Note: In a completely serendipitous case of blog-meets-blog, Mark Dykeman at Broadcasting Brain just dropped a post asking “Why do you blog if not for money?” as this was being published. It’s a good question to ask, if you’re considering a change of pace or purpose. I don’t talk about why, here – but Mark does an excellent job with that question.
Sometimes people need breaks, even from their hobbies. I’ve been seeing a lot of posts coming through the pipes about bloggers stepping back slowly because of a generalized lack of response and, while I think this is valid and right, there are perhaps other reasons why you should take a break. Reasons that fall much more in like with intentional study, which should be part of any endeavor.
Whenever you take on a new project, it’s hard to gauge exactly how much of your time it’s going to take up. Perfect example of this, I changed jobs recently, so instead of working eight and a half hours per day, it’s now something closer to nine or ten. The hours are roughly the same – I’m just leaving earlier in the morning – but the associated stress of changing jobs, even for an upgrade, means I have less energy and time to expend on other projects. Like this blog.
A change of pace can help as well. I’ve stepped away from daily posting here to ensure that the Dowager Shadow project remains running smoothly, and the difference in the kind of creative energy required to make that project the best it can be is staggeringly different from the energy I pour into my blog. Here, I try to allow analysis to rule, and over on Maredran (the world of the novel), the power of pure thought and will trump all logic. Expressing both at the same time, or even within a few minutes of each other, can be very difficult. However, changing gears for a week at a time allows me to make sure large bundles of the work on both get done, with neither suffering more than a few blows.
So while I’m sorry I haven’t been posting as often as usual here, the work continues, and it’s left me with a few good reasons why you – all of you, all of us, in fact – should be willing to take a well planned step back from what you’re doing.
- … when you’re too close to the wheel, you have an entirely different view of the process. Get some perspective – take a few days off, read some old posts, find some new blogs. Break the routine because;
- … reliable is boring if it means you become a broken record. Without some changes in your habits, or some adaptability, you’re not going to be as interesting eventually. This matters, if;
- … you want to come back to your audience refreshed, with new stories to tell and new ways to tell them. Breaking routine doesn’t always mean walking away for a week. Write some posts, schedule them if you can, then play hermit and come back with some video posts, or a short podcast series. And then;
- … repeating the process every now and then can add real value to your own experience. Taking a sabbatical every now and then refreshes even the most hardy of us blog-a-holics. And;
- … walking away without warning can ruin your rapport with your audience and peers, making a regular habit of controlled absenteeism can change the experience in different ways the walkabout may not have the first time.
So chill out! It doesn’t even have to look like you’re gone. I’m well aware that my own lack of posts lately has cut my readership in half (according to Google analytics and FeedBurner anyway) but I hope its temporary. If not, well, you get the benefit of my failing – and I still get to grow my novel either way.
Take a load off, even if it’s behind the scenes. You’ll feel better for it.