How to Take a Summer Break from Blogging (without Feeling Guilty)


Ali in My Brother's pool

 

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.

Guess what?

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.!)

Sigh.

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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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.

Heck, sometimes you even have to take a break from blogging to get married, like Benny Hsu did! ๐Ÿ™‚ (Ooh, the sacrilege!)

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!

Tweet this: Take a blogging break. It’s a sign of strength, not weakness!

My Brother's pool

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).

Tweet this: “7 Things to help you Take a Blogging Break”

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!)

Ali in the water

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.

Tweet this to help others: “How to Avoid Feelings of Guilt when On A Blogging Break”

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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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*

my mom's house in wintermy mom's house in winter

 

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… ๐Ÿ˜‰

wwellLorraine Reguly is a Canadian-based English teacher-turned-author who offers both writing and editing services to anyone in need, bloggers included! She blogs on various websites and, if youย subscribe to her newsletter, she will send you a copy of her ebook,ย 20 Blog Post Must-Haves.

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26 Responses to "How to Take a Summer Break from Blogging (without Feeling Guilty)"

  1. Lorraine – You are so right. Everyone needs a break – even bloggers. You make some good points. I plan to take some time off in August too and will be scheduling some posts ahead of the break. I am still too possesive about my blog so not keen on guest bloggers.

    Reply
    1. Mina, your blog is your baby, and it’s okay to not want to share it with others. However, I should point out that when you allow guests, they tend to share their posts, bringing in new readers to your site. That’s one benefit; there are others.

      Taking time off and scheduling posts is great. Just don’t forget to close comments on those posts if you don’t want to be replying to them while on your break!

      Reply
  2. I really enjoyed reading this. I might have a conundrum in a few weeks when I go on vacation so perhaps a couple of scheduled posts will have to rescue me while enjoying the nice beaches of SE Asia. Breaks seem only to appear at the surface.

    We bloggers are always doing something but what gets put out seems to show everyone our finished product. If we’re not posting anything, it seems to people that we’re being lazy/busy with other things. So in essence, I think we’re never taking a break. Just doing other things that occupy our time.

    Great post, btw. Really gives me lots of ideas on how to respond.

    Reply
  3. Great tips for taking a blogging vacation. For hobby bloggers like me, a vacation really not going to hurt much. Scheduling blog is a great idea. I should try that one soon.

    Reply
  4. I’m so glad I went down to only one post a week. Blogs take a huge time commitment that’s for sure. I’m sticking with no posts during the last two weeks of the year too. Most blogs managed by one person have to do what is manageable. I’ll be gone in September and have a series of great guests posts lined up.

    Reply
  5. I doubt I will take a blogging break anytime soon. I exactly enjoy posting articles and getting feed back. I want people to learn something and also see how my debt repayment is coming along.

    Reply
  6. Even bloggers deserve a break! I don’t have a lot of time to blog so I focus on writing just one post a week. Blogging can become like a full-time job for a blog with a lot of traffic. I like your ideas for taking a guilt-free vacation from blogging!

    Reply
  7. Hi Lorraine! Oh my gosh, 8 months of winter! I can’t even imagine. I live in California where we have about 2 weeks every year where it doesn’t reach the 60s and I am dying! Enjoy your well deserved break! I think it is important to recharge. Think of it as doing a service to your readers. You can’t be the best you can be if you don’t take some time to rejuvenate. I will probably be taking at least a partial break from my blog shortly but not for quite as fun reasons. I will my working on my Masters Thesis. You gave me some good ideas on how to handle this time so thank you!

    Reply
    1. Erica, I’m always happy to hear I’ve been an inspiration! Thank you for the compliment. I hope you can put your ideas to good use. ๐Ÿ™‚

      It sounds like you have a heavy workload, too. Best of luck on your thesis!

      And when you get depressed or stuck or tired, think of me amidst all the snow and you will feel better!

      PS. I’m jealous of your nice weather. I may have to move.

      Reply
  8. Boy howdy, do I ever understand the need for breaks. What has been difficult has been the fact that, even though I had planed for it, it wasn’t enough. Why? Life challenges that were unanticipated reared their ugly head and my plan blew up. Thankfully I am just now starting to get back on track. So when life happens, I’ve learned to do the best I can and then let it go. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
    1. Susan, sometimes the best laid plans go to pot, don’t they? It’s a good thing you are resilient and can bounce back from what life throws at you! As long as you do your best, that’s what counts.

      Thanks for your comment. It’s good to see you here again. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  9. Hi Lorraine – I won’t be taking a blogging break, but I am trying to get some blogs ahead, so I can take some time away to learn the things that will help my blogging.
    I do take a couple of weeks at Christmas though.
    I am bookmarking this post, like I have so many of your posts which are exactly what I’m talking about with having the time to learn.
    Enjoy your time off.
    Lenie

    Reply
    1. Lenie, the trouble with blogging and bookmarking posts is that is very easy to fall behind and stay there. That is why taking a break helps. It allows you to prioritize things. Once that is done, you’ll see that each and every thing has different weights, and some things are just not that important anymore. For example, each email you get should not be given equal weight. An email you get that is simply automated should rank as 0 but an email you get from a friend should rank as 10 (one a 1 to 10 scale). See the difference? The point is, some things are just not that important, so don’t fall into the trap of thinking they are!

      Reply
  10. Hi Lorraine & Greg,

    That’s surely a wonderful post – one that I can relate to so well ๐Ÿ™‚

    You are so right – everyone needs a break and should take one without feeling guilty about it. If teachers are given one, why not bloggers – rightly said!

    I guess a lot of bloggers and freelancers are a little hesitant because they have fears on their mind about a lot of factors, just as I’d mentioned in my blogging break post, before I left for my break for 3 weeks, which turned out to be nearly 4 weeks!!

    However, you need to fight your fears and decide on what your priorities are, isn’t it? For me, it was my family and being with them, and just as I take a little break each years, i did this year too, though this time I left without any work, totally carefree, so that was a REAL break.

    I know it’s not easy, and I’ve always traveled with my laptop and been regular with my posts and comments, but that was always at the cost of not fully enjoying myself with my loved ones, which I felt wasn’t fair. I sure am glad I broke that cycle finally.

    Thanks for sharing, and I hope you have a lovely break as well Lorraine – you certainly deserve it ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
    1. Hi Harleena,

      It’s great to hear that you had such a wonderful break. Bloggers seem to be under the impression that their blogs will wither and die if they take a break. That is not so. Plus, one thing I didn’t mention in this post is that readers need a break, too! (Especially if you are creating content that teaches others. It takes a while to learn, and having something new to learn each week is NOT always fun…)

      If the weather ever changes (it is grey again today), I’ll get to do some more swimming, and that will help me with my time off. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thanks for commenting, Harleena. Good to see you back online!

      Reply

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