It has been nearly a full year since my blog has been live, so I gifted myself the best thing I could think of – a break. It may sound counterintuitive, but when the joy starts to get sucked out of things you love, it makes no sense to keep pushing. Well, this break was very much needed and has served its purpose. But it has also taught me a few things about life that I thought I would share with you. Who knew taking time off from blogging could be so insightful!
TikTok is a black hole
As I write this, it is 11pm on a school night. Now, most of you might be a little confused as to why that’s even a problem, after all, I am a working adult. But for someone who came home feeling extremely exhausted and has been chasing after a toddler for hours, there is no part of my night that should’ve consisted of mindlessly scrolling through the abyss that is TikTok.
To be specific, my TikTok consumption today had been about 3 consecutive hours… Unless of course, a bathroom break counts – in which case, my problem isn’t that bad after all! But with no blogging to keep me grounded, all series finished on Netflix, and no social events to attend, I fell privy to the social trap.
When the platform first came out, I could not understand why Gen Z needed yet another social media platform. And to think that it was a modified version of Vine, was absolutely beyond me. So like any responsible adult, I avoided it like the plague.
Finally, my borderline millennial/Gen Z sister sent me interesting Chinese detective snippets and asked me to solve some mysteries. And they were really good. Not just good, but really, really good. The only catch was that they were on TikTok, so to read the solution in the comments, one had to have an account. I’m sure you know where this is headed…
Long story short, my biggest epiphany was one that I had chosen to forget about in the spur of the moment – that I have an extremely addictive personality. Am I addicted to TikTok? Not quite, but I will replace my TikTok time with writing blog posts and sleep before it reaches that point!
Related: 10 Weird things about me
Never take time off from blogging without an end date
I’m a firm believer of only doing things you love when you feel inspired. However, stopping them for an unestablished amount of time could potentially set you up for failure. Not following? Let me qualify this statement.
Over a week ago, I decided to take time off from blogging to refresh my mind. During this time, I did not plan to log into WordPress, jot down ideas, or even respond to comments. I also didn’t plan an end date for my break. Call it an indefinite break if you must.
Just one week later, I am enjoying the time off a little more than I expected. As much as I feel re-energized and ready to get back to the grind, I had to actively pull myself out of rest mode thanks to preagreed collaborations. If those weren’t in the pipeline, I would probably have forgotten about the blog for a few months!
Can you imagine how few people would go back to work if they could take as much leave as they wanted? Of course, everyone is different, but what we all have in common is that doing or not doing something for too long can form a new habit. If you plan on taking time off from blogging, do it with a predetermined timeframe. It takes hard work and consistency to work blogging into your daily routine. However, if not careful, you could undo it faster than you think!
So the moral of the story is that breaks are great. But you need to have the same discipline as you would with work or school when it comes to getting back to it.
Your social life will not be the same
When the pandemic started, I was ready for the extra time at home – away from everyone. A few months in, I had a blog and was typing to my heart’s content. Now, over a year since the national state of emergency was announced, I don’t quite know what to do with myself when I’m not blogging.
Before GWS was born, I did make make more of an effort to get out and about. But there was something very comforting about knowing that I had something to do that made turning down invitations so much more fulfilling.
If you, like me, choose to take a break from blogging, the time you would’ve spent in your own little world will suddenly become the times you feel most alone. You will realise that your friends text and call you less than they used to. You will notice that there aren’t as many invitations as before. And you will notice that people seem a bit different. The funny thing is that they probably changed quite a while ago, but with blogging to keep you busy, this may have gone unnoticed.
Take the break anyway!
I considered signing off on this dull note, but that would be too cruel! Instead, I’d like to encourage you to take some time away from your screen. You never know what life lessons you would learn. Also, the view of your friends is so much better without a screen!
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Have you also learned some lessons from taking time off blogging? What are they?
Pssst! Let’s hang on social media!