It Was Time to Take a Break

too much time online

I Took a Break

Dear Friends,

So last week I abruptly took a break from anything that had to do with anything online such as posting on my blog, commenting on other blogs, tweeting, and interacting with my online circle of friends.

While I did occasionally check email due to some other business that I was trying to sort out, my decision to escape the online world for a week was sudden and quick, and it was simply based on the fact that I felt burnt out and I had developed writers block. My life was completely out of balance and I didn’t know what to do next.

Spending Way Too Much Time Online

I was spending so much time writing posts and interacting with so many very supportive and fun friends online that I had begun neglecting other areas of my life. And by that I just mean simple things, like enjoying the sunshine, getting things done around the house, baking and making good meals, and just simply enjoying life.

Why? Because I loved building this new network of friends and learning about so many different people. I didn’t want to miss what everyone else was up to. I feel inspired by all the wonderful things that all of you write about and it helps me discover new options and new ways of doing things.

The second reason I was spending so much time online was because I am an analytical person that is driven by stats and accomplishments. I wanted to do the best that I could do in the quickest amount of time in regards to building my new blog.

Quitter

You see so many times in my life I have started something and quit before really accomplishing anything at all. I would lose my focus, lose my desire, lose my momentum, and nothing would get done.

Does that happen to any of you?

This blog was meant to be different. I vowed that when I started this blog (only 4 months ago) that I would work hard on it. To me that meant publishing 3 to 4 posts a week (sometimes more), building a friendly following, networking, and connecting with wonderful people online, and increasing my stats on a daily basis.  

A Typical Day

A typical day for me consisted of posting, approving comments, replying to comments when I could, commenting on 40 other blogs, and tweeting from sunrise to dinner time, and writing for other blogs so that I could earn money.

Some days I would even write all of my posts for the following week.

Is it Easy

When I started this blog did I think that it was going to be easy? Not at all.

Did I think that I would eventually burn out, and\or develop writers block? Absolutely, at some point.

But isn’t that just a fact of life?

Writers Block

Some of the most famous writers in the world develop writers block at some point in their lives. And heck I am nowhere near ever becoming a famous writer. I don’t want to be.

I am just someone who in 2004 began dreaming about developing a website that one day might become something.

My dream was to create a website for women and fill it with all kinds of resources that they would find helpful. So many websites just like that have been created over the years. None of them mine. Then all of the mompreneur sites popped up and again became very popular. Since I’m not a mom creating a site like that was never on my radar.

Money and Debt

So there it was, January 2012 and I still felt the desire to have my own site. But what would it be about?

Then I thought why not build a blog around money and debt? Money and debt is a huge issue in my life and I know it is for so many other people.

But as I began to write a few personal posts about these issues in my life I began feeling quite vulnerable and immediately began worrying about how people would react to what I wrote. “Would so and so think less of me because I am in debt and they aren’t?”

What happened next? I stepped back into my comfort zone. From that point forward my posts were still about things that I really enjoy, but in general terms. Nothing that made me feel vulnerable and nothing that really helped me with my debt issue.

Where Do I Go From Here?

Honestly, at this point I am not even sure what my next steps are. I am not sure what I will write about, how much time I can devote to my online activities on an on-going basis, and of course, how to deal with money and debt. Two things I do know is that I am not going to quit blogging, and I am going to work on restoring some sort of balance in my daily life.

To My Circle of Friends

But to you my friends I want to say how happy I am to get to know each and everyone of you. Each week one of you introduces me to someone new and wonderful. Some of you live quite far away and some of you only live a few hours away, but nonetheless, online we are all so close. Thank you for supporting me, checking up on me, and motivating me. I will do my best to provide you with the same!

Before you leave quickly check out this cartoon about spending too much time online. Let me know if you can relate?

 


Comments

    • Jason @ WSL

      Jason @ WSL 06/11/2012 6:30 a.m. #

      Sicorra, it's good to see that you're not quitting but I definitely understand where you're coming from!

      The blog is more work than any non-blogger reading this will ever know. It's far more than I thought it would be.

      Last week I took a similar break because we're trying to get our house ready to sell. I approved comments but that's about it and I'm working on finding a balance in life as well. It's certainly not healthy spending as much time blogging as some of our friends do. :)

    • Janine

      Janine 06/11/2012 8:40 a.m. #

      I know what you mean! Sometimes it feels like there is a lot of pressure to keep writing and posting all the time. Sometimes just taking a break is the answer. Maybe try not to put such demanding expectations on yourself and limit how much time you let yourself be on the Internet! I'll be sad if you decide to stop blogging!!

    • Budget & the Beach

      Budget & the Beach 06/11/2012 9:10 a.m. #

      Totally understandable. I know how easy it is to spend eight hours a day managing your blog, reading other blogs, etc, but you can't neglect what is a priority in your life. Part of that is the FOMO phenomenon for me. Fear of missing out. Like if I don't stay on twitter I'm going to be forgotten somehow or won't stay relevant. But you have to be YOU and do what is best for you! :) Take care!

    • Tackling Our Debt

      Tackling Our Debt 06/11/2012 10:19 a.m. #

      @Jason - Thank you! I know you and I both spent a lot of time working on our blogs from the very beginning, even getting up extra early just to network. It is good that we have both decided to slow down before it really takes a toll on us. All the best in selling your house!

    • Tackling Our Debt

      Tackling Our Debt 06/11/2012 10:23 a.m. #

      @Janine - Yes, I need to lower my expectations and limit myself to only a few hours of networking a day instead of being online all day. That probably won't be too difficult.

    • Tackling Our Debt

      Tackling Our Debt 06/11/2012 10:28 a.m. #

      @Budget & The Beach - I think that my fear is similar to yours. The online world is so busy and so full of bloggers, and if you disappear even for just a few days, you do quickly become irrelevant.

      People forget about someone that isn't very active online and move on to people that are.

      I agree with you, you have to set priorities and if you choose to make sure that you are top of mind all the time then you have to be happy to put in all the hours, but maybe putting in tons of hours isn't for me.

    • Kathleen @ Frugal Portland

      Kathleen @ Frugal Portland 06/11/2012 11:32 a.m. #

      Remember, you own the blog, not the other way around.

    • Anthony Thompson

      Anthony Thompson 06/11/2012 12:15 p.m. #

      Welcome back, my Great Queen Sicorra. I had noticed that you were out of circulation, and hoped that you were OK. Glad to hear that it was a simple case of burnout, and the need for "Sicorra Time".

      I was actually MIA myself last week, so I can certainly relate to your experience. You made the right decision in taking the much needed time-off. It's essential to leave the online world once in awhile to rest your mind, body, and spirit. As for me, I had to take a break, because I felt like I would lose my mind if I didn't.

      It's great to see you back, and I'm looking forward to continuing this online voyage with you.

    • Michelle

      Michelle 06/11/2012 1:18 p.m. #

      Glad to see you're not quitting, Sicorra. I think everyone gets writers block at some point, sure. Maybe when you get the block, write about something besides finances? That's what I do. I'll write a post about something else that may loosely relate to money, but not the "how to get out of debt" sort of post that I find so boring! Usually, if I write a post about something else, I find myself ready to post about money the next time. It helps reset my brain.

    • Tackling Our Debt

      Tackling Our Debt 06/11/2012 1:41 p.m. #

      @Anthony - Thank you so much! I'm glad you recognized that it was time for a break as well, and took it. I know we all work as equally hard on building our blogs and networking.

      I will say that I feel a lot less stress this week.

      I hope you feel a lot better as well Anthony :-)

    • Tackling Our Debt

      Tackling Our Debt 06/11/2012 1:45 p.m. #

      @Michelle - Thank you Michelle! I know what you mean about trying to write about other stuff. I do envy the fact that you can create posts based on your family adventures. I struggle with getting really personal.

    • CultOfMoney

      CultOfMoney 06/11/2012 2:29 p.m. #

      I'm right there with you. Time is a very precious commodity, and you have to decide how best to use it. I've been super busy lately, so things have had to get scaled back from my plans. Glad to see that you're just taking a break, and as far as ideas, don't feel like it needs to be original. Go find an idea you liked elsewhere and put your spin on it. It is hard though to keep it going day after day. I've moved more to a once a week thing if I'm lucky...

    • Tackling Our Debt

      Tackling Our Debt 06/11/2012 2:37 p.m. #

      @CultofMoney - Thank you so much for dropping by and for your advice on blog ideas!!

      I really miss connecting with you online, but of course I completely understand what you are saying about making the best use of your time.

      Hope you have a wonderful summer :-)

    • From Shopping to Saving

      From Shopping to Saving 06/11/2012 4:59 p.m. #

      S - I was so happy to see a new post from you. I know exactly what you mean about this whole blogging burn-out thing. I get like that sometimes, but there definitely needs to be a balance. I hope you can find that perfect strike of balance between blogging and regular life :)

      And as Michelle said - just write posts you want to write. We're all still here to read it!

      <3

    • AverageJoe

      AverageJoe 06/11/2012 6:21 p.m. #

      I'd love to answer your question, but I'm too busy checking site stats. Ha! Burnout sucks. Visiting 40 blogs a day also sucks. I like reading blogs now more than I did when I wrote a similar post in February, but I had to step it back to ones I enjoy only...and about 15-20 per day, max.

    • Katie

      Katie 06/11/2012 6:45 p.m. #

      I can relate to how you feel. There for a few weeks I was spending most of my free time online. I would feel guilty if I didn't get around to commenting on everyone's posts or sticking to some schedule that I had created. It's easy to get burnt out.

      No matter how often you comment or post, I too, will be here to read your blog!

    • Tackling Our Debt

      Tackling Our Debt 06/11/2012 7:01 p.m. #

      @From Shopping to Saving - Thank you so much! I think finding the right balance will be an on-going thing, as well as realizing that taking a break is not the end of the world, as real friends will visit again :-)

    • Tackling Our Debt

      Tackling Our Debt 06/11/2012 7:06 p.m. #

      @AverageJoe - Sounds like many of us hit our breaking point eventually. I know you've made some changes. I need to do the same and not feel guilty about it.

    • Tackling Our Debt

      Tackling Our Debt 06/11/2012 7:11 p.m. #

      @Katie - Thanks so much! It's amazing how we create these wacky schedules for ourselves and then feel guilty when we can't keep up. Time for a change.

    • MyMoneyDesign

      MyMoneyDesign 06/12/2012 1:03 a.m. #

      Whether you quit or not, it's up to you! I feel your pain. This whole blog thing is a lot more work than I bargained for! It's been fun, but your "real" life is way more important. My last few posts were guest posts and re-posts of old material. I was starting to feel a slump. But I think we call go through this. On the plane tonight I forced myself to start writing down things that would make some good topics. I got quite a few, but it really took some thinking. I think the combination of thinking of things you'd like to research mixed with ideas from other blogs can help you get back on the horse. But no rush!

    • Money Beagle

      Money Beagle 06/12/2012 10:21 a.m. #

      Looking forward to hopefully seeing you stick around. It's a lot of work, but I've been blogging for over three years now and it's well worth it!

    • femmefrugality

      femmefrugality 06/12/2012 1:22 p.m. #

      I can so relate! I'm finding myself spending a lot of time at this...I'd like to find a way to strike some sort of balance as it is something I deeply enjoy, but I need to pay attention to other aspects of my life, as well. If you find any secrets to accomplishing this, let me know!

    • Tackling Our Debt

      Tackling Our Debt 06/12/2012 3:10 p.m. #

      @MyMoneyDesign - Thank you so much for your support! Sorry to hear you are going through the same thing.

      I find it interesting that so many of us are going through this at the same time.

      It is a struggle to come up with post ideas and personally I think the more we struggle, the worse we feel. Many times I just feel like everything has already been said out there, whether online or in books.

    • Tackling Our Debt

      Tackling Our Debt 06/12/2012 3:22 p.m. #

      @Money Beagle - Thanks! Look forward to getting to know you as well.

    • Tackling Our Debt

      Tackling Our Debt 06/12/2012 3:26 p.m. #

      @femmefrugality - We are on the same page. :-) The only thing I have found so far that is making me feel less stressed is to do my posts ahead of time and all in one day, if I can. As well, I have done the change of scenery thing that so many people do when they have writer's block. That really helped me get writing and stay writing. That also gives me a lot more time during the rest of the week to do other things both online and offline. We'll see how that works out.

    • Jen @ Master the Art of Saving

      Jen @ Master the Art of Saving 06/14/2012 11:10 p.m. #

      I've always loved the beginning of great ideas and projects, but I've always quit. Never finished a thing, not even college. So far, I have stuck with blogging for almost 2 years but I too need to find a balance.

      Burnout, writer's block and lack of life balance seem to be really common problems for bloggers. Good luck finding yours, Sicorra. :-)

Comments are closed.