BLOG : OFF

After the months of excitement and build up, one of the biggest blogging events in the calendar finally arrived last weekend: BML16. A day of talks, workshops and networking opportunities for bloggers and a great excuse to share an actual bottle of bubbles (rather than the usual virtual emoji variety) with all those fellow online chatterboxes we’ve been looking forward to meeting.

If you saw my last post you already know I couldn’t actually make it which I’m still a bit gutted about to be honest. However, my alternative plans involved flying to Amsterdam with a group of girlfriends for the weekend, which softened the blow a little (pun intended).

So while a lot of those who made the trip to Fancylondontown for BML16 will be writing up their experience of the event, I can crack on with a post about my weekend’s shenanigans in another awesome capital. Except I won’t.

While it seemed like a perfect opportunity to write about something exciting, I just didn’t want my weekend with the girls to be blog fodder. This was a getaway- from normality, from being a mum/wife/daughter/sister/blogger, from shopping lists and meal plans, after-school and weekend clubs. A brief, but much appreciated break from the routine of day-to-day life. Sorry guys, what happens in Amsterdam….

blogging-break
Image: Defining Hopes

So I had made the decision in advance that I wasn’t going to blog about my little Dutch adventure. I neatly folded my Blogger pants, put them to one side and mentally switched the blog OFF. Then chucked my Party pants in the case and headed straight to the departure lounge bar.

However, my Twitter feed was obviously awash with #BML16 excitement and the temptation to have a quick peek was there as long as I had my mobile attached to my hand.

In an attempt to keep my nose firmly out of Blogland for a couple of days (harder than you’d think, even without the BML buzz!) I had to be strict with myself on a few occasions and in hindsight it was definitely the right decision. I really did manage to completely switch off and enjoy just being Charlie Brown for a few days and I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone who is struggling to find the blog/life balance (actually leaving the country is optional).

So if you feel like you’re becoming a slave to your blog, or it’s seriously impacting on other areas of your life (she says, currently avoiding eye-contact with the vacuum cleaner), here are my 10 tips on how to survive going cold-turkey. Think of it as a quick stint at The Priory for some blogger rehab, you’ll come out the other side with an empowering, newfound sense of balance.

  • Decide which dates you’ll be checking into rehab and make them official, put them in the diary and tell someone, preferably someone who will be happy to have your full attention again, well for a while anyway.
  • Try to avoid dates that coincide with a MASSIVE blogging event but if this is the case, drop a tweet to explain your absence and wish your pals a fab time. There’s always next year.
  • Plan alternative coping mechanisms. Preferably something you’ll look forward to, this is no time to be ‘getting on with stuff’, the whole point is to remember what life was like before writing posts about everything. Remember the good old days when you did stuff purely so you could brag about it on Facebook?
  • Do some pre-rehab admin. If you’ve joined in a linky every week from day dot without fail, warn the host of your plans in advance to avoid a serious case of dreaded blogger’s guilt.
  • DO NOT schedule a post. Although this may seem like a good way to ‘keep the blog going’ in your absence, this is about realising you can just STOP for a while and the sky will not fall in. Scheduling posts is cheating, plus the temptation to read or reply to comments may be too much!
  • Ditto scheduled tweets. In fact delete the Twitter app for the duration or just switch to your personal account if you have one. You don’t want your phone having a fit everytime you enter a wi-fi hotspot as the result of a bunch of Twitter notifications- avoid the red circle of temptation.
  • Take a tonne of photos if you fancy but do not actively seek out or set up Instagram friendly shots. I’ll admit to posting one teeny shot over the weekend, but that was because it made me smile and was too lovely not to share – I mean, a ceiling of clogs – how cute?clogs
  • Once you’ve successfully completed your rehab session take a moment to reflect. Hopefully, after the initial shock wore off, you will have experienced a strange sense of freedom, the blog fog will have lifted and it is almost as if you are seeing the world through the eyes of a normal person. Congratulations – you’ve regained your grip on reality!
  • Where you go from here is up to you. Try to avoid diving headfirst into 3 days worth of tweets  (sooooo tempting with all the exciting ‘stuff’ happening this weekend) or binge reading the backlog of posts from every blog you’ve subscribed to. Nobody will be offended, trust me. More importantly, you will realise that nobody has forgotten who you are, a few tweets in it’ll be like you were never away.
  • Chill yer boots. Don’t feel pressurised into panic posting! Grab a cuppa, choose a few posts to read and enjoy. Actually enjoy. I went with

6 personal reflections on #BML16

by  Tim at Slouching Towards Thatcham – a great honest review of the 1 day event this year versus the 2 day format of last year.

I’m a Loser – Britmums #BML16

by Stevie from A Cornish Mum, her words, definitely not mine! A refreshingly honest, funny, (sorry Stevie- it did make me chuckle!) ‘losers’ view. If you ask me she’s totally winning at Blogs.

Finally a totally BML16 unrelated, but great, personal post on a sensitive issue by Vicki at Honest Mum

Let’s Talk About Race, Racism & Feeling Like The ‘Other’

So there you have it, my slightly tongue in cheek, but (mostly) failsafe 10 step plan to recalibrating your blog/life settings to suit you and realising the importance of maintaining a healthy balance going forward.

I hope you enjoyed it, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject and if/how you try to achieve the right balance for you?

 

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99 Comments

  1. Great tips, sometimes it’s really important to take a massive break and switch off from blogging altogether, no matter how difficult that may be! #bloggerclubuk

  2. Charlie who?

    Just kidding. Welcome back! You’d better be there next year! I want to meet you! Are you going to Blogon?
    ANyway, the post. I really needed to hear this. After avoiding cigarettes and recreational drugs my entire life I manage to have got hooked on something even more addictive. Blogging can seriously take over your life…You give some great tips and I’m glad you switched off and put on your party pants (Are they like Kanga pants in case you wee yourself laughing or more like sparkly special pants for special occasions…

    Did I say ‘Welcome back’? Welcome Back!!!!
    #BloggerCLubUK

    1. Ha ha thanks 😄 Likewise, would be lovely to meet so hopefully next year. Not heard about Blogon, is it like the opposite to this post 😄
      Ha, my name is Charlie Brown and I’m a recovering blogaholic! Yes the party pants worked their magic. Sequinned with flashing fairy lights FYI.

  3. Ah yes, the dreaded ‘blog fodder’ fear. Good for you for taking off those blogger pants (mine ride up terribly) and have an old fashioned off-line party. Love Amsterdam! #bloggerclubuk

  4. its good to switch off every now and then.. sometimes life just needs to be life, and its ok to get busy with things other than the laptop, and more than ok to not document every thing you do too, I have been so busy the last week, Ive not had time to actually write anything (although I have been dipping my nose in to read things- i’m the person who sits on phone when alone in the real world, just to avoid being the loser on her own lol) and although the blogger guilt is real, like you say it won’t be the end of the world. I hope you had a fab time away! I didn’t get to go BML either but I did get drenched on a day out at the Goodwood FOS what joy! (Not!) 😉 #abrandnewday

  5. I agree that’s it’s good to take a break from blogging every now and then to enjoy regular life. I went to New York to visit family recently and while I didn’t do a total switch-off, I didn’t write new posts, post on Twitter or join in any linkies, It was nice to take the time to just enjoy visiting relatives and NOT stare at a computer for hours a day. #BloggerClubUK

  6. I think this is brilliant advice. It is way too easy when you’re in bloggerland to think that life revolves around nothing else. As you say, the sky won’t fall down when you take a break. I was interested about your comments on not scheduling. As a new blogger, I’ve noticed that people schedule posts for the entire time they are away and I wasn’t sure if this is really actually necessary… Alison x #BloggerClubUK

    1. Thanks Alison, yes I get why some more ‘professional’ bloggers would schedule and understand this completely. To be honest I very much doubt anyone would even notice if I didn’t post regularly. I only post once a week as it it! Thanks for popping in x

  7. Ah you’re so right! I definitely need to do this sometimes. I actually find it really difficult to step away completely although I don’t post every day. I’m glad you had such a fun weekend, my hen weekend in Amsterdam was awesome!
    Nat.x

  8. I love this! To be honest I’m not a very active blogger anyway – I only post once or twice a week usually. But I also had the weekend away to see friends and did the same thing – avoided twitter & the blog completely. I actually think it was a good thing it was the same weekend as BML as I probably wouldn’t have gone anyway so it would have been awful to be stuck at home crying over Brexit and doing nothing! Glad you enjoyed your break, I love the clog picture!! #BloggerClubUK

    1. Thank you! Yes I feel the same, actually it was quite liberating which just proved the point that I was probably getting a bit too absorbed in blogging! Jeeez yes what a depressing weekend that would have been. Felt pretty sad going through passport control thinking about what will happen in the future 😕 Hope you had a nice weekend too despite the result. Thanks for reading x

  9. Hi Charlie, hope you had a fab time. It too a while before I could see the clogs in your photo, but I got there in the end.

    Taking a step back from the blog and all that goes with it is good therapy. I chose not to blog last week, because I knew I wouldn’t have the time and what is left of my sanity is quite important to me and it felt good, if a little unsettling at first. In the end it did feel strangely refreshing though.

    When faced with a back log of Tweets or other notifications, skimming is totally acceptable.

    xx

    1. I had a lovely few days and am back with a much healthier perspective as a result of my break. Glad you enjoyed a few ‘days off’ too, never good when blogging starts to become a chore. Oh yes, I feel months behind in the Twittersphere but so what?! Thanks for reading and commenting x

  10. I had a week off posting a blog last week, I went from #abrandnewday to #abrandnewday. It wasn’t really planned, it just sort of happened, I couldn’t be bothered. If it wasn’t for the linky I’d have struggled to get back into it! Well done you for making it done though, I expect you had a brilliant time away, please don’t feel the need to share, the clogs on the cieling are enough! Next break, I need to do one of two things, delete all my apps off my phone or buy a camera! Thanks for linking to #abrandnewday

    1. Thanks, yes it was great to get away with friends for a few days. Ha the clogs! So cute (especially the baby ones) shame they are basically unwearable:) Ooh yes a new camera to play with would be nice!
      Thanks for hosting x

  11. Good on you stepping away and taking you time. Love your tips and advice and I know I will try some of these when it’s my turn to take a step back. #BloggerClubUK

  12. I switch off from my blog every Saturday and most of Sunday. It gives me that break I need plus blog land seems to slow down then anyway. It feels good to disconnect sometimes 🙂 #coolmumclub

  13. I fins it really interesting that bloggers tend to take a holiday from the blog. I’m a month into blogging and can see the hold it already has on me. It’s a full time 24 hour thing just like parenting. Getting the balance certainly seems to be tricky. #BloggerClubUK

  14. I pined at everyone’s posts too and found that not going put me in a blogging slump…I should have gone-learnt more, drank wine…ogled the attractive man in his underpants…but I cant do it all and cant berate myself for the what ifs and things I cant achieve. I love this post and think its important to shut off the bloggerverse now and again..in the three months I have been blogging I have developed a to do list as long as my stairs…thanks for reminding me to breathe.. #brilliantblogposts

    1. You definitely can’t do it all, not with causing yourself a lot of unnecessary stress anyway! My blog, my rules- that’s the conclusion I’ve come to. I have lots to learn but actually real life is way more important and there is something very liberating about not getting caught up in the ‘numbers’.

  15. Aww what a fab way to respond to BML?! And well done for you for taking the break – ouch I can only imagine tricky not to check in when BML happening! So important to have that blogging break. I learnt heaps from BML and one of the things that a fellow blogger mentioned was about scheduling so breaks can be taken without bloggers guilt – hugely important and I’m away in Paris next week for a few days with my daughter and I am totally determined to make that a total blogging break – can’t wait! See you next year then lovely – party pants essential!!! #Coolmumclub

  16. Fab advice here, it can be so easy to get caught up in blog world and forget what it’s like to be completely immersed in the real world. Glad you enjoyed your blog break and your holiday, I stopped blogging for a couple weeks in May and I found the break really refreshing and felt so motivated when I sat back down to write again xx #coolmumclub

  17. This is something I’ve been giving some thought lately, thanks for the tips and LOVE the ceiling of clogs definitely not breaking any Blog OFF rules with that one (: #BloggersclubUK

  18. Hey Charlie! Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub. Sounds like you had an amazing time in Amsterdam! I love the concept behind this post. I think it’s taken me the best part of a year to realise not everything in life is a blog post. I definitely need to learn to disconnect with SM too at times…
    xxx

    1. I had a fab few days – ha I know some of the seriously lame ideas I’ve had 🙂 Luckily I know deep down they are nonsense and never actually write them up 😀 Thanks for hosting x

  19. I’ve been having a bit of bloggers guilt recently about the amount of time ive spent on the blog. I used to blog only during nap times and after bed time, but as naptime are now spent doing housework and bedtime has become so late I just want to go to bed myself, I’ve found I’m blogging when I should be playing with my child and it makes me feel incredibly guilty! I’m back to work soon so think I will have to take a break then, and already I feel guilty about that! It can be a hard balance but you’ve got some great tips here! #coolmumclub

  20. I really need to take this advice, I have only been blogging 6 months and I feel like I haven’t got the balance right! I will taking your advice and completely switching off x #TheList

    1. It’s really hard isn’t it, because there is soooo much to get to grips with and SM moves so quickly I feel like if I take my eye off it for a day I’ll miss something! Hope you are able to take some time out to relax, it definitely helps x

  21. Bravo to you. It’s not easy, I’ve tried it, so we’ll done. I agree with the scheduled post thing! #bml16 was good, but nothing compared to a weekend on the lash with the girls! Jealous! #picknmix

  22. Ha – I’m dying to know what went on in Amsterdam!! Good for you for switching off. We were away last week and I managed it for most of the time but did schedule in one cheeky post and couldn’t switch off from Instagram! Twitter however was completely forgotten! It is so important to switch off sometimes xx #coolmumclub

  23. It’s hard to take a break, because you don’t want to drop the ball. My self-discipline is awful – if I have my phone to hand, I will be checking it. My only option is removing the apps and links from my phone or leaving it at home! Glad you managed to recharge your batteries. #picknmix

  24. Your post as definitely inspired me to schedule some much needed time off blogging. I’m completely sucked in most of the time and It’s almost all consuming… Lovely to read you had a good time with your girlfriends. x #abrandnewday

  25. Blogging is so all consuming, even if you are not blogging, reading, commenting, checking messages take over. A break is essential. In fact I found very early on that I had to put the brakes on as my real life was passing me by and things were just not getting done. Glad you enjoyed Amsterdam. #PicknMix

    1. There is ALWAYS something to do isn’t there, so it feels like by switching off you are undoing all that hard work but actually I’m a much happier blogger for it 🙂 thanks for reading x

  26. I’m still so new to blogging I’d be way too intimidated to go to BML but it did look like so much fun! Personally though, Amsterdam wins, that ceiling of clogs is brilliant! #fabfridaypost

  27. This is great ‘switch off’ advice, and probably just what everyone needs from time to time. Thanks for the insight, and I hope Amsterdam was awesome! #BloggerClubUK

  28. Fab advice – I love a Digital Detox but I am not as disciplined as this so this is really helpful for the next time I have a break. Thanks for sharing. #ABrandNewDay. x

  29. These tips are so good and funny too! Here’s to the people who didn’t make it! I really like this phrase “Scheduling posts is cheating,” Haha 😉 Thank you so much for linking up with us on #FabFridayPost x

  30. I go on holiday next week and I was going to schedule posts, now I am wondering if I should just have a complete break…. hmmm… seems very tempting 🙂 Only problem is, I am not sure I can take a photo now without thinking if it is Instagram friendly ha ha xxx #BloggerClubUK

  31. I was thinking about this the other day as we are going on holiday to Ireland for a week soon. What will I do…blog like crazy so I have pre-scheduled posts? Or maybe I’ll just do as you say and take a break from it all! Loved this post – hope to meet you at one of the conferences to come later in the year x #abrandnewday

    1. For me, the break really helped me just take a step back and stop worrying about the blog- nothing terrible happened as a result, in fact I feel much more sane because of it. I know I wouldn’t have enjoyed the weekend as much if I ‘d had my blogger hat (and pants) on 🙂 Have a fab time in Ireland, beautiful part of the world! Yes I really need to start looking into the other conferences this year! Thanks for reading x

  32. It sounds like you had a great time, you’re very organised. When I take a step from blogging it’s because I have too much on, then I end up overwhelmed and behind haha! It’s nice that you could enjoy BML16 vicariously too. I was so jeaous every time I went on Twitter!
    Also, nice clogs! x
    #ABrandNewDay

    1. It was lovely to step out of Blogland for a few days. If I hadn’t been doing something nice I’d have been exactly the same as you! Ha ha, from Blogland to Clogland 😄

  33. Brilliant post – it can be really hard to step away from the blog (I remember being on holiday last year and realising there was WiFi in only one spot) but when you do its a great feeling and you are right – no-one really cares and the blog doesn’t suffer! Glad you had a lovely time! Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

  34. It is so easy to forget that the world will keep turning, so good to have that time away for just you and be no one else but you. It’s a whole new world that is very addictive!! Plus you got to do it in Amsterdam so that is pretty cool 🙂

  35. I could of do done with reading this before I embarked on a party for Monkey I tried to do both and with a newborn that’s hard work. Even when I’ve technically been in a break I can’t resist the lure of Instsgram. 🙁 and then the guilt kicks in… I think this is a great guide. When I next have a break will be following this!! Thanks for joining us at #BloggerclubUK hope to see you again this week X

    1. There really aren’t enough hours ( unless you’re mega organised which I’m not!) ultimately somethings gotta give! Glad you enjoyed the post, I highly recommend a little break it did me the world of good. Thanks for hosting x

  36. I like this concept and sometimes you need a break as you can bogged down with information you don’t know your arse from your elbow. I hope you enjoyed Amsterdam what a lovely place to have a break X #thelist

  37. Now I know that you were going to be there I’m gutted you weren’t! 😀 Sounds like you had the perfect time though. And I need to do the same. I’ve just been away for the weekend, (hence the late comment, sorry!), and come back to an avalanche of emails requiring my attention I want to cry! 😀 I shall take your advice and schedule in a blog break though. In fact, I have one in August planned! Thanks for linking up! #bigpinklink

    1. Ahh, yes I did have a very lovely time with the girls thanks. Oh dear hope you’ve managed to plough through the emails by now?! Ooh yes a nice blogging break will do you the power of good 🙂 Thanks for hosting x

  38. Taking a break is definitely important. You don’t realize how much blogging consumes your life until you take a break from it. It made me anxious when I did it, which sounds really silly to say. So pleased you had a fab time away with your party pants though and at least you were having a mini holiday while missing BML x

  39. Hah! Love it. I think taking a blogging break is definitely needed sometimes, it gives you a break and you MAY even come back refreshed and rearing to go. If not, then, as you say, it’s good to live some life in the REAL WORLD! Hope you had a fab time in Amsterdam, love the clog pic! #CoolMumClub x

  40. I STILL haven’t written my Britmums post ha other than one to tell the world I lost 😉 I really do not know where the time is going at the moment and I am manically busy arghh…. I think I need a holiday somewhere with no internet or phone signal just for a few days… a bloggy detox sounds good 😉 I’ll be so glad when school breaks up as well.

    Thanks for linking up to #PicknMix

    Stevie x

    1. Funnily enough we go to Norfolk a couple of times a year and the wifi is USELESS so I will be forced to take a break then. Yes I would definitely recommend a blog detox, did me good. Tnx for hosting x

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