Today’s question comes to use from Ruby @ RUBY READS AND REVIEWS). She asks:
Prompts: Have you taken a hiatus before? How long was it for, and did you plan/announce it beforehand? What do you think makes a hiatus? Is there a minimum time length that defines one? Do you think it should be announced beforehand?
I have not taken a blog hiatus before. With other blogs, I published till I got tired of it, and then abandoned the blog. Because I had done no promotion, those early blogs didn’t have many readers, and so my disappearance wasn’t really noticed.
With this blog, I have been fortunate to have more readers, so I think that if I fell off the face of the earth, well, someone would notice. For that reason, if I decided to take some time off, I would probably put a nice pinned post on my page telling folks what was going on, and when I hoped to resume. I will be on a cruise in May, for example, and while I hope to be organized enough to pre-schedule posts for that time, I am also realistic, and that may not happen. So there may end up being a ‘closed for sun and surf’ post that goes up while I am gone.
As to the question of what makes a hiatus, I think that largely depends on how active a blogger you are to begin with. If you post 5 times a week, your absence will likely be felt much quicker than if you are someone who posts once a month. If you are a super-regular poster, I would say that anything more than a couple weeks is worth commenting on…and if you are not, well, you might want to say something if you are going to be offline for a couple months.
What should not be obvious is that I take baby hiatuses all the time. I usually plan and write posts far enough in advance that I can take at least three or four days a week off from writing, and sometimes a week or more. I’ve seen what a punishing every-day posting schedule has done to a friend of mine, and I try to not put myself in a position of dreading writing anything. By taking time off in short bursts, I keep my interest alive.
How about you? Do you take regular breaks from writing? How do you balance a regular writing schedule with the need to be present in your actual life? Tips and tricks are welcome in the comments.