Getting Back Into Blogging

I’m trying to start the process of getting back into the routine of blogging after taking somewhat of a hiatus these past few months while I adjusted to all the changes that were going on in my life. And after trying several time to write a discussion post on a topic I’ve been thinking about for a while, I realized that I couldn’t just jump back into blogging. I want to take the time to discuss why it’s a bit of a struggle for me to return to blogging and how that’s impacted by the changes in my reading. There’s much to discuss!

I think that there are 3 things holding me back from going back to easily blogging like I used to. The first one might be the most obvious. Or maybe it isn’t. Regardless, you won’t have to guess, because I’m just going to tell you. The first struggle is timing.

Now, you can take that in a number of ways, really. It’s a struggle because so much time has passed. It’s a struggle because my schedule is so different. It’s a struggle because I need to learn to make time for this hobby again. All three of these interpretations are correct. Lots of time HAS passed since I’ve been blogging regularly. And blogging is not like riding a bike. (Which by the way, I hate bike riding, so if bike riding and blogging were similar, I’d probably never return to blogging.) Blogging is more like running. It can be so rewarding, but you have to build up the stamina. That first run/post after a while is difficult, and makes you never want to run/post again. But if you keep it up for a while, you begin to remember why you loved the activity so much in the first place.

But of course, making time for blogging is difficult. I now have a full time job, which means I get up early to get ready and drive to work, I spend the majority of my day busy as a bee, and then I come home just in time to make myself dinner and do some chores before the whole process starts over again the next day! That might be an oversimplification, but it’s true that I only have an hour or two every night where I have to choose between a chore, socializing, or relaxing. Up until now I didn’t have the energy or the routines to even attempt to choose blogging as an option during that small window of time! And having blogged before, I know what a time commitment I’m getting myself into. I know that writing a blog post can be the quickest part. The editing, the commenting, the reading other blogs, those take time too!

Now, time passing directly relates to my second struggle, which is engagement. If you’re reading this post to begin with, I am so very grateful. Because with every break I take, I lose engagement. Not just followers, but readers. People who remain subscribed, but don’t care about what I write anymore. People who have stopped engaging with blogging for the time being. It’s really upsetting to feel like you’re starting from the beginning again. To feel like you may have spent several years building an engaged readership, only to lose everyone when you choose to take a break. It also makes wanting to find the time to blog so much more difficult because my motivation always has been for people to read and engage with my content. So if no one is reading what I write anymore, should I even go back to blogging?

Of course, if I keep on blogging and start engaging more myself, my engagement will pick up again. But I’m impatient. I want time to have stood still while I was gone. That’s not the case of course, but knowing that it will be a time consuming activity getting back to a place where I’m happy with my engagement again can be scary at times!

But say that time and engagement weren’t an issue. And technically, they’re not. I’ve made the decision to start blogging again. I’m going to do my best to be consistent, unless life ends up getting in the way. There’s also the fact that I need to have what to blog about. I know I’ve written a post titled “What It Takes to Write a Blog Post“. But there I focused on discussion posts. But now I’d like to be more general. It’s really hard to be consistent with content about books and reading, when you’re no longer reading as much. Doing tags that ask about recent reads becomes harder because you’ve only read 5 books in the past 3 months to pull your answers from. There are less reviews to write. There is less inspiration for a discussion based on what you’ve been reading. Any and all bookish posts take a hit when you’re reading less.

Those are some of my apprehensions returning to blogging. I thought it would be helpful for me to be transparent about why it has been so difficult for me to return to blogging. I’m curious if anyone else has had a similar experience.

However, with this post now written and shared, I’m ready to start the hard work of blogging consistently again! Reading less doesn’t mean not reading at all! I still have plenty I want to share about reading and blogging and books and whatnot! And I hope you’re ready to read it all!

What do you find difficult about returning from a hiatus? What factors impact your engagement? Have you been reading more or reading less recently?

Advertisement

36 thoughts on “Getting Back Into Blogging

  1. Just back from a break myself and I my biggest hurdle is always feeling like I’ve fallen behind. I have posts I do every month and the thoughts of having to do all the ones I missed was overwhelming. I tipped away at it though and I’m almost caught up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! I hate that feeling that I have to play catch up on everything before I can be “allowed” to post new content. Even the idea of catching up on comments that I had missed overwhelmed me at first, but like you, I tried to answer as many as I could in a given day, and after a few days, they were all gone!

      I hope you have an easy time finishing to catch up! You got this!

      Like

  2. It’s so tough getting back into blogging after a break! I haven’t taken a break as such, but definitely blogged very rarely up until last month, and it has been tough getting back into it. I definitely saw a huge drop in engagement when I wasn’t blogging much, and feel like I almost forgot how to even write discussion posts. Thankfully I seem to have figured it out, and I have seen my engagement creeping back up, but it’s definitely hard to get over that initial hurdle.
    Best of luck with your return to blogging! I can’t wait to read your posts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really, really is! Any time you try switching up blogging frequency, in either direction, you can definitely see the effects!

      It’s understandable that engagement drops when you’re less active or posting less, but it still is upsetting! And for me, I’m out of practice with reviewing! But I’m sure we’ll both slowly remember how to write those posts that we’ve neglected and are out of practice writing!

      I’m so glad that your engagement is slowly returning! That must be a great feeling! Congrats on clearing that hurdle!

      And thank you so much! I’m excited to get back to writing more posts, so I’m glad you’re out there, excited to read them!

      Like

  3. Welcome back to blogging. I totally understand that it must be more difficult to book blog if you aren’t reading very much but hopefully you will find content that you do want to blog about. I look forward to reading whatever you come up with next

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is legit why I am too afraid to ever take a proper hiatus, honestly- I am afraid I will never, ever come back because enjoying a few minutes of actual free time during the day would be spectacular! I feel you so much with the time, and finding the motivation, and then the decline in engagement, ugh. It is SUCH a struggle. I think I have, mostly anyway, come to terms with it, but it is still not exactly uplifting. So yeah, I definitely agree, even though I haven’t really taken a proper hiatus, that it is all still REALLY tough. So be kind to yourself, and give yourself time to get back into it. I am so impressed that you are able to, really!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oooooof. There’s a lot to unpack there. I totally get that mentality though. All my breaks were more “forced upon me” rather than me actually making a decision to take a break. And I’m conflicted, because it sounds like you can really use a hiatus, but also, if it means you’re never coming back, I feel weird supporting that decision!

      And while I have sort of come to terms with the struggles of time, motivation, and engagement, like you said, it doesn’t mean I like it!

      Thank you so much! I appreciate the reminder to be kind to myself! This is definitely going to be a juggling act until I have some routines settled, so it’s important for me to remember that I won’t be back into the swing of things for a while!

      Like

    1. Yup! Life definitely can get in the way of blogging! I’m hoping that I’ll still be able to post consistently with my full time job, but I guess these next few months will be a sort of trial run, to see what I can manage!

      And thank you! I really appreciate knowing that there are people out there who are always ready for my next post, whenever that may come!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. it’s great to have you back, malka! i definitely relate to you struggles. i have to take a lot of long hiatuses due to my chronic illness and college and i always find it hard to get back into shape in regards to blogging after a break. but after posting consistently 3 or 4 times, it slowly gets easier. my best advice is to take it slow and try not to be harsh on yourself. blogging is, at the end of the day, meant to be a fun hobby, so there’s no need to be self critical about it. the readers who genuinely enjoy and find value in your voice and your content will always be there for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Lila! Oh, yes, I feel like it’s so much harder when circumstances “force” you to take a hiatus versus making the personal decision to take a hiatus. When the choice is taken from you, all your left with are those feelings of worry about what will happen to the blog if you leave it. At least for me it can sometimes even keep the hiatus from being the energizing and rejuvenating break I know it can be!

      And I totally agree that after a few posts it gets easier. But getting those first few posts out in a consistent manner can be really tough at first!

      But you’re totally right. As a hobby I really want to focus more on all the ways that I enjoy this space and this community. After all, that’s what makes me return after each hiatus! It’s definitely hard to mute that critic in my head, but it’s a work in progress! Knowing that I have people who understand and get excited about my return definitely helps though!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I relate to this so much, Malka! While I haven’t taken a long hiatus in a while, I’ve definitely noticed the strain of having a full-time job and how it has impacted my blogging. Unfortunately, I just no longer have the time to write the kinds of wacky, in-depth posts I love most or engage with the community to the degree I would like πŸ˜₯

    Although I think for me, the factor that makes it hardest to muster the energy to blog is actually the “choose between relaxation and writing” thing, not so much the engagement. Even though it does hurt a little to see how much that has dropped, there are still so many amazing people in this community who I love interacting with, and as long as there’s even one person willing to put up with my rambling, I am satisfied! But mustering the motivation to write after a day filled with work, when I’m about to drop dead on my feet and could use that time for reading or sleeping? I still haven’t quite figured that one out πŸ˜…

    Anyway, great discussion, and I wish you the best of luck getting back into blogging! πŸ’™

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It definitely can be really frustrating to have life and obligations impact blogging. Like, would I love to post 2 or 3 times a week? Of course! In actuality is it a struggle to post once a week? Yup. Like you, I have to reduce from what I’d love to do, to what I’m able to do. But I keep telling myself that setting goals that are attainable is the most important thing. Life changes, and as such I need to adjust my blogging expectations.

      And the way I feel that comment about relaxation vs blogging SO HARD. Like, tonight, I’ve already done so many household tasks after a full day of work, and I’m choosing to blog instead of reading a book. Because I just don’t have time in my night to do both anymore. But for me, the whole engagement thing is tied to this, because it’s the people interacting with my posts that gives me energy. The interaction is what reminds me that blogging should be a priority for me, and is worth giving my time and energy!

      Thank you so much! πŸ’•

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m so glad you appreciated the analogy! I really like it, so I’m glad it made sense to other people as well!

      I think it’s actually really important to take scheduled breaks to avoid burnout. For me at least, planned breaks don’t bother me as much as unplanned breaks due to life getting busy, because at least I can prepare myself for planned breaks, whereas with unplanned breaks my mindset is all jumbled while I’m gone!

      Like

  7. Great post, it really is so hard sometimes to find the time and motivation to blog and I have definitely been struggling with this a lot myself recently.
    I’m glad you are giving getting back into it ago despite how overwhelming it is and I look forward to your posts πŸ’œπŸ’œ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Finding time is really such a struggle. When I started blogging I wasn’t as busy, but now with a full time job and having to take care of all the household chores and errands, it’s definitely hard work to continue to find a time to blog! I’m sorry that you’re struggling as well, but I hope it’s at least helpful to hear that you’re not alone!

      Thank you so much! It means so much to me to hear that! πŸ’•

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Ah welcome back Malka, the hardest part is writing a post again after you’ve taken a break. For myself I actually did take an entire year off blogging with the exception to my quarterly wrap up posts back in 2021. It was very much needed for myself. I would still tinker with posts though when I felt like it but there was zero pressure because I was on a hiatus. I definitely relate to the struggle of what to post when you’re not reading as much. Honestly it’s why I am so glad I gave myself the space to post about my other interests on the blog. Although I also am not posting as often I was pre-hiatus, I do my best to post at least once month now.

    My engagement isn’t like it used to be but I don’t really dwell on that too much. I enjoy the content I’m creating, I enjoy connecting with the community again and I’ll just tootle along at my own pace. Don’t rush yourself and don’t feel like you have to come back creating content at the same rate you used to! Anyway, I’m happy to see a post from you, sending you all the love πŸ’œ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Clo! I think things were a little different for me this time since I had been keeping up with my monthly wrap ups, so I wasn’t completely disconnected from writing posts. But still, writing my first discussion post after months of not focusing on creative content was definitely something that I struggled with.

      A full year hiatus is honestly very brave. I don’t know if I could ever convince myself to take that long of a break and still return. But I’m glad you did what was best for you and that you’ve found a posting schedule that works for you now that you’re back. I think for me, I’ll be aiming for about 3-6 posts a month in the future, but I’m still testing the waters! I know I won’t be able to return to 2-3 posts a week, and I’m okay with that. I guess I’ll be discovering my new normal for engagement within a few months!

      Awww, thank you! πŸ’•

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi!! It’s great to have you back (even if for me, there was no “gone” period, haha). I’m relating to a lot of what you’re going through right now. I left BPR two years ago at the height of the blog’s popularity, after, just like you experienced, working really hard to build that readership. Now it has been a long time, and most of the people I communicated with have moved on to other projects–or just don’t check the blog anymore. Engagement is basically nonexistent, and it can feel very discouraging. I just try to remind myself I decided to come back to blogging to have something fulfilling in my life, not just to get comments and likes. (But it can be hard.)

    You can know you still have a dedicated reader in me! I’m really happy you’re still blogging, and I get to enjoy your content once more. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. SHAAAAAAAAAAA! YOU’RE BACK! I will admit to seeing your new posts in my inbox and thinking about commenting on them (which I will be doing any day now!) but I wanted my first official welcome back to you to be said on my blog, selfishly!

      I definitely relate to people no longer being an active part of the blogging community, which is weird on many levels, one because you miss their content, but also because you learn once they’re gone just how engaged they were with you. So there become several layers of missing them. I’m sure it’s super weird seeing which of your readers are still around and still commenting!

      As for engagement, I really hope that you slowly start to see some growth in that space. I’m sure it will be tough after being gone for 2 years, but I’m sure that once the blogging community either realizes you’re back or gets to discover your wonderful blog for the very first time you’ll start to see changes and growth in readership, likes, and comments. I think that even when your goal is for blogging to be fulfilling and such, it’s still completely fair to want good engagement, and I totally get that not having that immediate surge in readership upon your return can be discouraging. But I believe that’s something that time will fix! (Especially because in the next few days you’re gonna be getting a whole lot of likes and comments from me!)

      Thank you so much! Hearing that people are excited for my blogging return and to see more posts from me is definitely helping to motivate me to keep on writing and posting. The numbers can’t reflect everything, and hearing that I have a small but loving crew of people that are genuinely excited to see what I do next is a really important reminder! πŸ’•

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I AM BACK!!! Hehehe, I get the desire.

        There definitely are many layers. I noticed that a huge chunk of my dedicated readers have decided to hang up the blogging hat and it’s sad to see! To lose those friends and those fun times, and know I didn’t even get to say goodbye :/ But there is also a whole new generation of bloggers around to learn from so that is fun.

        Ahhaha, well, thank you for the motivating speech! It really does help to hear, and also know I’m not the only one in this boat. It really is about time at this point, isn’t it? And remembering that we’re here to enjoy reading and sharing that with others, not just get views.

        But you really do have a close lil fandom! I’m super happy that Paper Procrastinators is still here, and I get to read more of your posts. I would be scared if alllll my blogger buddies were gone, there would be no inspiration anymore!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. This is such an interesting post and thank you for writing it! I think I’m a bit scared of taking a real break because of everything you just wrote, and how terrified I am to get back to it, afterwards.
    It’s hard to keep on blogging -and even harder to get back to it- once your life changes. Like you said, with a full-time job and everything, you have to make choices and sometimes, you’d rather, well, sleep than keep up with blogging, which is completely understandable! It’s hard to find a right rhythm that makes you keep on blogging and… keeps you sane, just as well.
    It takes work and a bit of time to find a routine that works, but I’m certain that you will. If it’s meant to be, you will, that’s what I want to believe! πŸ™‚ sending you lots of love! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I’m so glad that you liked the post! I genuinely felt like it was very important for me to express all my feelings about returning to blogging before I could start consistently posting again, and I’ve been absolutely loving all the responses.

      Taking a break is definitely scary, especially when you’re aware of all the repercussions. I think that’s why most of my breaks and hiatuses end up being unplanned. Making the conscious decision to take a break would make me very anxious about what I was doing to my engagement.

      I started blogging at a point in my life where I had time to write and edit and post and engage, and I’m very grateful for that. But I don’t think I thought ahead as to how different upcoming life changes would affect my relationship with free time and blogging. But to be fair, it’s one thing to imagine the future, and it’s a completely different story to experience it! One of the things I’ve learnt is that you’re gonna have to readjust your blogging rhythm multiple times if you end up sticking with maintaining your blog. I don’t think it’s possible to blog for multiple years and keep the exact same schedule and routine. Change is inevitable!

      I think this is one of those times where I have to readjust my routine. So far my new plan of only posting about once a week seems to be working for me, so I’ll be sticking to that for as long as I can, until I need to readjust again!

      Thank you for all the love! πŸ’•

      Like

  11. Thankfully, I’ve been able to stick to a regular posting schedule since 2020. But regarding writing hiatuses, I’m not stranger to it, as I do disappear from my fiction writing from time to time. What I do to get back into it is by starting small. Like ‘write one sentence a day’ small.

    And if I start to think that writing one sentence is bullcrap, then I ask myself if I can indeed write that one sentence every day. Because if I can, then why aren’t I doing it?

    Once I stick to that schedule, I’ll start to write two, then three, then a page, then pages. So it’s all about just starting, desensitising myself, then slowly adding on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow! Sticking to a posting schedule for 2 years is really impressive!

      I don’t write fiction, but your approach to returning from hiatuses makes a lot of sense to me! I think that no matter what habit you’re trying to build, starting small but at a consistent pace really is key! Once you’re no longer intimidated by whatever task you’re trying to start/return to, it becomes a lot easier to add on and make your goals bigger or more complex!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Like all the other commenters, I understand the challenges of blogging. I blogged faithfully and consistently for over a year, then in 2021 I just lost momentum and sat around watching too much TV, worked on other hobbies, etc and just couldn’t seem to focus or have much interest in blogging. I think a did maybe 6-8 for the whole year. Pretty much all of the few regular viewers I had, left.

    Then in January I decided to recommit and some of the hardest stuff was even remembering how my website worked and how to make changes, etc. I had to relearn the SEO stuff (which I;ve just scratched the surface of), etc. After a few months of writing reviews regularly I found a few memes that expanded my contacts and found a place in the friendly community of book bloggers. But, it definitely is a challenge – although I work 4 days a week, my kids are grown, my husband retired, and I watch no TV anymore. So that gives me time both to read and to blog about it.

    You certainly started a good conversation here. I hope you find a good balance between blogging and your life, one that works well for you.
    Terrie @ Bookshelf Journeys

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow. I’m honestly so impressed that you took the time and energy to rebuild your blogging presence after being mostly absent. Having the time to read and blog, doesn’t always translate into making the effort to do both activities, so kudos to you for pushing through and finding your stride again!

      Thank you so much for your comment! I’m still working on finding the right balance, but it’s helpful to know I’m not the only one that’s struggled to find this balance! It makes me hopeful that I can find an equilibrium that works for me!

      Like

  13. I have the same experience. There was a time that I posted non-stop but then stopped due to personal reasons. It’s really a hard thing to do blogging, finding the balance between life and this. It is so hard to build a blog and find a community, that’s why I decided to just lurk and like the post of my favorite bloggers. I post a few but I don’t have the same energy as the first time I created my blog.

    I hope you find a good balance. Post when you feel it and your followers still love you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s really so hard to keep up the energy that one has when you first start blogging. Things change, and life gets busier, and then it becomes so much harder to blog and keep up with the content other bloggers are creating. While I don’t like the fact that this happens, I’m starting to come to terms with it and to readjust my blogging expectations accordingly!

      Thank you so much! I appreciate your encouragement! πŸ’•

      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 )

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