Newbie Blogger Initiative 2016 - The Importance of Taking a Break
The Newbie Blogger Initiative has a wealth of good advice encouraging people to blog and maintain regular content. However I felt that there was one aspect of writing that wasn't being addressed; specifically the importance of taking a break when it becomes necessary. Writing for all its virtues can be hard to sustain. Real life demands often conflict with our desire to maintain a regular writing schedule. This causes pressure and even anxiety, which if left unchecked can lead to many writers abandoning their blogs.
Although bloggers all share a love of communicating, our motivations are often quite diverse. Some of us write to highlight moral and social issues, others write to build friendships and social networks. Blogging can also be very therapeutic if you are convalescing or going through a difficult period in your life. The focus and discipline of writing can offer a calming and stabilising influence during times of transition. Then of course there are those who aspire to write professionally and look upon their online endeavours as their portfolio. I should also mention those who like to write and share for the sheer pleasure it brings them.
However there are times when life and circumstances take priority over writing, podcasting and live streaming. We all have jobs, families and other factors to consider. All these things have an impact upon our creativity. Also burnout is not just confined to gaming. It can manifest itself in most hobbies and pastimes. Although writing regular material is often very gratifying, it can also be quite demanding and stressful as well. Live steams and podcast especially so, as they often have an extra level of technical requirements that can be complex and time consuming.
So it is perfectly logical that all writers at some point consider the need to take a break and to put the virtual pen and paper down. As with any task, you can only apply yourself to it for so long before you reach a point of fatigue and cannot see the woods for the trees. You may as a result find yourself being a little less even handed in your writing or simply not producing content to the standard you usually maintain. In some instances you may even start to resent the very thing you enjoy doing, as it turns from being fun into a tedious chore. Yet despite all this, many of us will resist taking time out and elect to "soldier on".
As to why do we do this, there is no single answer. Perhaps the most common reason is bound up in some sense of responsibility to our readership. That may sound a little egotistical but let's face it, if you're writing a blog and sharing online, you have already shown a modicum of vanity. But a sense of commitment can be a good thing. I do feel bound to do my best especially with regard to the podcast and like to keep to a fairly regular schedule, so listeners no where they stand. Another reason why we may be a little reticent to take a break is that maybe we fear we'll lose our audience. Blog and podfading are real things and many new sites peter out after a while. Perhaps the most common concern for bloggers is that if we stop, we simply won’t start again.
However in my experience, a lot of these fears and concerns are unfounded. Although readers can be fickle many can be quite loyal. They will wait for new content. It’s not a crime to simply hang up your blogging spurs, temporarily, and hit the beach (other leisure activities are available). In fact not doing so may be bad for your health. Then there are the other reasons that may not be fun but have to be addressed. If some ones sick or you have a personal situation to deal with it, then it naturally takes priority. Readers appreciate this. So my advice to all bloggers both old and new is to take a vacation when necessary. It usually works wonders and you will return refreshed and champing at the bit.