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Breaktober Lessons and Reminders [ A Recap ]

November 4, 2014
Most of you know that for the month of October, I took a creative break. So what did it look like? What did I do with my time? What did I learn? Well first, we have to start at the beginning. 
What did pre-breaktober blogging life look like and how would that compare to the new schedule?

  • Write a new blog post for Monday thru Friday and if you have time, write one for Saturday and Sunday too. 
  • Read & comment on your favorite blogs’ new posts every day/night.
  • Find at least one “new to me” blog a week and comment on one of their posts.
  • Weekly obligations to sponsors (social media, Vlog, etc.) 
  • Respond to emails and/or comments within 24 hours.
  • Spend at least one day a week writing for your novel.
  • Post one picture a day on social media.
  • Spend one day a week writing in a coffee shop.
  • Organize and prepare for the next day before you go to sleep.

  • Write a blog post for every day, Monday thru Friday and if you have time, write one for Saturday and Sunday too. Write when you feel truly inspired, and if that means you don’t write for a few days or even a week, just go with it.
  • Read & comment on your favorite blogs’ new posts every day/night. Make time to read each and every post that is linked up to the Grateful Heart linkup but then put the computer away. 
  • Find at least one “new to me” blog a week and comment on one of their posts.
  • Weekly obligations to sponsors (social media, Vlog, etc.) No Soul Provider sponsorship option this month.
  • Respond to emails and/or comments within 24 hours. Spend at least one day a week to respond to any unread emails in your inbox. 
  • Spend at least one day a week writing for your novel. If you happen to daydream about the story your novel will one day share, leave it in the daydream… and keep dreaming. Don’t interrupt the dream by ‘writing it all down.’ The important parts will stick.
  • Post one picture a day on social media.  Dude. Freakin’ relax and put down the phone. 
  • Spend one day a week writing in a coffee shop. Spend one day a week drinking coffee in a coffee shop.
  • Go on as many dates with your husband as the two of you can fit into a week.
  • Go for longer walks. 
  • Sleep. In fact, spend an entire Wednesday in bed, under the covers. Maybe do this a few times this month. 
  • Read. And read something that is printed on paper with no pictures.
  • Watch movies. A lot of them. 
  • Organize and prepare for the next day before you go to sleep. Talk and dream with your husband before you go to sleep. 
Breaktober was wonderfully weird πŸ™‚ In the beginning, I was afraid that I’d take this break and actually like it. That I’d like it so much in fact, that I wouldn’t want to “come back” to blogland – at least not full time. And you know what? There were days I felt that way, I really fell in love with the new schedule. There were some days I thought- wow, this is really nice. I don’t miss blogging at all. What does this mean?? I’d realized that perhaps I’d been going at it all a little too hard and not making time for life and for the people right in front of me. I hadn’t been making time for myself even, and that was a welcoming wake-up call/action to reset. 

BUT, there were more days where I felt so lost without having my daily blog schedule. I swear, I had no idea what to even do with myself the first full week and I found it incredibly difficult to break my routine for the entire month, to not write every day, and to not read up on and connect with my blogging tribe. I am a person who loves routine and structure, which was reconfirmed during this time and I think I also learned to accept that about myself. (It’s the whole “I like to think I’m type-B but I’m really type-A complex) πŸ˜‰ There were more days than not where I truly missed even the act of writing each day, to the point where I didn’t feel like myself on the days I didn’t write at all. And more days than not, I seriously missed the crap out of my tribe, and those were the moments I had to smile because I thought, well- I’m doing exactly what I should be doing in this chapter of my life, this whole blogging thing. And that confirmation was really comforting. It was comforting to know that I’d have this space and all of you to “come back to” when Breaktober was over. And honestly- I think that’s what helped me relax and enjoy the reset.
This break was a confirmation that I’m right where I’m supposed to be, but maybe I just need to revise the schedule a bit πŸ˜‰ It was an important reminder that everything in life needs balance, and sometimes you do just need a vacation, time away from the routine. This break reconfirmed that yes, not only is sleep still seriously awesome, but that dating my husband is my most favorite thing ever to do in the history of Favorite Things. 
It’s great to have goals, and I am going to do my best to have a new post to share in this space at least Monday thru Friday, because that’s just what I want for this blog right now, but if I miss a day? If I miss two days? Three days? That’s okay too. Finding balance is about the give and take, the continuous revising of the schedule as needed. And man, sometimes you just gotta relax πŸ˜‰ 

PS – If you didn’t have a chance to link up with the Grateful Heart linkup yesterday, it will be open until Friday! πŸ™‚ 

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  • I'm so glad you're back but also glad you got to have such a satisfying break! <3 Yes, it's definitely important to figure out the right balance, and its sounds like you have! πŸ™‚

  • Selfishly I'm glad your back. I missed you but LOVE that you knew it was time to step back and reevaluate. Talk about eye opening though…your pre-Breaktober schedule! I think we all do that to an extent without realizing it and then it slowly can take over if we let it. No doubt that if we keep that pace, burnout will surely rear its head. Taking a step back is a great idea. I have found that for myself, keeping my computer in one room only forces me to step away. Planning ahead and keeping to a schedule has helped me too. If I can work on blog stuff for 2-3 hrs at a time on the weekend and work ahead I feel so much better and relaxed. My lunch hour (when I'm home alone) is reserved for promoting sponsors and comments etc. That way at night, I can relax with the family. The key in blogging and life is moderation. Once you find what works for you and what feels right you go with it. So excited to see what lies ahead for you!

  • What a great experiment/discipline to do for a month. As I've taken sporadic (shorter!) breaks from blogging, the same things have crossed my mind. Sometimes, I LOVE not thinking about my blog, social media, emailing, etc.. but in the end, I love the connections it has made for me! I'm glad to have you back πŸ˜‰

  • Lindsay

    I'm glad you're back but understand the need to rejuvenate! Look forward to reading more!

  • Christian Matthew Cullen

    Awesome read B πŸ™‚

  • Sometimes a break is necessary. πŸ™‚

  • I think the best part of taking a break from something you actually like is that it helps you see the areas you need to revise, and it also makes you realize that the world will not fall apart because you take a much needed break. Happy November, my beautiful friend!

  • While I'm very glad you're back from your break, I'm also very glad you took the break. I hope now that you're back you still practice some of the activities you did while on break…. like date nights for example, missy! πŸ˜‰ your pre-break schedule was crazy! No wonder you needed a break! Happy Tuesday and welcome back! <3

  • It's always so nice having a break to make you realize that living life is just so much more important than trying to crank out those posts each day. I'm so glad I took my break and realized that I needed to enjoy the process of blogging again, rather than trying to make it a job. Happy Tuesday!

  • I'm very glad to see you are back , but I'm so glad you got to enjoy a nice break. Sometimes that is just what you need! I'm still trying to find a better balance of life and blogging. Every time I think I have it figured out, it changes again. haha

  • I try to follow some of those guidelines, like "write when I feel inspired to" – but it's hard to not feel like I have to, if that makes sense. But I absolutely love your ending quote, it's perfection! πŸ™‚

  • I love how you set this up. I think breaks are so necessary for our creative minds. Sometimes blogging can be forced where it shouldn't be. I love your blog and love coming to it everyday. I'm glad you took your breaktober, but we missed you!!

  • I sorta had to do something like this when I started school. My priorities had to shift a bit and in order to keep a balance, you have to realize that the most important person that you need to please is yourself (and your spouse). I have to remind myself every now and then that my life comes first, not the blog, and that my blog is just a small part of my life as a whole.

  • Right now, I am going through a loss in my family. Some days the last thing i want to do is blogging. But it is kind of an experiment, I guess? What happens when I do just keep producing content and keep it real as well when it comes to how I am doing. I am horrible at work life (like my 9-5 job) balance. I have to evaluate the blog balance.

  • I'm glad you took your break – buuuuuuuuuuuuuut I'm also glad you're back. πŸ˜€

  • meee toooo!!!!!!!! πŸ™‚

  • I felt the same when I lost my Grandpa in May, Nina. I took a few weeks to be with family and mourn, but I will tell you- the blogging community and actually blogging about my last few days with him was really therapeutic and helped pull me along. You will figure out what works best for you πŸ™‚

  • Exactly. I'm sure we'll all have to adjust and edit here and there as our lives change!

  • I missed you too! πŸ™‚ It also made me realize that even the times I went on vacation (like an actual vacation), I was still blogging and planning… so you know next time I'm on vacay, I'm going to truly vacation and take my creative break then too πŸ™‚

  • It does make sense.. I think another reason I first felt so lost and confused in the beginning of my breaktober. It's nice to be back in the routine of things πŸ™‚

  • Exactly!! I think it will always be that way… as life changes, we need to adjust the other things in our life. Which is fine really because I think that's what keeps it exciting anyway πŸ˜‰

  • I am SO glad you took your break too! πŸ™‚ Girl you know I'm just dying to hear and see everything wedding though!!! I'm being patient! I'm patient! haha! πŸ˜‰

  • I think this new schedule will be a mix of the old and the new πŸ™‚ The date nights, even the ones where we just spent hours at the kitchen table talking (and not talking about work related stuff) were SO good for my soul.

  • haha totally! sometimes you just have to take the plunge. The world did NOT end, it actually slowed down a bit… which was welcomed too! Happy November!!!! xo

  • Every so often, I think it should be mandatory πŸ˜‰

  • Glad I'm back too!!!

  • It really did turn out to be an experiment, you're right. I think this new schedule will probably be a mix of the old and the new. Because some days you just need a break from the routine of it all!

  • I LOVE your suggestion of putting the computer in one room and leaving it there (as I type this from my bed, haha). I typically plan ahead in my planner, which does help but sometimes life gets busy and a post just doesn't get posted. One thing I may try is to actually START the post/outline when I'm thinking of it. That way it makes finishing it and actually writing it less daunting on a long, hard day. Thanks for letting me in to your weekly planning! You've given me some great ideas!

  • Thank you, lady!! It was an interesting month and I'm happy to be back to it all πŸ™‚

  • Katie @ A Beautiful Little Adv

    I'm glad you gained some perspective and found your balance πŸ™‚

  • Thanks, Katie! I'm practicing with the balance today… I'd planned to post something but went to breakfast with friends instead. It's the give and take! πŸ˜‰

  • I'm glad you enjoyed your break BUUUUUT I'm SUPER excited you are back! I missed the heck out of you girl!!! πŸ™‚

  • I think any variation in the norm is good for the soul. It shakes things up and challenges you to step out of your comfort zone (even if it's just a tiny bit). I took a six month break from blogging and even though there were days that I missed it like crazy, it was so very much needed. πŸ™‚

  • You are the sweetest, Faith! Missed you too!

  • I totally agree with you, Tami πŸ™‚ Sometimes I forget that "change" doesn't have to be permanent, but rather just something different for a bit.