Blog views and other obsessions: the slippery slope when you stop blogging for a few days, and longer

Anyone who’s been blogging for a while knows that it’s not only necessary, but good to take blogging breaks. Some people plan them. Other times, life off the blog demands attention. And sometimes you burn out. There’s a certain tension and urgency that crackles through the blogging world and all social media. That can be exciting when you’re up and you have time. I love connecting with other people. But the same things that are exciting can also be overwhelming if you never take a break. There’s also the feeling that if you stop engaging, people will stop visiting and reading your posts when you do come back, that they’ll forget about you. How fragile is the blogger’s ego!

If you follow my blog regularly, you know that I recently finished a long book. I felt driven to finish it in a reasonable period of time. I mean, that thing could have taken me more than a month to read! I tried to stay engaged on WordPress while I was reading it. And in the beginning, I felt a nagging pressure to do that, to read other blogs, comment, share, and think of content to post. Those are things I love to do, when I’m not busy. But something funny happens when you stay off the blog for a few days: priorities shift. I didn’t read nonstop. I can’t sit still in a chair for hours on end. But I spent more time doing the things I needed to do outside of WordPress. Plus I read and I just chilled…

Then I finished the book and guess what? I didn’t want to do anything for a few more days! And then I had to get back into writing a review. It all took time and I felt no desire to rush. Part of me considered the idea of stopping entirely. I’m not going to do that, but these feelings make me realize how important breaks are. I may just try to schedule a few during the year.

So the question is, do you plan your breaks or do they just happen? Do you plan your comebacks or do they just happen too? Have you felt the same tension and then lack of motivation over time? Leave a comment!

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

70 thoughts on “Blog views and other obsessions: the slippery slope when you stop blogging for a few days, and longer

  1. I don’t plan mine but take them when necessary. I miss the blogging when I’m away and always eager to return! I will be taking a week break at the end of April when my sister visits. I can’t wait!

    1. Hi Jacqui – that’s a great reason to take a break. I do feel refreshed after a break, I just never seem to know when I’m going to need one! Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂

  2. All good questions, Barbara. I haven’t taken a break in ten years. I always intend to but never get around to it. I have blogged through sickness and health and guess I will till death do us part. Oh yes. I eliminated a day of no blog (Wednesday), so I guess that is kind of a break. By the way, I never took a sick day in 55 years of working, so my tank-like mentality keeps on rolling.

    1. Wow, that is impressive, John. I’m very much a creature of habit in everything else that I do, but for some reason my blog doesn’t always fit into that scheme. It’s good to have a routine, though. Thank you for stopping by and commenting 🙂

  3. Hmmm…usually breaks are not planned. I just hot a wall and feel like I need to turn off my brain. That being said, I purposely do “lighter” posts on the weekends because I’m writing them on Thursday and Friday, and my brain tends to be toast at that point. My saturdays and sundays are structured so that manly it’s fun, which relaxes my brain to blog again. Does that make sense?

    1. Yes, it does make sense! I think I got bogged down by reading the behemoth Patricia Highsmith book. It was so intense and depressing it affected my mood. Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂

  4. I totally understand all of these feelings! Yes, yes, yes!

    I’ve never planned a break. They just happen. Same with the return. I just come back when I can. But my biggest fear is what you said about other bloggers forgetting about me and then not coming back to reengage. So silly. And yet, is it?

    BTW, I know neither my mother nor I have responded about an interview. I think my mom would have an easier time if the Qs were in a word doc. She doesn’t have internet at home. I haven’t done it just because I haven’t yet found the time. I’m sorry about that. I DO want to do it though.

    1. Hi Betsy – we take our blogs very seriously, but it’s good to step back and take a break now and then. I’m thinking about planning breaks, but I honestly feel like I won’t know I need a break until it creeps up on me.

      Also – don’t worry about the interview – whenever you and your mom get to it is fine – I’ll post it whenever you’re ready. 🙂

      1. Yeah, I think I’ve taken breaks just because I didn’t have time. I feel guilty when I take breaks from other people’s blogs, but less guilty about that if I haven’t been posting myself. Did you follow all that? 🙂

  5. I’m just coming back from a long brake which was not planned. I questioned whether I had anything left to say. I write blog posts in my head but I still struggle getting them on the screen. It’s also a bit of a struggle, but a good one I think, to re-engage with the blogging community.

    1. Hi Zazzy – I know what you mean – sometimes I wonder if I have anything to say. I do feel refereshed now after a little break. Thank you for reading and commenting!

  6. Barbara, you have asked good questions, those that have haunted me time and again. For me, blog breaks are usually taken due to recurring health issues. For a writer, these breaks are killers, just as they are for other bloggers. I have reached a point in time now that I need to make a hard decision, whether to continue my blog, all my other writing or stop all of it and take care of myself. I love nothing more than reading and writing (well, of course, I love my husband and family more!). But I’m certain I’ll go on reading and the writing has become difficult due to not always having clarity and focus to write. Thanks for giving me a sense of others struggling with the same questions. Great post!

    1. Hi Sherrey – thank you for reading and leaving such a thoughtful comment. Blogging has to be fun to be worthwhile. I started it 10 years ago when my kids were all still at home. Then I went back to work part-time and my schedule has become much busier. Now our nest is emptier so in that sense I have more time, but I’m still trying to find a balance. Hope you are doing well 🧡

    1. Hi Jill – yes indeed it does. I rarely post on my FB page and never on my own account. I like WP much better. Thank you for stopping by. I hope you are doing well 🧡🧡🧡

  7. I only post once a month, so it’s different, but my posts take days to put together and that’s after I’ve spent hours or a day or more in a location I’m writing about. When I started out, I posted twice a month and I realized it took too much for the type of posts I write. Every once and a while, 6 weeks go by and I just don’t get to it. My only planning is that on occasion I’ve written two blogs fairly close together, but wait a month to post the second one…

    1. Hi Karen – those are good strategies and they fit the purpose of your blog – your posts always reflect a lot of careful thought and are very professional. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

  8. Yeah, I only write now when I feel like it, or when I have finished reading something interesting. I don’t bother with schedules. Makes it feel like work.

    1. Hi Jeff, yes – who needs more work, right? I know a lot of people are more structured with their blogs but even though I typically blog a lot, now more than ever, I have to feel it. Thanks for the visit! Hope you are doing well – we are under a blanket of March snow!

  9. I plan my breaks. I tell everyone I’m going on one and when I’ll be back. It keeps me accountable, otherwise I might just drift away from blogland never to be heard from again.

    1. Ah, yes. I feel a need to be accountable. In a couple other comments, I’ve said that my need to take a break sneaks up on me. I’m wondering if I scheduled a couple, that wouldn’t happen. Thanks for stopping by, Ally 🙂

  10. Hi, Barb – I am a big believer in Blogging Breaks. I plan mine — and I try to make them a ‘Social Media Break’ as much as possible. When I come back, I’m refreshed and ready to go! 😀

    1. Hi Donna – my need for breaks tends to sneak up on me, but maybe if I scheduled them I wouldn’t get that feeling. I do feel refreshed now. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  11. Since I don’t blog frequently (only 2x/month), I’ve never felt a need for a break. I have 28 days out of the month that I’m just chillin’ blog-wise, visiting others’ post and not worrying about my own. But everybody does their own blog differently, whatever works!

  12. Same feelings here. My breaks come out of the blue and last x amount of time. Then, I come back when I can. It always takes time to build back up again.

    Great topic, Barbara. I have to agree that taking breaks is essential if you feel you need it! 😉

    1. Hi Mischenko – I think I’m like you that way – my breaks tend to come out of the blue. Sometimes I have a lot of ideas but I don’t feel like doing anything with them. I’m feeling refreshed now. I think the Pat Highsmith book was so dense and serious and depressing, it affected me. Now I’m reading a light mystery and have more pep!

  13. Hi Barbara, I find that I tend to fall of the blogging train when I am on holiday. When I am working, I have a routine and my blogging fits into that routine so everything is in order. When I am on holiday, other things take over and I feel less inclined to blog. During the pandemic, we didn’t travel much so I blogged almost continuously. Engaging with the blogging world was a form of relaxation and communication I needed. Now that things are returning to normal, I will be taking more breaks as we are on the move again. We are planning to go and stay in a treehouse in a game park over Easter – isn’t that a fun idea? I’ve also learned to take breaks when needed. People come back. The relationships we have on WP are stronger than that and we just pick up where either party left off on their return.

    1. Hi Robbie – thank you for reading my post and leaving such a thoughtful comment! Yes, during the pandemic there was little else to do, so I did a lot of blogging, and baking! Now things are better, though we don’t have any big travel plans. A treehouse – wow – you have an adventurous family! You’re right that the WP community will still be there after a break – that’s a great feeling 🙂

    1. Thanks, Bernadette – sometimes the breaks are because there’s just no time, but sometimes you have to take a mental break from blogging. But I’m refreshed now!

  14. I agree that it’s healthy to take breaks, whether it’s from work or blogging. I blog and interact with others because I want to. I never want it to feel like it’s a chore or something that I have to do. And so when I’m not feeling it, I take a break. Sometimes it’s just for a day or two. I also tend to take a pause when I’m on vacation.

    1. It’s important to listen to our own moods and not force blogging. That said, sometimes if I’m preoccupied about something else, when I get on the blog I tend to forget whatever it is and cheer up! Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂 🧡

  15. Hi Barbara, I tend to take short breaks more often lately. I used to blog once or twice a week but now it’s more like twice a month. I blame it on being distracted by current events and my own moods.

    1. Hi Jennifer – yes I know what you mean. I’m listening to my moods more than I used to. I still try to blog a few times a week, but it all depends on what I’m reading and what’s going on in my life. Thanks for stopping by – hoping you’ll do a Sunday Snaps tomorrow!

  16. Great questions! I do relate the sense of pressure when it comes to posting content, and there have been times when I’ve contemplated starting a longer book when I think about it in terms of not having anything new to blog about. My real breaks have been related to travel mostly. In earlier blogging days, I’d pre-plan and pre-schedule posts so I wouldn’t just be absent for a week or more, but now I worry less about that. It’s good to step away sometimes!

    1. Hi Lisa, I know – I felt that way when I started reading my last long book – I had nothing to say on my blog and it made me less interested. I’m an organized person in my real life, but many of my additional posts (non book reviews) are off the cuff, so I’m not sure I could do a lot of planned posts. Something to think about, but stepping away for a bit is good too. Thanks so much for stopping by 🙂

  17. Actually, when I know I won’t be able to work in my blog for a certain period of time, I get into a frenzy of scheduling as many posts as I can in advance so it looks like I’m not on a break! (I’m going to Ireland in July, and I’m already thinking about what I’ll do to fill in when I’m away.)

    1. Oh wow – I rarely schedule posts in advance. I guess I could try that but it might stress me out too much! It’s a good strategy, though. Thank you for reading and commenting, Davida.

  18. Great thoughts, Barbara. I usually don’t plan my breaks. I just know when I need one. But I do take them during the holidays or during specific vacations with family. Next week, we’re flying to the east coast to visit our son, and our daughter and SIL will meet us there, too. Since our kids are on the east and we’re on the west, during that week’s time, I’ll be in family mode and won’t be blogging. I think taking breaks is essential, but I also feel that we, as individuals, know what is needed and what is not. 🙂

    1. You’re right, Lauran. I’m going to try to schedule breaks so the fatigue doesn’t creep up on me. I do like the refreshed feeling I get when I come back. Thank you for reading and commenting!

  19. OH, you’ve hit a nerve here. And, it would seem, it isn’t just me. This: “life off the blog demands attention. And sometimes you burn out.” Yes. That’s how it is with me. I don’t schedule breaks, they just happen. (Though I probably should.) And this: “There’s a certain tension and urgency that crackles through the blogging world and all social media.” Ugh! Yes. I don’t feel guilty in any way–ever–for taking a break, because it’s necessary. I also never look at my views or numbers or anything like that. But you have a point, that tension and sense of urgency does create a bit of stress.

    Here’s to more blogging breaks for you, my friend! 🍷

    1. Hi Sarah – it was all a-brewing when I read your recent post about the same thing. I do look at my stats – when I’m in an upswing, it’s fun to think about the numbers, but life is important too 🙂 Thank you for the visit and for commenting – happy upcoming spring!

  20. I’ve taken lots of planned blogging breaks, Barbara. I’ve always come back from them refreshed and with a sense of achievement. Unfortunately, those who think nobody will be here when they get back often abandon their blogs because it causes stress or a feeling of guilt. I’ve seen many bloggers go that way simply because they won’t take a break. Can you imagine if there were no breaks from our jobs?

    And, as you mentioned, there’s life outside of the blogging world. A life that every blogger should take good care of.

    1. I’ve learned that over time, Hugh. I’ll be entering my 10th year of blogging soon. When it feels like a job, it’s time to take a break. That is, unless we’re making money on these blogs – haha – not me!

      1. Yes, I agree, Barbara. When blogging becomes a chore, causes stress, or makes you feel guilty, it’s time to change the way we blog or stop blogging altogether.

        I’ve never made any money from my blog, but that’s how I always wanted it to be.

      2. And for me too, mostly. Just every now and then, when I hear about younger people making good money with blogs or YouTube or streaming I think, wow I could do that. But honestly, doing my blog the way I want to do it is more satisfying than creating content just to get a lot of hits.

  21. I am comparatively new to blogging; I know many have been doing it for years, but I have read other bloggers saying that if you don’t do it regularly people will lose interest and stop following. So it’s good to know a break won’t see half my paltry number of bloggers fly away.

    Thanks for the post.

    1. Hi Paul – thank you for reading and leaving a comment. While it’s true that vews tend to slide when you don’t post, that doesn’t mean readers have left you! Breaks are good – I’ve learned that over time.

  22. I have 4 blogs and depending on what’s up on the focus of each one it goes hairy at times. I stepped back from my daily photo one this year and am doing 365 photos for the year and will batch them on that blog. Our house restoration blog required “service work” and I spent countless hours making it just so. I blogged less on my other ones at that point. I have only once scheduled a post ahead of time because I wanted to learn it. The “stress” I feel is when I start a post and can’t get it to flow. The idea is there but the conclusion won’t come or something is wrong in the middle. This happens lots mostly with current affairs and although I do not have a political blog there are moments I need to step up and say my piece.
    As an aside I think WP blog OL friends are awesome (and won’t forget you) and often feel a more real connection here than on FB and those are my IRL friends.

    1. Hi Bernie Lynne – thank you for sharing your blogging experience. I actually do have another blog (but just one) but it’s been neglected because I simply don’t have time to be everywhere. I agree that WP friends are awesome – thank you for reading and commenting 🙂

  23. I’m working on coming back from an unplanned 2 year hiatus so I feel this!! I was so burnt out it wasn’t fun anymore. So I just stopped. But recently I’ve been reading more and missed writing reviews, so I’ve started blogging again but going to dial it waaay back and just do it when I have some free time!

    1. Yes, sometimes I go so hard on the blog I burn out so I know exactly what you mean. Looking forward to seeing more posts from you – I remember you – it doesn’t seem like 2 years!

  24. My blogging breaks have always been unplanned, and weeks have sometimes gone into months if I didn’t sit down to write.

    Closest I came to quitting was after my first daughter was born, struggled to balance blogging with work and life, but after a while I had an urge to come back, though this time I said I would never take a break again (at least not more than two weeks). Over three years I’ve worked to keep a consistent weekly schedule – failing once last year when I had life difficulties- I just got straight back into by telling myself “just write something” and I got back at it!

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