22 November 2009

Blogger Unplugged: Can You Do It?

Well, you know the story: All ideas evolve from Twitter conversations! In this case, Jen of Devourer of Books and I were talking about how sometimes it's a good idea to step away from the computer and fully focus on our homes, families, and the upcoming holidays. We love blogging and being on Twitter and checking out Facebook because that's the only way we have of connecting with our blogging friends, some of whom we've met in real life at book events.

It's easy to get that feeling that you'll miss out on something--an event, a wave, a conversation--if you shut down your computer.

But the truth is, it's okay to walk away sometimes. And that's what Blogger Uplugged is all about. As Jen wrote in her post, we are not only giving you permission to unplug, we're challenging you to unplug for some time between now and the end of year.

What about the rules? Because we aren't big on rules, we didn't make any! Instead, we challenge you to pick a time or a schedule that suits you. Maybe you'll pick a weekend or Christmas Day. Or perhaps you like the idea of walking away from the computer from 5:00 to 8:00 each evening for a week. You pick the time, you make the commitment.

We are here to help you avoid blogger burnout. It's okay to preschedule posts, but don't beat yourself up, if you spend the day baking cookies instead of writing something for your blog. Just grab the button, and let your readers know that you might be absent for a few days in December. We promise, the world won't collapse, and we won't forget who you are.

My goal is to unplug on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Eve day for sure. I'm also going to spend most of Thanksgiving weekend reading as part of the Thankfully Reading Weekend event.

Hope to not see you for a little bit during the coming weeks.


Susan Dunman 11/22/09, 7:21 AM  

Thanks for reminding us about priorities and putting it in a challenge format. I'm taking the "unplugged" challenge and hope to make it a habit in the coming year. Great idea!

Unknown 11/22/09, 7:37 AM  

I will be ensuring that I am away from the computer for several days over Christmas/New Year. I think it is important to spend this time with you family. I'll be putting up the odd automated 'Happy Christmas' post, but other than that I'll try to avoid touching the computer for a few days.

Louise 11/22/09, 8:24 AM  

Great idea to unplug once in a while. I do not have any problems stepping back from blogging, although I do feel "left out" if being away for too long. But mainly I am off if I do not think I have anything valuable to say (in own posts or through comments) or if I simply do not have time because of family, work, yes, life in general.

For the Christmas Holidays, I know I am going to be offline for some days, whether I like it or not since I am going to be busy with family visits, also to places where there either is no computer or where it would seem odd if I slinked away for hours to blog. No one would understand that at all ;-D

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) 11/22/09, 8:35 AM  

I have been unplugged a few times this year but not because it was planned, and there was bit of stress both times. I would like to have some relaxing and planned unplugged time. Thanksgiving Day and maybe Christmas and the week between Christmas and New Year.

Care 11/22/09, 8:40 AM  

love it! unfortunately, today's slow (?) internet connection wont' let me see the button, but I'll be back later. The twitter-idea-explosion is amazing!

Dorte H 11/22/09, 9:07 AM  

I think this is one of the most useful pieces of advice I have seen for a long time!

I do take days off now and then, and perhaps I should do it more often because if my real ambition is to write fiction, I cannot also write the most fabulous blog in the world. So not posting now and then is probably a better solution than stretching posts I don´t really feel anything for myself.

One of the things I have tried off is writing ONE weekend post instead of two (and calling it a weekend post so my readers know what to expect).

Tam @ Bailey's and Books 11/22/09, 9:53 AM  

What a fantastic idea.
I don't usually have a problem stepping away (much), but do feel guilty about not being as active. I will definitely be taking advantage of this button.
Thank you!

bermudaonion 11/22/09, 10:13 AM  

I'm sure I'll be unplugged some during the holidays. After all, my family is much more important than my blog!

Harvee 11/22/09, 11:06 AM  

My better half will definitely agree with the idea of unplugging from the blog.

Jess (The Cozy Reader) 11/22/09, 11:29 AM  

I don't have a problem unplugging. Some times I'll go days w/o looking at my Google Reader.

The holidays are a great time to step away. :)

Robin M 11/22/09, 12:38 PM  

Great idea. I unplug for various reasons for a day or few days here or there. I'll be stepping away during the holidays and will be sure to put up the widget. Thanks

Florinda 11/22/09, 1:14 PM  

I'm taking the challenge - and for me, it WILL be one! It'll mostly involve stepping away from Twitter and reduced blogging between now and the end of the year. Thanks to you and Jen for putting this out there :-).

Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness) 11/22/09, 2:49 PM  

I love this one -- it's such a good idea! I'm not sure when I'll officially "unplug," but I have been prepping for a little less blogging over the next month. I think the biggest thing for me is giving myself permission to "Mark All As Read" and just let reading and commenting go occasionally, something that I do now with a big sense of guilt. When I unplug, that'll be part of it for sure.

Shelly B 11/22/09, 2:57 PM  

I love this idea! I feel like I've already started doing this here lately, but love the challenge part of it. I will definitely be off Thanksgiving Day and over the weekend so I can read Cybils books. May also take off one weekend in December to make gifts for my teachers.

Michelle 11/22/09, 3:20 PM  

I'm totally dedicating myself to doing just this! I'm already pretty good at takng a few hours each night and stepping away but I'm going to try and be better about it.

Awesome idea ladies. Count me in for sure :)

Sandy Nawrot 11/22/09, 4:31 PM  

I know I need to do this, but I'm not sure if I can! (All the better then, I know!) I'm pretty sure I can turn the computer off on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Beyond that, it will be a stretch. Thanks for the support!

Ana S. 11/22/09, 4:55 PM  

I so need to do this! I'll unplug around Christmas for sure, and other than that, I might need a week off in the near future too.

LibraryGirl 11/22/09, 6:51 PM  

I'm pretty sure that I will be unplugged for most of this week :-)

If my daughter takes a good nap tomorrow, I may get one post in but other than that I won't be posting until after Thanksgiving.

Becca 11/22/09, 6:51 PM  

Timely topic! During the holiday season we all need to focus on families and relationships and some "me" time. We will all still be here when we return, right!

I have been taking more time to unplug lately and I will probably use the days after Thanksgiving for more plug time since I will be less busy than I normally am. The past 2 weeks have been hectic for me. I have not been commenting on blogs, or even blogging myself much, and in the past two weeks I have only read one book! Withdraw? Affirmative. So if I am not plugged in to a computer, I will be plugged into a book. :)

Bookfool 11/22/09, 7:22 PM  

Great thinking! I unplugged for nearly three weeks, last year, to make the holidays about home and family instead of forcing everyone to walk past the office and gaze at my back. It was great. I've snatched up the image and will use it when needed, thanks!

Lisa 11/22/09, 8:04 PM  

If I could figure out how to stop by Google reader from keeping track of all of the posts I've missed while I'm taking a break, I'd be much more likely to take more of them!

A Bookshelf Monstrosity 11/22/09, 9:27 PM  

Yep, I'm unplugging this Wed-Fri, and some time over Christmas as well... This is a great idea.

Margot 11/23/09, 9:50 AM  

A great idea. Thanks to both you and Jenn. I'm planning to unplug during the holidays.

Anonymous,  11/23/09, 11:52 AM  

I'm sure I'll be unplugged Thanksgiving and Christmas. But New Year's Day would be a tought one.

Julie P. 11/23/09, 3:15 PM  

This is just what I need this time of year! Thanks for thinking of it!

Jeanne 11/23/09, 8:10 PM  

I usually unplug for at least one day during the weekend and during holidays. I'm glad to see more bloggers doing it.

Alice 11/23/09, 8:43 PM  

I definitely need to unplug as well. I will not be online but if you do see me posting on those days, that's because those are scheduled posts...

Anonymous,  11/23/09, 11:50 PM  

This is a great idea. I will be joining you, definitely on Thanksgiving (not too hard since parents have dial-up) and Christmas (probably at parents too ;). I also will be doing it at other times throughout week to maybe even...hmmm...read? Could be. Some day I might live up to the title of my blog. I've tried in the past to varying degrees of success to unplug on Wednesdays. I think I need to get back to that too. Thanks for reminding me.

Rebecca Reid 11/23/09, 11:52 PM  

Definitely going to officially do this. I've been rather burned out -- feeling pressure to get posts up when I'd rather go read or play with my son -- and I love the permission to step away. I've been doing it unofficially already!!

Tina 11/24/09, 10:44 AM  

What a terrific idea...I think we all feel pressured to do too much this time of year, and giving ourselves permission to unplug is fabulous. I had acutally thought about making it a New Year's resolution.

Now if I can just figure out how to stop requesting ARCs until I catch up....

The Bumbles 11/24/09, 1:35 PM  

I wholeheartedly agree. I have taken 2 weeks off this year for different vacations. Both times I had the laptop with me but used it only for photo storage and for catching up on some non-blog related writing and for looking up info. on the places we were visiting. I didn't check e-mail. I didn't read blogs. I didn't create posts.

I spend every Saturday and Sunday offline from blogging. Those days are for family and friends.

And every now and then I blow it off during the week too because I'd rather sit and catch up on my DVR, read or actually talk to my husband ;0)

I'll be blog free starting tomorrow and won't be back again until Sunday evening. And for that, I'm thankful.

Jenners 11/24/09, 8:27 PM  

Great idea! I like it ...especially because I have been unplugged to a great degree for the past few weeks and won't be getting back into it full-swing until my mom leaves from her visit in December. I just stepped away from blogging to focus on my visit with her and it was very freeing in many ways. It is good to take a break every now and then and come back refreshed. It makes you realize how much time you actually spend doing this and how it might be good to scale back and rebalance sometimes.

Anonymous,  11/25/09, 2:36 PM  

Easy for me at least with book people on Twitter bec. no one talks to me. I've asked questions and tried to engage but nothing. also I can name the five people that take the time to leave comments on my posts.

Anonymous,  12/1/09, 12:15 PM  

Unplugging from my blog is ridiculously easy to do and I do it on a regular basis. For me I get caught up with Twitter, my BlackBerry and other social networking sites. I could use some time to unplug from those I need to just walk away from social media sites and actually spend a little bit more time on my blog. ;)

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