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Take a Break – Battling Bloggers Block

Posted By Darren Rowse 25th of November 2005 Writing Content 6

11. Take a Break

It seems an appropriate day (with many of my US readers currently off eating Turkey and being thankful) to talk about having a break from blogging.

Whether it’s a longer holiday, long weekend, day off or even a lunch or coffee break – time off is probably one of the most essential tips I’d give Pro Blogger types. I got sucked into the 7 days per week 12 work life earlier in the year and it’s perhaps the quickest way to deteriorate your effectiveness as a blogger and the quality of your content. It can also be one of the major causes of bloggers block.

It’s just not worth it to work so crazily. I still work very hard at my blogging these days – but time off is essential and is a big part of being productive and building a sustainable blog.

On a personal level I try to build time off into my blogging in a number of ways including:

  • Holidays – this year we’ve gone away for a number of breaks (in June we were away for the whole month).
  • Weekends – in the later half of this year I’ve scaled back my weekend blogging. I still do it but only lightly and as a last priority.
  • Daily breaks – I’ve mentioned a couple of times that I’ve started a vegetable patch – it’s become a way that I regularly break up my day. I also go for walks, photographic expeditions etc during most days.
  • Friendship breaks – I’m regularly using lunch breaks and afternoons (when I’m not productive) to spend time with people. I found that being a solo business person meant I needed to be a bit more pro-active in my social interactions with people.
  • Breaks from Blogs – recently I’ve been taking days off from specific blogs. One of the challenges of running multiple blogs is that it’s easy to get a little burnt out and bored with some subjects (not ProBlogging of course….). One way to combat this is simply to take an intentional day off from time to time from a specific blog. I often find that when I do this I come back to the blog with a fresh approach and energy for it.

It’s pretty basic stuff really – I’m sure many people don’t struggle with the time off factor like I do but I tend to be something of a workaholic and so this post is probably more for me than anyone else.

I’m off for a coffee….

Read more of the Bloggers Block Series

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
Comments
  1. Hi Darren,
    I like your tip ‘time off’. I just recently started a blog and I’m finding the whole process facinating, so facinating in fact that my wife is now wondering what the hell I’m doing on the computer all the time. (I was never one to spend time on the computer). So I think building time off is on the cards.

    Cheers

  2. Hey Darren,

    This is my first comment to your site. I’ve been hooked on every word of the “Blogger’s Block Series” and wanted to say thanks. I’ve already learned a lot just from these posts.

    I think the taking time off before getting burnt out idea is very important. I know that often times when I work straight through I get burnt out on various tasks and wind up distancing myself from whatever task at hand for a greater amount of time than I would like. If I take short breaks at various points throughout then I get burnt out a lot less.

    I look forward to your next post.

    Brandon

  3. Stefan says: 11/25/2005 at 5:00 pm

    Darren, I hear you. My family life has suffered quite a bit in the last few months due to my workload.
    My biggest fear that stops me from taking time off is that the number of daily visits will decline. Now, this might not be a problem if you take half a day or one to two days off, but I would be extremely interested to hear how your blogs developed while you took a whole month off?

    Stefan

  4. In short – I left my blogs in the hands of 50 or so very very capable and generous guest bloggers.

    Traffic did fall a little as they were not posting quite as much as I was each day but it was a great experience to know they were being looked after so well.

  5. Stefan says: 11/25/2005 at 9:35 pm

    That’s good to hear. Which brings back to mind another very important point that I tend to forget when working too hard: looking over the rim of my coffee mug and forming relationships.

    Anyone out there care for a new friend? ;-)

    Stefan

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