3 Signs You Need A Break, And Why I’m Changing My Blog Schedule

2020 has become the strangest year. In January we were all ready to kick off a new decade and make the next 10 years better than the last. By March, we were all in lockdown, where it felt like the month lasted 10 years.

Times changed quickly, and although we’re now home with more time on our hands, the ability to get anything productive done has become elusive.

Even if your routine hasn’t changed drastically, you’re likely still finding it hard to stick to, and these reasons could be why…

3 Signs You Need To Take A Break

1. You’re Overwhelmed

Along with social distancing, overwhelmed needs to be the word of the year.

You might not be commuting to work, dealing with office distractions, doing the school run or carting kids to different appointments or activities, but you still have responsibilities.

If you’ve got a partner/family, you’re spending more time together than ever (which is not always as good as it sounds). If you’ve got school-aged kids, you’re now homeschooling and having medical/special needs appointments online. If you’ve got pets, the dog is getting more attention than ever (and loving it), and the cat is wondering why everyone is in its house all the time.

Everything is overwhelming, happening in cramped quarters, and all your responsibilities have converged into a hot mess.

Your work commitments, kid commitments, new career as a teacher, household chores, and writing are now one endless to-do list. It’s more than enough to overwhelm the most organized person, and there’s no way you’re getting anything done without having to take a break from something.

It won’t be work if you’re lucky enough to have a paying job. It won’t be the kids or their education, which now falls to you. And you can only get away with avoiding the laundry for so long. That leaves writing, or at least as much writing as you were doing. It’s a tough choice, but so is everything else in these overwhelming times.

2. Your Mental Health Is Suffering

Some writers find it easy to write when times are tough, others curl up into a ball, unable to go near the keyboard. If you can’t switch off or fall asleep without running everything you did or didn’t do that day through your head, you’ll soon realize you can’t work like that forever.

Sure, you might give yourself a day to “get over it”, or to binge all the food and mindless TV that you can (raises hand), but we all know you’ll need more of those days the longer the problem goes on, and the deeper it gets.

If your mental health is suffering, it’s time to get some help, talk it out with someone you trust or a professional hotline, and take a break.

3. There’s Little Or No Passion For Your Writing

Not every WIP is inspiring all the way through, especially when you’re in double-digit draft numbers with no final draft in sight.

There are also days when you won’t want to write or the lure of Netflix is greater than the need to edit your next chapter. But when no amount of easing into it, rising early, timed writing sprints, or 500 word count goals snaps you back to your inspired self, it’s time to consider the bigger picture.

Reassess things, work out what’s stopping you from writing, and take a break until you miss word-smithing so much your passion reignites. It might just be what you need.

Why I’m Changing My Blog Schedule

If you’ve been experiencing these 3 signs, you are not alone. I’m right there too and discovering quickly that you can only push through for so long.

If you’ve been reading my blog for the last few months, you’ll know my dad died in December, and only three days after that I had to put my grieving on hold to deal with publishing issues that were out of my control. I made the choice to leave my small press contract, which meant a book that’d been waiting a year to be released (and even longer for me personally), was now going to have to be published by me.

I had a matter of weeks to learn how to self-publish, and during this time, I continued to post my weekly blog posts and daily social media posts. I pushed things aside, buried them deep down, and kept going.

You can’t do that forever, and when that unprocessed baggage gets saddled with an uncertain world, new responsibilities, more worry and less time, something has to give.

I debated putting my blog on a break, but I’m worried if I do that, I won’t start writing it again, which isn’t what I want. When I started blogging three years ago, I wasn’t published or trying to market a book. I am now. I also have a second book that needs to be ready for a July release and a third and fourth book in the same series that need finished drafts.

Four months ago, the world was normal and my writing routine and getting those things done filled most of my day. That isn’t the case anymore.

I know I’m not the only one struggling to be creative, trying to balance new responsibilities, or grieving, and I wanted to be better than those things. I wanted to keep doing it all, but I can’t, and my solution is to take a break where I can get it and to change my blog schedule.

A new blog will now be posted every two weeks instead of weekly, and I’ll be sending out my newsletter every second month instead of monthly. I hope you understand why I’ve made these choices, and that they’ll be enough to help me get on top of things going forward.

It’s not easy to admit when everything has become too much, but if you need a break or to rearrange things for a while, do it. It’s the best change you can make, and sometimes the only thing you can control.

— K.M. Allan

Blog Banner Blackbirch

You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads. Don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter for exclusive writing tip infographs!

56 thoughts on “3 Signs You Need A Break, And Why I’m Changing My Blog Schedule

    1. Sorry to hear you’re struggling, Sandy, but also glad to know we’re all feeling the same and I’m not alone ❤️. You deserve a break and to celebrate your fabulous new release! You’ve worked very hard for it.

      Like

  1. Good for you–and for all your readers! When something’s got to give it should never be your emotional health. As for your blog readers, we’ll be here. I don’t know about anyone else, but I never give a thought to my blog schedules (maybe that’s part of my problem). I’ve gone weeks between posts and readers don’t hop off mine; I’m sure they won’t hop off yours. You’ve got a really valuable blog here. But you matter even more than your words. Take care!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Rebecca. You’ve made me feel much more comfortable with the whole situation. To be honest, I’ve never noticed weeks between posts on your blog, I’ve just read the ones that come up in my feed and always enjoyed them 😊.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I had a feeling you were going to step back a bit. You have a lot going on and now, with the virus, everything has changed. I shut my blog down because I was writing my second book but I’m happy to see you are not doing that. There’s only so much we can do. It’s okay to slow down now and then.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You can always refresh and repost an older blog post as well while your on the reduced schedule. I’ve done that in the past when I’ve been very busy or struggling to write. I consider it a form of blog maintenance, cleaning up and refreshing an older entry. You can also reuse some of your quotes and prompts from instagram on your blog for off weeks. I find that my Instagram audience is an almost completely different set of readers compared to my WordPress audience, so I reuse the content for both constantly. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Virus or not, the pressure is always there and all of us are struggling to figure out how to adjust. You’re doing the right thing for the right reasons and I hope you find the calm and healing you need. I’ll love your posts whenever they show up!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ruth Miranda

    I used to blog daily, then every three days, then weekly. Now I blog when I feel like it, and there are months I won’t even come near my blog. We all need to set our priorities straight, and those should be our wellbeing, so you gotta do what’s best for you. I’m rooting for you to get that inner healing done and do your mourning, your grieving. You’ll come out stronger on the other side, I’m sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great post, Kate, such important reminders to everybody. It sounds as though you’ve made exactly the right choice with your blog and newsletter schedule. Take care of yourself, you’re an incredibly hard worker and you deserve some time to yourself. Sending lots of love ❤ xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Your new schedule will be a-okay with me. I’m having problems with motivation right now but I do want to keep up with my reading of articles despite my lack of enthusiasm. This will make it easier. Chances are most people are going through a lull-type of experience these days. I’m hoping life will feel more alive as we get into the weeks of summer.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m glad you have made important changes in order to give yourself a break. It is so easy to keep slogging through, ignoring the need for a step back break. I know it’s hard to move away from blogging, even a little.

    At the beginning of this, even before the crazy, I had stopped guest posts and then reduced myself from 3-4 blog posts a week to just one and man has that helped!

    You have done an incredible job with everything and you should be super proud of yourself, but I’m so happy you will be taking it easier for a while. Take care, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m so sorry to hear about your dad, I don’t know how I missed that. I’m glad you’re taking a step back. You have been so busy and working super hard. I know all about pushing yourself too hard and sometimes it takes something big to say, “enough is enough.” I hope this time is refreshing for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: That’s a wrap! April 2020 – Rebecca Alasdair

  11. I totally get where your coming from. I struggle with complex PTSD which meant that my writing benefited from the influx of fight or flight hormones, unfortunately afterwards there’s always a low (not that the last stage was great, I’ve just learnt to channel it). Social media and my blog have become a chore too, so I’ll be reblogging for a while.
    Take care of yourself, Kate. Love you loads. 💜💜💜 Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Take care of yourself too, Rainy. So glad to hear you’ve recognised that your own blog is too much right now and you’re taking a break from new posts too. Looking after yourself is always important, but more so right now ❤️.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Well done, K.M. on reassessing your priorities, it’s the sensible thing to do when everything changes. I know I have been constantly rejigging mine. You have given so much valuable support and advice to us in your blogs, and they are all sitting there waiting for us to go back and read any time we want. Take care and stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s