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5 unexpected things that happened when I stopped blogging for a month

5 things that happened when I stopped blogging for a month feature image

First of all, I want to visit what was going through my head when I decided that I needed a blogging break.

It was kind of an odd time for me. Some major changes had just happened in my life, including my move to USA (and the setbacks that came along with it). While all this has begun to settle down now, at the time it was rather toiling.

The stress I felt from this moving debacle was compacted with the stress I was feeling about blogging. I won’t go into detail, but lets just say that my sanity was starting to be affected.

I decided that to get myself back into a good headspace, I needed to eliminate some of my stresses, so I forced myself to stop blogging for an indefinite amount of time.

It was surprisingly difficult to suddenly drop what I’d spent the past 14 months doing. I’d constantly been thinking of post ideas, taking photos for Instagram, and putting aside time every day to update my social media accounts. Blogging had become a solid part of my life. My daily routine was completely thrown off without it.

All I’d really intended to do was give myself a chance to get back into a good headspace, but taking 5 weeks off had a few other side-affects that I didn’t expect. Here’s what happened when I took a month off blogging.


5 unexpected things that happened when I stopped blogging for a month

1. I became more creative

I’ve always been a creative person. From scrapbooking as a kid, to photography and design as an adult, being creative has always been a part of my life.

That creativity didn’t disappear when I got caught up in blogging, but it was a much less prominent part of my personality. I found I wasn’t making things for fun anymore. My mind was too focused on blogging to think about creativity.

Once I took a blogging break, my creative streak came flowing back. The free time I had meant I was more inspired to design new products for my Etsy store and do some DIY projects for my new apartment. I even started a whole new online store on Creative Market!

This creativity is what made me open my online business and start blogging in the first place, so without it, I’d be lost. It’s great to have that back again.

5 unexpected things that happened when I stopped blogging for a month

2. I started allowing myself to relax

As a blogger, it’s easy to blur the lines between work and play. I was always thinking about something productive that I needed to do for the blog, even on weekends. This meant that there was barely any time that I put aside for relaxing. 

When I forced myself not to think about blogging for a while, that thought process dissipated and I began to enjoy not having all those things on my mind. When I felt like chain watching Netflix for a few hours, that was totally ok. If I wanted to spend an hour in a craft store browsing for some supplies, or go for a walk for no reason, or see a movie, I stopped feeling guilty about it.

This small change made me immensely happier.

5 unexpected things that happened when I stopped blogging for a month

3. I realised what my strengths are

One major realisation I had during my hiatus was that I am actually rather good at blogging.

I was looking through my old posts for two to include in a blogging awards application. ‘An example of your best writing’ and ‘An example of your personal views’ were some of the criteria, and I actually struggled to whittle it down to only two posts that reflected these.

I started blogging because I thought it would be fun (which it is!) and I hoped it might assist me in building my online business down the track, but submitting this application made me realise that a year of practice has actually turned me into a decent blogger.

I’m sure some people might think this sounds a bit conceited, but I really think that it’s important to notice where your skills lie, and then use them to your advantage. Do you think all the people who are successful in this world were quiet about their strengths? Hell, no. They knew what made them great, and they made it work for them.

Thoughts on blogging

4. I FIGURED OUT EXACTLY WHAT I WANTED TO DO WITH MY BLOG

This is something I’d been thinking about for months, and I’d never been able to figure it out. On my blogiversary back in July, I asked myself what I wanted for the future of this blog, and I only had a vague idea.

When I distanced myself from blogging, it allowed me to look at it from a fresh perspective. About 2-3 weeks into my break, I took pen to paper (my old school way of getting my head around a problem) and completely reevaluated what I wanted.

And the results? I discovered that my reasons for blogging hadn’t changed since I started back in 2014, but I’d been going about it in a way that wasn’t working so well for me. I had been treating my blog as a business, but what I needed to do was go back to my ideals and use the blog to share my ideas and stories rather than blogging to maximise comments, shares, and likes.

It’s hard not to get caught up in the blogging game, especially when there are so many posts out there that draw you in about making money through blogging and growing your following quickly, but it’s so important not to compare yourself to other bloggers who might have more followers or who are making more money than you. Everyone’s blog has a different audience, different merits, stories and perspectives. 

AGWT Blog Stats

5. My stats didn’t suffer

One of the reasons I’d put off taking a blogging break for so long was that I thought it would have a detrimental effect on my blog stats. I still wanted people to visit the site, but thought that my readers would take off when there were no new posts to read. Surprisingly, this didn’t happen.

In fact, there were weeks when my pageviews were higher than when I was actively blogging. How could this be?, I thought. There have been no new posts, and I’ve been much less active on social media.

Turns out that most of it was from Pinterest and SEO. All that time I’d spent making sure I had some sharable images for my posts and taking the time to make them searchable online had paid off. The 150+ blog posts I had published over the past year were still getting views.

This was another push for me to get back into blogging. If people all over the world were still enjoying my posts, then that must mean I’m writing something that’s worth reading.


I could never have predicted what a great thing it would be for me to take some time off. It’s made me aware that blogging is something I really love doing and I don’t think I’ll be giving it up anytime soon, though I’ll be treating much differently to how I did before.

If I’ve learnt anything, it’s that the blogging game is something I don’t want to be a part of. What matters most to me is that I’m making a positive difference to people’s lives. That’s what I should be aiming towards.

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Ashlea Wheeler

Blogger & Photographer at A Globe Well Travelled
I'm Ashlea, an excitable Australian who loves photography and exploring the world. Find out more about me.

30 Responses to “5 unexpected things that happened when I stopped blogging for a month”

  1. Tiffany

    I haven’t ever taken an official break and I don’t have the numbers that you do. Glad you enjoyed your break, but glad you are back. I would love to take a break at some point, but I think you have to be more established to do so. Did you also take a break from social media? Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Reply
    • Ashlea Wheeler

      Thanks Tiffany! I didn’t stop posting on social media completely, but I was posting once every few days rather than every day. I don’t think you have to be a certain level of ‘established’ to be able to take a break from blogging, you’ve just got to gauge what’s right for you 🙂

      Reply
      • Tiffany

        Thanks and good to know about the social media. I think I am going to have to cut back to two posts a week as three is killing me since I have a full-time job and I want to have a life. LOL! Glad your back!

        Reply
    • Ashlea Wheeler

      Thank you, Karisa! I’m glad to have gotten my head around a few things and to be back in a good headspace 🙂

      Reply
  2. Sanura

    My opinion may not carry much weight, but I think you are more than a decent blogger so go ahead and pat yourself on the back LOL. love the content on your site and easily find myself hopping from post to post because of the pictures, the fluidity of your writing and overall great content! So as long as this blog is here, I’ll keep coming back! 🙂

    Reply
    • Ashlea Wheeler

      Thank you so much Sanura, I love getting comments like yours! You might think that your opinion isn’t worth much, but don’t underestimate how much of a difference your voice can make to someone’s day!

      Reply
  3. Julia

    I am not a blogger, but I can completely understand where your coming from Ash. I’ve recently had a 2 month break from nursing after working almost 5years straight since qualifying. With my overseas move I have had the opportunity to change roles and work in a different and maybe less responsible job. I thought that I would enjoy the break and enjoy the time for myself and less responsibility (which I have done to a certain extent), but a long hiatus from the career I chose as a teenager has become not only a job, but a part of me and a part of my identity. Sometimes we consume our minds with daily tasks of work, but it takes time off to gain perspective and appreciate what skills we do have. It’s stressful at the time, but a good way to confirm the career path you have put so much time I to, is in fact the eight one for you. Never feel guilty about taking time out to re evaluate things, as it can make you better at what you do in the long run.

    Reply
    • Ashlea Wheeler

      Oh absolutely, this doesn’t just apply to blogging! It can happen in any industry. So glad you were able to have a similar experience with your nursing career. It often takes something like moving city to force us to take that break, and it’s not until afterward that we realise how important it was to get that perspective 🙂

      Reply
  4. Petra

    Wow, great post! I always love reading what other bloggers think or how they feel. 🙂 And it’s cool that your stats didn’t suffer at all.

    Love
    Petra

    Reply
  5. Amanda | Chasing My Sunshine

    My blog is still relatively new so I don’t think my stats would change either. 😉 But it is so refreshing to read this post. Good for you! You’re totally right, there is some amazing content out there about boosting your views/comments/shares/etc. SO easy to get lost in all of it! I recently decided that I’m going to try to shift back to the stories and see what happens. I’m excited to see where your blog goes next!

    Reply
    • Ashlea Wheeler

      Thanks Amanda! It’s really easy to drown in all that information on blogging, and I feel like it often makes us feel inadequate instead of making us do better. I hope your shift works well, you’ll have to let me know how it goes!

      Reply
  6. Petra @ The Global Couple

    This is great to hear, Ashlea. Over the past few months I’ve reduced my input into The Global Couple, and it has helped with my sanity so much! Working full time and trying to blog multiple times a week + social media just wasn’t working, it was so stressful. Now I post about once a fortnight (maybe once a week if I’m feeling energetic!) and it has really made a difference. My stats haven’t suffered either! I think having good images for people to pin has been the best way of retaining traffic. Good to hear you’ve had a similar experience, and I’m looking forward to reading your new posts, albeit less frequently! 🙂

    Reply
    • Ashlea Wheeler

      Oh, I’m with you! Working and blogging is a serious juggle, and working full time would make it SO hard to find the time to put into blogging! I’m glad you were able to find a way of scaling back so that you could get back to enjoying it 🙂 It’s great knowing that other bloggers have been able to make this positive change!

      Reply
  7. Travel on the Brain

    Hi Ashlea, another great post from you! It is very insightful as I am stuggling with the same things at the moment but have taken up so much work and gigs that I cannot stop blogging at the moment but actually ought to. I have been pushing my realignment and insights to the side and trying to get back my creativity, but so far I am still stressed. I hope I can relax in Costa Rica and just not do anything.
    So thanks for showing that it is not just idleness to have a retreat and take time to yourself. And it isn’t. I just need to get the stress out of my head. See you soon!

    Reply
    • Ashlea Wheeler

      Thanks Annemarie 🙂 It’s hard to organise a break when you have blogging commitments coming up – is there a space in between them somewhere where you could take a few weeks off? Hopefully Costa Rica will encourage you to relax a little!

      Taking a break is definitely not just idleness or being lazy. I think the best way to describe it is taking some time to reconnect yourself with the world around you 🙂

      Reply
  8. Jessica C. (A Wanderlust For Life)

    Good for you for taking the break you need! I feel like many people just keep pushing through and get miserable, and that’s not good for anyone. I hope everything is working out well for you! And I’m looking forward to your next posts 🙂

    Reply
    • Ashlea Wheeler

      Thanks Jessica! I know what you mean, pushing and pushing, getting more and more stressed is not only a bad thing for any blogger, but I feel like that stress and negative energy flows into their posts as well. We need to notice when that’s happening, and take a step back!

      Reply
  9. Alex Conomos

    Love your brutal honesty and the way you take your readers on your life journey with you. Lookig forward to new posts from a refreshed creative mind.

    Reply
    • Ashlea Wheeler

      It’s nice to hear my writing described as brutal honesty, as that’s exactly what I’m aiming for! Thanks Alex!

      Reply
  10. Jenia

    Ashlea – it was awesome to meet you at TBEX. I am very glad to hear that you will stick with blogging, as I am pretty excited to follow along on your adventures. We are so close geographically, I am sure we will cross paths soon 🙂 If you guys ever want to get away for the weekend, just come down to DC to visit us! Cheers — and, great post!

    Reply
    • Ashlea Wheeler

      You too, Jenia! I was just writing about you in a TBEX post I’m putting together. Now that I’ve had time to check out your blog properly I want to say that your photography is super good! Definitely following you on Instagram now! Can’t wait to catch up with you sometime soon 🙂

      Reply
      • Jenia

        Yay 🙂 THank you for the compliment — it mostly goes to Sergey, but on the other hand if it weren’t for me, the photos would probably live on flickr (in best case scenario) — so I’ll take half the credit!

        Reply
  11. Kate

    Selfish I know but I am so SO glad to see you on my feedreader again! I’m really happy that taking a break has made you feel refreshed & got you back in touch with your crafty side. It can be easy to get bogged down when you’re not doing any of these things for yourself & I admire your attitude of doing things your own way to get back to being yourself.

    Reply
    • Ashlea Wheeler

      Ahh that’s so sweet of you, Kate! Taking that time off was honestly one of the best things I’ve done, I really hope I can inspire other bloggers who might be feeling bogged down to do the same thing. It’s amazing what a bit of relaxation time and a fresh perspective can do!

      Reply
  12. Kirsty Marrins

    I really enjoyed this post. I think that when something that was once enjoyable starts to become something you feel guilty about (because it’s all consuming) then it’s definitely time to take a break. And look at all the good things that happened when you simply let go!

    Reply
    • Ashlea Wheeler

      I’m really glad you enjoyed it, Kirsty! I couldn’t agree more, it’s so important to know when it’s time to take a break and get yourself back into a good frame of mind. None of us want to live stressed out lives. And who knows all of the amazing things that could happen once you take a step back!

      Reply
  13. theaspiringdigitalnomad

    Hey Ashlea,

    Great post. I loved how you had so much self-realization that counter-intuitively brought you back to the blogging space even stronger. Thanks so much for sharing. Food for thought.

    Reply
    • Ashlea Wheeler

      Thank you! It was certainly eye-opening, sometimes it just takes a step back to be able to see the things we couldn’t see before 🙂

      Reply

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