This week’s theme comes at a very relevant time for me, as I have just been on a hiatus from blogging. It’s been a… difficult… year for me. In August I injured my shoulder so had to step away from blogging for a long while. In September I moved house, and then in October I got COVID and was unwell. So I only posted twice in August-October. I’m hoping to get back into blogging more now, but may still not be as active as I used to be, for the sake of my health.
A hiatus is an extended period of time away from blogging and sometimes they are necessary e.g. because of health or personal life. But I think they can also be important for our mental health. It’s easy to feel a lot of pressure to post regularly, so a hiatus can be a good way to reset and recharge.
I find myself worrying about not tweeting enough, not interacting enough, not blog hopping enough, not posting on my blog regularly enough. It’s not healthy to feel constantly pressured in this way. Being ever present online is exhausting. But there seems to be a growing expectation for us to be always accessible online, whether that’s on a blog or on Twitter or Instagram. Everything moves at such a fast pace, that it feels like if you’re not present enough online, what you do share can disappear, and if you’re not around often enough, you’ll be forgotten.
Although my hiatus was for health reasons, I thought it might help my mental health as well, and help break myself from that self-pressure and expectation. But I’ve found myself returning to those thoughts, worrying about whether I’m active enough, even though I should be putting my mental and physical health first, something that is important all the time, but especially during what has been a tough year for me in my personal life.
Taking some time away from blogging and social media has made me take a look at my relationship with these platforms and whether or not they are good for my mental health. I love being part of the blogging community, and being part of the writing community on Twitter makes me feel inspired and encouraged to keep writing. Being part of these communities can be wonderful and positive. But it can also be bad for mental health. I need to accept that, as a chronically ill person who suffers with fatigue, I just can’t be ever present online. And I need to stop trying to be. I’m here because I enjoy it, because I enjoy writing, because I enjoy chatting to people about books. Shedding the weight of pressure and expectation is difficult, but it’s something I need to try and do.
How do you feel about taking a hiatus? Do you feel pressured to post regularly? Chat with me in the comments, I’d love to know what you think.