To Blog or Not to Blog

bloggingThat is the question

I was taking part in a Facebook discussion on the idea of taking a break from blogging the other day and whether or not something should be said about our absence.

If you know me personally, or if you’ve read between the lines on some of my blog and social media posts–you know that the last 2 years have been a roller coaster of emotions for me and my family.

During this time, I have been struggling to keep up with my full-time job and my life at home, while continuing to keep current with this blog and social media. Some of my friends and colleagues are in the same boat, but also have their husbands, wives and children on that list.

Blog About It

Personally, I have found so much support through Social Media; when I have been away from home, dealing with hardships–it has been a comfort to be able to go online and talk to friends. For the record, some of these friends I will probably never meet in person; but they have offered me support, unconditional love and a shoulder to cry on.

In writing about the things I have been going through, I have chosen my words and subjects carefully, out of respect for my family. I have worked hard to keep up on this blog; sometimes with just photos or short posts about general subjects.

I’ve done my best to create new content and opportunities for Ann About Town, so that you will continue to stop by and say hi or share my words with others. At times it’s been overwhelming, but at the same time satisfying–like there is at least one constant in my life, one thing I can control.

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Blank page (Photo credit: Freidwall)

Blog Vacation

On the other hand, there are times when we are stressed, busy or just unavailable–times when we want or need to step away from the blog, or from the internet altogether, in order to deal with life, family or personal situations.

One thing to remember is that in many cases, blogs are a reflection of life; and as bloggers, we need the time to have a life, in order to have something relevant to say.

Sometimes, stepping away for a few days or even weeks is enough to re-energize and revitalize those blogging muscles.

To Blog or Not to Blog

Sometimes this is an easy decision, a yes or no answer. But sometimes, it’s not so easy; and what should you say to your readers….”I’ll be back”….”Thanks for everything”…”See ya”…?

If you feel that you’ve come to this crossroad and aren’t sure which direction to take, there are a couple of things you can do to help you get in touch with your feelings:

  • Make a list of the Pros & Cons. Brainstorm here, don’t over-analyze what you’re putting on the list. Just write your thoughts down–I want to continue blogging because….I want to quit because… This may just open up a whole new series for you to write about!
  • Give yourself permission to slow down. If you have commitments, get them done and walk away for a while. Taking a vacation or a leave of absence is allowed; so just step away from that keyboard.
  • Create a conversation between you and your “ideal reader.” The idea here is that you, or you and a close friend, will role-play. When you’re talking as the blogger, state your case simply and without guilt; if you’re listening as the “ideal reader,” be sure you’re immersed in that role. I think you’ll find compassion and understanding in your readers that you might not have realized was there all along.
  • Finally, if you do decide you’re done blogging–it’s OK. We will miss you and wish you well; maybe even connect with you somewhere else, on some other platform. As for the whys, that is totally up to you; but if you know you won’t be back, at least say goodbye.

However if you’re like me, I think you’ll be back; maybe in a different niche, with a whole new focus. Chances are the reason you started blogging in the first place will resurface–you’ll have something more to say, and want a platform to say it in your own words.

Your Turn

Have you ever thought about packing it all in? (Be honest)  How did you get through it? Are you still blogging or have you moved on? Let me know in the comments below.

Comments

  1. I am that girl who started a blog, fell out of the blogosphere and resurfaced!

    You’re right…there’s something about blogging that made me start in the first place. It gives me an opportunity to challenge myself in a variety of ways while still staying true and authentic to myself. I’ve always loved writing…I majored in Communications…so blogging for me has been a side hobby, passion, etc.

    When I fell off the blog bandwagon, looking back…I realize that I made other things a priority. Those “things” then became excuses. Ultimately, I always felt like I was missing something.

    After countless “signs from the Universe,” I dusted off my blog and have been back at it for almost a month now. I couldn’t be happier.

    I think that if someone is at a blogging crossroads, they just need to do what’s right for themselves in the moment and follow their hearts. Anyone who writes a blog understands the demands of even putting together the simplest of posts. We are a supportive community…and we get it if you need some time! We just hope to see everyone again (sooner rather than later)!

    :) Anna
    Anna recently posted..It’s Beautician’s Day!

  2. When life takes me away from blogging, I just fade off…then I return when I feel it again. I do love the concept of reinventing and also going back to the beginning. Pare it down and start from the roots.
    Melissa recently posted..Let Kindness Define You #keepitkind @humankindness

    • I think that’s one of the “perks” of blogging–being able to re-invent yourself, or even scrap everything and start over if you want. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. There have been a few times since I began my blog in 2012 that I have drifted a bit, but, that was only due to writers block &/or being stressed & busy with work, life events. I am always disappointed when I am not able to give my blog my full attention. I actually cannot imagine not blogging now. Whether its the wonderful opportunities I have had to share, or, write about personal times going on, like you, I LOVE having an online support team & friends like you!
    Mary recently posted..4 Questions for The Blog Hop Tour!

    • Me too Mary; I just have to learn to pace myself & let go of the guilt and pressure I put myself under. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. I used to get stressed about it and I know everyone says schedule is important, but I try to blog or vlog when I can. Sometimes I’ll get a couple posts done at once. I’ll create posts with ideas started in case I don’t have time to do them, but I always post on my available time. Which isn’t too much. Do I feel like I could do a better job blogging…yes. But right now, my family and pumpkin are the most important people in my life and time with them come first over everything. Then comes my health and sleep. Last comes blogging. I feel like by trying to keep a balance along those lines I am happier overall.
    Good luck hon and I hope you find that balance.
    Trina recently posted..Five baby products I regret buying

  5. Thanks for this, Ann. Funny, I just wrote about this not long ago in a story called, “Why Do I Make This So Hard?” I was wondering the same things.

    I remember reading where someone said it’s okay if you drop out for awhile because everyone is busy and knows what that’s about. You don’t have to announce anything just come back when you’re ready to start writing. That was a relief for me to hear and I’ve tried to follow that advice.
    Pat recently posted..What If — Virtual Kitchen Table Talks?

    • Sometimes its hard to give ourselves permission to do that, right? And some people (that would be me) way over-think it and worry needlessly. Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Well written! I agree with you as I started my blog after a lot of tough times in my life. As soon as I want to take a blog vacay – I sit down and thoughts just come out of my fingertips and onto the keyboard. It is cathartic and I am happy that you have had the support through people you have virtually met via social media. Me too. But, I agree you need to follow your heart and listen to your body and mind. Thinking about you often and sending good wishes. Thanks for this post.
    Melany B recently posted..41 Things Before The Alarm Rings

  7. I have been thinking of it many times. But that is beacause I feel I don’t make it like I want to:) But I really do like blogging and right now I started up a new one.
    Jeanette recently posted..Pink and grey

    • Congratulations on starting a new one up; that’s the great thing about blogging–you can always start over!
      Thanks for stopping by.

  8. Right now I am loving blogging, but I know there will be times when I am just to busy to do so – this article helps put that into perspective! Thank you!
    susan – ofeverymoment recently posted..Whatever your plans may be …

  9. I am WAY into my blogging at the moment! I am slowly trying to build thing up so I can escape my 9-5er…not that I hate it, but it’s just not creative and, well, blogging is. I had a few false starts to my blogging career, but since October 2013 I have been publishing pretty regularly and becoming more active in the community. :-)
    Anne Marie recently posted..Date Night at the IMAX

  10. I took a break for a couple of weeks when I was in Europe and it was wonderful to step away a bit. I actually came back refreshed from the break. I too have elderly parents with support needs and know how hard that can be. I do not really talk about it on my blog because I know my mom would not want that, but that is all the more reason that my blog is my escape. Like Melissa said, I love the idea of refocusing the blog too. For now I do not have any intentions of stopping, but I could someday….are you going to continue Ann?

    • Oh yes, I am. It was just a conversation we were having & I wondered how people felt; what they thought about telling their readers. I may step away from time to time because of what’s happening with my mom; but I’m like you I think. This is a wonderful escape, writing for Ann About Town; plus it has opened up a world of new experiences and new friends for me. I don’t want to give any of that up!

  11. We absolutely must follow our intuition at these times. I know that I have also struggled after a series of setbacks with how to write when I felt too empty to write at that moment. I’ve made a list of fun things that I enjoy and use those as my topics on those days. It’s also great for getting myself in a better place. I think it is important to find the right blog for ourselves. I have another one that I love, but it’s not as broad of a niche as The Art of a Beautiful Life. I like having room to roam a little with topics. Wonderful topic, Ann,
    Topaz @ The Art of a Beautiful Life recently posted..10 Ways to Protect Your Dreams and to Live Your One Beautiful Life

  12. When I feel the blah’s of blogging I go into the design of my site and look back to see what posts I can reinvent. This gives me inspiration to keep going.

  13. It seems like I’ve been getting overwhelmed a lot in the last year. I constantly have a backlog of at least 4 or 5 posts to write. I, too, have a full-time job. Blogging started out as a ‘hobby’ for me and has turned into a ‘job’ of its own. Just last weekend, instead of enjoying a 3-day weekend, I pretty much spent it all catching up on my blog. I have decided to not accept anymore invitation until I am all caught up. Someone told me once ‘If it’s not fun, don’t do it.’ Rather than being burned out, I’d rather pace myself so I can enjoy it.
    Wendy Chen recently posted..SweetXO @ Huntington Beach – Media Tasting

    • You’re so right–pacing yourself is very important to prevent burn-out; that and letting go of the guilt I feel for not getting something done are the 2 hardest things for me. Thanks for stopping by Wendy.

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