5 Things I Discovered During My Blogging Break

Time is even more precious than I thought it was.

Photo by Andrey Grushnikov on Pexels.com

We all know how precious time is, but how often do we have to remind ourselves about it?

Time is precious. Savour every second of it.’

Marjorie Bowker

The above quote was said to me a few years ago during a phone conversation I had with an aunt of mine. She sadly passed away in October 2018, but her quote resurfaced during my blogging break. Why? Because it got me thinking about how much time I had wasted not just during the years I’ve blogged, but over much of my life.

Should wasting time be a crime?

I believe so, yes. There’s not much I can do about the time I’ve wasted in the past, but there’s plenty I can do about the time I am wasting while blogging. I now have an action plan in place and will have even more time to enjoy. Thank you for the guidance, Auntie Marjorie.

New directions will open new doors.

I’ve taken up more exercise during my blogging break. I’ve walked a lot and taken in my surroundings much more than I used to. It’s been much better than spending most of my days sat in front of a computer screen.

Life is a gift, not something we have the right to own.

Hugh W. Roberts

Although I’ve cut down on the amount of time I spend in front of a computer screen, it did not stop me from discovering something I’ve never done before. As somebody who has difficulty with reading, I took the opportunity to try binge-watching.

#bingewatching #Rodserling #Twilightzone

I’ve not watched them all yet, but what I have seen has helped kick my creative mind to go in a new direction; a direction which has opened new doors for me. If I hadn’t taken a blogging break, those doors would have remained closed.

Online security should never be taken for granted.

My online presence also benefited from my blogging break, with me giving it some of the time I freed up. I firmly believed that I was doing everything I could to protect my online presence. How wrong I was.

7 MacOS Privacy Settings You Should Enable Now

I probably would never have read the above article if I had not been on a blogging break.

Now I feel safer.

People are still stealing my work.

Image by Mustafa shehadeh from Pixabay

Thanks to a reblog from Chris (The Story Reading Ape), I discovered from a blog post, written by Kevin Morris, that my first collection of short stories, Glimpses, was being sold illegally on a website named ‘Kiss Library’. I filed a DMCA against Kiss Library to have my book removed. Within hours, it no longer appeared on the site.

I also discovered the books of many authors who visit my blog being sold illegally on the same site. Are your books being sold unlawfully on Kiss Library?

Click here to read Kevin’s post, and take action if you find your books on Kiss Library.

I can slow time down.

For me, life seems a lot more fast-paced than it did a few years ago. Although we surround ourselves with time-saving devices and software, life still seems busy as we try and pack more and more into it. How many times do we ask the question “Where did time go?”

Although I thoroughly enjoy blogging and writing, there’s other stuff I enjoy doing too. The trouble was, I thought I never had enough time to enjoy it all.

There was stuff I should have done months ago but never got around to doing. My blogging break helped me get my ‘to do’ list completed. Now it’s ready for me to add new stuff to it.

All photos – Copyright © 2019 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

One of the best feelings I had during my blogging break was crossing things off a list that I’d had sitting on my desk for years. That may not sound very exciting, but it had me floating on cloud nine for days.

I even earned over £500 on eBay by selling some of my unwanted items. That’s money I would not have seen had I not taken a blogging break.

I discovered that it’s possible to slow time down when you’re enjoying yourself. And when you slow it down, it seems to expand and multiply. Creating time isn’t magic, it’s something we can all do (if we put our minds to it and it’s something we want to do).

Blogging breaks not only help me take a stocktake of time, but they always help refresh my creative mind. It’s one of the reasons why I intend taking more breaks from blogging in the future.

And it’s not only me that has benefited from taking a blogging break. Click here to read what blogger Laura M. Bailey discovered when she took a blogging break.

Have you ever taken a blogging break? If not, why not? What did you discover while on your blogging break?

Copyright © 2019 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

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135 comments

  1. Thanks so much, Hugh! My Heart Stone Chronicles was also there on that site. I did get it removed. Since then, I’ve discovered that many of our blog posts have also been pirated on strange sites. It’s truly a bad situation. ❤

    1. Sorry to hear you found your book on Kiss Library, Colleen. The thought of somebody stealing my blog posts terrifies me even more. I’ve also had a couple of WordPress bloggers steal some of my posts! The process to get them to take the posts down was very easy to follow and worked for me. I’m sure there are many other copyright infringements out there. It’s just finding them.

      1. So true. They took my book down also, Hugh. My second book, I never gave away for free and I’ve not had any problems. That tells me we should not give our books away for free. I’ll not make that mistake again. ❤️

        1. I think you’re on to something about free book loads, Colleen. I’ve never offered More Glimpses for free, and it did not show on Kiss Library. However, I offered Glimpses as a free download for five days last summer – and it appeared on Kiss Library. No more free downloads from me.

  2. Welcome back, Hugh! I think one of the best things about your blogging break is all those moments of reflection, which you managed to portray so well in this post. I agree with all your observations!

    Yes, I’ve taken one blogging break of a month about a year ago, for the first time in twelve years of blogging. I really enjoyed it, but my saved time came mostly from not interacting on other blogs. And, the main reason I took the break was because I wouldn’t have “easy and frequent” internet available to me. Since I’m heading into Canada for a while again this summer, I might have to take a break again.

    You and I blog about different things and for different reasons. One of my reasons is to keep track of (and share) my adventures and travels. Not doing that for a while, gives me the weird feeling of not having lived those weeks, just like what would happen if I’d skip a day in my diary. 🙂

    Taking a blogging break is healthy and I enjoy doing it, but that’s mostly because my time is filled with travel, hiking, and sightseeing. Not “worrying” about that weekly post and the time needed, makes life on the road easier and more enjoyable. Unfortunately, blogging breaks don’t mean more time to read, relax, or reflect. Too much other things to do, like… work on my memoir and making as well.

    1. One of the decisions I took while on my blogging break was not to create any more weekly challenges, Liesbet. For a few months before I went on my blogging break, I started a Saturday music challenge where other bloggers could share their favourite pieces of music and songs. However, I soon realised that having to write that weekly post got me into a panic when Saturday morning arrived and I had no post ready. Kudos to all those bloggers who publish weekly challenges week after week. However, I wouldn’t hesitate temporary hosting a weekly challenge for someone (like I did for Terri Webster Schrandt during two weeks in June). I’m always happy to help fellow bloggers out.

      Sorry, you didn’t get to relax as much as you’d like during your blogging break. I guess everyone treats a break differently. I did a lot of work during my blogging break, but I also found plenty of time to relax. I won’t be hesitating in taking another blogging break (probably during the Christmas holidays).

  3. Hugh, great to see you back! Blogging break success and all. You might say I’ve been on a blogging break for a long time, writing a book. It’s in the hands of my editor, and I’m looking forward to the rewrite stage. I do make comments on blogs, but no blog posts. Time is precious! We need to use it wisely. 📚🎶 Christine

    1. Like you, I did read and leave some comments on a few blog posts while I was taking my break, Christine. However, the blog posts titles had to be eyecatching for me to even consider clicking on the link and reading on. It’s something I’ve adopted after coming back to blogging.

      I’m so pleased to hear you’ve been busy writing a book. It’s good to hear you’ve been doing something very worthwhile while away. I wish you much success with the book and look forward to hearing the news of its release.

      1. Totally agree, Hugh! I screen blog posts for interest before reading. Thank you for your comment about my book. I have another in mind after final editing and publishing this one. I do think it’s worthwhile time being a writer. Happy weekend coming up! 📚🎶 Christine

  4. Welcome back, Hugh. It sounds as if you had a splendid break. Nothing beats walking for exercise and you see more of the beauty in our world. How disturbing to find your work stolen. We do everything we can to protect ourselves but a committed predator will always find a way. I’m going to share this post because it’s an important reminder to people to take the time to review their security options.

    1. It was a fantastic blogging break, Rob. I learned a lot while away and now have an action plan running so that I do not slip back into any bad blogging habits. Fingers crossed that I don’t.

      Thanks so much for reblogging this post and for also sharing it on Twitter. It’s much appreciated. I hope many people benefit from the advice I’ve included in the post.

  5. It’s lovely to see you back Hugh and to hear how beneficial your blogging break has been! Well done on the exercise program and new creative ideas 🙂 I agree with you, a break is always good for us in many ways.

  6. What fabulous accomplishments from having your break Hugh! I’ll be looking into the Mac security thing for sure and It’s crazy how you found out about the ‘naughty’ people illegally selling your book – Grrr! Awful! Look forward to hearing about your new directions of creativity 🙂 Glad you had a good break Hugh

    1. Thanks, Sam. I certainly learned a lot while on my blogging break. It’s incredible what’s out there waiting for us to discover and enjoy. Some of which has actually helped and improved my lifestyle too. I’ll certainly be taking more blogging breaks in the future.

  7. It is so incredibly lovely to see you, dear Hugh! I completely understand what you are saying about a break. I’m in awe of all the brilliant things you accomplished during your break! I was extremely upset to hear about someone illegally selling your book. Good thing you took care of it immediately.

    The exercise you are getting will no doubt be re-energizing. There is a pool in my condo building that I’ve been frequenting more often. However, yesterday after a swim I noticed that the chemicals in the pool turned my hair a delightful shade of green! After a bottle of lemon juice to the rescue, I’m not going to give up the newly acquired exercising!

    Keep up the wonderful work, dear Hugh (in whatever fashion it suits you: blogging to walking and everything in between!) Big hugs, Cher xo

    1. Thank, you, Cher. All the extra walking I have been doing during my blogging break has undoubtedly helped me sleep better. During my break (and since getting back to blogging this week) I’ve been getting the best nights sleeps ever! I’m continuing with my walking programme because it’s obviously having a significant effect on my health and wellbeing. I’ve taken an hour off the time I used to blog and now walk during that time. It’s a win/win situation.

      Sorry to hear about what the chemicals in your condo did to your hair. Maybe a swimming cap is called for? Glad to hear it hasn’t put you off from continuing to swim, though.

      Enjoy the rest of the week.
      Hugs,
      Hugh

      1. Hi Hugh! That is such good news! I’m so happy that there has been a significant difference. Oh yes, is definitely is a win/win situation. Do you find that you sleep all night, Hugh? You mentioned that you are getting the best night’s sleep ever! I tend to wake up a lot during the night, leaving me very tired the next day.

        I have a swimming cap on order! LOL Thank you, Hugh! I certainly don’t know why I didn’t think of it so thank you! No, I really love swimming and I’m a bit embarrassed that I hadn’t thought of a cap. The green hair must be in style somewhere, so perhaps I was in fashion, but just not here in Chicago! LOL

        It’s so great to see you, Hugh! Thank you and the same to you, your partner, and the boys!

        Hugs,
        Cher xo

        1. Yes, I’m sleeping right through the night, Cher. As soon my head touches the pillow, I’m in the land of nod until at least 06:30. The only time I wake is if one of the dogs distributes me when he’s dreaming or decides to howl during the night. It doesn’t happen much, but occasionally the howling gives me quite a fright.

          Do you know if anybody else’s hair suffered the same change of colour fate as yours after using the pool?

        2. Wow Hugh, I think that is brilliant! And if one of the dogs sleeps all night then you do as well! Oh yes, I can well imagine. I know sometimes the sound of a siren whizzing by the building at night startles me.

          That’s a great question, Hugh. I think I’ll start asking around about that, as I don’t want to have to resort to lemon juice on my head (*grin) each time I swim. Perhaps someone else has a tip or two to share!! Cher xo

  8. Welcome back, Hugh. It’s nice to see you and benefit from your advice again. I’m so pleased you enjoyed the break and garnered many rewards.

  9. Good to see you back Hugh and glad to hear your break was so beneficial in so many ways. Your aunt sounded like a very wise lady & I am sure you think of her often.
    I am still on my blogging break but dipping in every now & again.
    Watch out at some stage for a post about my time away.
    Take care.

    1. Thank you, Margaret.

      Please feel free to leave a link to your post about your blogging break when you publish it. Another blogger (Laura M. Bailey) did the same thing, and I was very interested in what she had to say in her post. You’ll find the link further down in the comments if you want to take a look.

  10. Welcome back Hugh. I agree with you on the importance of blogging breaks. As time goes on I have lengthened mine, and always feel the benefits on my wellbeing and my creativity. Going on another break soon.

  11. Ah, I expected to see stuff on here that we’d talked about on Twitter – but I suppose that might be a bit controversial!

    Binge is the only way to watch series – I do it every night from about 8pm! Thanks for the link to Kiss LIbrary – I’ve found my books on so many pirate sites that I don’t look for them anymore, and consider it to be just a downside of the internet.

    The pictures are lovely, by the way!

    1. Oh, I’ve saved some stuff up for future posts, Terry. What I need to do now is to see if the plan I have for myself works. If it does, I’ll be revealing just what is in my plan (including some of the stuff we talked about on Twitter).

      Part of my blogging break was spent in Cornwall. I couldn’t resist taking some photos. They probably look lovely because of the new way I’ve presented them on my blog. I’ve come back to find that WordPress has made some improvements to their new writing editor. That has really pleased me.

  12. Wow, sorry to read your book was being sold on another website! That’s awful! Glad your back, but I understand needing the break.

    I’m sort of in a break by just posting once a week. I try to write on the weekends and post one day. Haven’t decided on which day to post, but I want to be consistent. Oh well, I’m sure it will work out. 😊

    Enjoy TTZ!

    1. Do what works best for you, Debbie. Finding the perfect balance is what it’s all about. I now know from the plan I’ve put together which days of the week are going to be my blogging days. On the other days, I’m free to do whatever else I want to do. Let’s hope I don’t slip back into bad blogging habits.

  13. Welcome back Hugh. Thanks for sharing your break with us. Yes, it’s amazing how much life there is waiting for us outside a computer. And oye, I’m afraid to look at that site, I’d bet 100 bucks I’ll see at least one of my books there, especially after using Blasty and finding over 100 illegals copies a month there. I gave up. Although I will check anyway, what’s another cease and desist letter, lol. ❤

    1. Your books were undoubtedly on that illegal website when I last looked, Debby. I know it can be a constant battle getting our work and books removed from people and sites that steal them, but I have to take action if I come across anybody who has stolen my work. No doubt, illegal copies of my books are always going to be out there, but I can’t allow these thieves to get away with it. However, what upsets me more than anything else is copyright infringement of any of my blog posts. That turns me into an evil monster seeking nothing but revenge. They should do a movie about it. 😀

      1. Great idea! And Grrrr! Well I went to that website, at kiss library dot come and said page doesn’t exist. Then after googling, I was kiss library dot net and it was a book site, which I didn’t see my books there? What site did you go to?

        1. Did you click on the second link in my previous comment, Debby? It’s the one that shows your books on the site. I can certainly see them. Maybe they are not available in Canada from Kiss Library? On the other hand, could it be Mercury Retrograde that is causing the books not to show up for you? 😳

        2. Omg Hugh, I don’t see my books on that site. Yes, I clicked your link, nothing comes up with my name. How on earth can I send a DMCA when I can’t see my books. Grrrr, this dreaded mercury!

  14. Nice to have you back, Hugh. As always you have an information packed post, but also valuable insight about how beneficial a blogging break can be. I’m not on an official break, but have definitely relaxed about posting on a weekly basis. It has been nice to feel less pressure. Have also not been reading as many blogs either. I’ve been spending a lot of time outside enjoying a perfect Maine summer. I can’t say I’ve gotten my ‘to-do’ list done, but you’ve inspired me to think about it!

    1. I didn’t realise just how much information I had packed into this post, Molly. I could have added a lot more, but have saved some for future posts.

      There’s nothing wrong with slowing down the way we blog. It’s all about finding that perfect balance, although that balance can sometimes shift when we least expect it to. Do what works best for you, and share those results with your readers if you want to. They won’t work for everyone, but some of your readers will undoubtedly benefit from what you learn.

      I’m so glad you’re enjoying more of the life outside of the blogging world. After all, it’s a far bigger world than that of the world of blogging, so there’s a lot more to discover and enjoy.

      Enjoy the rest of the summer.

  15. I’m glad you enjoyed your break! I take blogging mini-breaks generally to focus on other writing. It’s always nice to reconnect with a story I’ve put on the back-burner to keep up with blogging! It’s like visiting an old friend.

  16. I’m impressed that you finished all your to-do lists while on your break. At the moment I have multiple scraps of paper on my desk – next to my computer – with tasks I want to get done. One list just piles on the next. Blogging does take more time than I had anticipated. But I enjoy writing. But then I also feel guilty if I don’t. My own fault I know.
    Glad you could rescue your book. I wonder if photos get stolen off of blogs…and how would I ever know.

    1. I was the same. I had a long list that I was adding to every day. My blogging break helped me obliterate that list. I continued to write while away, but I didn’t publish any new blog posts. If I had done that, then would I truly have been on a blogging break?

      Another great way to tackle a ‘to do’ list is to try and complete one item a day/week from it. It’s better trying than not trying at all.

      As for feeling guilty, I remember how I used to feel guilty when I didn’t blog. I got myself into quite a state about it and then remembered why I had started to blog in the first place. It wasn’t long before the fun and enjoyment of blogging came back to me.

  17. Welcome back, Hugh. Your reflections here are incredibly well-written and very thought-provoking. I took an official Blogging Break in July 2018. Much like you, my time was filled with family, friends, fiction, fitness, food … and fantasies (extra time for daydreaming)! I also discovered Parkinson’s Law (AKA tasks will take as much time as you give them). That break began a refinement of how I blogged from there, and that refinement continues today. My most recent takeaway and area of blogging focus is — ‘less can be more’…at least it is for me!

    1. That’s so kind, thank you, Donna. I took a lot more time writing this post and, going forward, it is something I will do with all my future posts. Just the fact that you say it’s a well-written post proves that giving more time to writing posts (before publishing them) works.

      I remember you taking a long blogging break last summer and was delighted to hear it worked for you. I can’t recommend taking blogging breaks enough, but you have to really want to take one for it to work. And I don’t know about you, but I knew when it time to come back.

      I’ve learned lots during my break, and now have an action plan in place for the way I blog. Providing I don’t fall back into any bad habits, I can’t see myself going back to the way I used to blog. After all, there’s a whole world out there waiting to be discovered. I’m glad I rediscovered it.

  18. Welcome back, Hugh, and thank you for this thought-provoking and informative post. I checked out the article about online protection and it really is very insightful. I don’t have an Apple Computer but I will check out if I can apply one or the other tip.

    1. I’m sure there a version for Window computers out there, Erika. That article really taught me that I was not doing everything I could to protect myself while online, and that was probably because I didn’t give it any time. My blogging break changed that.

  19. Sounds as though a break was just what you needed, Hugh! Love the pics. I haven’t taken a break, but do spend my days outside with DH (darling hubby) instead of sitting on the computer. Gotta say that vitamin D is good for the soul 🙂

    1. Thank you, Jacquie. Those photos were all taken during my blogging break. However, I’ve now stopped taking my phone out with me all the time. I need to get away from technology altogether during certain parts of the day. Sure, I may miss a few photo opportunities, but so be it.
      I can highly recommend taking a blogging break. They’ve always worked extremely well for both my mind and my body.

  20. Sounds like you had a great break with lots accomplished, Hugh! I actually blogged more in July while recovering from the surgery, but school starts at the end of August so I need to get busy with class prep! I am out of the cast now but wearing a walking boot. I also binged a little Netflix and Hulu and did not feel guilty! Glad to read you got some new energy and creativity again!

    1. Good to hear you’re making an excellent recovery from your recent surgery, Terri. The summer seems to be flying past us, but I’m glad much of mine was taken up with a blogging break. Binge-watching is fantastic, isn’t it? It comes in very handy when it’s too hot and humid to go outside. My blogging break has undoubtedly brought me back with a lot more energy and creativity.

  21. Good to see you back again, and I’m glad your blog break was so enjoyable and productive. If I took a planned break I don’t think anyone would notice, as my posts are so irregular anyway!

    1. I remember thinking the same thing, Clive. But I was amazed by how many visitors my blog still got while I took a break. The community here is very close, and if you’re publishing great content, then I think people will always stick around and wait for your return (regardless of how often you publish posts). And I’m a firm believer in publishing posts when you feel the time is right to do so. I was tempted to extend my blogging break, but I knew it was time to come back.

      1. My numbers are considerably smaller than yours but I recognise what you say: I’m always surprised to see visits to my blog even if I haven’t posted for a while. I am in complete agreement on publishing when it feels right: I could never tie myself to a schedule. Welcome back!

  22. Glad you’re back, Hugh. Thanks for sharing these great insights. My own blogging has slowed down considerably lately as other projects have taken my time. I’ve been feeling guilty and bad about it. But your post has helped me see that slowing down now and again on some things so that others can develop is ok. Thank you!

    1. Oh, never feel guilty or bad about not blogging or not doing enough blogging, Rob. I’ve seen so many great writers, and bloggers, go down that path and who end up disappearing off the radar because of it. Blogging should always be about fun and enjoyment, but life sometimes gets in the way. The best approach is to find your perfect balance between the two.
      I’m glad my writeup about my blogging break has helped.

  23. Glad you had a good break, Hugh. I have a week’s break planned for late September. I do take time out (if the weather’s good, this is North Wales after all!) to go out and about. Even a couple of hours in nature works wonders.

    1. I’m glad you’ve a break from technology and blogging planned, Cathy. I used to take short breaks during the day, but I never got anything like I did over the last six weeks of being away from blogging. I’ve now got a plan in place to ensure I keep enjoying what I discovered while on my break. All I have to do to ensure it works is to make sure I do not slip back into bad habits. Watch this space. 😀

    1. I just read and left a comment on your post, Laura. I’m so pleased to learn what you got out of taking a break away from the world of blogging and technology. It truly is amazing what we discover if we take our breaks from blogging and technology serouisly, isn’t it?

    1. Of course, it won’t. After all, you have an important wedding coming up. However, I hope you’ll discover a lot more while on your breaking break, and I can guarantee that you’ll know when it’s time to come back.

  24. Hi Hugh so lovely to see you back. I have taken blogging breaks but it usually been enforced ones. The one blogging break I did take of my own valition was as you say well worth it 💜💜💜

  25. Many thanks for sharing my post about copyright infringement, Hugh. I hope my article is helpful to your readers. I was interested to read about your blogging break, and I’m delighted to hear that it was productive for you. I am blogging less frequently at the moment due to pulling together a “Selected Poems”, encompassing poems written between 2013 and 2019. Its very healthy to take a break from technology from time to time. Best wishes – Kevin

    1. You’re most welcome, Kevin. I’m so pleased I caught the reblog of the post that Chris (The Story Reading Ape) did. Otherwise, I’d still not know that my first book was being sold illegally on Kiss Library. While there, I was also astonished to discover books of many other authors who blog also being offered for sale on the site.

      I can highly recommend blogging breaks. They’ve always worked well for me, and I also know when it’s time to come back to blogging. Good luck with your current WIP.

        1. I did read a few blog posts during my blogging break, but only those that had eye-catching titles. It’s something I intend following even now that I’m back blogging. Unless the title is appealing, then I’ll more likely pass on by.

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