Five Steps to Combating Blogging Withdrawal

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?

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29 Comments

  1. Some loyals depend on my cartoon fix in the morning – can’t let them down. Glad I have full file unused stuff when new ideas are slow to emerge. Mother’s terminal illness has put a damper on things.

    Reply
  2. Your cartoons are great, Carl! I also enjoy the comment section as well. A lot of witty minds. I can’t imagine how you come up with so many new ideas.

    So sorry to hear about your mother’s illness. Regardless of how old they are it is never easy dealing with the reality of life and death. I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

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  3. I’m so understanding what you’re writing about, or not writing about. I’m not only addicted, I’m also suffering from a weird exhaustion. I’m not sure why, but I’ve been visiting my healthfood store so much they know me by name. I dread having to take a break if and when we move. I don’t think my problem is wanting to take a break as much as I want my blogs to have quality instead of quantity. I want to write substance instead of fluff, yet I sit down to write and I’m instantly blank. It’s as scary as my addiction.

    Great post, Laura. Thank you for addressing this. I’ve got to do some serious thinking and solve my dilemma. Why, I’m still not sure. But I want to be able to post once a week without feeling like I’m fading into the distance.

    Reply
    • Once a week feels good for me. At the moment that’s my tentative plan although I don’t necessarily want to be posting on Saturdays. I did today simply becasue it was the first of September and I knew I had to take the dive. The more I spent time away, the easier it became. Not sure if that’s a good thing or not.

      Reply
  4. I can everything except #5 — I do everything on my computer so it’s hard to keep it shut. although when my laptop wasn’t working for about a month, I was doing well without it.

    & it’s all true, sometimes I do think I would lose those faithful readers, as small as the number is, it’s one reason I think most people don’t want to stop. I keep seeing these people making excuses for not blogging but really, it’s not a crime so no apology necessary.

    I hope you had a productive break. have a great day.

    Reply
    • Lissa, we all love your artwork and would never abandon you! No worries about that. Although I didn’t accomplish all that I had planned to during the break, it was most productive. Thanks for visiting after my long break!

      Reply
  5. Yay, you’re back!

    Reply
  6. All of this is a surprise to me and now I’m wondering a great many thoughts. I’m glad you’re back all the same though, I hope it was a most excellent time away.

    Reply
  7. I take regular breaks from blogging. More than the writing, even, I miss the community. that’s what draws me back, time and time again.

    Reply
  8. I agree, Joss. It’s really the community that makes blogging so much fun. I’ve missed everyone. Glad you haven’t forgotten me.. :)

    Reply
  9. Welcome back from summer break, Laura. I missed you!
    I love your new background theme.

    Now, about blogging addicts … ummm — Nope! Don’t know any. Don’t feel a thing. Stats checking? Not a problem. (oh, did you notice mine? crawling up to 13,000! but .. er .. who’s counting?) Habit? What habit? (nervous twitch)

    I don’t write on a regular schedule because sometimes life stuff keeps me from posting. Also, I find it hard to always come up with something to write about that might be of interest to anyone. When that happens I go in and change things around a little, or add something to my Writers’ Helps page, or just mope awhile. Naps help. :)

    SO GLAD you’re back, Laura!

    Reply
    • Wow! That’s some welcome back! I’ve missed all of you as well. Really, that was the hardest part of staying away. But you know me, I’ve got to have fun with a post from time to time. :)

      Reply
  10. Kris

     /  September 1, 2012

    I am addicted to CHECKING blogs. Is there a new post yet? I wonder if there are some more comments to read? I wonder if this person feels the same way about *insert major world event* as I do, or did they even think it blog worthy?

    I am absolutely thrilled you are back!

    Reply
    • And I’m thrilled to be back! It’s nice to know that you all noticed I wasn’t around.
      Checking blogs can be addicting as well. I follow too many, but what can I say? There are too many interesting people out there…:)

      Reply
  11. It’s all about community to me. My biggest problem is wanting to read everyone’s blogs, don’t want to miss anything. When I’m away for a day or two, my email runneth over with the links. Then I try to play catch-up. I need to learn to use the delete button. But I am SO GLAD to see you! I like your new blog background, too.

    Reply
    • Community—absolutely. I’ve met so many nice people blogging. Let’s face it it’s difficult not to make friends with people who invite us into their worlds. I like the new background as well. It was time to settle into a theme that I really liked. I think I’ll change the background with the seasons. It should be fun. I’m glad you came to visit!

      Reply
  12. I grinned all the way through this post. For me, while blogging itself isn’t an addiction, I’d say the Internet probably is. It’s way too tempting to keep logging into FB or Twitter, and yes, my blog comments, to see what folks are saying! In real life I’m not highly social, but I enjoy the virtual life and my cyber friends. The statistics don’t interest me, but the people and relationships do. The only time I take blogging breaks are when we’re vacationing.

    When we’re at our cabin and beyond the reach of electricity, cell phone coverage or the internet, I don’t really miss it. I get a lot of uninterrupted writing done there, usually on my laptop, thanks to my hubby who starts up the generator each evening so I can recharge it. If I had to give up the laptop for more than a week I imagine I’d feel lost and probably display a lot of withdrawal traits, like moodiness and irritability! LOL!

    I’m so glad you’re back, and I love your new background. I’d like to be wiggling my toes in that sand. :)

    Reply
    • This post was fun to write, and I actually wrote it a few weeks back as I prepared myself for my blogging return.(Wow! That’s sounded dramatic.lol!!” I don’t really consider myself an addict, but giving up the social end of blogging was difficult for sure. I love the sand in the photo, too. It’s a photo my sister took last spring when she went to Hell. lol!

      Reply
  13. If I think about not blogging, it bothers me, but when I’m away from the computer and doing outdoors things, I seldom think of it. Yet, I always think of my computer, when I can get back to it to add a few lines to my current work in progress. Could I live without blogging…probably, but it’d take a while to get used to. Could I live without my laptop…no way!

    I haven’t taken a total break from blogging, but I’ve been slack the past two weeks with everything online. It’s the last days of summer vacation before school starts, and spending that time outside with the kids is more important. We also have to ‘move’ back inside the house this weekend, so I need to freshen up the bedrooms since they haven’t been used in two months.

    Welcome back, Laura.

    Reply
    • Thanks, Diane. It’s great to be back. I certainly felt a void in the beginning, but it did get easier as time went by. I survived. I guess that’s the important thing. That, and the fact that people remembered who I am after seven weeks. ;)

      Reply
  14. WEecome back Laura. I am one of the faithfull followers and would never forget you. We are off to Europe next week and I will have to take a blogging break. Your tips will come in handy for sure. Trying hard to not think about being away from all my blogging friends for over 2 weeks. Now I know – IT CAN BE DONE!!

    Reply
  15. Forgot to mention, I love the new background. Glad you had time for writing BTW.

    Reply
    • Thanks Darlene. Yes, you are a very faithful follower and I do so appreciate it.. :) Europe! How exciting..Do I smell a new Amanda book brewing?

      Reply
  16. I’m looking to step back a little later this month so I can finish my second novel. I’m hoping the withdrawal won’t be so bad!

    Reply
    • All jokes aside, C.B. it is tough in the beginning to step back. I just knew that, for me, my writing had to take priority for a time. I’m sure you’ll make it through the withdrawal in fine style. It’s usually the thought that is the worst. :)

      Reply
  17. Laura … I was “gone” for a couple of days and came back to this :) What fun to contemplate the issues of the blog-addiction. My cure? I take three blog vacations each year. At the Holiday season, a Spring Break (which I skipped this year) and a summer vacation.

    When I do so, I also do not comment on other blogs. I make an announcemnt before each break … see ya !! I also stay off Facebook … but I try to answer private direct emails.

    It’s a good thing to temper our love of social networking with some alone time.
    Glad to have you back … Oh … and those stats … just stop looking at them. I rationalize that they don’t actually mean that much. I won’t win a blog award from WD as one of the MOST or the BEST … I just have a good time with my loyal readers :)

    Reply
    • Actually, Florence, taking regular breaks sounds like a good idea. I’d been blogging for three years without breaking and it wasn’t easy for the first week or so. Yet is felt as though it was becoming a chore, one that I was beginning to resist. I missed the interaction with all of you the most. I’m happy to be back. :)

      Reply

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