I’ve been back to blogging for a few months now, but before that, I stepped away from the blogging world for a year to finish my novel.
When I re-launched Rogue Writer, one of my longtime blogging buddies, Nina Badzin, commented, “I would love to see a post on how it felt to step away and how it feels to be back. Did you stay off social media a lot more, too?”
Nina girl, I can always count on you for writing prompts! Thanks to Nina’s question, I’m now writing this post. So here are the top three lessons I took away from my year off blogging:
1) If you’re working on a larger creative project, DON’T BLOG. It will get in the way of your goal.
I make my living off freelance writing, social media strategy, and content marketing. So trust me when I say this confession was hard for me to publish!
When I stopped blogging, I was working a full-time job as social media manager for a large health insurance company. I worked 50-hour weeks. During that time, I was also chipping away at the novel which I’m now pitching to literary agents.
I had only a few hours of writing time each week. If I’d continued blogging, none of that creative energy would have gone toward my novel, and today, I’d be blogging about how I want to finish my book.
Blogging is fun, but it can sap energy and time which you may need to reach a larger goal. There will always be room later to pick up where you left off on your blog.
2) Taking a blogging break allows you to just enjoy life. Seriously.
When you’re blogging every week (sometimes more), you get caught in the constant need for fresh content. You’ve developed an expectation among your followers that you’ll publish new stuff. After awhile, that pressure can add stress to your life, rather than release it.
When I stepped away from blogging, I felt a sense of relief. My mind wasn’t constantly “on,” and I was able to immerse myself into the world I created for my book. THIS was relaxing. I also enjoyed life a bit more, not having to turn every experience into a piece of online entertainment.
3) You step back and use social media for its original purpose: to be social.
While I was blogging, I tended to use social media for promotional purposes. Build my presence. Increase engagement. Yada yada yada.
But when I stopped blogging, I also stopped posting to my public profiles. I occasionally posted, but it was never on a schedule. Instead, I stuck to using my personal Facebook profile, where I connect with “real” friends and family. I commented on pictures of my friends’ kids, posted photos of my cat, and shared my progress toward finishing my book.
This type of interaction proved to be much more gratifying, and sometimes even fed my creativity!
Have YOU ever taken a blogging break? I’m curious, what did you learn from it?
Hi! I’m Shari Lopatin. I’m a professional writer, editor, journalist, and social media strategist with a decade of experience in media and communications. I live in Phoenix, Ariz. and blog about finding a literary agent, writing tips, social media or tech trends, and sometimes current events. Oh yeah, I also edit novels for self-published authors or writers needing help before querying literary agents. Are we friends yet on Facebook and Twitter?
C’mon, you MUST be thinking something.