Taking a Break

I think it’s time for me to take a break from blogging.

The biggest contributing factor to this decision is how stupid busy and stressed I am at the moment. I have quite a bit on my plate, and blogging is something that should be fun, but right now, is just causing me stress. Writing my own blog posts and responding to comments, crafting social media posts, plus reading and commenting on other blogs is something that I spend a significant amount of time doing these days, and I’m starting to feel like that time could be better spent elsewhere.

The other piece is a bit harder to articulate. Basically I’ve just become overwhelmed by the expectations and obligations of having an online presence. I don’t like the behaviors required to be a “successful” blogger, or Instagram user, or Twitter user. Jockeying for likes and followers and using a billion hashtags and worrying about SEO is just not me. This was a big part of why I stepped down as a BibRave Pro. I was hoping that removing that particular obligation would help ease the pressure, but I still can’t totally escape the feeling that if I don’t post regularly, or have tons of likes on my Instagram posts, I’m not a “good” blogger. I’m also struggling with the pressure of having an audience. It sometimes feels like the things I’m doing (running, racing) and the things I’m writing here, or perhaps the way I’m writing them, are more for other people than for me, which is not why I started blogging.

I just need to hit reset and figure out a) if I want to continue blogging, and b) what that will look like for me in the future. I need to take some time to reconnect with running and exercise as an outlet for myself rather than a performance for my online audience. I need to do it because I want to do it, not because I want to see the likes stack up. I need to find the internal motivation rather than the external motivation. I need to escape from the world of hashtags and optimization and creating my “brand” and just focus on real life for a while.

I’m not sure how long this break will be, but I’m not planning to come back until I really feel the desire to blog again. I deeply appreciate everyone who’s ever stopped by, read, commented, or otherwise reached out. I’ve made some amazing connections through this little blog of mine, but I’ve just got to step back and figure out my own stuff for a bit.

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25 thoughts on “Taking a Break

  1. Jenn @ Fairest Run of All says:

    Have a good break! But remember – you don’t have to be a “good” blogger, per se. I don’t really see a ton of comments and engagement with my posts, but I enjoy writing and especially having my race and WDW trip recaps archived. Sometimes I go back and re-read them for the warm fuzzies. That makes me happy. BUT. If there’s nothing about blogging that makes you happy in and of itself, you don’t have to! We can all still chat with you on FB and Twitter. 🙂

    • Rae says:

      Thanks, Jenn. I’m looking forward to having more time, and considering that I’ve had blogs for the last 5 or so years, I’m sure I’ll be back at some point.

  2. Jessica @ Fit Talker says:

    I completely understand and pretty much feel the same way. I like to write and like to think people are reading, but then I wonder why I’m writing and who it’s for and if it’s even worth it.
    Right now I’m feeling that way. I’ve started to write a few posts but never hit publish. Like you, I think I just have other things that are more important to focus on.
    We all have to do what works for us and makes us happy, right? 🙂

    • Rae says:

      Aw, thank you! Hopefully this will be the refresher I need to come back with a renewed sense of what the heck it is I’m doing exactly 🙂

  3. SuzLyfe (@suzlyfe) says:

    Love you, dear. Get a good break, come back refreshed (if that is what is right for you). Focus on what is important in your life. Like my post last week–what are your top 3 priorities? If the blog supports those priorities, then great. If not, MOVE ON.
    I’m hear for a call or email or whatever if you need me. Seriously. Always here.

  4. Darlene says:

    I get it.

    I basically continue because I run and it helps me keep track of my races.

    I wish I had the time to write more inspiring posts and get more readers. And I’m a slacker when it comes to commenting on other blogs.

    Hoping you’ll be back. I enjoy following your journey.

  5. txa1265 says:

    I wholeheartedly support this, and I think I have sensed that all of this pressure to ‘be the blogger’ was weighing on you in one way or another … and you certainly have also in the way you have said things leading into and out of the marathon.

    I think that your very nature makes it hard – you want to please and satisfy and sometimes that conflicts with putting your own priorities first. You have SO much on your plate right now, that running a ‘running blog business’ is just an awful lot extra to put on yourself.

    And make no mistake, all of it is a business – and even though I have only been part of this community for 4 years, I have been on the internet since … well, essentially forever. So the same sorts of things that happened on UseNet in the 80s/90s and early web sites in the late 90s early 2000s are also happening all the time in blogging.

    It is a lot of pressure – even for me after running for 23 years prior to getting involved with the online community (and races and so on), I fell into the same things – the pressure to publish, commenting for exposure rather than because I cared, timing my Instagram posts for maximum visibility rather than when it happened or was convenient, and on and on. Fortunately those years had taught me much about myself as a runner, so I never fell into THAT trap.

    It has been ~15 months since my ‘goodbye’ post, during which time I did do a ‘revisit’ of one post. I DO miss blogging, I love reading my old stuff … but I have yet to feel the pull enough to start again. I LOVE reading stuff from a few friends such as you, but cut back my reading by probably 90% from what it was. My online time is a bit lower, but mostly it is more spread out – more focus on learning some fundamental science and math theory stuff, just reading books, playing games and so on.

    Enjoy the break – and … well, that is it. Just enjoy the break – looking towards a ‘possible return’ as at least one person mentioned is its own sort of pressure, so F that as well. I already gave a ‘F that’ comment to what I saw as implied pressure from certain commenters when you were hurt, after the marathon, and so on … you don’t need that – I think that is part of the problem. Just enjoy the comments, remove the WP link from your ‘daily tab group’ (if you have such a thing), and don’t even think about writing for AT LEAST 3-6 months.

    But PLEASE keep us all in the loop of your life on Twitter and Instagram … you are much more than a runner, and while that might seem like the thread that connects us, it is not.

    • Rae says:

      Thanks, Mike. I knew when I hit “publish” that you’d be right there with me in a lot of the sentiments I expressed. It’s been wonderful getting to know so many people and share my journey through blogging, but it just became too much lately. Here’s to a nice long break!

  6. Kimberley@Black Dog Runs Disney says:

    From the start, blogging has always been about just clearing out the brain, a kind of metal release. Once I started with classes, and with work blowing up on a daily basis, I just couldn’t find the time. Obvs, I still blog on occasion, but I no longer feel “obligated”. Those who may interested in what I have to say still let me know that, but it’s never been about growing the blog itself, Kudos to you for realizing it doesn’t have to be an obligation anymore! 🙂

  7. charissarunning says:

    Completely understand! I tend to back away from doing things when I put too much pressure on myself to do it. I started my blog to document my journey to a BQ and now that it’s taking a little longer than I thought (haha!), I’ve definitely become more of a “once-in-awhile” blogger as opposed to a regular one. But it should never be something you have to do! I’m just glad I met you from this and now I have other ways to keep in touch 🙂

    • Rae says:

      Absolutely! I value the friendships I’ve made here SO MUCH, and hope to continue to cultivate them, even if I’m not blogging regularly 🙂

  8. Anna @ Piper's Run says:

    I agree so much with this. The last year I’ve thought I should just give up blogging since it takes so much time. My husband is home more now which is awesome but that means I blog less. Sometimes I just stop blogging and take a break for a week or so…no commenting, no liking posts. I’m starting I need to rethink the blogging piece of my life but for now 1-2 posts a week is working for me. Hope you are enjoying your break.

  9. sarahdudek80 says:

    I totally 100% get this. There is a lot of pressure and when I became a new mom, priorities changed and I just didn’t the time to sit down and post what I wanted or manage other pages, etc. I don’t have time to sit down and read a ton of other blogs, like pictures, etc. I’d love to do some of it, but honestly, life gets in the way and that is absolutely okay.

    I often think a lot about Michael Anderson. I loved his posts and was bummed when he stopped. But I appreciate that he still reads and posts on some of his favorites. He is insightful and fun. Yet, he doesn’t do it because he has to.

    Enjoy your time away. If it is permanent, great. As long as that is best for you. We all would love to see our blogs become a huge success. But a blog is a huge success if you enjoy doing it and like what you are posting. Getting maximum likes because you posted pics at the perfect time or spent your whole day giving a like for a like doesn’t always mean success. Enjoy your break from blogging. You will be missed!

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