Lessons from a Blogging Break: Top Ten {Tuesday}

top ten list

So, I’ve been away from my blog for a month. Well, kinda. I had some guest posts set up. I had a few (3, maybe?) posts I committed to writing beforehand. And my monthly guest posts. But still. I was gone from the daily grind of what blogging has become (intertwined with all of social media). And it was nice. And I think (hope) I learned a few things in the process. Here we go:


source: herbstkind

1. Once a Blogger, Always a Blogger

I started two blogs during my break. OK, one was for an assignment for Lydia and the other is the secret journal I told you about. I also formulated the idea for an ebook. (I always did love a good bandwagon.)

2. Leechblock is My Friend

I do not have self-control. I uninstalled TweetDeck. I put facebook, twitter, pinterest and both my blogs on a one hour restriction. Once I hit an hour, the sites won’t open. And guess what? You have to figure out something else to do. LIKE NOT ON THE COMPUTER. I read about 5 books this month. I watched movies. I even did the laundry.

I’m actually going to continue using Leechblock from now on. I don’t need the distraction. Or temptation.

3. Spinning Plates Is Not a Talent. It’s Exhausting.

Even though I had TONS to do with figuring out how to homeschool my daughter while still pouring into my son and slightly cooking dinner and taking care of my house, I still felt the lightness of not having to post on my blogs (and tweet, update and share about them, and interact with people on twitter and promote past posts and link up to linky parties and blah blah whatever else it is that bloggers “MUST DO” in order to be good). I realized that having 5000 things to do on my to-do list is NOT a sign of a talented woman. It’s the sign of an overworked, never-gonna-get-out-from-under-her-inbox stressed out mama.

I got into a decent habit (not perfect!) of ordering my to-do list and then really getting it done!

4. The Internet is Not All-Knowing, All-Seeing, Omnipresent or All-Powerful. Nor Does it Sustain Life.

I remember Shannon warning against the “unseen hand” that pushes you to post and tweet and update. Like the internet and social media will forget (or worse, actively drop your Google Page Rank) if you don’t interact with it.

I think this may be a post in itself. (Mainly addressed to myself.)

5. Online Friends are Just Real Friends

If you’ve got online friends, don’t call them online friends anymore. They are just real friends. Friends that love you, are concerned for you, will tweet and post and make sure the all-knowing Internet doesn’t forget about you.

A special thank you is in order for Suzannah, Mary, Angie and Betsy for hosting Top Ten {Tuesday} and to all of you for linking up while I was gone!

6. I Don’t Post Like I Used To

I looked through my posts for the last 6 months. And I haven’t posted over 17 times in a month. Last month? I posted 12. Granted some of them were guest-posts. But still. A blogging break with 12 posts? When my highest posting month is 17?

I don’t really know what to say about that. (Really. I don’t.)

7. Traffic Is Not Real

This is actually the title of a joint post, Mary and I want to write. But I just have to mention this because it’s very obvious on a month when I wasn’t pimping pushing my posts.

My traffic was the same. Actually June and August’s traffic were within 1000 page loads. (July was a strange stumbleupon-anomaly that resulted in the most traffic I’ve ever had EVER.) My Impress Your Kids traffic was actually up by about 5k page loads.

So. If you are a blogger and are concerned about your traffic–obsessively checking it, comparing it to others and wondering why more people aren’t following your every keystroke? Just stop. Traffic is not real. It’s not a measure of who you are or what you have to say.

Source: electricityshowroom.com via Christine on Pinterest

8. You Crave What You Feed On

The more I’m online, the more I want to be online. The more I tweet, the more I think about tweeting. The more I mindless scroll through facebook (as myself of as ohAmanda), the more I want to mindlessly scroll through facebook.

But the more I write? The more I want to write. The more I just open my blog to ADD NEW POSTS? The more I want to add new posts. The more I organize and think on the kids’ school and activities, the more I want to plan new ideas.

All of social media can be a black hole. Or it can be a great vehicle for your blog, your product or company. It’s also a fun way to make and keep friends. But as I pointed out in #2 above, I don’t have self-control in that area. So, the more I FOCUS my time and only “eat” it when I should, the less likely I am to crave it at the wrong times.

(This hasn’t transferred to the laundry yet. Not sure if that’s possible.)

9. I miss my full blog.

I do. I miss typing in ohAmanda.com and seeing a shiny new post (yes, that I wrote. I like to re-read my stuff. I’m narcissistic, what can I say?). I look forward to your comments, to your emails and tweets. I like seeing the journal of my life (even if it’s not a day-by-day like it used to be). I like seeing my words on a screen. I really am a blogger. I need the words. I need to write.

10. Something really profound.

I can’t really think of anything profound. In fact, just re-reading this list I feel like I’m being very negative. I’m not. I love social media. I just also really enjoyed not being up to my ears in it for a month. And I don’t want it (or anything) to overtake the most important job I have: being a wife and mother.

So, what have you been up to this last month? Anything special I need to know about?

:: :: ::

Link up your Top Ten list and join in the Top Ten {Tuesday} fun! All you have to do is WRITE a top ten list, PASTE it below, LINK back to me in your post & then start LOVIN’ on the rest of the participants with facebook likes, stumbles, comments, pins and tweets (#toptentues)! For better and more succinct guidelines see my Top Ten {Tuesday} page!


  1. So glad to have you back. I really enjoyed this list, although a couple of places made me twinge with guilt. 🙂 I was just nodding over and over about how you crave what you feed on. Balance is hard to find sometimes.

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  2. Love your post, glad you enjoyed your time off. I am still blogging on the side lines, fitting things in when I can. Thanks for hosting

    @ Edwards Granddaughter

  3. Thanks for the chance to guest post! It was fun. I’m not much of a FB/Twitter person, but I also find the Internet in general to be a big time-suck. It’s hard to find the happy medium where you feel like it’s making your life better and not dragging you into a black hole. Our Internet was down for over a day a few months ago, and after the 10th time of trying to check my email and realizing I couldn’t, I finally just let the computer go and it was a GREAT DAY. I’ve been meaning to have an Internet fast at least one day a week since. I haven’t been great at doing this, BUT when I leave the house (and I take my kids out more in the summer), I leave the computer too b/c I don’t have a smart anything. And I find I really need that unplugged time. But I need it at home too….so I should be doing that Internet fast weekly. And then I can post about it. Just kidding. Maybe.

  4. Glad to see you back. I agree that the internet is really a time sucker and I should spend more time off it then on too.

  5. I have been thinking a lot lately about trying to take a bloggy break, especially after I just set up posts on my two group blogs into October. I’ve thought about even just a two week break. (Heck – even a week!)

    This was a really fabulous post, Amanda! Really great things to think about.

    Thanks, again, for having asked me to guest post. It was really an honor! 🙂

  6. Welcome back! I am so feeling your top ten. As I sit in my straight jacket rocking back and forth chanting…The internet is not all knowing…Each point you wrote, I could so relate and taking a break or stepping away can really bring focus or life back to reality. I really needed this post things.

  7. These are really great points/reminders. Ironically, I think Blissdom actually made me want to take a break from blogging. I loved everything about the conference {meeting people, learning amazing things, etc}, but it put a lot of things into perspective for me that I needed to readjust {like traffic and posting}. Since then, I’ve been able to cut {at times} my hunger for the internet or get some of my self-worth from it. Makes for a much more pleasant me.

  8. This is super interesting. I think I need to but some kind of block on my sites. I get sucked into the internet black hole all the time and it drives me crazy. Mostly I feel like it’s a release for me, a break, a stress reliever, but still. What does it really accomplish? I’ve taken sort of a break as well. I’ve just been posting obligations, until today when I posted my top 10 post. I have seen a change in traffic, well I changed platforms a few months ago and I saw a huge drop in traffic. I think I kind of screwed up my page rank and everything when I moved. I really like blogging on wordpress now, but I’ve toyed with shutting everything down. I’ve been blogging for over a year and haven’t seen THAT much traffic. And even though I’ve learned a lot and enjoy blogging…sometimes I wonder. Is it worth it? Is it worth it to write when no one is reading? A lot can be learned from your blogging break Amanda. Thanks for sharing!

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  9. oh sigh…. i love this post this week. it’s compelling and convicting all at the same time. thanks for your honesty… i always enjoy reading.

  10. Welcome back! Thanks for sharing your blogger-break perspective with us. I recently had a short blogging break myself, and was amazed at the perspective I got on how I usually spent my time (including online time) when I was out of my routine for a week.

  11. I’m not as consistent a blogger as I’d like to be but having a month off from social media would be hard for me. I love reading blogs but it’s far less stressful when you know you don’t have to have a post up that day and you don’t have to tweet or constantly self-promote yourself. Great post!

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  12. Terrific insights about how to prioritize blogging! Thanks for the tip about Leechblock. I need to check that out pronto!

  13. I’m so glad you’re back. Love this list, especially the “traffic is not real” part. Thanks for that very important reminder (so easy to get caught up in the numbers).

    Now if I could just find something like Leechblock for IE. Pinterest is killing me.

  14. #2 and #8. Enough said. 🙂

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  15. I missed interacting with you more than anything, but I think it’s good for us all to step away occasionally and take stock. I haven’t been blogging a lot lately because I’m trying to spend more time with LB before she starts back to preschool (tomorrow!). Then, I’ll allow myself more time to write. But I can’t take that time while she’s home. It’s all about remembering what truly matters in life 🙂

  16. Jennifer Young says:

    Thanks for the Leechblock tip. I could really use this. I thought about setting a timer, but that is too easy to ignore.

  17. I really appreciate your list because I struggle all the time about blogging less (I have, mainly because I traveled all summer) or quitting all together. What are you going to do differently now that you’ve learned some things?

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  18. I’m glad you’re back!!! And I’m glad you’re a blogger – and that you need to come back! I’d miss you greatly!!! And that’s how I knew I’m not a blogger… I twitched to come back, but I didn’t HAVE to! The peace I feel without a blog to my name… it’s fabulous! It doesn’t mean I don’t get sucked in… no, in fact… #8 – yes ma’am. That’s why I’m so thankful you posted about Leechblock! I just installed it, and it’s already living up to it’s usefulness!!! My marriage and my family thank you too!!!

  19. So glad to have found your blog and this fun little link up…about to link up now!

    Loving your blog…from your newest follower! 🙂

  20. I wrote a similar post about TV yesterday and how I don’t watch it anymore. I was afraid people would throw stuff at me through the screen, but they didn’t. You have to do what works for you and it sounds like what you’re doing is working well.

  21. Enjoyed this post, Amanda! You helped me put some things in perspective 🙂 Thanks for sharing!!! Ruby Tuesday.

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