Realigning My Retirement

When Donna (Retirement Reflections), Kathy (Smart Living 365), and I started to plan last weekend’s blogger meet-up in Palm Desert, we asked each other to think of topics we wanted to discuss as a group. It didn’t take me long to pinpoint my #1 concern: “How can I better manage my time as a blogger?”

I know that I’m not alone in this struggle; I read posts regularly with the same basic topic: “I love to blog but it’s taking so much time out of my life.” Expanding the number of hours in a day doesn’t appear to be a viable option, so how do we find a better balance?

Before I retired, I thought about all the things I would do with my new freedom. Besides traveling and generally enjoying time with my husband and friends, I looked forward to activities like exploring my artistic side, focusing on healthy living, getting organized, cutting clutter, and joining a book club (or two). In addition to these plans and to give me an avenue to continue writing once I retired, I started this blog… just for fun.

During my four years in retirement, I’ve managed to keep very busy, but I realize that I’m currently devoting an inordinate amount of time to my “just for fun” blog to the detriment of my other desired pursuits.
When I started blogging, I searched for and eagerly followed other (mostly) retirement bloggers that I found compelling. As time went on, I expanded my follow list as I discovered even more interesting blogs. I loved the connections I was making and enjoyed the engagement and the interaction that comes with commenting and replying.

At our meet-up, I started to list the blogs I currently follow. When I got to 80 (and was still writing), I knew I was in trouble. Granted, I don’t write comments on all 80+ blogs, but I do on most of them. It was easy for me to see why I was feeling overwhelmed and overextended, and that something had to change.

Hibernating My Blog

Several bloggers I follow have taken a blogging break at different times for various reasons: some to travel, some to take care of loved ones, and some to allow time to pursue other interests. Donna took a complete break from all her electronic devices for seven weeks this past summer to better enjoy time with her family.

I have now decided to take a break too. My blog will go into hibernation during the months of November and December and, hopefully, wake up in the new year refreshed and renewed. During my time off, I won’t be posting or commenting on my blog nor will I read or comment on other blogs.

More of this, this, and this:

Less of this:


While realigning my retirement to focus on other pursuits, I will also be:

Corralling My Email Inbox

My inbox would make a sane person cry. I don’t know exactly how many emails are in there, but with all the blog post notices and other emails I get it must be approaching 1,000. I just about fell off my chair when Donna told me that she maintains a zero inbox (“Read, Act, Delete, or File”) I don’t know how she does it, but she is my hero. I want to get there.

Culling My Blog List

80+ blogs are just too many to read and comment on. To help me maintain a better life-balance, I need to determine which ones I especially love to read and best align with my interests. This will be a big challenge with so many great blogs out there but isn’t that a great problem to have?

Rethinking My Blog

Who knows what changes I will make to my blog, but I expect there will be some. After two months of hibernation it’s bound to awake a little leaner but also hungry to rejoin the blogging world.

November 1st is several days away (and I have one more post before then), but I am missing the blogging world already. The good news is that it’s in great hands and I’m comfortable that it will be here when I get back.

Author: RetirementallyChallenged.com

My blog is about travel, relationships, photography, and whatever else pops into my head (even, sometimes, issues surrounding retirement and aging).

112 thoughts on “Realigning My Retirement”

  1. I know your dilemma all too well. I follow too many bloggers too. I don’t feel compelled to read them all. I rarely follow challenges and if the topic (title) doesn’t sound like my cuppa tea, I’ll scroll on. There are times when my time is so constrained that I don’t comment. It’s not that I don’t like the post or relate to it. I just don’t have time. I’ve learned how to not feel guilty about it all. One decision I made last time I had a meltdown was to change my posting schedule. I cut one post a week out (dropping to 3 a week) and if I’m in a bind I’ll skip one. You are picking the perfect time for a break. Holidays are family time and the blogging world gets slower. Many repost or disappear for a while and come back fresh. Enjoy your time off and be sure to jot down all your inspirations for posts! 🙂

    1. I’ve gotten a little better about not feeling compelled to read every post but it’s still hard to delete without at least looking at it. I think 1 – 3 posts a week is enough. If bloggers post more than that, I get overwhelmed along with my inbox. “See” you in January, Kate! Have a terrific holiday season.

  2. I could have written paragraphs with the same theme. I look forward to seeing your posts when you come back, and I hope you will write about the pros and cons of taking a breather. I guess I’m not desperate enough yet. Hope you have a wonderful time off.

  3. We all have definitely have to decide how much ‘quality’ time to spend blogging and on line. I went from 3-4 posts a week to 1-2, and I’m okay with that. I do like my blogging community and look forward to hearing how each person is doing, so I definitely want to continue but make it fit my schedule. I also keep my email cleaned out. I read, respond and delete. If I think I need the info for some future project, I save it to a folder. But, I don’t like the email piling up – seems more like a job then. Good luck with your time off and enjoy yourself over the holidays. 🙂

  4. I understand the issues with time management because the online world is voracious.

    It’s a little bit of a conundrum – because of bloggers I’ve been introduced to new passions like photography and now painting. I need time – a lot of it – to pursue those passions along with everything else I have loved doing, like hiking and cycling. Now I have less and less time to devote to blogs – mine or others – and I’ve had to be brutal in how I use the blogging time I allocate myself.

    Enjoy your time off, Janis. I hope you will come back!

  5. Have fun Janis! I know what you are saying about too many blogs to follow them all. Some people have several posts in one day and that is too much for me to keep up with too.

  6. If blogging is taking anything out of your life, then you are doing it for the wrong reasons. Stop blogging!
    As a fellow blogger, and someone who often engages in public speaking, I can tell you that you get far more back than you put out in time and/or energy. That is the nature of giving.
    Fred Bailey

  7. After several years of struggling with blog anxiety, I’ve found a happy medium. I think I’m too addicted to walk away from my buds! 🙂 That said, I do think people who post every day could eventually be more prone to burnout. For me, posting once or twice a month has worked well. Enjoy your time off, Janis!

    1. You’ve done a good job figuring out what works for you. I’ll probably end up somewhere between your couple times a month and other bloggers’ couple times a week. After all, it’s not like I’m concerned about an upcoming performance review 🙂 Enjoy your holidays!

  8. It’s important to find the right balance between experiencing life and sitting behind a computer writing about it. That balance is different for each of us. After reading your post, I’m tempted to do take a break as well. Enjoy your time off.
    Donna

    1. Thank you, Donna. Finding balance is the key. I don’t know of anyone who took a break and regretted it. A few bloggers (sadly) never came back but I’d like to think it’s because they discovered something else that was even more fulfilling. See you in January!

  9. Enjoy your time off, Janis! There is a lot of fun out there to explore and experience IRL. I look forward to catching up with you and your blog in the New Year.

  10. Completely agree that blogging/reading blogs can totally eat your time….it’s so easy to be unbalanced because what blogs/the web has to offer is so addictive and easy to access. Have a good rest…and hope you get what you’re looking for out of your break.

  11. I hope you enjoy the time off, Janis. Blogging, reading, commenting and replying do take a lot of time. I don’t want to think about it. There’s only so much.

    I look forward to your return in January. I’ll be here. Enjoy the holidays and all the wonderful tuned they bring.

    1. Thank you, Dan! I am in awe of your blogging schedule – especially since each one is both enjoyable to read and your pictures are a delight to look at. I often wonder if you will keep that up when you retire, or will you be so busy enjoying your new-found freedom that you’ll cut back (I guess we’ll see 🙂 ). Enjoy your holidays too!

      1. I think there will be fewer pictures. I won’t be traveling very much, and so many of my photos come from my morning commute. I hope to maintain a similar schedule. Writing is something I enjoy, and I am looking forward having more time to write.

  12. Hi Janis! It was so wonderful to share time together at Donna’s and talk about our blogging and writing. And I completely commend you for taking a break. I’m not there (yet) but a lot of that depends on how we are already managing our time. Because I’ve been blogging for about 9 years now I discovered long ago that I had to be clear about WHY I blog. Meaning, I am primarily a writer who blogs. That means that my purpose is to write articles about things that matter deeply to me. Are mine long? Yes. But again, I’m blogging to write….not writing to blog. That also means that while I LOVE connecting with like-minded women who also blog, I am very careful about who I follow and comment on because again, I’m a writer and I need time to write! I am blown away by anyone’s ability to follow (let alone comment) on 80+ blogs and still have a life. Even with the peeps I happen to really like (like you) I don’t always get around to reading and/or commenting. I had to decide a while ago that even though reading and commenting on other blogs often gets others to do the same, that is too high a price for me timewise. Do I love comments? Of course–who doesn’t. But again, I would hope that people either find my stuff interesting and want to visit, or find other blogs that fit them better–not just visit me because they want me to comment on theirs. Anyway, as I said, it is so wonderful to spend time with you and Donna (and your husbands!) because it feels so supportive AND it is fun. I can’t wait until we do it again. ~Kathy

    1. It is clear that you have managed to achieve the balance in your life that is so important. When you described your process at our meet-up, your love of researching, discovering, compiling, extracting, and sharing information was apparent. I love so much about blogging too (especially the creative process and the interaction) and I hope my time off will help me gain the balance that I’m looking for. My biggest challenge will be to cut back on the number of blogs that I follow. I’ve never been one to follow for a follow so the blogs on my list are ones that I enjoy. You and Donna helped me become comfortable with my blogging break decision and I very much appreciate the support. I am looking forward to our next meet-up too!

  13. Hi Janis, I know exactly how you are feeling regarding blogging. It seems to spiral out of control especially when you factor in the writing blog posts, responding to comments from readers, commenting on other blogs and then there is life to fit in as well. I took a two week break from blogging at the beginning of October when we visited Japan. The ‘Sue’ of old would have fretted about not posting on the blog or Social media but I was determined to take a break. Yes, I missed my blogging friends but I also basked in the feeling of liberation as I explored a new culture and more importantly my relationship with my husband. I have many ideas swirling around in my head but no time to put them into action. That is going to change! Have a wonderful break and I look forward to your return. I’m taking another break during end December/January and that thought makes me feel wonderful xx
    Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond

    1. I think it’s important to focus on your travels in the real world and not worry about the virtual world. I like that you are thinking about another break… it means that the first one was successful. I know that I’ll miss my blogging friends but I’m pretty sure that the benefits will outweigh the discomfort. Enjoy your holidays!

  14. I have been reading what others write from time to time, but I am also taking a break from my personal writing. Life is kind of getting in the way right now and I am hoping to start back up after the first of the year. Enjoy your break and I look forward to your return!

  15. Janis, we share the same problems with the burden of taking responsible and meaningful care of our blogging activity. To get a better handle on the situation, I started a temporary data base on all my followers and on those I follow. I believe it is not fair to my precious time to write post after post a meaningful comment for a photo or a story, which I really like, and get nothing in return. Surely, some of my photos are also worth viewing and some of my posts must also be interesting. So I have decided that if there is blank in my data base for any of my followers or for the ones I follow, then I will delete them from my list. Thank you for sharing something that most of us serious bloggers can relate to!

    1. That sounds like a good system. Although I comment on many blogs, I follow some blogs that I seldom leave comments on (I enjoy reading them but don’t feel as if I can add to the discussion). I do get discouraged if I leave a (what I think is) thoughtful comment and I don’t get a reply. We all have to find the right balance, I guess. Have a great holiday season, Peter!

    1. I’ll miss you too… remember that I’m just an email away (unlike you did on your break, I will still allow myself some screen time). I think we could have easily appended a few days onto our meet-up and still not run out of things to talk about.

  16. I so identify with your dilemma Janis – a year ago I had the same 19 followers that I’d had for 4 1/2 years, then suddenly a few people followed me, and I followed them and things started mushrooming. I admit that I, too, am overwhelmed at times and feel guilty for not keeping up as timely as I should. And the e-mails … I am guilty of that as well and I get tons of e-mails in my inbox, plus my box sends every e-mail he sends out to clients to my home e-mail address. I’ve told him before that because I am working for home does not mean that people don’t “get” that I can remote in and e-mail from work. I do everything I did when I worked on site except post mail, serve coffee and answer the door – I was working in the house today (and it sadly needs it as I’ve neglected it due to the increased blogging, etc.) and was not online since early this morning – there were 33 e-mails in there … I’ve turned off notifications from everyone on Facebook except the news stories – I catch up with people by reading their wall – it is easier and faster for me, and I never post anything on my wall. It is exhausting. Well, you have one more post so I won’t wish you Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I will post my creepy Halloween pics on 10/31/18 so you can see them. Cheers!

    1. That sounds like a lot of email! You are always such a generous commenter, I imagine that it does take a lot of time, even if you use more that three fingers typing like I do 🙂 I’m looking forward to your creepy Halloween pictures… I’m glad that you’ll post them before my 10/31/18 midnight blogging cut-off time!

      1. I do enjoy doing and receiving the comments Janis – it does take a lot of time though, I will admit to that. I hope my creepy pictures don’t disappoint and I’m happy to provide them prior to your 10/31/18 blogging cut-off time. 🙂

  17. I am amazed how so many bloggers can post, comment, and reply regularly without a break. I like to post while I travel, but not when I am at home. I think the reason I still have a blog is because I take three months off for the holidays and another three months off during the summer. These sabbaticals allow me the time to pursue other interests and enjoy family and friends back home. After these breaks, my enthusiasm for blogging is always re-energized. Enjoy your time off, take it easy, catch your breath, and have a very happy new year!

    1. I follow another blogger who seldom posts except when she travels. I guess I’m sort of the opposite… I take notes when I travel and post after I get home. That being said, I’m so happy that you are writing about your current travels. Believe me, I’m taking a lot of notes. Any posts of yours that I miss while I’m hibernating, I’ll go back and read in the New Year. Enjoy your current adventure and your holidays!

  18. Good for you, Janis. You would faint if you knew how many emails I have in my inbox. Let’s just say it’s more than 1000. I applaud for you for taking a break. I have backed off on reading as many blogs recently to reclaim time, and I only feel a little bit of guilt. It can get so out of hand, that it doesn’t leave time to write or think about writing my own stuff. I will miss you, but understand and support you. You may even inspire me to do the same thing, so I can evaluate my priorities. I am retiring from my job in one week! I don’t want to replace it with a full time job blogging. Enjoy your time off!

    1. Congratulations… what and exciting new beginning for you! When I get back from my break I will definitely want to read about your retirement plans. You definitely don’t want to trade your current job for full-time blogging (it doesn’t pay nearly as well 🙂 ). I will enjoy my time off – and I hope you do too!

  19. It’s so confirming to read how many others are dealing with this. I have only been blogging for nine months and I already experience the frustrations you and others mentioned. I follow a handful (well, maybe two handfuls) of other bloggers and I am never caught up. And I rarely comment which is bad because I know how much I appreciate comments on my posts. I had no trouble keeping busy before I started blogging and some of the things I like to do have suffered since I started. I’m still trying to figure it all out!! I recently had an unplanned week off from blogging and I missed it so I know it’s still something I want to do. Enjoy your sabbatical. We’ll still be here.

    1. It takes time to get the balance right (which, of course, I’m still working on). One of the benefits of commenting (beyond the most obvious one of connection and engagement) is that it allows others to “see” you and maybe link back to your blog. I wouldn’t have known about your blog if you didn’t leave this wonderful comment. Now, it looks like I have another one to add to my list of 80+ 🙂 Thank you for your comment and words of encouragement.

  20. As you may have noted, Janis, I took a month off four weeks ago. I intended to be away longer, but soon realized that I missed it! I missed the thinking, the writing, the focus, and the comments, which keep me connected to my blogging friends! I follow and comment regularly on 30+ blogs, and I admit it takes a bite out of my ‘free’ time. But I discovered that I needed to be judicious about the emails I read, letting them pile up, then commenting only on the ones that are either informative or entertaining, and always clearing my in box every week. One question before you go on break: Are you concerned about the ‘promise’ or ‘threat’ that WordPress puts out there, that they will begin to insist that we adopt the Gutenberg editor? I wondered if you and your friends discussed that during your meet-up.

    1. I did note your absence and was glad to see you return to the blogosphere. I have promised myself and my husband that I will take the full two months off no matter how much I miss it. That’s a really good question about Gutenberg. I’ve sort of been hiding my head under a pillow about it. The subject did come up very briefly at our meeting. I am the only .com blogger of the three so I don’t know how it will impact us individually. I guess I should educate myself before I take my break just in case I need to do anything different when I come back. Yikes! Thanks for the prompt.

  21. It’s good to take a break now and then to make sure we’re focusing our time on what’s important to us, esp. family, friends and real-life experiences. Have a good holiday season, and hope to see you back in Jan.

  22. I can totally relate to taking a break from the blogosphere. I usually feel refreshed and inspired after a break. Enjoy and I look forward to your return.

  23. You’ll be missed but your reasoning is right on the money. I’m sure the break, at this loaded time of the year, will be restorative and will allow you to enjoy both retirement and the holidays more fully. See you next year.

    1. “Restorative”… yes! That and re-focused, is my hope too. I am looking forward to feeling my time open up… but I’m sure it will be quickly filled again with other activities. Whoever says that they are bored in retirement needs to come see my world (and, I imagine, yours too).

  24. Janis, You are actually the first blog I ever started to follow. So I do hope you come back. You’ve been a major inspiration (and cheerleader) for me as I’ve tried to figure out this retirement lifestyle. I understand your need to take a break. 80+ blogs you follow! OMG. I’ve not really jumped in that deeply. I follow a few people on a just once a week timing, some on whenever they post, and some I look at the topic and decide to read more or not. I’ve cut back on reading all the comments folks are getting to “follow the conversation” and don;t comment on everything anymore – only if I feel compelled. I do try and respond to all comments on my posts, but I don’t have nearly as many followers as you. 🙂 My goal has always been just one post a week… but this past month it’s not even been that much! But I don’t stress about that. I hope you can find your own rhythm that feels more in balance for you. Have a great holiday season!

    1. Hi Pat! It sounds like you have found a good balance. I have noticed that you’ve posted less often lately… I’m glad to know it’s by choice and not anything else. I think once-a-week (more or less depending on inspiration) is a good schedule. I also think that putting certain frequent posters on a weekly schedule (and only commenting on one or two of their posts) is a great idea. I will certainly miss my blogging buddies while I’m on my break. Enjoy your holidays and I’ll “see” you in the new year.

  25. It’s heartening to read your post and all these comments expressing the same desire to keep it all balanced…Count me in as one of the crowd with yourself at the helm!
    I will definitely miss your posts, but it is also a busy time of year anyway. Good excuse to slack off – for myself also, just not ‘officially’.
    Knowing you’ll return in whatever incarnation you evolve into – grumpy bear or beautiful butterfly or something in between – I’ll be happy **for** you as well as for your return.
    😉
    peace

    1. Thank you, Laura. As much as I’ll miss my blogging world, I am looking forward to spending time on other pursuits. As you say, the holidays can be busy anyway so it’s a good time to free up some time. When I return in the new year (maybe as a grumpy butterfly), I hope to have found ways to better manage my life in retirement. Balance is the key. Enjoy your holidays!

  26. Janis, I have to agree with you…I just left a comment on Donna’s blog and reflected on my 3-month break earlier this year. Who knows how long Sunday Stills will last? I’m having fun, but the more we blog, the more time it takes to read and comment! I have noticed a huge uptick in your comments, Janis, you (and I) have indeed come a long way from when we first discovered each other’s blogs! So congrats on that engagement! I enjoy our SD connection and we will always be friends and enjoy visits outside of blogging. Enjoy your break, hopefully I can entice you to share some of your images for Sunday Stills one more time!

    1. You are so right… the more time we put into blogging, the more we enjoy it… but we also find that we are devoting even more time to keep it going. I am looking forward to my break but I will definitely be back in January (and look forward to participating in Sunday Stills when I return). Let me know if you get down my way during the holidays and have some time to get together. Maybe I can get my blogging fix vicariously through you! 🙂

  27. I look forward to your return. We all need to unplug at some point. Facebook is killing society, yet even I use it. Not much anymore, but do check every few days. I’m hoping to pull the plug soon on that black hole.

    Enjoy your time, breathe deeply, touch real things. You’ll come alive.

  28. Hi Janis
    I totally get it. Blogging takes a lot of time and energy. I’m finding that myself these days. Enjoy your family and the holidays.
    I’ve always enjoyed your blog and hope to hear from you after the New Year.
    You’ll be missed
    Laura

  29. I understand the need to break and rethink things! I’ve had to set up daily blogging limits because I was beginning to spend too much time blogging. The problem is I love writing and connecting with blogs, but ….well, obviously you know what I mean!! Looking forward to hearing from you again! Enjoy the break!!

  30. When blogging gets to feel like a full time job then yup it’s taking up too much valuable time. This summer we did not read nor comment on blogs because we just didn’t have that kind of down time. We were on the move and seeing a lot of family and it was hard enough to keep up with them and with friends we only see once a year or more when we visit… but what we do is just get back to our blog when we DO have the time. It isn’t hard to restart, but it is important to put life before reading about all the wonderful other lives. Gosh that IS a lot of blogs you follow, wow!

    Enjoy your break and only blog when it truly makes you feel happy to do so. That’s what works for us anyhow…

    Hugs
    Peta

    1. I like your less rigid approach and I hope to follow your example. I don’t know how I ended up following so many blogs… and I keep finding new ones… yikes! I have been thinking of ways to still follow my favorites yet not drive myself nuts with the emails and pressure to read and comment on so many. We’ll see…

  31. Good for you, Janis. I know from personal experience now that it’s good to take blogging breaks. I can’t say I came back each time roaring with ideas (I still struggle with topics for posts), but I did again enjoy reading what others wrote and not feel as if it was an obligation. And, yes, whittling down the number one follows is probably a good idea. I need to do that too. Have fun, see you when you return! – Marty

    1. Your summer break was one of the motivating factors for mine. It seemed that the experience was a positive one for you and I found myself a bit envious… then I thought, “wait, I can do that too!” I imagine that struggling for topics will continue, my plan is to feel less anxious about it and allow myself to just post when I have something to say.

      1. Isn’t life grand when one can do absolutely nothing and yet somehow manage to inspire someone? You should see my idea of home maintenance — it’s pretty much along the same lines!

        That’s definitely the whole point of a hiatus in my mind: take the pressure off so that you come back refreshed and actually want to write and say something meaningful. I stopped doing a regular schedule because I found all of my posts to be forced. And it never flows right unless I actually want to be sitting at the computer.

      1. I know what you mean. I have set aside my camera for much of my Midwest tour and decided instead to be fully in the moment with friends and family. I feel like I miss some of those moments looking for the perfect photo for a blog post.

  32. Enjoy your time away from the blogosphere. I always find that my breaks help me re-focus. I’m reducing how many blogs I read, too. I’m tired of extending myself and my time via comments to bloggers who don’t reciprocate any interest in me. I’m not here in the blogosphere to be your fangirl, I’m here to be your friend. 🙄

  33. A blogging break is perfect to regain your sanity, Janis. Enjoy the realignment of your life and focus on “less demanding” pursuits. I thoroughly enjoyed my month’long break last summer as well and happily started afresh, with less “guilt” about not being able to stay on top of it all. As I’m on the road full-time now, with limited cell data and less free time to be online, reading and commenting to blogs (especially ones with high volume photos) is very difficult. And, the time I spent at friends’ houses (with WiFi) or libraries (free WiFi) is used for other purposes.

    Looking forward to meeting you in person this winter!

    1. That guilt that we feel is so weird. It’s not like we are neglecting people in need, or misbehaving, or not doing a job that we are being paid for. I look forward to my guilt-free time off. I will be looking at my email, though, so be sure to let me know when you’ll be in San Diego. We enjoyed having you and Mark over for Thanksgiving last year and look forward to spending time together in December.

      1. In regards to your emails and over flooding inbox, I agree with Donna that a clean inbox goes a long way. I follow her “rules” pretty much. After I read an “important” email (spam gets deleted immediately), I reply and put it in the correct folder, or it sits in my inbox until I have the time/connection/desire to reply and then, I classify it or delete it. So, everything that still sits in my inbox (I attempt to keep the list as short as possible) still needs attention somehow, sometime.

  34. I’m sure it’s a good idea to have a break. I hope you enjoy it. When I left work last year I mentioned to a colleague that I was starting a blog and his advice was sound: “spend your time enjoying retirement not writing about it”.

    As it happens, writing about retirement has added to my enjoyment of retirement. But I only post irregularly – every 1-2 weeks – and try to avoid the stress of feeling I have to post since I suspect then it would feel and read as forced. But everyone’s balance is different and this is a good post to get us thinking about where it is. Have fun!

    1. Although I have felt that blogging has taken too big of a chunk out of my time (hence the break) I love writing and the connections I’ve made through my blog. They have added to my enjoyment of retirement too. The key is balance and I look forward to finding what works for me. Thank you for your comment and well-wishes!

  35. Janis, enjoy your break. I have been blogging for more than 10 years, and I have only been able to keep going that long by not throwing myself wholeheartedly into blogging. Like Kathy, I blog to write, not the other way round. Some strategies I have used to keep the time commitment down are the following. I only blog occasionally, 1-3 times a month, when I have something I feel like writing about, rather than on a regular schedule. I have made no efforts to increase my blog readership. I read 10-12 blogs regularly (yours is one), and when I do read a blog, I usually read every post and every comment, and I usually write a comment. I also read 20-40 additional blogs on an occasional basis, and might comment or not. I do not formally follow any blogs because I do not want anything coming to my email inbox. I had email burnout in my former worklife and do not want to replicate that. Instead, I go to the blog urls directly, e.g., from my sidebar or by clicking on someone’s comment, when I want to read a particular blog. This means that sometimes my comments are not timely. I know my approach is not a typical one, but it works for me.

    Jude

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