This isn’t the first time I’ve decided to take a blogging hiatus, but [insert frustrated screaming], that never makes it any easier or less nerve-wracking, if I’m being honest. I can’t help but feel a little bit like a failure every single time I’m overwhelmed by everything. All the could-haves, would-haves, and should-haves. All the blaming it on my embarrassingly mediocre time management skills (you’d think that at 22 years old, I’d be a lot better with this BUT NOPE!).
But then again, as they say, the past informs the present. When I decided to take a two-month hiatus from blogging so that I could fully commit to working on my blog’s relaunch in 2016, it was strangely enlightening and cathartic. Among all the things I’ve learned, the most relevant lesson was that working comfortably at your own pace is always the best idea.
In line with this, it is never a bad idea to take a step back whenever you feel like you need a breather. Incessantly, continuously pushing yourself and refusing to give yourself a much-needed break can lead to your own downfall – be it getting too caught up in what you’re trying to do (and failing to see the grander scheme of things) or down-spiraling into a total mental breakdown.
And so, despite that tiny nagging voice in my head telling me that quitting (even temporarily) should not be an option, I’m confident that going on a hiatus is what’s best for me, given current circumstances.
Of course, I’m not the type to take a leave of absence without fully explaining myself. I feel that I owe it to all of you to share the reasons behind my decision, which is why I’ve taken the time to write this blog post. That and I feel the need to ‘make the announcement official’ so that we’re all on the same page.
Why am I taking a break from blogging?
1. College (AKA my current academic workload)
Despite opting to take on a relatively lighter load – that is, 15 units worth of subjects instead of my usual 18 to 21 units – it still feels like I’m stretching myself too thin.
My academic requirements demand a huge amount of my time and energy. When I’m not reading and writing for my blog, I’m reading academic journals, philosophical texts (because I’ve decided to take more philosophy electives this semester), media law case studies, or textbook references and writing lengthy papers for my classes.
Plus, I have two ongoing research endeavors for my Communication Research majors, as well as a couple of projects-in-progress for my other classes. In fact, all my weekends in October and in November are already planned out, so that I can fulfill the needs of my research work. For instance, I’ll be working on a comprehensive textual analysis of six (6) Filipino films for the next three weekends, followed by a weekend to conduct focus group discussions and another weekend to completely transcribe the responses from twenty-four (24) informants – all that work for just one study (Can you tell that I’m trying to hold back tears while I’m writing this? Dear god, I am tired.).
In other words: I’m mentally, emotionally, physically exhausted around 98% of the time, if I’m being honest.
2. National Communication Research Conference 2018
On the last week of September, I was informed that two of my past research papers have been accepted for presentation at the National Communication Research Conference 2018, which will be held in November (Yay!!!).
* In case you’re not as dorky as I am, here’s a quick explanation:
PV = nRT is the ideal gas equation.
Pressure = P = nRT/V.
Simply, I’m under a lot of pressure.
I am abundantly thankful for this incredible opportunity, and I am very excited to participate in my first ever research conference! The weight of it all has yet to fully sink in, really. However, as amazing as this is, it also means additional work on my part: preparing for the presentation and allotting ample time for heavy paper revisions.
3. More time with college friends
Having shifted to another degree program that’s quite far from my initial program (i.e. Chemical Engineering to Communication Research) entails that a number of my close college friends have already graduated ahead of me.
By the end of this academic year, more of my close friends will graduate before I do. Given my very limited free time, I’d like to have as many opportunities as I can to spend time with them before we all have to – and I hate how dramatic this sounds – go on our separate ways.
4. Blog redesign/soft relaunch
My blog has been largely unchanged since my relaunch in 2016. Although I still love the look and feel of my current layout, I’m not entirely happy with it anymore. Specifically, the limitations of my current theme cannot accommodate a number of new features that I’d like to introduce to my blog. Additionally, I really feel like some tweaking and redesigning are way overdue.
If I recall correctly, I’ve mentioned my plans of redesigning this blog a couple of months ago. I was aiming to finish up everything by September, but unfortunately, I’ve been so preoccupied that I haven’t even begun up until now. I’m honestly pretty upset about it.
It’s really difficult to work on a redesign (and revising old blog posts) while constantly churning out new blog content. Both are very time-consuming and draining. Most of the time, after I finish writing a blog post or two, I no longer have the energy to make progress on the redesigning of my blog.
5. Unfinished spreadsheets
In line with redesigning my blog, I’ve also been making an effort to be more organized as a blogger. There are tons of ways to improve organization, and for me, it involves a lot of spreadsheets.
All my new, pretty spreadsheet templates are ready to go, but I haven’t been able to fill them all up yet! It’s starting to really bother me, if I’m being honest.
Finally, I want to take a break from blogging for mental health reasons. I consider myself to be a goal-oriented person, and sometimes having all these goals – and feeling like I won’t be able to attain them – fuels my anxiety. For personal reasons (and because sharing them would make me feel more anxious about failure), I won’t disclose what these goals are.
What are the implications of my blogging hiatus?
1. For the most part, I won’t be posting new content.
I say ‘for the most part’ because I have a few scheduled blog posts and a few prior commitments that I need stick to. Other than these circumstances, I won’t be writing anything else for my blog.
2. I won’t be organizing blog tours until the end of the year.
As much as I enjoy organizing blog tours, it’s an endeavor that requires a lot of constant communication, planning, effort, and time. While the rest of these implications will end once I return to blogging, my break from organizing blog tours will last until 2018 ends. This means I will resume organizing in 2019.
3. I still won’t be accepting review requests, but I can still be hired for beta reading.
If you’re an author who would be interested in hiring me as a beta reader, don’t worry because I can still take on beta reading work! The details of my services are explained on this page.
4. I will be responding to blog comments very, very late.
I’m embarrassingly awful at replying to blog comments in a timely fashion. In fact, there are more than 300 comments that I haven’t responded to yet – which makes me feel like the worst person ever because I genuinely appreciate that so many of you take the time to share your thoughts with me! I will get to them (and future blog comments) whenever I can, but going on a blogging hiatus means that my delayed responses are susceptible to… further delays.
I’m really, really sorry. Please don’t think I’m intentionally ignoring you.
5. I will be dumping most of my nonsense and jabber on Twitter.
I’ve become a whole lot more active on Twitter this year, and now it’s part of my everyday routine. Tweeting requires less effort, time, and energy so I don’t see the harm in sharing my thoughts and interacting with bookish people there.
If you’d like to know what I’m up to or if you’d like to keep in touch for the next few months, then follow me on bookish Twitter (@bookshelfbitch) or on my personal account (@ssiral_). I would love it if you did!
If my nonsense isn’t enough incentive for you to keep in touch with me via Twitter, well, I’m also currently holding an international giveaway:
P.S. Other ongoing giveaways:
My blogging hiatus should end sometime in December, ideally before my blog’s 3rd birthday (i.e. December 17). But of course, nothing is really set in stone, except for the guarantee that I will eventually return to blogging. For now, we’ll see how everything goes!
And that’s it, really. This is goodbye, for now. See you all soon!