Why I Needed A Blogging Hiatus and What it Taught Me

Finding new posts after a blogging hiatus on sites you love is pretty exciting. Loyal supporters are bright-eyed and bushy tailed, eager and ready to take in the new content from the bloggers they love. The post-hiatus blog post usually starts off like, “Hi guys! I know it’s been a while since I have written. I just haven’t been inspired lately.” Or “How’s it goin’ y’all? Sorry for being MIA. Life has been keeping pretty busy nowadays. You know how it is.” Or “Hi lovelies! I’m back and I am so excited for the new things I have to offer you on my corner of the internet!” In many cases, whether the blogger has five followers or 500, they seem to have this certainty about them that there is a crowd of excited supporters waiting for their return to cyberspace. The hypothetical crowd’s enthusiasm is a lot like a loving family dog who is waiting by the door for his or her human to come home.

But you all aren’t dogs simply waiting. You are humans with lives beyond the internet. Maybe you noticed that it has been a bit quiet on this here blog. Maybe you haven’t. In either case, I make no assumptions. I am not sure who is reading this post at this very moment. It could be a reader who reads regularly. Or it could be one that checks out my blog only once in a while. It could even be a newbie (in which case, hello and welcome. Please enjoy your stay 🙂 ). But I digress.

Taking a break from blogging can be a great way to step back and reevaluate your why. I did not realize until afterward how much desperately needed it. Click through to read more about what I learned about myself during this break.

I will be straight up; not blogging for the past two months has been one of the best decisions I have made this year.

Honestly, this online space has frustrated me and stressed me out for the past few months for a few different reasons. Firstly, it is incredibly exhausting to constantly write about social issues, especially the issues that affect me directly. I think thoroughly through the content of such posts and carefully craft my arguments in order to make my points. Not only do I deal with the technical labor but I also deal with the emotional toll of such labor that no one sees. As a black African immigrant woman in a world where white supremacy is ever present, I am inevitably exposed to the fact that my humanity is an afterthought. But to constantly fixate on issues of injustice does more harm than good to my emotional well-being; it drains me. And to circumvent that, I would alternate with blog posts that inspired people or reminded people to take care of themselves; those posts were just as much for my audience as they were for myself.

But then, another social issue would bother me and I would be compelled to write very long, meticulous posts only to just be flat out exhausted again. Not only that but with writing these self-care and encouragement related posts, I was frustrated with the fact that, while they are things people (including myself) needed to hear, I did not see how they fit my overall goal with my blog. Honestly, I lost sight of my goal for this space. And I have not even mentioned the writing services that are part of VMM. Just thinking about all of this brings back those feelings of “everywhere-ness,” the feeling that there is no cohesiveness to what I am doing on here and it is very discouraging. And that discouragement, along with the loudness of blogging’s sister friends called Twitter and Periscope, led me to stop writing on my blog. I realized that I needed to stop getting on here. I also needed to stop searching for direction on Twitter and Periscope. I needed to do this solo.

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A few days ago, I watched this vlog on Jamie and Nikki’s channel on YouTube that showed their visit to Los Angeles. They included some bits and pieces of their experience at #YouTubeBlack, a conference catered to Black YouTubers. In one of the sessions at that conference, Russell Simmons, a well-known business mogul and millionaire, said the following: “Every new idea comes when the mind is quiet. A noisy mind doesn’t do anything but cause sickness, sadness, and disconnect.” When I heard those words, I immediately thought of my corner of the interwebs and I felt so affirmed with my decision to step back. By stepping back, I was able to rest from the disappointment my blog gave me by not thinking about it at all. I told my blog, “It’s not you; it’s me. I just need my space to figure things out.” And that, I did.

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When I was ready, I returned back to the drawing board behind the scenes a few weeks later. And I realized that the way this blog is set up, discussing societal and cultural matters is the main bulk of my content here, followed by my personal stories and inspiration while writing-related things are in the background. The truth is I want all of those things to be part of my blog and I am too stubborn to let any of it go. I thought long and hard about how to make this happen and, in doing so, I have decided to bring writing out from the wings to center stage. More specifically, I have decided to be the cheerleader for the writers who just so happen to be bloggers (aka personal bloggers). I am here for the storytellers and truthsayers of sorts who are about the business of sharing their message to the world because, quite frankly, we don’t get a whole lot of love in the blogosphere. Plus, it makes more sense to bring more content about writing to the foreground since I am a writing mentor and freelance copyeditor. And since personal writing is my jam, my cross-cultural experiences and observations will inevitably be part of this space. And since there is more to who I am than my cross-cultural life, some of that will also find its way here too.

How will I do this? Well, my aim is to post two to three times per week with options to post on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. Here is what to expect when posts are published on those days:

  • Monday is #MotivationalMonday. On this day, there will be a post specifically meant to encourage personal bloggers/personal essayists/personal writers/memoirists/etc. to speak their truth unapologetically.
  • Wednesday is #WritersWednesday which will offer practical tips, tricks, and insights to improve how you express yourself via writing on the internet.
  • Saturday is #SpeakYourTruthSaturday and I do exactly that. And instead of just hoping that you are inspired to write about your own thoughts and experiences, there will be relevant prompts following each post and calls to action encouraging you to do the prompts. These will be especially helpful on those days where you may be experiencing writer’s block and you are not sure what to write about next. And it will be a great way for me (and other people) to go to others’ blogs and check out what they have written.

Finally putting this out in the open makes me both very excited and at ease. I could not have been able to come up with a solid, cohesive plan had I continued blogging while trying to figure this out. Our everyday lives are noisy and the noise becomes even louder on the internet. I understand more than ever the need to block it out. Not only can it be a mild to moderate nuisance but, as a creative, it can totally impede my growth if I do not step back for a significant amount of time and reevaluate what I am trying to accomplish. And now, more than ever, I am so stoked to enter this new chapter on the blog and I am excited to have you join with me. 🙂

How about you? Have you ever needed to step and reassess something that you love to do? Also, what part of this new chapter of VMM are you most excited about? Let me know in the comments section below.

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  • Glad to see your back! First off, thanks so much for this post. As I am currently on my own blogging hiatus which I must admit has left me feeling a bit guilty. Feeling as if I  have somehow lost focus for my blog coupled with trying to manage the demands of my career had left me pooped. So I felt the need to slow down on blogging for just a little while. Now, reading this makes me feel like I  am not alone. When reading your blog I definitely didn’t get a sense of “everywhereness”. To me everything just seemed to fit.

  • Welcome back! I myself have taken a break from blogging and even business – and like you, I’ve had several confirmations about my decision. Sometimes all the noise and even “the hustle” gets too overbearing and cripples me as a creative. Happy to know I’m not the only one who had to step away for a while.

    I’m excited to see you post and combine all your passions into one. It’ll multidimensional and so awesome! Excited 🙂

  • Ah, thank you, Anekia! I’m glad to be back. And I totally advocate for taking the time off if you need it. The online world can be so noisy and stepping away from it for clarity and quieter thinking is very helpful. I am so glad to hear that this post made you feel less alone. That tells me that my words can be of service to someone and that is precisely what I want to do on this space. Bringing comfort and validation is definitely going both ways here. <3

    I think your perspective of seeing my work as not everywhere is from our similarities and how we have connected because of them. I can tell from reading your posts that our interests are nearly identical. I love that. But others who may not have the same combination of interests may not be able to pick up so readily what you have picked up. But in a sense, the themes and topics presented on this blog are not changing. It's just that instead of social issues being such a main crux of my brand and writing in the background, I am doing the opposite, thereby making "writing" my niche. But the way I talk about writing will stem from my personal experiences, observations, and my personal story so things like race, feminism, etc. will inevitably make their appearances here. 🙂

  • Amen to your points about the noise and hustle, Tamara! Seriously, it was SO overbearing. I am in a completely different headspace now that I took that break and I am so glad to be back! And I’m excited that you’re excited! 😀