During BlogHer last August, I sat in on a session for a while that was intended for bloggers with communities. And I don't mean "communities" like mine. I mean, COMMUNITIES. But as I sat there and listened to the speakers ~the big bad, totally cool kids~ and heard what they had to say about managing their communities, I was impressed. They spoke about the measures it took to get their desired page rank, Alexa score, interaction, not having to babysit their community (and at the time I was hungrily thinking, I wanna babysit a community!!). And then, the non-Hollywood Julia Roberts (who, along with other amazing, buckets of awesome bloggers made the special needs mini con happen) said something I will never forget. I'm paraphrasing, but her statement boiled down to this: I appreciate my community, I love them gaboodles, and I tell them I love and appreciate them all the time. But I also respect that they have a life and they won't be living it on my site. And, I need my following to respect that I have a life too. I have a job, I'm a mother, and I run the site, among other things, and I'm not going to be there all the time.
The question bloggers have, at least the ones in my circles, that I speak, text, email, and message with on a regular basis is this : Am I going to lose the results of all my hard work if I take a break? What if it all disappears overnight? Do I take a break, or tough it out and post when I have the flu, or the kids are all projectile vomiting, or the family dog has had an emergency vet visit after being hit by a car and we love him because we've had him for 12 years, or there's a death in the family, or *horror of horrors* I just can't think of anything to write because I'm so stressed out I can't gather my thoughts?
It won't all disappear overnight. I promise. I will not guarantee that some will leave. But more will come. It is not so much the quantity of content that people appreciate. It's the quality. So you tweet a few times a week to let people know you're still alive and have a sense of humor but you just can't manage more than 140 characters at the moment. You post articles you may have read to your blog page on facebook. You make a call to a dear friend in California, and ask her to use her admin function for your page on facebook and be brilliant a couple times a week until further notice. And you do the same for her.
"When it comes to blogging, is it better to take a break or put on those gloves and tough it out?"
Images in this post by Google images. I love it!