Guess who forgot to click “schedule” on her blog post last night?
This girl. Whoops.
Today’s blogging basics post has been requested time and time again. Really anytime yours truly has decided to take breaks from blogging. Like during my trip last month. And during my move and final exams in April/May. And during my trips in February and March. You get the picture.
So today, I’m going to share not only why you can but also why you should take breaks from blogging.
What I’m Wearing:
Top: 1901 (sale price: $29.90 | after sale: $45)
Skirt: 1901 (sale price: $69.90 | after sale: $109)
Earrings: Halogen (sale price: $29.90 | after sale: $45)
In just about any other industry, you get vacation days. Or at least “days off”. Sure, they’re not federally-mandated (ugh. A conversation for another time), but there is a recognized value in turning “off” for a few days. Even most financial services firms – companies which have historically notoriously been anti-vacation time – have started forcing employees to take a certain number of days off each year.
So why should the blogging industry be any different?
We’ve talked about this previously, but a lot goes on in blogging behind the scenes. Yes, we write blog posts a certain number of times each week (or month, in some cases), but we do so much more that you don’t see. You see the content we share on our blogs and social media platforms, but you don’t see the hours spent creating and scheduling said content to craft a story… Or engaging with followers so we would have followings on said platforms. You us trying on outfits or trying out products, but you don’t see the never-ending emails or the days and weeks spent searching for the right contact at various companies. Maintaining financial records, creating roadmaps to drive towards strategic goals, and even sometimes certain components of HR all happen offscreen.
Basically, bloggers work 7 days a week. Just about every hour that I’m not at my day job, eating, or sleeping, I’m working on Glitter & Spice. And sometimes I’m even working on it while I’m eating.
Which – understandably and obviously – leads to burnout.
As I’m now a “veteran blogger” (seriously somebody said this the other day and I was like what since when?!), I’ve learned a few tricks when it comes to avoiding burnout. And 99% of them involve some degree of forcing myself to take breaks from blogging.
Why You Should Take Breaks from Blogging
Writing has been my release for the better part of the last 10 years. But, even though it’s a stress-reliever, it can often be a stress-inducer. Particularly when I’m feeling uninspired. Which brings me to reason #1 to take breaks from blogging:
If you’re feeling uninspired and you force the work, the work will be uninspired.
Translation: if you just don’t. want. to. be. writing. that. post., guess what? Your readers will notice.
About a year and a half ago, I realized my blog posts sucked. Honestly, y’all might not’ve even noticed… but I knew they weren’t my best work. Because I was uninspired by the topics (always something fashion-related). So I decided to mix it up and start posting topics about which I truly cared. And the response was overwhelming: my pageviews doubled instantly and so many of y’all started reaching out to talk to me about my posts. And I love that.
Before I mixed it up, I took some time off from blogging. I thought long and hard about what I wanted to write and what I wanted the blog to be. I talked some of my ideas over with some of my closest family and friends. If I hadn’t had that break, I likely never would’ve made the switch.
Which brings me to my second reason:
a blog should never stop you from living your life.
Anytime I have had the choice between being a good “blogger” and being a good friend or family member, I’ve chosen the latter. Sure, sometimes I’ve driven them insane with asking them to serve as my photographer or Instagram Story-ing up a wazoo, but those I love take precedence.
For instance, the first night in Europe, I sat down to write a blog post, and then my sister and I started having a conversation. The second night, I was so exhausted, I didn’t even have time to connect to the hotel internet before my head hit the pillow. By the time we got to the cruise ship (which did not have the best WiFi connection), I had kind of given up on blogging on my trip. I was still taking photos and posting regularly to social media, but I was spending an extra 3 or 4 hours each day hanging out with my family (or sleeping so I could be energized to hang out with my family), and that’s time I wouldn’t trade for anything.
Very rarely when I take breaks from blogging do I go 100% cold turkey. That’s actually one of my goals on 30 Before 30 (so I’ve got just shy of 2 years left to do it). But there should be nothing wrong with bloggers setting up their “Out of Office” email and signing off for a few days to rejuvenate, remind themselves what really matters, and come back stronger.