Why I’m Having a Blog Sabbatical

Blog Sabbatical

I have just taken on two freelance jobs, which is both exciting and time-consuming, so of course my first priority has to be to concentrate on them.

Fiona wrote of her blogging blues, and issues of plagiarism yesterday; it is something that has been niggling me for some time, leading to my own blogging blues, and I am pleased that the issue has been aired.

Consistently producing interesting original content is hard work for anyone, I currently feel my creativity is sapped by a number of things.

  • The blog backlog, which is entirely my fault – I said yes to a few too many things – which now need to be written about which has become a chore.  I am self-aware enough to realise that if I do not find my content particularly interesting then no one else will.
  • The omnipresent to do list.  Item number 1 is write a comprehensive to do list.  Then I can take it from there.
  • Living in a space which we have outgrown.
  • Insomnia – being tired and running on caffeine is really not conducive to creativity or productivity.
  • Guilt that I rarely get round to reading other blogs and commenting on and sharing great posts.  As, to at least some degree, commenting is reciprocal, I receive fewer comments so feel less inclined to blog. (I hugely appreciate all the entries to my events and will get round to visiting.  Oddly it was far easier to get round to them all when I collected entries by e-mail rather than on the linkie).
  • Stress about the blog backlog.
  • Plagiarism by others as outlined by Fiona.  Why bother to create interesting original content if you can seemingly get away with being less than original?
  • IT woes – my laptop is old (I am still on XP) and runs slower than slow and requires constant rebooting.  I do have a shiny brand new one, but the job of transferring all my data just seems too much to cope with.  I will do this next week, a new faster computer will really help things.
  • I have been blogging over 6 years.  Things have changed hugely.  I need a sabbatical and time to work out where both Fuss Free Flavours and I are going.
  • The iPad – I love my iPad, I do all my research and reading on it, and less laptop time has done wonders for the grumbling RSI in my mouse wrist. But in all honesty I spend too much time faffing and playing games.  Time to delete some apps, put the iPad away and craft.  I am a better person when I knit.

So I am going to have a break (the out of office is on) and slowly catch up;  write the things which I really want to write and be back with a vengeance with fabulous new content in mid April.

See you then!

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About Helen

Helen Best-Shaw is a freelance writer, who has been writing about achievable and affordable food on Fuss Free Flavours since 2007. She also contributes articles and recipes to a number of online and print food magazines.

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Comments

  1. It will be a quieter, duller place without you. Please come back…

    • I intend to. But need to catch up and have a break if I am going to produce anything that I am proud of.
      Anyway there is the backlog to entertain you. I’ll drip feed that out.

  2. Very definitely understood. Take care of yourself honey. x

    • Thanks Lisa, am feeling miles better for having made this decision. It’s not as if the world will forget me if I do not blog for 6 weeks.

  3. Good for you! I don’t blog very often, but juggling a full time job with my own business does give a bit of insight into the pressure of constantly feeling you have to be focused on it at all times. 6 years is also a long time, no matter how fast the time goes. I hope the break helps you to focus on what you really want and look forward to seeing you back in April!

  4. I totally understand where you are coming from. I will miss your posts but at least can meet you for a cuppa on occasion. Blogging is harder work than people realise and creating recipes and interesting content takes considerable time and energy. Your best work cannot be produced if you are overtired and overworked. A break will restore your energy levels, creativity and passion for what you do so well. I look forward to your return. xx

  5. I think a blog sabbatical is a great idea…I’m currently unofficially doing the same (or at least seriously scaled back) for many of the reasons you’ve outlined. It’s quite difficult to stop as it’s almost addictive but illness and a dud oven forced me to do so and I have to say I feel quite liberated. Looking forward to seeing you back in April and I hope you enjoy the break! :-)

    • Thanks Laura. I will be posting stuff but having a goal to start again fresh is very liberating.
      Hope you get well and sort your oven out.

  6. I know what you mean about the blog backlog although I imagine mine probably isn’t quite as extensive as yours. I hope the break helps you to recharge your batteries a bit and looking forward to seeing you back here soon. Also congratulations on getting the freelance jobs, hope they turn out to be enjoyable and not too much hard work! :)

  7. I can can only begin to imagine your backlog Helen and have felt stressed and guilty about agreeing to take on things and then not being able to do them as quickly as I would have liked. It can be quite numbing to not feel free to do what you enjoy because you have obligations which come first. And yes you do get caught up in your own hamster wheel with hardly a chance to step off and see what other people are doing and then you feel guilty about that too. You well deserve a break and a chance to de-clutter your schedule. Good luck and I hope you get some quality sleep as a result because it’s all linked:-)

    • You are quite right Camilla.
      We are borrowing Ed’s sister’s house and having some time away next week. Still doing some work, but not much. Time to breath.

  8. Know what you mean about blog backlogs and I sometimes would like a break. Enjoy doing other things and hope to see you back soon.

  9. Good for you, Helen. Enjoy your break and I look forward to your return.

  10. I can totally understand your need to step back for a while. It must be very hard when you get to that point where you are being offered many things and every time you attend something there is the need to write about it too. Sometimes the words must not be there and a lack of sleep cannot help. I do look forward to your return but in the meantime enjoy your break!

    • Learning to say no is one of the main lessons of blogging. It is draining, and now when I am offered something I ask myself who will benefit the most.

  11. Heidi Roberts says:

    Hope you don’t stay away too long, you are a source of inspiration to me.

  12. Oh Helen, you are brave for taking this sabbatical. Brave and smart. I have not been blogging as long as you, however I can relate to so many points you state here. You know we will all be here waiting for you when you are ready to blog again :) And hey, congrats on the freelance gigs – well deserved and sounds like a nice change of pace!
    Hugs XO

    • Brave maybe, but it would be insane not too. I want blogging to be fun, not a chore, and to produce stuff that people actually want to read.

  13. Long needed and well deserved. I’m rather fatigued with stuff myself as you well know! Hope you’ll be firing on all cylinders with that new laptop soon!

  14. Sylvia Leaver says:

    Enjoy your well earned break.

  15. Big hugs Helen. I hope you come back refreshed soon and you will still be around for chats on twitter xxx

    • I’ll be on twitter, but a little less. Am going to allow myself one hour once a week for a proper long chat. Then dip in and out twice a day.

  16. Look forward to reading more about your sabbatical when you’re back….

  17. Sounds like you know what you are doing and after our last chat I suspect that this is exactly what you need. Don;t stay away too long though. Excited to hear about your freelance projects :D

  18. you have my commiserations and empathy. I’ve felt quite a bit of these types of feeling – for me there is the tension between promoting/connecting and doing what I initially intended which was a recipe journal. I sometimes wonder where my blogging will go as technology changes but for now I still find inspiration from blogging.

  19. I completely understand – the last 6 months have been sporadic for me too. I particularly empathise with the line:

    “Things have changed hugely. I need a sabbatical and time to work out where both Fuss Free Flavours and I are going.”

    Rest up, and see you soon x

  20. Dear Helen, when I started blogging 1 year ago I was convinced that to find my space online I only needed to be myself, and post about my passion for food. WRONG. This post confirms what I realized, you need so much more and it can really wear you out. Have a good rest, and see you soon (I hope you will have the time to comment on UKFBA, I always read your forum’s comments).

  21. I feel your pain – 9 years of blogging for me in May and a full-time job as well all this time… my backlog has taken on a life of its own ;o) and sometimes the politics and general state of food blogging does get me down. But creating content along with cooking are 2 of the most relaxing things I do, so I keep on keeping on :) Enjoy your well-earned break & come back refreshed.

    • Thanks Jeanne,

      I am feeling far better already – now I have got over the new laptop trauma! Time to do lots of photography too!

  22. Have a great sabbatical Helen!

  23. Fiona Harris says:

    Enjoy! I havent been reading your blog for long..and dont contribute too much, but I very much love it!

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