Yay! Tomorrow marks the official nine-year mark for my blog. *whew* I made it…even though the past few years made that milestone a bit questionable.
On my post announcing my annual Blogiversary Contest, we had enough comments to earn two winners. Woo hoo! But I always struggle with the part where random.org selects the winners because I wish I could give everyone a prize.
In fact, we ended up within rounding distance of having enough comments for three winners, so I’m going ahead and awarding a bonus third winner because I just can’t help myself. Yay! *grin*
I’ve said it before, and I really mean it. You’re the reason I blog, and I appreciate you all so much. Thank you!
Before we get into announcing the winners, I want to share something I’ve been thinking about this week: What does it mean to go offline in our super-connected world?
The Importance of Being Online
Depending on our age/generation, background/circumstances, or interest, we might spend only limited time online, or we might spend virtually all our waking hours online. So the prospect of spending time offline can mean different things to each of us.
As we talked about last time, our connection to the writing community can be a lifeline. Online connections might include readers we’re trying to promote to, our editor/publisher that we owe information to, or our best friends that we need to vent to for preserving our sanity.
In other words, we often have too many responsibilities and competing interests to completely unplug. But I have known several writers and published authors who have gone on social media and/or blogging hiatus.
The Importance of Balance
At the same time that we often need our online connections, we can be overwhelmed by our online lives. Many a writer has lost chunks of writing days to online procrastination.
What's the right balance between being overwhelmed and being connected? Click To TweetWe can drown in email and social media notifications. We can burn energy and time following the harrowing ups and downs of the news cycle. And we can follow vaguely book-research-related rabbit holes into hours’ worth of time suck.
There’s a reason many writers use apps or programs to limit internet access for hours at a time to help them focus. The internet can be a constant distraction, so we do need a way to balance our need for connections with our need to focus.
Can a Hiatus Help?
Sometimes the right balance for us might mean taking a hiatus from all non-critical internet usage. Depending on our situation, that might include social media, blogging, or even email.
From watching those who have taken a hiatus, the results seem to be mixed. Some come back refreshed and energized, and others come back and feel even more overwhelmed at the thought of trying to catch up.
Any analysis of what makes the difference is made more complicated by the varying styles of hiatuses I’ve seen—everything from frequent “cheating” to temporarily deleting accounts. Some even set expectations that any communications during their time away will be ignored and essentially sent to a black hole (meaning they have no intention of “catching up”), but when a hiatus includes an email component, that attitude seems extreme and potentially unprofessional to me.
No, I’m Not Going on Hiatus…
I’ll admit I’ve been tempted sometimes, but no, I’m not going on hiatus. *grin* My email inbox is a disaster on the best of days already, so I’m far too afraid that I’d fall into that “feel even more overwhelmed” camp.
However, I’ve been thinking about our offline options because I will be mostly offline for the next week and half. My family is taking a camping trip into some of the most remote areas of the country, and I’m guessing there won’t be cell coverage. *smile*
(How remote will we be? For two of the days, we’ll be 4-wheeling 60 miles from the nearest paved road and 30-50 miles from the nearest dirt road. So…yeah, pretty remote, but I hope to share pictures on Instagram as I get signal.)
Here’s also hoping we stay safe, and that I don’t have any (more) health complications. (In addition to the nerve damage in my feet flaring up with shooting pain, I sprained my ankle two weeks ago. *sigh*)
In other words, I won’t be checking social media or email for the next week and a half. But don’t worry—my blog here will still be active, as I have two fantastic guest posters filling in for me. *grin*
Blogiversary Contest Winners!
And now, the part you’ve all really been waiting for… *drum roll* the winners from my 9th Annual Blogiversary Contest!
And the Bonus Winner…
Congratulations to you all! You should receive an email from me within the next day, so start thinking about what prize you want. Should I be worried? *smile*
Have you ever taken a break (or considered taking one) from being online? If so, did you have a particular reason? How long and extensive was your break? How did it turn out for you (would you do it again)? Do you have any advice for others considering a break?Pin It