Lessons from a Blogging Break

Lessons from a Blogging Break

I took a week off blogging.

To many people, that would not be a break.

But I gave myself permission to take a break for a week — or longer — and that was enough for me. I have given myself permission to depart from my strict blogging schedule. No more promises to post a certain number of times per week or to post on certain days.

I am back, but in a new way: free form, showing up whenever it works for me, whenever inspiration strikes.

It’s okay to take a break. Good, even. Nothing is lost by stepping away to regroup. Nothing at all.

I can disconnect and still connect meaningfully. Over the past week or so, with my blogging break, I have spent less time engaged on Twitter. I have changed the times I am online, and created more distinct boundaries for myself. Even with new boundaries and decreased participation, I have enjoyed the chance, this week, to build two new friendships on Twitter. Earlier this week, I enjoyed a Skype call with Wendy Appel, who lives in Mallorca, Spain. Yesterday morning, I called a new friend in Florida. Both conversations refreshed and encouraged me. And both happened in spite of (or perhaps because of?) my commitment to unplug.

My life, with social media and without, is incredibly rich! During my time away from blogging, I have spent more time reflecting and digging deeper with my faith. I have splashed in the pool with my daughters and spent time organizing bedrooms. I’ve read and rested. I am exceedingly blessed and where I am is right where I am supposed to be.

Tell me something! Have you taken a break from social media/blogging? What lessons did you learn? What new connections are you making via social media?

(Postscript — this is another blog for my 12 minute blog post category. Have you taken the 12 minute blog post challenge? If I hadn’t told you this was a 12 minute blog post, would you have guessed?)

Filed As:  friends, Social Media

About Becky Robinson

I am the owner of Weaving Influence and the leader of the Weaving Influence team. We help authors and thought leaders grow their online influence. I am also a wife and mom of three daughters, and I enjoy running, reading, writing, a good cup of coffee, and dark chocolate.

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What People Are Saying

  • Good lessons, Becky! I haven’t taken a full break, but I take mini-breaks. Often on Sundays, occasionally otherwise. But since I am finding my attention span is decreasing, I may take more regular breaks. 🙂

    • I keep telling myself breaks are good. Sunday off is a great idea.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts here, JeeDoo. I hope you’ll join the conversation here again!

      Becky

  • Becky –

    You certainly deserved a break with all that you had going recently. I can tell by what you are writing, or maybe “how” you are writing, that you are refreshed and content. So glad to hear that, my friend.

    A vacation or break from any activity usually makes us ready to go back at it in a new, refreshed way. I would have to say that our Father had it right when he told us to work 6 days but rest on the 7th!!

    Loved the blog and I would not have known that you wrote this in 12 minutes if you hadn’t mentioned it!

  • Hi, Becky – welcome back even though I bet you were usually not far away:)

    I have taken breaks in the past that were imposed by external events, but not for internal reasons.

    I do have a standing rule on any day that I can say “Let it go” to any non-monetary or non-family obligation, including social media. Just have not invoked it.

    Maybe it’s because I use a scheduling application and can “work ahead”, but I have not felt much of the pressure to ease off for a long while. I’m blogging daily right now and actually enjoy the momentum. Will be heading to Nashville in July for a church convention sandwiched inbetween two classes, so will have literally no time to keep up . . . so I’m starting to stockpile blogs.

    Like your 12 minute question about whether you can tell (I can’t – seems as thoughtful and well written as every), I will be curious to see if my social media presence suffers particularly in my physical absence or whether the world will continue to spin merrily around. I know which way my money is being bet:)

    John

    • John, I think we are much harder on ourselves than others are. I think your intuition is correct. The world keeps on spinning, spinning, spinning.

      Wow… I’m dizzy!

      Becky

  • Love it! Good job. It’s one thing to blog for fun, but to make it a requirement only works if you are either 1. making money or 2. would actually be blogging more but set limits.

    Our children will only choose us over their friends for a few more years. I’m also trying to enjoy that instead of taking it for granted.

    Miss you dear friend.

    • Hi Becky,
      Are you sure you wrote that in 12 minutes? Lovely, thoughtful, thought provoking and well written. Since I am relatively new to this brave new world of social media, I am not on a schedule. I keep hearing the “rule” that you have to be on a schedule and follow it. Who made that rule? Is it true? People won’t read your blogs unless you are predictably reliable on a particular day with specific frequency?

      Let me know how your experiment works. As for me, I write when the spirit moves; usually after a hike, bike ride, or when my mind has had time to relax I practically write it in my head and I can’t wait to get to my computer to type it in. That’s my schedule.

      It was wonderful talking with you the other day. I look forward to continuing our connection.
      Wendy

      • Wendy,

        I have always believed that people like predictability and that by posting on predictable days (even predictable times), you will increase your blog traffic. I have also typically enjoyed and thrived when I follow schedules and routines. In MBTI terms, I am a J.!

        I thought that staying on a schedule would also help me to be disciplined and focused with my writing. When I was paid to blog for Mountain State University, I stayed with a strict blogging schedule (M, W, F). When I started my own blog, I wanted to continue that schedule… why not, right? It was my habit. I just mixed the days up to fit my lifestyle and posted for a long time on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday.

        I would like to think that this new freedom will inspire greater creativity in me. I am also not blogging with any particular objectives, apart from sharing what I know and having an outlet for writing, so I don’t need to put a lot of pressure on me. Whew… this feels better.

        And, yes, I did write the post in 12 minutes. When I do 12 minute posts, I set the timer on my iPhone and complete the first draft in 12 minutes. I spend a couple of minutes fixing any obvious errors and adding links and then publish immediately. The ability to write quickly comes from practice and from some tips I outlined in an earlier post. Enjoy!

        Wendy, I agree — I look forward to our continued connection!

    • Miss you too! Come visit? I’ll try to call you soon!

  • Dear Becky,

    I took a break from blogging for two weeks while on a tour of six national parks in UT and AZ, 2,000 miles west of home. This was a first for me, both the tour and the break from blogging.

    At first, I felt disconnected from my routine. Early in the trip, I made notes on what to blog about when I returned. And then, I really disconnected. I was absorbed by the peace and beauty of nature. It was both relaxing and inspiring. I wondered about how people lived in the high desert, now and long ago. i felt very far away, almost as if I were in a different country. I met interesting people who would never dream of entering the blogosphere. I connected in valuable ways with face-to-face conversations with people from the west and from around the world. It was a wonderful break in many ways.

    What I learned was that people with vision and a desire to share can provide value to others. It’s why we blog. It’s why the parks exist.

    It’s also why we connect with others…in many different ways.

  • I will be taking an enforced blogging (and twitter) break shortly as we run two summer camps (for kids with disabilities) and so I work seven days a week during the summer months. I miss writing the blog and I get frustrated because I am sure my readers drift off during such a long period of inactivity. On the other hand I love my programs and I know the work I do is far more important and far more ‘real’ than my blog. Just wish there was more time to fit it all in!

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