What Happened When I Stopped Blogging Every Single Day (Hint: Think Caffeine Withdrawal)

You know that mom who won’t put her baby down for anything or anyone?  And I’m not talking about judging her, I am simply talking about observing her– maybe she was a friend or your sister or maybe it was you.  She’s the mom who can’t bear to be without her baby, either because of fear or anxiety or simply because she has no desire to be with anyone else in the world.  But at some point, you started to notice that she could use some self-care of the non-baby variety– like a hair cut or a massage or a dentist appointment.  Hell, how about some pants with a waistline?  Or just some pants, period?

You know the mom who desperately needs to take a step away, but she can’t.  She won’t.

Ya’ll, I have been that mom with my blog.  I didn’t want to step away even for a day.  My obsession found great support in November, in which the blogging community celebrates NaBloPoMo (“National Blog Post Month”) and challenges bloggers to post every single day.

“Bring it on!” I thought to myself and said to anyone who listened. I was already blogging most days anyway, so what’s a little challenge?

As the month of November unfolded, I metabolized the pressure to blog on Thanksgiving (and the day after that and the day after that) and put my head down. I kept writing, feeling comforted by the pressure and all the company.  Some of my favorite writers were posting everyday too, and I was getting to know people better.  That was a huge payoff.

And that’s all good.

But challenges can be a little bit tricky for me because I take them very seriously.  Too seriously. (Just like this one, which I nailed, thank you very much!)

Then, I noticed that I became afraid to let go.  I’m going to blog everyday for the rest of my life because I can’t bear…..

What? What is it that I couldn’t bear?

The loneliness.  I didn’t realize how much your comments kept me company and brought me friendship, laughter and your collective wisdom.

The fear.  If I let go for one day, my (slightly addictive) brain says either (1) I will never blog again, or (2) you will forget about me. So, of course I have to keep going until I die.

The anxiety. When I had a blog post obligation hanging over my head each day, I had a focus for all my anxiety.  Gotta get my post out! Without that pressure, what the hell am I going to blame my anxiety on?  Luckily for me, December offers about a bazillion reasons to be anxious, so I’m good there.

So I took Saturday and Sunday off.  And ooooh eeeeeehhh, I think I was in withdrawal.  I was jittery, I picked fights with Jeff, and I weeped on and off all weekend. I ate lots of ice cream.  It was like when I broke up with caffeine, but without the headache.

On Sunday night, I curled up on the couch, willing myself to leave the computer unplugged and out of sight.  But I could get something started while Jeff puts Simon to bed.

And I could have, and it might have been the beginning of this post.

But, I didn’t.  Because sometimes stepping away is just as important as stepping up.

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39 thoughts on “What Happened When I Stopped Blogging Every Single Day (Hint: Think Caffeine Withdrawal)

  1. I wondered which of us would be the first to write something post-NaBloPoMo. . .and you were my guess. Can’t believe you live without caffeine; I must have missed that post! I’d rather die. I also feel lonely and lacking after such a fun month, but I’m almost done with a new post. You did a great job, Christie. Not only did you post every day but you posted high-quality stuff. See ya tomorrow.

    • I felt more surly about all of it this weekend, but then I thought about knowing you better (you broke up with TV!) and I downloaded Blood on the Tracks (again) because of you. So those are wins. I wasn’t going to sum it up, but could not resist. And yes, see you tomorrow!

  2. I totally understand the fear. I was steadily posting Mon-Fri and now that I just can’t, I find myself missing bloggers that I can’t seem to find the time to read, and hoping that people won’t forget me.
    But it’s important to take time off, right? RIGHT?

  3. You will find a healthy/healthful balance. Yeah write was at its busiest when I was completely obsessed with it, but I really needed to find something else to do with my life. Surprise: it’s still humming along, but with a different community that allows me to step away for a minute, and that’s better for everyone involved. Once you get settled and your OCD is under control, your blog—already a perfect place for your readers—will become the ideal refuge for you and your thoughts.

    Congrats on nailing it, mama.

    • Thank you! I love hearing your perspective, because I always wondered how you managed Yeah Write and kept it all so fresh. And I support us all having big lives and lots of different projects, because I will get my OCD under control and then also my fear of abandonment. My therapist better name is boat after me.

  4. Oh my god YES. I was thinking about this all weekend. And telling myself not to blog. To save my ideas for the weekdays. To, for the love of god, leave the computer alone for two straight days. And I did, anxiously. But then this morning I fell on my keyboard like a meth addict in need of a fix. I think the pressure of NaBloPoMo actually made me a better blogger. It made me more creative, and the more I blogged, the more I wanted (NEEDED) to blog. Not sure if that’s a good thing or bad thing, but it is certainly something that is going to get me to my computer far more often than I did before NaBloPoMo started.

    • Good! Lots of blogging looks good on you– I loved getting your posts– it’s less pressure to read than to write them! I want pictures of your kitchen progress and those journals!!!

  5. baby or blog… addiction is addiction. now get yourself a shower, take a run, read a book… stepping away takes practice too. you don’t want it to turn into an obligation, when it’s such a pleasure.
    congrats – you did it!!! 🙂

  6. I posted Haikoodles on Saturday. I took Sunday off. I could skimp today because I had a post hit for The Real Moms, but I want to write, dammit. So I’m going to. Besides, I just calculated and if I post nearly every day in December, I’ll be hitting 500 posts (on my own blog) right about New Year’s. That’s a great day for a milestone, eh? I’m at 480 right now…

  7. I love your writing. I will continue to check every day for a post even if you go days (or weeks!) without one. Take care of yourself.

  8. Why would you ever break up with caffeine? That’s the saddest thing I’ve ever heard. 🙂
    I totally get you. I have been described as “focused” in a way that is not entirely complimentary when faced with a challenge. When I do something I tend to go all the way and it can be HARD putting on the break. The way you described it with the mom is perfect. Well, at least thank goodness for the holiday season providing you with natural anxiety cover as you move to a less regimented blogging calendar! –Lisa

  9. Congratulations on every one of these wins! You’re amazing on your days off too! Here’s to slowing down, stepping up and taking in plenty of self care (before and after picking obligatory fights)! xoxo

  10. You definitely nailed it! What impressed me the most though was how all your posts were all so good! I mean, I’m not surprised b/c you write so beautifully but to blog daily and not flail once is awesome. I will read no matter how much you post. You’re in my reader, so even if you take a break, you show up in there once you come back 🙂

  11. Congratulations! Stepping away takes lots of courage. Way to go! . . . . and damn, all those pesky feelings just lying in the corner waiting to wreck a little havoc. Love you lots.

  12. Me too. I complained all month (mostly to Kianwi) about posting every day, and then when NaBloPoMo ended I felt like the day wasn’t complete without a post. I’m hoping that ansty I-need-to-write-something-anything feeling wears off, or going back to work on March 1 is going to be even more painful than anticipated. There’s no way I can post daily while working full-time.

  13. If it helps, I am so relieved you’re taking days off. I just don’t have time to read that much and I love your posts. I blogged every day years ago, but have slowed down to a once or twice a week pace. And I only want to read blogs once or twice a week. So if you would be so kind, release your genius hilarious writing only…say…once or twice a week. Mmmkay?

  14. I tend to be obsessive with blogging. It does keep me writing though–either that or organizing stuff I’ve written already. I tend to be obsessive with organizing too.
    I’m a mess.

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