Maybe it’s the end of the year approaching but it seems like every which way I turn these days, someone has announced that he or she is taking a “sabbatical” from blogging. The specific reasons for them taking a hiatus vary of course, but the common thread is that their blogging commitments are preventing them from making progress on other projects near and dear to them. I think that taking a break from certain life commitments can serve an important purpose in many circumstances; the question is, how do you know when you can benefit from a “bloggy sabbatical” and how can you make sure that you maximize it?
Are You Losing Sight Of Your Goals? Its so easy to get distracted by the Shiny Object Syndrome. In the social media space (and any other for that matter) distractions dressed up as “opportunities” or “exposure” are a dime a dozen and will undoubtedly fall in your lap once you start engaging with the blogging community. In the beginning, we all start out with laser-focused intentions: we want to develop our writing skills, or start a blog to promote our businesses, or blog to generate income or simply blog for fun (imagine that!). Then, slowly, as we become more entrenched in the blogosphere, something happens – we get caught up in attending “exclusive” events or participating in “unique” campaigns or writing for sites that promise us “traffic” back to our own. Before you know it, your noble intentions have fallen by the wayside and you’re caught in a web of random commitments, none of which are serving to advance you to your goals.
Are You No Longer Enjoying Yourself? This sounds idealistic and simple perhaps, but the gurus agree that success comes when you are doing what you love. The problem is that oftentimes, one’s passion can quickly become, well, work. That’s perfectly normal and it’s perfectly fine, however how you react to it makes all the difference. Is the thing that you once loved suddenly a source of stress and pressure? Are you dreading having to update you blog? Are you making excuses to not honor commitments? These are all signs that you’ve lost the genuine passion that motivated you to emabrk on your journey in the first place.
Are You Overwhelmed? Chances are that if you lost sight of your goal(s) and are no longer enjoying yourself, you’re buried under a mountain of uninspired deadlines and impersonal projects. Juggling those with the rest of your life and knowing that you have lost sight of your personal finish line can wreak havoc on your psyche and cause a sense of being overwhelmed or trapped.
If you’ve answered “YES” to more than one of these, then you might be in need of a Bloggy Sabbatical. A break for a set time frame to reassess, re-evaluate, and recharge.
“But won’t I lose my audience/momentum/popularity if I take a break!?!??”
Well, it’s quite possible that you already are. People, including readers and brands, are pretty perceptive and can tell if you seem scattered, off message or inauthentic in your blog’s writing and content. Taking the time to get back to basics may feel scary but just may pay off in the long run.
NEXT: How to Make the Most Out Of Your Bloggy Sabbatical…