Home > Best Blog Posts, Pet Blogger Challenge, Pet Ponderings > Pet Blogger Challenge 2014 – Letting Go

Pet Blogger Challenge 2014 – Letting Go


Pet Blogger Challenge Jan. 10

Out of an extreme sense of obligation I was going to write this detailed blog post for the Pet Blogger Challenge, but the truth is I don’t want to write it. I don’t want to examine my goals and accomplishments. I don’t want to look at my stats or my most popular blog posts. I don’t want to talk about product give-aways and publicizing my blog. 

I’ve been down this path before. I’ve written about my goals and my bright shiny aspirations for my blog before. And you know what? I don’t even remember what they were. I don’t remember what I wrote last year, the year before, or the year before that. Nor do I care.

None of those words matter because they don’t represent where I am today – tired.

Very tired.

Over the holiday season, I had the chance to take a break from my blog; to step away from it and let it all go. It was so refreshing, cathartic even. Instead of worrying about what I was going to post the next day, I did what I wanted to do. I played with my dogs, read a good book, met some friends for coffee, and spent quality time with family. Not once did I feel the need to stop what I was doing so I could write up some quick blog post for the sake of saying I did.

I felt unhindered.

Unencumbered.

I felt free.

I’m not sure what my blogging goals were when I first began, but I don’t think I ever envisioned them taking over my life. And yet, it has. To continue to feed the beast seems like a practice in futility. It will always want more.

At the risk of this becoming a self-involved, ego-inflated soliloquy I think I will just lay it all out there. I’m going to take a break from my blog for a while. I need to see what life is like without it. I need to know that I am writing because I want to and not because I “have to.” I need a break.

That doesn’t mean I won’t write a few updates on Maggie once in a while or that I won’t be back to share a few words or pictures when the mood strikes me (I still have a few more things to share), but I want to see how the other half lives. I want to know what it’s like NOT to have a blog as an obligation every day.

We’ll see his it goes. Perhaps there is more to life than blogging after all.

lucy 2

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  1. January 11, 2014 at 4:03 PM

    Mel, I understand completely (having taken an entire year off). And, ironically, you chose the perfect place to make your announcement. We will miss you of course, but that’s selfish. You need to share your great insights and experiences out of a sense of joy, not obligation. All the best of luck to you.

    And thank you for taking part in the Pet Blogger Challenge — even if it put you over the edge (kidding — I hope).

    • Mel
      January 11, 2014 at 4:09 PM

      LOL. I don’t think it sent me over the edge. Perhaps it just gave me the push I was looking for. 🙂
      Thanks Edie. I think you understand. More than most I would guess.

  2. January 11, 2014 at 4:17 PM

    Of course I will miss your wonderful posts and photos, but I totally understand. I’ve only been at this for less than a year and a half but I know it can be overwhelming trying to keep up with it all. And if you’re not enjoying it, what’s the point? Enjoy your break and maybe you’ll be back at some point feeling refreshed. Or maybe life out there will be just too good and you won’t miss it. Thank you for sharing this though. Other blogs have just stopped suddenly, and it leaves us worried and wondering what happened to those people. I’d hate for you to have just disappeared and then had to wonder if you were OK!

  3. January 11, 2014 at 4:24 PM

    When it’s not fun anymore, it’s time to step back. Take care!

  4. January 11, 2014 at 4:30 PM

    When it becomes an obligation, you start to lose the purpose. We celebrate you finding more balance and enjoying life. And we will enjoy the blogs you post because YOU want to!

  5. January 11, 2014 at 5:16 PM

    Stay in touch, don’t disappear completely! Blogging has to be something fun or you should quit or take a break. Sometimes Mom says to me she wonders why we are doing this since it takes a lot of time, but we mostly enjoy it, that is what keeps us going. Enjoy your break for a week, month, year, or forever!

  6. January 11, 2014 at 5:35 PM

    I think I know how you feel. There are times I want to give up the blog and just stay social on Facebook and Twitter. I get more interaction, I share more smiles and I seem to laugh more. Sometime the blog becomes a chore and when you don’t worry about what to write, getting the post out there, waiting for responses etc you find that your life stay still while everyone is enjoying life around you.
    Enjoy your time off, stay connected with us on social media and play with your dogs. May you have good Karma in any decision that you make.

  7. January 11, 2014 at 5:56 PM

    You Go Girl !!! Good for you !

  8. greyzoned
    January 11, 2014 at 7:12 PM

    Here’s my life motto — and most of the time it serves me well:
    “When it quits being fun, I’m done! Period.”
    I applaud you on taking care of yourself. We’ll miss you, but do come back. Without all the pressure though. Because after all, this is writing and it’s supposed to be fun, right? Have a blast out there. 🙂

  9. January 11, 2014 at 7:14 PM

    Blogging should be enjoyable. It should be a way to unwind and have fun. It should be for you. When it’s overwhelming and not enjoyable or just less enjoyable, it’s time to take a breather. So enjoy your break, however long it may be. Do things you enjoy doing. I took a break for several months and it made a huge difference. I thought about never coming back. I found new hobbies and learned new things. I didn’t come back until I missed it and wanted to come back. I still have a little bit of a hard time with it, but I just try to live by the words of one of my best friends who reminded me that the blog is for ME and if I don’t feel like blogging one day, then I don’t need to blog. I’ll blog when I feel like it, is my new attitude.

    You will be missed, but enjoy your break! It’ll be good for you. 🙂

    • Mel
      January 14, 2014 at 9:09 PM

      Thank you so much for sharing what you did. It makes me feel better that someone else has done this and found it refreshing and inspiring. I look forward to trying new things. 🙂

  10. skye613
    January 11, 2014 at 7:37 PM

    I will very much miss you and your beautiful photos. I hope you get your ” happy ” back.

    • Mel
      January 14, 2014 at 9:08 PM

      Thank you. Me too.

  11. January 11, 2014 at 7:39 PM

    Having just come back from a break myself, I can certainly understand. Take as much time as you need and know that we will be here when you’re ready to come back. xo

  12. January 11, 2014 at 7:57 PM

    I am going to miss you Mel, but I can totally understand where you are coming from. When i took my break at Christmas it was so wonderful and I felt free. Blogging is exhausting, and I don’t think that’s how it’s supposed to be. I may join you. I hope you have the desire to write a post now and again, but if not, have a wonderful break.

  13. January 11, 2014 at 8:30 PM

    I totally get it! And it’s not only about writing the posts and trying to be interesting, it’s also keeping up with all of the blogs that you like – it takes so much time! (it probably didn’t help that we recently did all of these hops!!) I hope you enjoy your break and fingers crossed you find your happy place where your blog can be fun and not an obligation 🙂

  14. January 11, 2014 at 8:39 PM

    Totally get it. It’s a lot of energy. It’ll be here when you have something to say.

  15. January 11, 2014 at 9:42 PM

    I will miss your posts but it will be nice to think that you are enjoying your life more 🙂 Just drop in and blog when (if) the spirit moves you. I completely agree with doing what you feel like doing whenever you can.

  16. January 11, 2014 at 10:28 PM

    Good Luck Mel,
    I will miss your posts, however, I understand, I dont spend alot of time online anymore.
    Been trying to get my life back in order and then hopefully start a new one with a new lady.
    Again, Good Luck!
    Alexander Brenner

  17. January 11, 2014 at 10:43 PM

    We will miss you so much and personally I will miss our simpatico fearful dog issues…but I totally get the need for a break and besides, it will allow you to focus on Maggie more, so I’m all for that! Enjoy, regroup and return whenever you are ready.

  18. January 12, 2014 at 12:03 AM

    I’m with you, I didn’t take part this time either.
    – I don’t like writing about myself
    – I just wrote a similar post
    – it’s not about dogs
    – how many times can one review the same topic?

    Just felt totally uninspired to write it and didn’t feel that people want to read it either.

    My mission is always the same and I go about the best I can afford. That about covers it.

  19. January 12, 2014 at 12:57 AM

    The daily bloggers astound me! Or even those who post more than once or twice per week. I have no idea how you do it – even with blogging irregularly I take a step away now and again. When blogging becomes a chore or undesired obligation, I agree it’s time to recharge elsewhere.
    We’ll be here to eagerly read when you do post, though!
    (Tip: sometimes I’ve cheated by just doing a lot of photo-only posts. It’s a fun way to blog, but not really ;))

    • Mel
      January 14, 2014 at 9:07 PM

      So right on! Yes. I need to recharge and walk away for a bit. Thanks for your support Jen. (I do picture only posts once in a while too. LOL!)

  20. January 12, 2014 at 1:15 AM

    Hey Mel, you know I support your choice, whatever it is — we’ve both been at this for a long time — most quit long before they hit their fourth or fifth year. It’s why I decided to write when I was moved to write, and not for the search engine crawlers. When you “must” publish or die to bring in blog traffic, it gets stale fast. Relax and enjoy life and I’ll “see” you when I see you =)

    • Mel
      January 14, 2014 at 9:06 PM

      That is exactly where I am at Mary. I’m feeling like I am posting something just to say I did and not because I have a passion for it. I feel this pressure to put something out there and I hate that. I want to feel passionate like I did in the early days. You my friend, always know where I am at. Thank you.

  21. Cascadian Nomads
    January 12, 2014 at 3:24 AM

    You are one of the bloggers I first followed and who inspired me to blog. I was so thrilled the first time you commented on one of my posts. So I guess I just want to say thank you and I will miss you, sort of. And by “sort of” I mean because that even without a multitude of great posts, you will continue to be an inspiration. I will remember not to let my blog take over my life/time too. Thank you.

    • Mel
      January 14, 2014 at 9:13 PM

      I was totally floored to read your comment. I never knew. Your blog is awesome and I am so humbled to know that I inspired you in any small way. I am so glad you did start your own blog! Good for you!
      I hope I will be back. I just need to step back and recharge and enjoy life again for a bit. Thanks for your kind words. You really touched me.

  22. January 12, 2014 at 3:50 AM

    I totally understand it and applaud your choice to make a change. In a way the challenge has done you favor. Rethinking about what you are doing can lead to unexpected conclusions! When you come back you will be energized I am sure. Take care Mel, and wish you the best!

    • Mel
      January 14, 2014 at 9:04 PM

      Thanks Leo. You are ever my champion and friend. 🙂

  23. January 12, 2014 at 5:43 AM

    Oh bugger. Does that mean we lose you entirely on all the other platforms as well? I must admit have been super impressed with your activity on all levels of social media – nice to know you’re not entirely super-human & do have flaws like the rest of us (though I haven’t really come across too many of yours as of yet). Nice warning also to the rest of us (& particularly a relative newbie like me) not to get to caught up in the hype of it all!! Hoping to see you & your pups still around here & there tho…….,

  24. cafall
    January 12, 2014 at 7:02 AM

    I understand that. I’ve always made the decision not to feel guilty if I miss a post. Life is more important. Maybe taking an extended break will give you what you need to return to blogging?

    Monty and Harlow

  25. January 12, 2014 at 9:03 AM

    Boy do I get it. My reasons for continuing are on my Challenge post, but I post so infrequently I don’t feel the pressure you do. You’ve been so committed and so passionate, I’m not surprised you’re worn out. Walk away and breathe for a while. I’m not going to unsubscribe, so if you come back, you’ll have at least one reader. 🙂

    • Mel
      January 14, 2014 at 9:03 PM

      Thanks Lori. I think I will be back. I just want to not feel like I have to post something for the sake of posting. I want what I write to be something I feel strongly about or just to be creative.

  26. January 12, 2014 at 9:18 AM

    I will miss you and your psts, but I will wait for you. Hope it isn’t a break forever :o)

  27. January 12, 2014 at 10:26 AM

    I understand. Go live your life, friend.

    • Mel
      January 14, 2014 at 9:02 PM

      Thanks Roxanne. I am not surprised you do. I am sure you can relate.

  28. January 12, 2014 at 10:43 AM

    Mel, Mel, Mel…..!!! What is it about blogging that is taking us all down? I totally think you should do what exactly what you feel is right for you! Walking away from the blog isn’t a bad thing at all. Maybe you will find that you miss it and maybe not. I will miss you but I’m hoping you’ll still be on FB on Instagram so we can keep in touch!

  29. January 12, 2014 at 11:41 AM

    I hope you won’t give up blogging entirely. I enjoy what you write here, and love when you visit my blog. I would miss you if you weren’t around.

  30. January 12, 2014 at 12:23 PM

    Mel, Thank you so much for all the wonderful insights, photos, and experiences you have shared. I have learned so much from you about our favorite furry friends, our beloved dogs.

  31. January 12, 2014 at 12:26 PM

    I completely understand all of what you’re saying. It does tend to take over our lives! I’m just getting started with it and already some days feel the way you do. So, with that said~~enjoy your time off!

  32. Jen
    January 12, 2014 at 1:09 PM

    It’s hard to find a balance ,with the work, with the feeling of obligation. I’m glad you’re comfortable taking a break, and I’m glad for the freedom you feel!

    • Mel
      January 14, 2014 at 9:02 PM

      It most definitely is hard Jen. I am loving the freedom to just read a book or play with my dogs.

  33. January 12, 2014 at 2:50 PM

    See how much everyone loves you? They’re even willing to let you go because you need it. That shows how much you’ve meant to this community. And will continue to mean to us whether you post sporadically or not at all.

    You’ve created a wonderful body of work here that is a fabulous resource for all of us. I frequently come back here so I can find something you wrote to send to someone else.

    I hope you enjoy your break and find much joy in every choice you make.

    • Mel
      January 14, 2014 at 9:01 PM

      Thanks Pamela. I am surprised by the support. Humbly so. I hope the blog will continue to serve while I take a break.

  34. January 12, 2014 at 5:42 PM

    I have watched you post every day, or close to it, and couldn’t imagine how you kept up. You, the power house, eagerly eclipsed my meager 27 posts this year with post after fabulous post. While I’m sad to learn that you’ve burned yourself out, I also feel validated. I couldn’t keep up with the reading let alone compete with that amount of writing – not that this is a competition. I left you tons of comments under yours on my blog, so I’ll keep this short. I just want to reiterate that I do hope you’ll continue in some capacity… And I also hope you enjoy as much time as you need seeing how the other half lives.

    • Mel
      January 12, 2014 at 9:08 PM

      Thanks for your kind words Kim. It makes me feel less like a failure. I honestly don’t know how I kept it up either. I think I felt I had to. After seeing you leave and find other joys in life, and then having a brief experience with it over the holidays, made me hungry for more. Blogging often isn’t just blogging. It’s posting on FB and Twitter and reading other blogger’s posts and blog hops and etc. I just got burnt out. No wonder huh?

      I am looking forward to seeing how the other half lives.

  35. January 12, 2014 at 6:29 PM

    I am so sorry you are experiencing this burn out, it is so similar to what I went through last year. Blogging every single day, especially with so much hard work as you have always put in, is probably not sustainable long-term. I am actually amazed my 2013 post wasn’t a lot like this one. Maybe I was just better at lying to myself than you are.

    I think it is great you are taking the time you need to regroup and redetermine your goals. There is no point in slogging on if it isn’t making you happy. I have learned recently that if we all were to focus solely on the things that are important to us, we would be much more motivated and happy. If blogging is bringing you down more than it is up, then no doubt it is time to back off.

    I will miss you if you never return, and so will everyone else in the Petosphere. But I mostly want you to be happy. Enjoy this time, as long as it lasts. We will always be here if you ever choose to return.

  36. January 13, 2014 at 6:26 AM

    When I read the title of your post, I felt stunned. Yet I nodded my head through the whole thing. Totally get it. I’m going to miss your blog more than you probably know. For ever so long I’ve admired your courage to tackle some very serious issues with careful thought and just plain smarts. This post proves my point. I almost didn’t join the Challenge this time around because I feel myself headed in the same direction (and have been fighting it): life priorities. You’ve got yours squared away and I wish you much joy in seeing how the other half lives.

    • Mel
      January 14, 2014 at 9:00 PM

      Thanks Sue. I hope I won’t be gone forever, but admittedly I am feeling a bit overwhelmed these days. I’ve been feeling this for some time, but Kim Clune’s post kind of said it all for me. I don’t want to write crap just to fill a daily slot on my blog. I want to feel like what I am writing about matters as much to me as my readers. Right now I don’t feel that I am. The time away will do me good. When the mood hits I will write, but not to just post another post. I wish you well on your own path. I know we will stay in touch. 🙂

  37. January 13, 2014 at 10:57 AM

    I’m so sorry Mel. First I thought I had already read this (I hadn’t) and second it sucks when we start to feel this way. But I’m glad you can see where you need to be and can give yourself the time you need. When it stops being fun, then you are right it’s time to take a break.

    I’m hoping you come back refreshed, but if you don’t come back I support you 100%!

  38. Julie deRosier-Paul
    January 24, 2014 at 7:38 AM

    Good for you Mel; I support you! I always wondered when you slept. XOXO Jules

  39. January 30, 2014 at 9:05 AM

    Mel, Ketli and I will miss you. I found I had the same feeling back in November. At that time I decided that I would keep up my Wordless Wednesdays in order to keep my blog up and running. But I go ahead and schedule a few at a time so I am not tied to a weekly or daily check in. I just went on a two week trip and my posts automatically got posted so I had no worries. Of course, not spending time on WordPress and not taking the time to “like” or comment on other blogs means that I don’t get the traffic. The funny thing is when I started just posting Wordless Wednesdays with the focus on dogs I got a few more followers. Try less, get noticed more?

    Facebook and WordPress activity require so much time. I have ADD so once I get onto one of them I am off and surfing.. wasting time. I also find that trying to put just the write photos into my posts takes much more time than I want to give to my blog right now. I can’t be perfect and I need to accept that.

    Enjoy your break.

  40. February 3, 2014 at 5:10 PM

    I just launched my first blog in October and have been amazed by the amount of time it has consumed. I’m waiting for divine canine inspiration to nip at my heels.

  1. January 10, 2015 at 8:14 PM

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