It’s Okay to Take a Break (Your Blog Will Thank You!)

I first want to say Thank You to everyone for bearing with me this past two weeks.  I’ve had some really exciting things going on the home front and needed more time to tend to that than I thought.  I promise to get into the details on that real soon but in the meantime, I thought it would be a good idea to talk about taking breaks from blogging and how beneficial they really are.

I’m not gonna lie, taking a break from every single piece of writing I do was hard. I hadn’t taken a hiatus like that since last year. That blogger’s guilt can be rough and I couldn’t help but feel like a total slacker sometimes!  It’s easy to get caught up in the blogger race – growing a blog, gaining readership, working with brands, and just trying to keep up.  And what we may not realize is that the pressure we feel isn’t even coming from the outside but actually from ourselves.  Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s essential to push and challenge yourself, especially if your goal is to be a professional blogger (like I’m trying to be).  But you can push yourself too much and things like your blog and personal life can suffer.  Whether your blog becomes more of a chore than a fun outlet or you just can’t find anything to write about, taking an occasional break from it is really a good thing.

You Give Yourself Room to Be Inspired

When you take away the pressure of getting blog posts out on time, make sure they hit your social networks, and responding to a never-ending stream of emails, you leave room for your creativity to grow and have some fun. When I had a little downtime, I would just type some random things into Google and came across an awesome website for vintage clothing (which I will blog about soon!).  I went into my closet and came up with some super cool outfit combinations that I can’t wait to take pictures of when I’m normally when I’m scrambling for an outfit to blog about.  The pressure  just stifles out any type of inspiration to hit my brain.   Do you remember those days before you started blogging?  You had a list of ideas that was a mile long because you saw everything through your creative lenses.  Taking a time out can get back into that frame of mind as well as give your content a breath of new life.

You Realize Where Your Passion Lies

If you’ve been struggling with whether your blog is going in the right direction or don’t know if you want to blog anymore, taking a break from it will help you find answers.  It’s just like relationships, you can’t see where the problems are when you’re in the thick of it.  You have to see it from the outside.  If you’re like me and just couldn’t wait to log back into WordPress and get to blogging again, it’s safe to say you still love your blog and you just needed a quick break! I missed it terribly and so happy to come back with not only a renewed passion for it but with a new set of ideas as well! If you come back to your blog and realize that you really didn’t enjoy what you were writing about but still want to blog, go back to those list of ideas you came up with and get back to what you love!  If you didn’t miss your blog at all, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate blogging.  It could be taking energy and time away from something else that you would rather enjoy doing.

It’s an Opportunity to Get Fresh Content on Your Blog

In this post on IFB, one of the suggestions they gave for preparing for a vacation was to get some guest posters while you’re away.  Take the mental time out to expose your readers to bloggers that may not have heard of before.  I have a staycation planned for my bday coming up and I’ve learned to take it as a chance to invite some of my favorite bloggers to take over while I’m away.  I’ve been meaning to do that for the longest and this hiatus put the fire under my butt to try it out! By injecting new voices and new types of content to your blog, it keeps things new and interesting for your readers attract new ones while you’re taking time to relax and recharge your creative juices.

Have you ever taken a break from blogging?  What did you learn during your time away?

40 thoughts on “It’s Okay to Take a Break (Your Blog Will Thank You!)

  1. THE-LOUDMOUTH says:

    I just went on a vacation and lined up a whole bunch of guest posters for the week. It was such a relief to know that my readers were being entertained while I was gone, but that I could shut off my laptop and simply enjoy time with family! Plus, like you said, being away from the blog gave me fresh inspiration. I couldn’t wait to jump back in with a whole batch of new ideas! :)

    • MJ says:

      Having guest bloggers take over while you’re away can definitely put you at ease. I plan on doing that for my next scheduled vacation!

  2. Kelly-Ann says:

    This is a brilliant post – definitely one of the best articles on the Links Weekly Roundup :) I’ve always fretted about taking time away (and sometimes apologised to my readers afterwards it I have) but why? After all, it’s my space, I’m the only one who’s invested in it and can call it my own. If I feel obligated to it to such a degree that all the fun gets sucked out of it, there’s no longer a point.

    • MJ says:

      Thank you so much! Forcing yourself to feel so obligated can take the fun out of things so it’s important to take breaks (even if you have to force yourself to do it!) :)

  3. Jamillah says:

    BOOKMARKING! For real! Love your tips and I’m happy you feel better. I haven’t taken a bloggy break yet…sometimes I fall a little absent from blog world like the last 2 weeks where work was getting the best of me and then vacay, but not a full blogging break YET! I’m sure it’s coming though…lol, it’s hard to maintain this level of involvement and I’m glad you’re showing me it’s ok to come up for air when you need it.

    • MJ says:

      Awww you are so awesome! :) Yes, you should schedule yourself a little break. A lot times you don’t realize how burnt out you are until you stop and come up for air.

  4. Fabienne Jach says:

    MJ, you’re so right. I used to stress so much about getting posts out regularly and doing every blog event that I felt my creativity was suffering. And it made me so sad to be so stressed about something I love doing so much. I’ve made peace with taking it in bite sizes now. A little here and there consistently is way better than full force and burning out.

    Congrats on being featured on IFB. Great post.
    :) f

    • MJ says:

      Thank you! I also used to feel the pressure of trying to do everything, blog events and all. Heck sometimes I still do but have to remind myself, it’s okay to sit out of a few sometimes! :)

  5. Jennifer says:

    MJ,

    Wonderful post, what you wrote expressed a lot of the sentiments I have been feeling lately. I put a lot of pressure on myself to write 5 days a week and I love it, but you are right it can be exhausting. I think I might need to plan a break for the near future. Thanks so much for this post it brought a lot of clarity.

    Best

    Jennifer

    http://jrosestyle.blogspot.com

    • MJ says:

      I’m soo glad it was helpful for you! I used to try to post every single day but it lead to serious burn out. Instead I shoot for at least three times a week and it works out wonderfully! :)

  6. Amber says:

    Great post :)

    This is such an important issue of me because I’m a full-time professional blogger, and when I take vacations I always worry so much about keeping the sites updated while I’m gone. At the moment I basically spend weeks before any break writing scheduled posts (which can be really, really stressful, and totally ruin the run-up to a vacation!), but lately I’ve been wondering if your point about the pressure coming from inside rather than outside doesn’t make more sense. Does it REALLY matter if my site isn’t updated for a few days? Probably not. If it’s longer than that, then yes, I will see a big dip in traffic, but I suspect that would reverse itself once I got back and started posting normally again. It’s just a matter of persuading myself that it’s OK to let the ball drop every now and then!

    • MJ says:

      I’m so glad you stopped by because it’s great to hear how a full time professional blogger feels about taking breaks. I do the “before vacation post frenzy” all the time and it does get stressful but I feel okay afterwards because in my mind my blog isn’t neglected. This experience taught me that it doesn’t really matter if my blog isn’t updated for a few days, especially if I’ve always been consistent. It’s good to know that readers understand and are loyal enought to come back once you get back into the swing of it!

      Thanks so much for your comment!

    • MJ says:

      Thank you! And I’m so glad your blog came back bigger and better. Sometimes we have to think of things in the long term, rather than the short term. I’d rather have my blog take a hit for few days than have me burn out and not blog ever again.

  7. kirstinmarie says:

    I’m glad you took a break. Breaks are always needed!! You seemed less stressed when we met up that day, and that’s a big plus. The last thing you want is for your creative outlet to become a burden to you, or a stress factor. Then it’s just not fun any more! I’m glad to see you back & blogging!! :)

    • MJ says:

      I was less stressed when we met up and really glad I took time off! Trying to be creative all the time can be really hard work sometimes! :)

  8. gen321 (@gen321blog) says:

    Girl, I haven’t even been blogging that long and I take quite a few breaks! LOL! It can be hard to juggle everyday life, in addition to blog. I am on vacation right now and I almost started to feel guilty, because I haven’t been taking any pictures. I quickly kicked that guilt out of the window, because I needed this time to just sleep late, eat whatever, not get dressed some days, and sit and read a book. A break is a good thing.

    • MJ says:

      I’m trying to get better at shaking off that guilt when it does come around because you do need time to just lounge around and be lazy!

  9. FASHION TALES says:

    I loved this post for so many reasons. I agree, giving yourself room to be inspired really helps, I gave myself a couple short blog breaks the past 2 months (b/c of summer holidays) and came back fully inspired. For me though, it was hard to not be on Twitter, but I took a slight break from that as well afterward. When I took my extended break it was great, because I was uncertain if I wanted to continue blogging. And when I came back I had new ideas & loved blogging even more!

    • MJ says:

      Yeah, I couldn’t stay off the Twitter either! The only time I ever accomplished that was on a road trip where my husband made me put the phone in the trunk! LOL

  10. mrsbossa says:

    I’ve just taken an unofficial break myself, funnily enough – and I missed it! I’ve had plenty of ‘life stuff’ going on, and I just haven’t been able to justify it (and at times I simply haven’t had the headspace). I have to say though, that the thought of getting back into it is exciting, and not the chore I think it would be if I’d forced myself to do it on top of everything else. Like you, I’ve got some new ideas, have spent time actually with my clothes and feel refreshed and inspired again. And I’ve managed to ditch my Twitter-checking compulsion!

    • MJ says:

      “…at times I simply haven’t had the headspace”

      That describes exactly what I was going through! I’m pretty good at juggling multiple things but this time around my brain power along with my time had to tend to Real Life Stuff. But I totally missed it too and I’m back totally refreshed and ready to go!

  11. Veshoevius says:

    Great post MJ! I’ve been toying with taking an enforced break and it was helpful to read this. I haven’t had a break per se as I enjoy blogging and haven’t lost enthusiasm per se, but I just don’t have enough time to work on all the things I want to on my blog – I actually find the time spent on blogging is eating into time I need to be spending doing other essential things – so it’s more of a guilt that I should be attending to those instead of blogging that I suffer from! And with full time work I find I just don’t have the time to comment as much as I’d like anymore.

    • MJ says:

      Then it sounds like you need a break my dear! :) It would be a great opportunity to invite some guest bloggers to take over so you can start doing all those other things you want on your blog.

  12. Best Of Palm Beach says:

    I hate blogger’s guilt, in the future when I take a break I am gonna prepare so I don’t beat myself up. You are absolutely right that pressure comes from within. I love that we have a community where we share tips and ideas to relieve some of the stresses of blogging, whether it’s time management or how to balance or personal time and a blog. I also agree with your point about taking a step back and being inspired again. I am totally in that zone right now and excited to roll out all the ideas I have for my blog. Thanks for this post. xx

    • MJ says:

      You’re so welcome! Yes, having guest bloggers on my next break will definitely allievate some of that bloggers guilt for sure!

  13. Pheobe says:

    These are great tips. I think a lot of people have a hard time grasping the concept of taking a break from a blog. And you’re absolutely right: it’s like a relationship–sometimes you have to take a break and step back to see if it’s really worth it. Thanks for bringing these points to the forefront. I know it’s going to help me become a better blogger.

    Pheobe–pballoonjournal2.blogspot.com

    • MJ says:

      I’m so glad you found this helpful! Yeah, it’s hard to step away from something you love sometimes but it helps in the long run

  14. Bella says:

    Helpful suggestions; beautifully delivered! I love your blog layout! Many times I have thought of taking a break from my blog, but my need to channel my creative spirit drives me to keep writing. Lately, however, I’ve been exploring other creative mediums and posting on a less regular basis. We’ll see how that goes! :)

    • MJ says:

      Thank you! I do have my moments when I’m on a creative roll (like now!) but a few weeks ago, not so much so taking a break definitely helps!

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