Hello readers! Today, I wanted to talk about taking breaks in the book community. It has been about a month now since that break happened. I have seen so many book bloggers, Bookstagrammers, and Booktubers getting burnt out from doing all this lately. I just thought it would be fun to talk about why I went on a break and why YOU should, if you are in the book community.
It was NO ONES fault but my own that anything I mention happened. I’m just trying to explain my thought process that lead me to a breaking point, and I only wish to help other people and push them in the right direction!
In the future, I have a lot of breaks planned. Next time, I want to schedule posts to go out while I’m gone. I hope to go on a week-long break 4 times a year. I just think it will be really good for me to take a week off every now and again, and just reset.
#1 Never ending to-dos
Before April, I posted whenever I felt like it. I tried to keep up with 2 posts a week and I never set a schedule for myself. This was chaos! In April, I made a set schedule. I wanted to post 3X a week and be more consistent. Since moving to WordPress in Februrary, I have been getting a lot more attention, and I wanted to in return post more. There are so many blogs I follow that post 5-7 times a week and I don’t know how they do it. However, my write-a-post-whenever lifestyle wasn’t quite cutting it. It left me with a CONSTANT to do list that I could never get ahead of. Half of the reason for that will be later on in this post.
I planned before the break to spend a few of my days off planning out my schedule for the future. I am getting really far ahead now, so I can’t fall behind. I went from writing my posts the day before or day of, to writing them 2-3 weeks in advance. For instance, I wrote the majority of this post right after my break was over and am just now finishing it up for posting on Monday, today being Saturday.
About half way through May, I started scheduling everything I wanted to post in June and some other future months. I even planned out 85% of Blogmas for this year. It is SO NICE to look at my planner and see all my posts being planned and finished so far in advance.
#2 Keeping up with Bookstagram can be overwhelming
Instagram is probably the cause of the spiral that happened. I have been doing Bookstagram on and off for YEARS. So, I decided back at the beginning of March that I wanted to start doing it again. This time, it’s going to be long-term. I don’t like that I can’t just catch up with my followers without making a whole post on the blog, and I don’t get much (most none) interaction on Twitter, so I went to Instagram.
I found a Facebook group where I could find mutuals. We followed one another and I felt pressured, by no one but myself, to like EVERY SINGLE post anyone put out that I follow along with viewing every single story anyone put out. I now follow around 240 people. I’m also in a few engagement groups, which require likes as well.
If you don’t know, an engagement group is something you can join on Instagram. You tag the group in all your posts and everyone has to like one another’s post. They also have groups that require comments and saves, too. Someone invited me to a group that had around 100 people in it and it quickly grew to over 300! Usually, these groups don’t allow more than 200-220 people. Instead of spending any time reading or writing blog posts, I was always on there trying to catch up. There is a like limit on Instagram, so I had to catch up at a certain pace. If you hit the limit, you can go into what is called Instagram jail, which has yet to happen to me. However, I have heard of it from other people. I have researched and prepared myself, so I don’t hit it.
It was to the point where I wouldn’t even enjoy my time on there. I would just be blindly liking every post without taking time to read everyone’s caption on the post. I want to like less and ENGAGE more.
After coming back from the break, I left that engagement group and have left most of the other ones in the last month. I don’t want be stressed about Instagram, when there isn’t a point. At the end of the day, I don’t get paid for doing this blog or my Bookstagram. I do have affiliate links, but they don’t really get used. I’m just saying that I shouldn’t have been so stressed out for what is essentially a hobby.
#3 My reading was SUFFERING
Reading is the reason I am even here. I would be working so much on Instagram and this blog that I didn’t have as much time to read. I don’t think I realized this before going on break. HOWEVER, I noticed on the first day of my break that I was reading SO MUCH. It made me so happy because I didn’t have to worry about falling behind on anything.
#4 I was scared to lose followers
This was one of the biggest ones. I was scared that everyone would unfollow my blog and Instagram if I stopped posting for 10 days. I did lose some followers on both, but I think most people are still here! I just don’t want to let anyone down, but my mental health needs to be a priority and I hope anyone reading this will prioritize their mental health, too!
It shouldn’t matter how many followers I have! We should focus on the people who interact with our content. While trying to get ARC copies of books and deals with publishers or companies sending us things, they make us think about numbers, even if we don’t care that much.
For a lot of us, this blog isn’t the only thing we do with our lives. A lot of us have school, children, other jobs, and all other things that we need to do. I personally homeschool my child on top of these things. That is probably the most organized and easy part of my week. However, I still have to do it. I also took 2 weeks off of that because I do it year-round with a few weeks off here and there.
I think so many of us think what I was thinking. We will be too scared to take a step back from the community. However, we have to learn that the community will be there when we get back!
I want to reach out to any book community members and remind them that we are doing this because we love to read and we love to share our experiences with others. Please, reach out to me on Instagram if you need someone to talk to and take a break if you really need one.
Have you wanted to take a break recently?
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