failed my goal to post 52 times in 52 weeks, I realised the break was needed. Here are the benefits of a blogging break, and what I learnt:
Purpose of a blogging break
You can see clearly why I needed a break from publishing – I was woefully behind schedule every week.
And although I was reluctant having that time off from posting, it gave me time to regroup, and get my content back on schedule so it didn’t feel a burden every week where I was rushing to get something out as I reached my Wednesday publication day.
There are other good reasons to have a blogging break:
To avoid burnout:
Taking time out will allow you to come back recharged, repurposed, and refreshed with new ideas.
To regain purpose:
When you blog for a while it’s natural your style and interests will evolve. Taking that time out allows you to reflect on how you are feeling and replan, rather than continuing to churn out content your note interested in anymore.
To focus on other projects:
Blogging takes up a lot of energy and as creatives we have lots of other ideas we want to look at. I’ve spoken with authors in the self-publishing community, who often step back so they can focus on writing the next book. Having a blog break, is priceless to let you focus on other interests.
Life just gets in in the way:
Whether it’s because you have a holiday planned and you don’t want to be responding to comments while sunning yourself around a swimming pool, of you’ve just got personal issues to deal with, then a switch off is a good idea, until you feel ready to return
You get better for having a break, even if you don’t need it:
One of the flaws of hustle mindset culture is it encourages using every hour of the day to be productive and sees taking step back as a form of laziness. But there are massive benefits to taking a break, even when you feel you don’t need it – “sharpening the saw” as Stephen Covey called it, which will give you much needed downtime to help you improve and keep performing at your best.
Concerns from taking a blogging break
You saw in my introduction, my own reluctance to take a blogging break.
My issues where for three reasons – the first was because of my own desire for personal achievement.
It’s my goal as a blogger to maintain a weekly posting habit – and I take a lot of pride being consistent enough to provide high quality content week in, week out, so it was always difficult to be honest with myself that I needed a time out.
My own sense of personal achievement was attached to the identity that by not showing up, I was letting others down, but really it doesn’t matter if you’re there every week as millions of blogs are available to fill that void.
The truth – by taking a break, I’m not letting anyone down except my own high standards of personal achievement.
My second concern was how it would impact my numbers. This stemmed from past experiences where I’d lost passion for blogging and had taken breaks going over six months to find my audience had nearly disappeared to zero and I’d experienced a dip in search engine traffic.
These fuelled my fears not to stop, but in reality, you don’t get these drops if your breaks are short.
It’s worth remember with the blogging game whether active or not, there is always a natural law of attrition where you lose people because they get bored of your stuff, or move onto the next new shiny object.
My final concern was by taking a break I would lose that creative momentum, because blogging like is just like any other habit, and it’s easier to do if you’re writing everyday.
The solution I realised is to make sure even if you’re not posting, make sure your putting pen to paper to keep those ideas flowing.
If you’re struggling with writers block then I recommend checking out my post The Blog Writers Guide to Overcome Writers Block
This article was inspired by my own recent blog break, and during that time I learnt a few things on the importance of taking a rest.
- Although it hurt to break a personal habit goal to publish every week of the year, I appreciate taking the week off has benefited me in the long term.
- Time out has helped me getting back on track with blog publishing, meaning I’m not rushing to meet my deadlines – a massive benefit as I’m not putting that pressure and stress on myself to keep up.
- It’s allowed me to take a step back to research, working on some new ideas I’ve been thinking about for a while. The break has helped me get on the path to turn these ideas into a reality.
Despite my original views, I now see the value of a blog break to allow time to recalibrate, balance the demands of work, and put creative energy into other projects. I will certainly plan another time out in future.
This is not a definitive post about blog breaks – I welcome your thoughts, and own experiences. Drop me a message below and I will respond.
Wishing you the best in your success.
James @Perfect Manifesto