Sophomore Spotlight #6: Taking a break from blogging
I used to publish 11.6 articles on average every month. The thoughts and ideas came naturally to me, and I had the time to capture and refine them. In the first three months of 2016, however, I put out a total of six articles. What happened?
Winter quarter drained me, with the cold and dreary weather dampening my mood. I also decided to focus my efforts on other projects, mainly The Chronicle. Though I did have free time to blog, in many instances I simply felt unmotivated to sit down and write something.
When I had the time, I wrote here-and-there, mainly in between classes, but even when I felt inspired to write, I couldn’t really hammer out my thoughts and insights once I had my notebook open or a Word doc pulled out. Before long, I’d get frustrated and just stop in the middle of a sentence.
I suffered from an internal gap in communication that built on itself, becoming an endless cycle of dissatisfaction. I could feel the feelings and thoughts piling up in my mind, but I just couldn’t process them.
For the first time, I wasn’t able to prioritize my blog – and writing overall – and that trade off really messed with me.
I used to pride myself on consistently putting out thoughtful, meaningful content. I saw it as essential to building my credibility as a blogger still in her early years.
I also don’t know exactly why I feel like this, but I’ve been really afraid of putting anything out without putting 110% effort into it. I fear that if what I want to say isn’t articulated exactly how I want to say it, it’s just not worth publishing. It feels like there’s always more editing and refining to be done.
But I guess sometimes you just have to free write and push your thoughts out there. Sometimes the value of writing is in the message, not the words themselves.
I’m sitting in Kafein writing this right now. It doesn’t feel like I’m writing an apology. It doesn’t feel like a justification, or even an explanation. After all, I don’t owe anyone anything, but I do enjoy the idea of publishing this as a get-back-into-it reflection piece.
I’ve been waiting for this. I missed this. Spring break will be here soon, I’ve been telling myself for weeks. All it really takes, sometimes, is one afternoon of sitting down, writing something, editing it thoroughly and pushing it out there. Having gone through the whole process this afternoon, I feel as though I’ve found that groove again.
So I guess even though I didn’t intend to, I took an impromptu break from blogging. The most important thing that I learned during this hiatus is that I don’t like to stop writing. If I can’t organize my thoughts or reflect on things that happen to me, I end up feeling scatterbrained.
I need writing in my life.
Looking ahead, I want to meditate on what I’ve learned in winter quarter, and organize my thoughts for the upcoming spring quarter. Live shows, playlists and hour-long mixes have also kept me sane over the past few months, so I plan to put out a series of roundup articles summarizing songs, artists and shows that have changed my life for the better in 2016.
I believe in the idea that writing inspiration comes in waves, and I just gotta ride the waves.
If you’ve been feeling discouraged recently, don’t let it keep you down. Here’s some technical advice about how to maintain your website if you feel like taking a break.
But don’t feel too pressured to put out content. At the end of the day, you should just feel comfortable writing for yourself, if you’re gonna write at all.
Here’s some good music:
I love the banner on the blog and your titles. When I got to the post I was disappointed not to have headings to help me through the reading. My reading is not good and your print is rather small too. But the content is very chatty and friendly. So I enjoyed it. Thanks Catherine
PS I didn’t understand the music, but I rarely do these days. Good luck with that.
I’m in University and I know the struggle. Luckily I manage to get at least one post out a week but I know I’m lucky to do so, and I pray I can keep that up through following years of schooling. Because sometimes it’s not that I’m too busy, but I have little inspiration. University/college takes a lot from you, so I wish you the best.
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Thank you, congrats on 1 a week! It doesn’t seem like a lot, but it is, especially if you care a lot about quality. Thanks for reading and for the good vibes.
I totally get this. I know i don’t publish anywhere near enough on my blog to make it work but its so hard. I really think its the fer of it not being good enough to go out into the world and there always being something more important that needs doing.
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It’s comforting to know that I’m not the only one out there that feels this way. I think that in order to improve, we have to get over that fear and embrace our mistakes, in order to grow.
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