How an unintentional pause in my blogging schedule helped me regroup, spend time with my loved ones and help my writer’s block.
In February 2014 I began The Wandering Wanderluster as a way of sharing my travelling experiences in the hope the information I shared would help others better plan their trips or inspire trips of their own. For two years I maintained a relatively good writing schedule, putting hundreds of hours of work, tears and sleepless nights into my blog, but in April this year my mind and my body burnt out.
So why did I stop writing?
Blogging and especially travel blogging is hard. Sure it looks glamorous and sometimes it can be! But what most people don’t realise is blogging isn’t just writing. It’s a whole heap of tasks and a never ending list of tasks which include photo editing, social media sharing, SEO, Pinterest to name but a few. Just a single post can take nearly 6 hours from conception to publishing.
I love writing, I love sharing my travels and my knowledge with you, my readers, but when I found myself sitting in front of my computer frequently from 9 am in the morning until 3am, something had to change.
At the same time I was juggling my full time job over at Go Real Europe where my days were filled with making my clients travel dreams come true (which I love!), trying to dedicate time to a luxury travel guide project I have been wanting to do ever since I moved to Prague (keep your eyes peeled its coming soon!) and my spending time with my boyfriend, friends and family.
Slowly I began losing my rhythm. My mind became jammed, I was tired and my body said please stop.
At first I had planned on taking a few days rest to allow my body and mind to reset. But days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months.
After the first two weeks an enormous amount of guilt set in. I felt guilty not posting to my blog, not responding to comments on Facebook or uploading a new photo to Instagram. How crazy does that sound?! Blogging was an addiction but slowly I began to withdraw from the crazy state of mind I had been in and as weeks passed I began to feel human again.
I was able to socialize with my friends without having to rush off to get a post published, I was able to spend some quality time with my family in May and enjoy a wonderful trip to Salzburg and Germany with my Father and I was able to go to bed at a decent hours and SLEEP without a stream of things I needed to do, posts I wanted to write or ideas for my blog running through my mind.
I was able to enjoy being in the moment during my trips instead of trying to think of the best angle for a photograph, which image I would use on my Pinterest post or which filter to use on my Instagram upload.
So what did I learn from my break in blogging?
“Sometimes you need to take a step back in order to see where you need to step next”
It can be hard to take a step back from doing something you love, but during the past three months I have been able to think clearly, reignite my fire and begin taking steps forward again, only this time I’m much wiser. I learnt during my break but these valuable lessons will ensure my passion for writing and the quality of my blog continues.
Be in the moment
Travel is a precious gift. When you’re a travel blogger you can sometimes forget to take time to enjoy the moment. Stop looking through the lens of your camera and look up from your mobile and SEE that sunset, TASTE that food or SPEAK to the people you’re meeting. You may only visit that place once so experience it, feel it and remember it. No photograph will remind you of the smells, the atmosphere or the knowledge you will learn from the people you speak to.
Quality is better than Quantity
There were times where I freaked out because I hadn’t been able to post in a few days or a post was late by a week so I would sit up all night until it was finished. I would write post after post just to stick to my schedule because we are told to succeed you need to post regularly. Well I’m a firm believer now that quality and well thought out posts are far better than churning out click bate crap for the sack of trying to go viral.
Family and Friends are important
For too long I was neglecting my relationship, spending too many nights glued to my laptop while my boyfriend sat alone watching a movie and going to bed by himself. I would take visits home to see my family in the UK, only to spend hours sitting at my ipad or laptop pinning on Pinterest, updating my Facebook or trying to finish a post. I was wasting precious time with my family who I hardly see and who I miss dearly all to get a stupid blog post out on time.
What to now expect from The Wandering Wanderluster
During my time off I was also able to reflect and look over my previous posts and think about areas I wanted to improve on, things I wanted to change and things I hated about my blog, so there are a few things that are going to change!
1. Post Schedule
As I mentioned before, I love writing and I love sharing my experiences and I love to inspire you to travel to the amazing places I am lucky enough to visit. But I will no longer be busting my balls to get a post written or sticking to a schedule. So when I write, you’ll know its going to be good!
2. Magazine Photographs
I took time to go over my Instagram account and when I look back at some of the photographs I have taken I cringe. There will be no more images of me gazing into the distance with my back turned to the camera (I may unintentionally!), or carefully selected photographs that appear to make me look like I just stepped out of a glamorous magazine. Instead you’re going to see the real me. You’re going to see pictures perhaps not all travel bloggers want to upload because their hair isn’t neatly placed in a bun or the big floppy hat and designer beach bag isn’t in the picture. I am not really a glamourous traveller and you will now see the real pictures, however gruesome, painful, messed up or crapped faced I look.
3. Less solo travel more couples travel
During my time off I got engaged! On the 3rd June 2017 I will marry my best friend, soul mate and my perfect travelling partner. There isn’t a huge amount of mentions about us as a couple on my blog mostly due to the fact I travel alone very frequently, but that’s about to change! You’ll be seeing a ton more articles about Couples Travel and waay more pictures of me and his ugly mug ( just kidding) on my blog, Instagram and Facebook!
4. Even more fantastic content, competitions and quality posts!
Now I’ve seen the error of my ways and my posting schedule is not so strict, there will be more time to source some more fantastic competitions, writing quality blog posts and growing my blog so that it continues to provide you with useful travel tips and wanderlust inspiring photographs (just not the kind with any backs turned or weird gazes into the distance!).
Is there anything you want to see more of on The Wandering Wanderluster? Tell me in the comments below!