Taking stock: the WHO AM I edition

Monday, February 27, 2017 Permalink

I’ve done a ‘taking stock’ post (devised by Pip from Meet Me At Mike’s) before. It’s a good opportunity to share what you’re up to… and excellent if you’re struggling with what to write.

The lovely Denyse Whelan has set that as today’s ‘Life this week’ blog link-up theme, but naturally I’m offering up a variation of sorts. 

It probably won’t surprise regular readers to know I’ve been doing A LOT of navel-gazing recently. I mean… even more than this overthinker usually indulges (in).

It kinda started with this post about quitting vs surrendering, in which I pondered commitments, to-do lists and life in general. #asyoudo.

I also wrote about some arbitrary rules I have and ‘why’ I don’t allow myself more flexibility in my non-working life.

It finally occurred to me I have a lot of freedom at the moment. Although it doesn’t feel like it.

So… 

I’m thinking of having taking a break from blogging.

I discussed this on a couple of closed Facebook forums last week. I know it’s something we bloggers do from time to time. Sometimes it’s a bit of a cry for help, encouragement or reassurance from others to say we’ll be missed / we’re loved / that the world will end without our wisdom. And it may yet prove to be just that for me.

It’s a huge step as I’ve been blogging for 8yrs and it’s a significant part of my life. Indeed, ‘blogger’ appears on all of my social media profiles AND my LinkedIn account. I’m reminded of my ‘loss of identity’ post written in November 2012 after my seachange… wondering who I was if I wasn’t a: public servant or project manager. I’ve at least been able (to continue to) say I’m a blogger. Or that I blog. As if I DO have a sense of purpose.

I love writing and blogging is the only writing I do. It’s why I started blogging.

But… I’m finding the book blogging to be a bit of a struggle. I love reading, but the reviewing process feels burdensome at times and I feel I have little to offer. And of course, if I’m receiving free books I feel obliged to share my thoughts on them. (Good, or bad.)

And I’m undergoing some sort of crisis of confidence about my personal blogs. I enjoy writing about ‘whatever’s on my mind’ but second guessing myself a lot lately and can’t organise my own thoughts. It’s leading to a feeling of overwhelm and I’m feeling like I HAVE to blog even when I’m not in the mood.

quitting blogging

Original pic from 5yrs ago

I don’t know as yet if I’m taking a break or if I’m quitting blogging full-stop.

Having said that, you’ll see book reviews pop up over the next few months as I’ve got requests in with publishers for May and June releases and I feel I need to honour those. But… I’m going to pull back on my blog reading and the like at the moment and I’ll close comments on book reviews so people don’t feel they NEED to stop by and leave a comment or that I need to reciprocate.

I’m hoping to continue the camaraderie on social media and not disappear completely. I love so many of the people I’ve grown close to over the past 8yrs. Some have come and gone but many are still around.

Like I said… this may not be the end. I may be back. I just need to know who I am OTHER than a blogger, or what life is like outside of blogging.

I apologise if I’ve made it sound like the world is ending! I am fairly sure mankind will cope. 😉 But… any suggestions for life after blogging?

52 Comments
  • Jo
    February 27, 2017

    I for one will miss your posts, but look forward to getting to know you for real. Enjoy the break- sometimes you’ve got to create the gap to make room for something else.

    • Debbish
      February 27, 2017

      I hope that’s the case Jo. I’m not sure what yet, but am hoping something finds me. Or I find something!

  • writeofthemiddle
    February 27, 2017

    Well Deb I think it’s great you’re taking some time out to work out who you are outside of blogging. Blogging is SO TIME CONSUMING – many people (usually non bloggers) don’t realise!! We all need to step away from it sometimes. It CAN get overwhelming and sometimes we DO feel forced to blog when we’re not in the mood. Having said that though – on a personal note, I will miss reading your posts because I think you’re very good at it and I like keeping up with what you’re doing etc. Your book reviews are the best I’ve read and I like your personal posts, they’re raw and honest and well written. Hopefully I’ll still keep up with you on social media and I really hope you do come back to blogging (I think you will – it’s in your blood!). I hope you love your bloggy break! xo

    • Debbish
      February 27, 2017

      Thanks Min. For all I know I could be back next week! (Although as I said my book reviews will continue for a while.) x

  • nessville
    February 27, 2017

    I’m sure there’s a whole world out there outside of blogging. In fact, I reckon people who don’t spend so much time with their head in social media are probably way more contented (apparently I’m a masochist cos I can’t give it up…) And you will be missed, but you’ll move on and find out what you need to do next. Good luck! xo

    • Debbish
      February 27, 2017

      Thanks so much. It’s such a huge part of my life (and I guess will continue to be so while I’m still doing the book reviews), but it will be strange.

  • Lydia C Lee
    February 27, 2017

    I think you can take a break and come back, or maybe focus on the personal posts – Kanye talks about demands and expectation crushing the inner child (creativity) so you can’t get a pure thought out. I think there’s a lot of truth in that. Maybe you just need to ignore judgement and expectation and just write for you for a bit. See what happens….?

    • Debbish
      February 27, 2017

      Yes Lydia. I think I still want to write, but am not sure what. (And I got the lyrics – thanks!!!) x

  • Anne-MareeS
    February 27, 2017

    I will miss your posts but completely understand – your reviews have led me to many books I would not have read so thank you. Good luck and enjoy the freedom 🙂

    • Debbish
      February 27, 2017

      Thanks Anne-Maree. I’ll still be reviewing books for a little while… I have a pile yet to read and several enroute I suspect. I’ll share a link to my Facebook page if I just review the book in Goodreads though. Glad I could be of some assistance!

  • Jan Wild
    February 27, 2017

    Pleased for you that you were able to make that decision. I will look forward to seeing you on social media as and when. In the meantime enjoy life with a little less pressure 🙂

  • yinyangmother
    February 27, 2017

    I hope you enjoy your bloggy break and it leads where you want it too.I haven’t been much of a reader of your reviews but I enjoy your personal posts, but I understand how they can feel hard to write, and that’s when you question the value. I have slowed blogging and blog reading to a trickle and I think the drip feed is working ok for me at the moment, but I would like to see a day when I feel like I’m back, fresh and new.

    • Debbish
      February 27, 2017

      I know I’ve come to see it as akin to a job Kathy, which is fine… but if other things are suffering, or you’re struggling (which I was in my case) it’s time for a rethink.

  • Carla
    February 27, 2017

    You know I totally totally get this. I stumbled on a post of mine today from 2007 and thought: maybe time to wrap my shit up 🙂 🙂

    • Debbish
      February 27, 2017

      I’ve been in two minds… I think, while you’ve / we’ve got something to say it could be worthwhile to continue, but I think I’m no longer sure what it is I want to say. Or rather what point I’m trying to get it across and is it more about my own baggage etc…?

  • sandy
    February 27, 2017

    I think it’s perfectly healthy to take a break from everything at times and Blogging sure does require a lot of time and commitment !
    Well done for the 8 years you’ve put in to date and I look forward to seeing what direction you take ( even if it’s back to the Blog eventually)
    xo

  • Life with Karen
    February 27, 2017

    Now that’s HUGE NEWS! But I def get it! Sometimes we just need to do what we need to do. Who knows what the future will bring! Me xxx

    • Debbish
      February 27, 2017

      Thanks Karen. I’m not sure everyone would get what a big thing it is for long-term bloggers. I mean, I’ll still have my book reviews for a bit, but… Not sure who I am if not a blogger?!

  • Kirsty @ My Home Truths
    February 27, 2017

    You have to do what’s right for you. The best thing about walking away from the obligation of blogging for a while (or forever) is that it gives you the chance to breathe and really take stock of your life. Whatever you end up doing, have faith in yourself and stop second-guessing! You are awesome and you’ll be missed in the blog world but I’ll still keep in touch everywhere else. Enjoy your freedom x

    • Debbish
      February 27, 2017

      Thanks Kirsty. I’m not sure what next but I think it’s a luxury that I have that opportunity!

  • Deborah Jefferis
    February 27, 2017

    Oh i will really miss your bok reviewx

    • Debbish
      February 27, 2017

      Thank you so much Deb. I’ll be still doing a few for a while longer though! So stay tuned! 😉

  • budgettraveltalk
    February 27, 2017

    Gosh, I haven’t known you or your blog for very long Deb but I feel I know you just a little and I like what I know. I hope that you decide after a bit of a break to resume blogging in some form. A little distance should put it all into perspective. Keep us updated occasionally. There’s no rule about how often you blog! 🙂

    • Debbish
      February 27, 2017

      THanks Jan… and that’s very true. I could do a monthly post if I wanted I guess.

  • Kate W
    February 27, 2017

    Life after blogging…? Just read a book, close it and pick up the next?! That sounds kinda nice, now that I mention it.

    Hope you find what you’re looking for on your blogging break (or in life without blogging).

  • Shauna 'Round the Corner
    February 27, 2017

    I’ll put money on you feeling more like blogging in your ‘life after blogging’. I always find it’s amazing what I feel inspired to write about when I’m not putting pressure on myself to write. I for one hope you’ll stick around. Was just starting to get to know you! I do get it though. There is absolutely no point pushing on if your heart’s not in it. All the best to you Deborah as you find your way, whatever the outcome. xx

    • Debbish
      February 27, 2017

      Ha! I’ve already thought of several things I wanted to write about today. I think not feeling compelled to sit and rant about something might actually do me good for a change. I’ve got SO MANY draft posts of stuff I start writing. Perhaps I need to stop overthinking for a bit. (Though I’m not sure how!)

  • @kanga_rue
    February 27, 2017

    I think you’ll have an exciting time of self discovery! I wonder if your reading choices will change if you’re doing it just for fun? Do you think you’ll read as much?

    • Debbish
      February 27, 2017

      I’m not sure. I’ve got requests in for books for the next few months so I’ll feel obliged to read them but not sure longer term. I’m sure I’ll still be tempted to request books to review occasionally although I’m not sure publishers will give me copies if I’m an irregular reviewer!

  • Kooky Chic
    February 27, 2017

    Eight years is such an achievement, congratulations. I am hoping, like everyone else that you will be back and that you keep Instagram going? I always look forward to your photos.

    • Debbish
      February 27, 2017

      I will keep my social media accounts for a while. I have a ‘holding’ post ready to go which includes the links!

  • Leanne Le Cras
    February 27, 2017

    I sooo get the idea of having a break – especially after so long, but I’m a little bit sad too because I only just met you and I love how you invest in your commenting and how I feel like I’ve known you for ages. I hope you’ll pop over and visit me on my blog now and then so we stay connected while you enjoy your break xx

    • Debbish
      February 27, 2017

      I certainly will and am trying to make sure I follow a heap of people’s Facebook pages so I can see what they’re writing there. I usually follow blogs via Feedly reader but will try to delete that so I’m not tempted!

  • Denyse Whelan
    February 27, 2017

    Well-done you on making the choice! It has always been about you and the choice but it takes a while for those of us with ‘have to’ and ‘should’ in our make-up to do so. I sense that the obligation is what is was about. Reading should be more about FUN too…I would have thought reading for writing of a review would often feel like a Uni assignment and I do not think that is relaxing at all. Nevertheless, you will, over time start feeling some heart-tugs about where you might like to write again. Who knows? Blog or not. It matters not. I am glad that I can still see how you are going via other SM and look forward to occasional updates! Go you! So proud. Denyse. Thanks for linking up (sob..LOL) for LifeThisWeek 9/52.

  • Sanchie @ Living my Imperfect Life
    February 27, 2017

    Damn…I’m going to miss your posts Deb. I may not always comment but I do read them on my feedly. I almost prefer your personal posts to the reviews tbh so will certainly miss those. I hope you get time to take stock and hopefully this isn’t goodbye from blogosphere forever! And if and when you do come back, hopefully, there’s no more shoulds about blogging! 😀

    • Debbish
      February 28, 2017

      I had similar comments in the FB groups I discussed this with Sanch. Most people prefer my personal posts to the book reviews. I have to admit – and this makes me sound bad – there’s a terrible smug feeling I get when it comes to receiving books to review. I know it takes hours for me to read and review them… but there’s some horrible sense of privilege there which I enjoy. Though I prefer writing the personal posts.

  • Liz
    February 27, 2017

    I enjoy your posts Deb, and that you are so honest . I am only blogging once a week. I have no idea whether people are enjoying my stories but there’s too much pressure to monetise blah blah. Nice just to write for the sake of it

    • Debbish
      February 28, 2017

      Oh yes… I’d love to write for money elsewhere, but not on my blog. Selling advertising space of the affiliate thing doesn’t bother me, but I struggled when I was writing paid posts.

  • Amy Andrews
    February 28, 2017

    Oh dear…I hope it wasn’t something I said…..
    I too will miss your posts, Deb. As I said on the weekend I related to you instantly.
    Maybe you’ll have some time to write now?

    • Debbish
      February 28, 2017

      Ha! Perhaps Amy! Not sure what I’ll do, though my book reviews will be coming for a while.

  • Yvonne
    February 28, 2017

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

  • Emma
    March 1, 2017

    I’m with others here – I will miss your posts, they are some of my favourites – especially your “naval-gazing”. I hope you come back but more that whatever you fill your time with is fulfilling and makes you happy. Good luck and see you on twitter!

  • Jane the Raincity Librarian
    March 1, 2017

    I’ve been feeling the same way recently – blogging was making me feel stressed. I worried about missing posts, or not having enough likes or comments, or running out of things to talk about…and we all know life is stressful enough as it is! So, take your time. Enjoy that free time. Life is so dang short, so spend it doing things that make you happy and feel good and fulfilled. The blog will always be there if and when you feel like writing. Good luck!

    • Debbish
      March 1, 2017

      That is very true Jane. Perhaps the book reviews will improve while I’m not doing other stuff!

  • Jess
    March 1, 2017

    I will miss your blogging too! Change is good for you! It has been a big few years for you, so I bet it will be nice to take some time out and do some other things. I will enjoy following along on social media! Because I am sure you will get up to some cool stuff.

    • Debbish
      March 1, 2017

      Oh I hope so Jess… and I guess change is a good thing. So they say!

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