"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
As featured on: Pro Blogger, Men With Pens, Write to Done, Tiny Buddha, LifeHack, Technorati, Date My Pet, South 85 Literary Journal and other award-winning sites.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

How to Have a "Productive" Blog Break!




I know, you’re probably thinking that this chick has truly flipped.

In your mind, you’re likely saying that the whole purpose of a “break” is to get away from the demands of blogging and writing, and wrestling with writer’s block, and the whole kit and kaboodle of the creative scene. Duh? J

Therefore, a productive blog break would be a bit of a contradiction.
And you’d be right to some extent. But, work doesn’t have to be another four-letter dirty word, even when your resolve is to just kick back, relax, and unplug for a week or two.

In fact, let’s be honest here. Even when our computers are unplugged our brains ain’t!
Vacation or no vacation, most “serious” writers can’t help but brainstorm future blog ideas, or take notes on character development for their novel in progress, or figure out how to turn that trip to a far-away city into a travel writing piece. It’s a work related hazard.

We’re all on the “same page” with this.

But, like most things, it all comes down to perspective. And you might be surprised to learn that “selective activities” can actually inspire you to new heights, enhance your writing goals, provide fun, and allow you to re-enter your blog world with a fresh perspective and renewed commitment.

It does for me. Today I’ll share a few secrets to having a bodacious blog break, that includes work, but won’t cause you to break a sweat, or leave you feeling fatigued.

 
WHY A “WORKING” BLOG BREAK WORKS…

First, a little background here. I’ve been “professionally” blogging for over four years. In that time, I’ve created close to 500 posts; typically publishing a post 2 to 3 times a week. And did I mention guest posting? As much as I love it, it can be very time consuming and grueling. For this reason, I take a blog break a few times a year--usually around summer, my birthday, and the Christmas holiday.

Still, I don’t totally disengage, or bury my head in the sand. Rather, I choose my blogging projects more selectively.

A “working” blog break allows me to make my own schedule for creativity, without pressure. It allows me to revisit my blog with a fresh pair of eyes, plan, and rethink my strategy for promoting my work as a whole. And it can for you too.

 
HERE ARE A FEW SUGGESTED PROJECTS AND PRACTICES TO CONSIDER ON YOUR NEXT BLOG BREAK


Guest post on other sites. While you may typically pen epic posts for your readership, there are some very worthy sites that require posts with low word counts of 250-300 words. The benefit here? It doesn’t require a major time commitment, it puts your work before new audiences, and it helps build relationships with other bloggers.

Submit to “reprint” markets.
This is a great way of “working smarter, not harder.” For example, recently, I sent off a piece to Writers on the Move blog, that previously sold to Funds for Writers for 50 bucks. This gives me more mileage for my writing efforts.
Catch up on reading and commenting on your favorite blogs. Sometimes, with all the demands of daily life, and trying to maintain our own blogs, we don’t get the opportunity to visit other sites and “weigh in” on interesting topics. Doing so helps to broaden our perspective, keep us informed, and maybe even come up with new ideas for our own spot. Additionally, it can create a win/win situation in that many times when we comment at other’s sites, they will reciprocate at our blogs.

Attend a Webinar.

These web-based seminars can help bloggers to hone their craft and increase their cash. The bonus here is that many are free, and they can be “attended” in the privacy of your own home.

Tweet your “peeps”.

Got an important project you’d like to promote? A contest that you’re sponsoring at your blog? A question for an interview? Know a fellow blogger worth following? A blog break is a great time to connect with others, spread the word on what’s going on in your corner of the world, or share quality content via social media circles, (without sacrificing time from money-making projects).

Guest post outside of your niche.

It’s fun, allows you to capitalize on other interests and skill sets, and can attract different audiences to your blog. Make sure to include a link to your site in your bio, with your submission.
 
These are just a few ways to get more “bang” out of your next blog break, and to provide enough balance and interest to go the distance.

I'm glad to be back. Let's talk :-)

Image: Freedigitalphotos.net


12 comments:

  1. You are so right - a writer's brain never powers down! My blog breaks always find me doing something writing related, unless I am out of town. (And even then I am still thinking...) This is a great list to make a blogging break even better. Thanks, Jen!

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    1. Jennifer Brown BanksAugust 12, 2013 at 2:19 PM

      Glad you liked, Karen. Thanks for starting us off today. :-)

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  2. Man, I had a super productive blog break recently. I attended BlogHer13 and completed my book marketing plan for my recent release, 62 Blog Posts to Overcome Blogger's Block. And I started a draft of a new book. I'm trying to decide if I'm going to return this week.

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    1. Jennifer Brown BanksAugust 12, 2013 at 2:20 PM

      Great to hear Marcie; keep us posted.

      Delete
  3. Many, my recent blog break was super productive. I attended BlogHer 2013 and developed a marketing plan for my book, 62 Blog Posts to Overcome Blogger's Block. I also started drafting a couple new books. I'm trying to determine a return-to-blogging date.

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  4. Those indeed look like productive Projects & Practices Jennifer, only it still looks like a lot of work, I guess that - as I did - going to the beach, swimming and while laying in the sun reading a book to review making notes and all, also isn't entirely unplugging although I do think it does come close.

    You can even discover that recently I also actually wrote a - Crispy Fresh - New blogpost, this time (again) about the Greeting Cards Market...,

    Talking about Markets, looking for way's to - when possible - sell 'reprints' of your own material also does look like a great idea, and something to develope a strategy for. Thanks.

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  5. Submitting to reprint markets - great tip! I do this on a regular basis. No matter where I am I'm gathering bits for a blog post. The simplest incident will spark a bonfire in my brain. Writer's are like that, I guess.

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    1. Sue,

      This is good to hear; I don't do it as often as I should. I'm trying to get better, though. :-) Thanks for dropping by and weighing in today.

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  6. Popular Cartoons in Newspapers are frequently Syndicated.

    The idea to in a somewhat similar way (Self-)syndicate a Column, offering nonexclusive rights to lot's of different publications, is also something that I have been thinking about possibly developing a strategy for.

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