You all know I took a breather from blogging over the summer. But I’m back, happy to say I enjoyed the much needed time away to pursue my writing (and who knows, maybe you all needed a break from me, too.) Doing so was a difficult decision. I thought about it for weeks. It’s like walking away from your friends and saying, “I’m not going to play for awhile.” So I checked in on you all from time to time. Sometimes you knew, other times you didn’t.
There’s this fear, for some of us, that if we take a break from blogging we’ll lose those faithful followers, the ones we can always count on to check in on us, maybe even send a “pity” comment our way when they see the comments on our posts are as scarce as hen’s teeth. So I took a chance that some of you would still be here when I got back, but it didn’t make the break any easier.
Blogging can be an addiction. Immersing ourselves with so much social media, only to see it all go down the drain once we take a break, can be life changing. I’ve had time to ponder this notion as I worked on my own addiction, and I’ve come up with some steps to help those of you thinking of making a break for it.
Five Steps to Combating Blogging Withdrawal:
1. Admit what you’re experiencing is blogging withdrawal. That’s a toughie, isn’t it? No one wants to admit to an addiction, least of all the addicted, nor do they want to admit to the symptoms of withdrawal. I mean withdrawal means there’s an addiction in the first place. We make up excuses as to why we’re constantly checking our blog stats—(Just being nosey. I’m interested in numbers. It’s important to see how many people are reading what I write. I need to know how popular I’m becoming.) We create new posts just for the sake of having more numbers at the end of the month. Hmmm…Let’s see, if I post four times a week, instead of two, I’ll have twice the numbers, right? Forget the fact that two of those posts left my readers thinking—what the heck was that?
2. Understand what you are getting into. The decision to quit must be made by you and you alone. Quitting to please your kids, your parents, your significant other, or for the sake of your job, just won’t cut it. The decision to stop using blogging as a means of escape from the real world and real world problems– either cold turkey or slowly weaning yourself away from it– will likely depend upon how long you’ve been addicted. I quit cold turkey. It was rough, but necessary. Life without blogging may be unthinkable for some of you. It was for me. When you live, eat and breathe blogging, withdrawal can be painful. I suggest you cut off contact with other bloggers and especially those who are supplying you with the means to blog, even putting blogging ideas in you head until you can resist the temptation. Be honest. Only you can answer that one.
3. Plan a visit to the pharmacy. You are going to want to have some of the following on hand to make your detoxification from blogging more comfortable.
· Acetaminophen will come in handy for those body aches. You know rocking back and forth while in the fetal position is hard on the joints, especially for those of us crawling up there in years.
· A good supply of Kleenex. You’re bound to have those times when someone will say something that reminds you of the fact that you’re no longer blogging. You could also try sedatives for those sleepless nights, maybe even a good antihistamine to help with the runny nose and teary eyes. A good sedative also may help combat some of the anxiety you’re going to be feeling.
· On your way to pay for these things swing by the bookstand and buy yourself a good pocket novel. Reading will help distract you and give you something to think about when those withdrawal symptoms persist.
4. Prepare for the mental withdrawal. Don’t kid yourself, are we ever prepared mentally? Although the withdrawal is NOT life threatening, it will impair your judgment, your ability to think clearly, reason and rationalize. Imagine no more comments to reply to, no more stats to check on, no more pictures to post, no more ideas to come up with, and here’s a biggie—no more blog awards to accept. You may have very unpleasant thoughts at this point. Don’t be surprised. You could even become resentful of all those happy bloggers out there with stats through the roof, so damn popular they put Justin Bieber to shame. Because of these other effects, withdrawal does increase your risk for dangerous and self-destructive behaviours including facebooking and tweeting. You may even start your own facebook page. It’s not blogging, but there’ll still be comments to check and respond to. So be careful. You could simply be switching one addiction for another.
5. Spend time away from the computer altogether. Try some other activities like dancing, hiking, or reading. Let’s face it, as convenient and as necessary as computers are to our daily lives, we can do without them. I know that’s true because I have friends who don’t even own a computer, my own mother, God bless her, whose fingers have never touched a keyboard. Imagine, if there are folks out there who’ve never heard of blogging, let alone read a blog post or even wrote one, we know it’s possible. It CAN be done. I repeat : It CAN be done.
So there you have it, 5 steps to combating blogging withdrawal. For any blogging addicts out there, I hope you found this information useful.
Do you ever feel as though you are addicted to blogging? How about stats checking? Do you know any blogging addicts? If so, were they able to kick the habit?