Taking a summer break from blogging is not something all bloggers do.
Last year, I took no breaks at all.
This year, I stopped posting twice a week and only posted once a week for a couple of months while I ironed out some techie details after I moved my website from Lorraine Reguly’s Life to Wording Well.
Essentially, I have been blogging for about a-year-and-a-half with no vacation, no summer break in 2013, or breaks of any kind throughout the year.
I need a break!!!
But can bloggers really take a break???
Can you really take a break from freelancing, or BLOGGING?
The short answer is:yes, you can. The long answer is that you might have to plan your break wisely.
Note that this is quite different from unplanned breaks due to sickness.
In a few moments, I’ll get into some strategies you can employ for taking a break, and taking a break without feeling guilty.
For now, let me tell you that I’ve been reluctant to take an extended break despite the fact that I live in Thunder Bay, where winter lasts for about eight months. I thought the guilt would eat me up.
But after careful self-reflection, I have come to realize that taking a break is just what I need.
I need to take advantage of the nice weather while it’s here.
I need to rejuvenate myself.
I need to focus more on myself instead of on everyone else.
I need to be healthy.
I need to spend more time with my family.
I need a break from social media.
I need to plan for my future.
I need to take care of me, otherwise I cannot take care of everyone else.
Sometimes striking a work-life balance is just not always feasible.
I used to take summer breaks when I was working full-time, teaching. Now that I’m blogging and freelancing, getting paid for guest posts and editing, I am spending more and more time at the computer than I’d actually like to. Not to mention that I finally released my first book (Risky Issues: Stories about identity, drugs, abuse, death and friendship, currently available from Amazon and Google Play) and had to set up a new author website and a ton of new social media accounts, like my Google+ Author page, my Facebook Author page, my Amazon Author Central page, my Goodreads Author page, etc.!)
But…the cool thing about freelancing is that part of the freelance lifestyle allows for flexibility and freedom. If you have understanding clients, you’ll be able to take a vacation without any negative consequence, provided you take care of their needs (or at least consider them when you are making your vacation plans).
Teachers Get Summers Off, Why Don’t Bloggers?
When I was teaching, I took summer breaks every single summer! (I needed them, too.)
For two glorious months, I didn’t have to
put up with any brats lovingly guide and teach my precious students. 😉
Instead, I got to relax, read all those books I wanted to read but didn’t have time for during the school year, spend time lounging in the sun, go swimming with my nephew (and maybe this year, with my niece, too), suntan, and spend time outdoors. For someone who basically lives in an igloo most of the year, doing all of these things is a real treat!
Other Bloggers Take Breaks
What comforts me somehow is that other bloggers I know take breaks.
Freelancer and blogger Harleena Singh took a big break. Harleena is – in case you don’t know – a super-smart person who has a successful blog called Aha!Now that offers advice, help, and information about many different things.
When Becc, from Take Charge Now needed a break, she took one. She even asked for guest post contributions when she made this decision.
And when Jeff Goins needed a break, he took one, using a similar strategy as Becc did.
I also believe that admitting you need help – or a break – is a sign of not a weakness, but a strength. It takes guts to do something like taking a blogging break!
How to Take a Break from Blogging: 7 Things To Do and Remember
So how do you take a break from blogging? There are many ways, and there is no right or wrong way.
However, there are a 7 things you can do to prepare to take a break:
1. Schedule posts (and re-post older posts, or create some round-up posts that consist of links to several other posts).
2. Inform your readers of your intentions so they know what’s going on.
3. Stick to your plan so you can rejuvenate yourself.
4. Book guests who will promote their own posts (and yours, too).
5. Close comments during your absence.
6. Set a deadline for how long your break is going to be, and make sure you return when you say you will!
7. Ask your readers to subscribe to your newsletter so you can stay in touch. (In keeping with with my last suggestion, I urge you to subscribe to my newsletter to stay in touch with what’s going on!)
How to Avoid Feelings of Guilt when On A Blogging Break
1. Remind yourself that you deserve a summer break – or blogging break – or whatever kind of break you are taking.
2. Remember that if you are honest with your readers, they will understand. They are human. They cannot fault you for being human, too.
3. Yes, you will miss your readers. That’s okay. You’ll also want to write blog posts when you are inspired. Go ahead! Write them! You can always save them as drafts and schedule them when you return from your break. In fact, writing great posts is an excellent way you can prove to your readers how much you love them.
4. Focus on the positives: you are helping your physical and mental health by taking a break. You need breaks in order to do other things. There is more to life than blogging, despite what you might think. (Oh, the sacrilege!) Take time to smell the roses, enjoy the journey you’re on, revel in what you are doing with your life.
5. Enjoy the moment. (See Point #4.)
6. Find comfort in the fact that your break won’t last forever. It will be over before you know it. And then it’s back to the same ol’ grind.
Will I really take a break?
Yes, next month. For two whole weeks!
It’s summer, and I want to relax. I want to read. I want to go swimming. I want to spend time with family. I want to take two courses (already paid for!), and I want to come and go as I please.
My brother has a nice pool in his yard. The pictures in this blog post were taken last year when my sister and I took her kids to his house.
My five-year-old nephew, Ali, loves swimming! This year, his little sister, Samantha (Sam), is two, and she’ll be in the water as well (hopefully)!
I love taking Ali to our neighbourhood’s outdoor pool, too. I’m also looking forward to teaching Sam how to swim!
Here’s Ali, at the pool. You cannot see me, because I’m the one doing the recording. 😉
Plus, I have to reiterate, with all of the nice weather we have been having, I absolutely must take advantage of the two months of summer to the fullest extent. Before I know it, winter will be back! *groan*
So, I’m taking a break. In August. For about two weeks. Can you blame me, really???
Now, what I’d like to know is this:
Are you going to take a break from blogging this summer? Why or why not?
Share your thoughts and stories in the comment section, please! I’m not starting my break for a while yet… 😉