Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover

The Blogging Break That Didn’t Happen

A photo of a person laying on a beach, obviously exhausted

This photograph was taken by Anna Loverus (no longer on Flickr).

I have never taken a blogging break that wasn’t for some eventful reason – in other words a holiday or Christmas. I can understand others taking them but it just isn’t for me (for reasons I’ll be discussing later).

However, whilst I was extremely productive the first month of this year, I hit a wall soon after. I’m not sure what happened exactly; I guess it was the natural conclusion of having been so happy and motivated but with a new routine. And location – even though location helped initially I suppose there comes a time when your brain says ‘hey, wait up, what’s going on here?’ and I’d unintentionally excluded this thought for too long.

I felt ‘meh’. I wasn’t ill but I couldn’t really be bothered to do anything in my free time other than watching series boxsets and playing The Sims (which I like but will be the first to admit the sandbox play has little real value). When I finished the boxsets I started researching others. I looked with scorn at the books on my desk. I hadn’t finished a single book that month yet.

I watch very little television and rarely make time for old favourites. This was what really brought home to me the fact that something just wasn’t working, more than the way I was shunning reading.

I’d run out of motivation, and the change in my life suddenly hit me. I wasn’t unhappy and I’d actually already wondered why I didn’t feel weird at all, having moved.

I realised the next Monday that it was pointless trying to pretend. I closed all the blogs I’d opened to comment on because none of the posts were getting through to me. Yet I felt worse on Tuesday, and worse still when I realised I was down to my last couple of drafted posts. I also tried to push through it via forced reading but chose the wrong book.

And I seriously considered taking a short blogging break, saying, on Wednesday, that I’d be back on Monday or some such.

The problem was I knew that no matter how much I like blogging in general, for me taking an unscheduled break might result in my not returning because it’d be too easy to wallow in it. I realised that giving in to it and taking that break would just continue the cycle of nights spent watching shows I’d already seen and an empty coffee jar where I’d fill boredom with drinking beverages (I at least had the willpower not to create sugar-induced headaches). It’s all too easy to give up and when you’re feeling odd, willpower often takes a hike.

The next Wednesday was good. I woke up feeling okay. Time was spent blogging, and more than simply understanding others’ breaks, as I had previously, I can now say I can emphasise with them. Whether it was because I know at heart that my watching and gaming were time wasters or that the couple of days of feeling down were enough to get me back on track I don’t know. I found it suitably ironic that the two posts I published whilst feeling ‘meh’ didn’t get any comments. Whilst I was proud of them I published them in a poor frame of mind.

Obviously I’m better now (the dip was in February) and I’m getting back to all the review requests I’m late in fulfilling.

What’s your coping method when you have a ‘life’ slump and lose your motivation for blogging (or reading, or whatever hobby is your favourite)? Do you muddle through or are you best able to work through it with a break?


Laurie C

May 7, 2014, 12:42 pm

Glad to know you got through your slump! I thought I would catch up over the winter. Hah! Didn’t happen.


May 7, 2014, 1:16 pm

I scale back. I’ve been scaled back much of this year–my goal is to write twice a week, and that means sometimes I only get to it once a week.


May 7, 2014, 2:06 pm

Glad to hear you are feeling better my dear, I’ve been through similar things. It might have been a bit of minor depression? Sometimes I get like that when all I can concentrate on is TV, it usually takes an event or a spectacular book to pull me out of it.

I tend to muddle through were I can.
Sometimes I don’t blog one day or I post a filler in the form of an extract. I try nto to relax from my schedule unless it’s a holiday – Christmas, Easter, Bank Holidays…

Christine @Buckling Bookshelves

May 7, 2014, 3:31 pm

Well…I don’t work on any kind of a schedule so taking a break from a Wednesday to a Monday is just…business as usual! Lately I’ve been struggling with how much time blogging takes up that I could be spending reading — and I’m not quite sure how to reconcile that irony…


May 7, 2014, 9:11 pm

Honestly I just blog on BUT, I have tried a personal blog, a photo blog, taken breaks and never gone back.

But with books, it works, and I am glad for it

Belle Wong

May 7, 2014, 10:28 pm

I just went through a period of sporadic blogging, which was unusual in a way because I generally blog less when I’m deep in work deadlines with no time to read books. I’ve actually read quite a few books the past couple of months – but just haven’t felt like writing about them. Glad to see you’ve got your motivation back!


May 8, 2014, 5:58 am

I often find in times of illness, stress or upset that I stop reading and tend to watch more television as I find that involves far less brain power. In fact though really reading would bring me more comfort than television so now I’ve trying to pick up an old favourite to re-read in times like that.

Literary Feline

May 8, 2014, 7:14 pm

Scaling back has helped me quite a bit. Sometimes breaks do. In terms of my blog.

Reading slumps I tackle a little differently. If I’m drowning and worn out from obligation, I read something totally fun and fast and escapist. Or I give in to the television or my magazines or some other interest I’ve likely been neglecting because of books or my blog. Sometimes just changing focus for a little while is enough to help me through the rough patches.

I am glad you found your motivation again! I didn’t get much sleep the other night because I suddenly was full of ideas for my blog–and then I woke up in the morning and realized I am being way to ambitious. And the ideas aren’t really new. It’s just motivating myself to follow through. That’s the hard part for me right now.

Jenny @ Reading the End

May 9, 2014, 2:00 am

When I’m having a hard time blogging, it helps me to schedule a break and enjoy the break. Plus, if I’m not fretting about blogging, it’s easier to get plenty of reading done, and then when I return from my break, I have loads of books to review!

If it’s a different hobby — reading or whatever — that I’m in a slump from, I try to learn a new skill. I feel like it resets my brain and distracts me enough that I don’t need to worry about WHEN WILL I LOVE A BOOK AGAIN. :p


May 9, 2014, 9:19 am

Happens to me sometimes, I just take a break for however long I want. There is no point in doing something I’m not enjoying anymore.

Glad you’re feeling better.


May 11, 2014, 3:46 am

I’m glad you got over your slump. I took a break from blogging and quite enjoyed not making myself write about books! It had become stale and I needed a rest from it. I’m still in the reading slump from Hades, although it has been with me for so long that maybe it’s a permanent thing now. Idk.

I think it’s ok to cut ourselves some slack when we don’t feel like doing something and just have a break from it.

Tanya Patrice

May 11, 2014, 5:11 pm

I’ve unintentionally scaled back recently, as work has been taking up way too much time. When I have to scale back blogging, I try to amp up reading, so I’ll have more to say when I get back into the swing of things.

Jo @ Booklover Book Reviews

May 13, 2014, 12:04 pm

I generally try to do something to snap myself out of it, by taking a short break from pre-agreed titles and just reading something quite different – find staying on same track and not reading/writing at all doesn’t help me (because I get a lot of enjoyment/stimulation from both). It’s like exercise, a tiny break is fine but very quickly you begin to miss the endorphins and become even more lethargic ;)


May 30, 2014, 12:52 pm

Laurie: Yes, this. I thought I’d have time too, when I’m actually so far behind every other year so far.

Jeanne: That’s not a bad idea. I’ve scaled back on requests, which has helped emmensly, but I am worried about anything else (in the way I might find myself scaling back further).

Alice: It could’ve been. It was just so weird that I wanted to be able to pin it on something. Short, easy, posts are a good idea, though in my case I had run out of those, too!

Christine: It is ironic! For a book blog you want to write about a book which means reading it but in reading you’re not writing posts and…

Blodeuedd: That is exactly why I didn’t want to take a break. The fear of not going back when you know that you do enjoy blogging. It sounds like you’ve found your niche ;)

Belle: I’ve had that recently. I’m sitting on a book so to speak that I want to write about from a blogging perspective but can’t from a motivation perspective.

Jessica: Yes, it’s strange – I’d say the same, television’s alright but when you’re an avid reader you know deep down books would be better. It’s mustering the will to make that tiny bit extra effort.

Literary Feline: I like this scaling back idea, I’m just so scared of it (in that I could see myself just carrying on scaling back). Fun reads are a good idea, as are books, good or bad, that you know you’ll have a passionate responce to. I’ll have to remember the going-back-to-a-neglected-interest idea, that sounds excellent, and inspiring. I don’t know about ‘aren’t really new’ – if you’ve a different spin to put on the topic it’s always good, and even if you don’t everyone has something different to say. I know I’ve published posts I think are kind of obvious, but because the topics are obvious we forget them and they get a good response. Write what you want :)

Jenny: That’s a good point. Having a backlog is useful, too. I love the new skill idea! I think worrying about not reading makes the slump worse, so anything that lets you relax is good.

VioletCrush: That’s very true. And often if you write when you’re not enjoying it, it shows in your writing.

Violet: Stale – that’s the word! I think when we do have breaks for any reason we do return a little changed. (I know my latest review is quite different.) I like the description of your slump. I don’t know, maybe it’s very long-lasting, but you’ll likely get passed it at some point :) I think I need to work on feeling that slack is okay…

Tanya: That’s a good way round it. Making quality over quantity.

Jo: Being on the same track, yes, that makes sense. I know I read a lot in one genre, hate it after that, I find I need to mix it up more. Yes, you need to keep going somewhat, and do what it takes to keep going even if it’s less.



Comments closed