#IWSG: What if you need to hibernate?

Blogging tips
Blogging during Hibernation

This new year’s eve, I fell asleep before midnight.

Of course, I’m aging. But more than aging, I’m hibernating.

Since Christmas, I’m doing a complete rewrite of my MS, and I aim to get it done by the 31st January. So I’m not really responding to messages, making  (or receiving) calls. Not blogging (much) either: I click Likes still, when I sometimes read posts during writing breaks, but not many comments.

It’s like I need to stay in the world of my MS to bang out about 2 to 2.5 k words a day: and it’s like meditation, if you’ve ever watched a hen incubate an egg with those faraway, lost look in her eyes, you’ll know what I look like these days. Pretty darn unattractive. You’ll find me on Twitter: @damyantig : I’m a sucker for  #wordsprint ever since I started this binge, and #1k1hr .

But this morning my calendar told me today is the 7th Birthday of this Blog. If I ignore that too, I’d be a bit of an asshat.

So I’m peeping up to say HI to everyone, to wish everyone a good new year ahead. And I’d be an even bigger asshat if I didn’t say THANKYOU to all the readers and commenters of my blog. And didn’t say SORRY for disappearing (pretty much) from the blogiverse for the last few weeks.

So Thankyou for being my friends, and Sorry about disappearing.

I also re-added myself to the Insecure Writers Support Group, cos let’s face it, right about now, in this temporary break from my fictive dream, I do feel a little Insecure. What if everyone forgets I exist? What if this blog becomes a forest of *crickets*?

From within the world of my novel, these seem like pretty trivial concerns. (That’s because they are, Damyanti– the world has gone through tragedies too many and too diverse to name in 2014– and you’re worried about your blog? #firstworldproblems #sigh)

But as ever, I need your advice: What do you do when you need to hibernate? Is it terrible that I want to take this month off to finish my MS? I know I can’t, I’ve made commitments, but what if I could? Have you ever taken a hiatus from your blog? Taken a hiatus in January? Thoughts on Hibernation? Hit me with them!

I love comments, and I always visit back. Blogging is all about being a part of a community, and communities are about communication! Tweet me up @damyantig !


Add Yours
  1. KDKH

    I take a week off work and devote all my activity to writing. Then it’s back to the office. I really can’t do more than that at once. But I’d like to!

  2. Raza Hasnain Naqvi

    Hi Damyanti, Nice post here on Yangon. And am also happy that you have bow-tied and sent out your WIP. Must have been quite a relief. Can you drop a hint what it is about? All the best.

  3. richardrensberry

    I did just that. I got out of town and finished the rough draft of my upcoming book. I don’t know of any other way to immerse yourself in the creation than to shed all the little day to to day responsibilities that pop up to pull you away from yourself. It isn’t wrong to indulge in such as long as you are being responsible to your goal and not slouching off. I accomplished exactly what I intended so I feel great about it. If I had not carried out my intention I would felt guilty I am sure. I say go for it. Everyone knows where your attention and intention lies.

  4. Shery Alexander Heinis

    First of all, Happy New Year! Secondly, I’m all for hibernation. Yep, I was off (and off-line) for almost 2 months, most of it in the tropics. Back in the land of ice and snow, and wish I’d hibernated for longer Brrr!!! Looking forward to your re-emergence.

  5. Laissez Faire

    I’ve pulled disappearing act many times over my life. Online and offline. It’s just how I need to recharge sometimes, though that is a lot more difficult with two young kids. I do now get lost in my head just randomly that my husband will say to me ,”hey where did you go?” and I have to say “nowhere” — and that’s what it is…a nowhere! A place to just concentrate on nothing.

  6. RMRenfield

    Just written my first blog post in over 10 months. 300+ words on self doubt and procrastination. Flawed is just perfect, thanks! All best with the MS…

  7. Daniel Tomlinson

    Incredible, and oh so real! I feel your pain, and I am thankful to my Father for your presence here even if it’s a post a month! Thank you Damyanti! Just followed you on Twitter! Follow me back @danieltomlins72.

  8. justinaluther

    Hi! This is an awesome post! I see that you’ve been following my blog for a while.
    If you’d like to follow me on those I’d love to see you around. I update them regularly. Keep up the awesome blogging!

  9. Jeff Bushman

    We all need a break once in a while. Especially if it is for writing. Irony is so bittersweet. Picked up this site off a Twitter recommendation. I will be an ambassador in the A to Z this year. Hope to see you around and good luck with your MS.

  10. indigobunting

    Just cuz I’ve disappeared too doesn’t mean I don’t think of you. Best wishes with the project!

  11. Jacqui Murray

    Oh, I can’t hibernate in seclusion. I’m re-writing my WIP–almost done–and find myself glossing over parts because I’ve read them so many times. The only thing that prevents that is frequent but creative breaks, like writing posts, ezine articles, and such.

  12. tinehreno

    This is my first encounter with your blog. Your seven-year anniversary post is the first of its posts that I’ve ever read. Congratulations on that. Maintaining a blog for seven years takes commitment, so does writing a novel.

    What if we need to hibernate to write? If we need to do something, we don’t really have a choice. I wrote my first novel, while hibernating. My body needed to rest because I was very ill. I needed to hibernate to heal. I needed to write to hibernate. I see no reason why it couldn’t work the other way.

    Many people need to write to heal. Hibernation, in the sense that we shut down other aspects of our lives, is often a part of any commitment.

    You are doing what you need to do. I’m confident it will be worth it.

  13. christawojo

    “a hen incubate an egg with those faraway, lost look in her eyes…” lol!

    I’m in revisions (my first time) also and I’m sure I look like that too. You’re right. Glazed eyes–not attractive.

  14. Peter Nena

    Happy New Year, Damyanti! I wish I could hibernate and finish some stories I started writing but paused due to commitments. I’ve been writing a certain story since mid Dec. I hope to finish it this week. I hope–that lovely phrase. Ha!

  15. Anton

    Happy belated birthday for this blog. A good question but the problem is that human can not hibernate (in its real term). Unless you are in comma condition, human can’t sleep too long. Hahahaha

    But yes, everyone needs some rest sometimes, even rest from the things they like. We won’t forget you just because you are missing for some periods. You are too precious to be forgotten

    So take a bit longer rest and come back with more inspiring writings.. 😀

  16. BellyBytes

    Keep on going with whatever it is you intend to finish. Life happens anyway. I often want to hibernate but the max I’ve managed to do is sleep for two hours. Wish you luck with your MS. The end of the month is near…….

  17. Tiffany

    Hibernating is not a bad thing. We need time to think and recharge, sometimes you have to slow down to speed up. Cliché, over used quote that I just stated but it’s the truth. I took sabbatical from my blog, an entire 6 months of last year. But it was for the better and my blog is still doing well. Take the well deserved break to finish your novel!

  18. cricketmuse

    Thanks for popping in from hibernating and reading about Cyrano. I somewhat hibernating due to the demands of teaching. My solution is to sit down and pre-schedule some entries to give me some space. That way I keep connected with the blogging world and keep focused on my other demands. And happy anniversary!

  19. Moushumi Ghosh

    Damyanti: Just write. No need to explain or apologise. Your readers understand. 🙂 Happy new year!

  20. waynemullane

    Writing is a lonely, consuming passion. Hibernating is essential to get the work done. This January I’m taking a break from writing stories to focus on setting up my WordPress blog. It was a hard decision, but one that I’m comfortable with. Similarly, by hibernating you’re doing what is right for you. This article reinforces the focus that I need to develop in my writing pursuits as well

  21. Woman Working With Words

    I think if you’re thinking about taking time away from your blog to focus on your novel then that’s what you need to do. You shouldn’t feel guilty at all, but we all do in situations like this. I suppose the guilt is because you care and that can only be a good thing. Take the time: your blog and your readers will still be there when you come back.

  22. Maliha T

    I’d usually cut off all contact with the world. I like being on my own. And since my blog is just 4 posts old, I’d probably write more during my hibernation.
    And many congratulations on your blog ‘ s 7th bday. 🙂

  23. lexacain

    I do the same thing when I’m finally getting some writing done. Go you – keep it up! And happy 7th Blog-versary!! 🙂

  24. Lisa V

    Happy new year! And enjoy your break. I’m sort of in a break too…working on getting published and starting a new MS as well. Enjoy your time with your MS. No need to apologize.

  25. Editor (Retired)

    Not to worry. I think all writers at some time have to closet themselves to write. Good luck with the book. I think it’s perfectly OK to take a break from blogging. But it’s best if you put an announcement at the top of the blog announcing that you’re gone and saying when to expect you back.

  26. crumpledpapercranes

    While I’d love to hear more from you, I think that it is good to devote time to your MS. I myself am working on a project, although sparingly because it is overwhelming. Blogging frequently is a way for me to keep my mind refreshed and sharp so I can continue with the idea I have for what I am attempting to finish. But hibernating is nothing to fret over, if putting all that focus into your project aids its completion.

    On New Year’s Eve, I got my writing notebook and wrote down all these writing prompts and topics for essays I wanted to post. In the past I’d put a deadline on all these, or have some quantified goal I eventually never got back to fulfilling. But not this time. Just topics for me to revisit. If I need to hibernate and take time off to do other things to clear my head so that I can better write on these topics in the future, I am totally fine with it.

  27. andfreed

    I think giving yourself permission to hibernate, including taking a break from your blog, is a great idea and can be just what you need. Happy New Year and good luck with your MS!

  28. Miss Alister

    I’ve sacrificed for others and their causes and projects for years and years, and I’ve done it out of guilt, I feel I should help and I try to be everywhere at once, and the things that will fulfill me as a person fall by the wayside. So I say, thanks for letting us know, now GO! GO, hole up, and do the thing that, at the end of your life you will feel was the most important thing for you to accomplish! I’m studying Claire Tomalin, ultra-gifted biographer, and she said in an interview, “When I am writing I’m not a good wife. I shut myself away, and all my emotions are directed toward what I’m trying to write.” Do that, what lights your soul up with pure joy! To write a great work, all of you must be thrown into it.

  29. joeyfullystated

    Last winter, the cold was much more brutal, and I found myself yearning to be inside, eating under an afghan, so I strongly relate to hibernation. Best of luck with your work!

  30. Shery Alexander Heinis

    Hi Damyanti – I’m currently doing just that! I’m “home” in the tropics with family during the month of January, and am on semi-hiatus from my blog. I’m missing my blog friends, but hey, I have 11 more months to catch up!

  31. delaneyabrams

    “It’s like I need to stay in the world of my MS ” – Good for you! I took about ten days off from my writing over the holiday. I discovered three things: 1- The break was really great for my mind 2- I couldn’t wait to get back to writing my novel 3- (surprise!) not an iota of progress had transpired in my absence. By all means, stay in the world of you MS. That’s how things get done. Best of luck and best regards.

  32. Peter Wells aka Countingducks

    A Happy New Year to you. I do know that “getting lost in the manuscript thing” although I tend to set lower targets of around one thousand words a day. I think it helps you keep closer to the world you are creating, but real life, as we know, can get in the way of the best laid plans. I hope you have a lovely and succesful 2015

  33. vishalbheeroo

    Happy New Year Damyanti and birthday wish to the blog. I dozed off around midnight on New Year to evade fire crackers which I hate…lolz
    It’s okay to cut the self off from time-to-time. I often do that:)

  34. Jemima Pett

    Great idea to hibernate. I should copy you and get these things done, written, and edited!
    Happy new year, dear Damyanti 🙂

  35. Birgit

    If you need to take a break then take it-you have earned it and we will still be here to enjoy and welcome you back. I plan to post more especially on my cards but we shall see how that goes. Enjoy the days when you can hibernate

  36. kaistrandauthor

    When I wanted to take a break from blogging, but not lose all my readers, I re-posted some of my more popular blog posts. I scheduled them ahead of time, so all I had to do was drop in once a day to respond to comments. Good luck with the ms!

  37. Julia Lund

    I took a blogging vacation for a few weeks during November and December; like you, I was editing a manuscript. I’m now back, but have set myself some boundaries in order to keep my writing at the top of my priority list. Well, that’s the plan …

  38. hilarycustancegreen

    I’ve thought about hibernating, but never done it, but then my blog is only a couple of years old. I have started to keep the mornings for writing only and got back to my non-fiction book, so now my publishing, my house (cleaning, cooking, shopping, DIY), my garden and my blogging all have to fit into the afternoon and evening… meditating for 20 minutes a day helps.

  39. Michelle Wallace

    Hibernation is necessary… but for a specific period of time.
    Happy blogoversary… 7 years… a great milestone, Damyanti. 😀
    The word sprints sound interesting – awesome way to get writing done.

  40. James Pailly

    I feel like it’s harder to do anything in winter. It’s cold out, and I don’t want to get out of bed. So I get a late start writing. The sun went down early, and it’s really dark out, so I don’t want to stay up late writing. The solution is probably to move to the Caribbean.

  41. Lindsay Ann

    Very good idea to take a hiatus! I’m in the earlier stages of blogging and PR, so I’m still fleshing out what I want things to look like and what works for me. Even when you have everything “figured out”, though, it’s still important to take the occasional step back and re-examine things. Happy 7 years!

  42. michaelnjohns

    If I were in charge, I might do the same. I’m only awake after midnight because I like a show on Netflix. When I was a younger man I’d stay up and watch the Late Late Show, but I found myself falling asleep right after the monologue, or before it started. If you’ve set it as your goal, get the manuscript done! There’s time for fluff like blogging and taking calls later. You have your priorities in the right place if you are allowed to do it that way and that’s what you want to do. My goal was to finish a novel in 2014, I didn’t make it. When I had time to escape to the realm of my inner writer, I blogged just to keep writing because there wasn’t time or inspiration to do the novel. But my hope for 2015 is to finish in spite of all of life’s distractions, requirements and urgencies. Good luck and good writing!

  43. jr cline

    I want to hibernate each winter. It has nothing to do with taking a break or getting something done. I dont like the cold. I never do hibernate. I keep on going.

  44. Marc Kuhn

    Well, you gave me lots to think about. First of all, congrats on 7 years of blogging…I’m into it just a little over 2, so I can imagine what an accomplishment 7 must be. Next, my house was once quiet and peopleless for hours each day—perfect for writing, taking mini-hibernations and making endless trips to the fridge and Keurig without comment being made by others. I got a lot done. Then my wife retired and now she’s home all day. Plus, I now have a grown son and his teen daughter living with us. The precious solitude is gone. I cannot concentrate like before. So, to answer your query, I think I would love to hibernate for about two months…under the steps won’t do like it did when I was a kid. Nope, I’m talkin’ Paris. Never been there, want to, but can’t afford it. So it’s sit in my little room with Taylor Swift, One Direction, Ed Sheeran and The Price is Right seeping in through the walls. Wish me luck.

  45. larosesemsem

    I have only “hibernated” once and that was when my father passed away. You might think that it’s not the same thing but hey, look at it this this way: I needed time to grieve and you need time to write. Whichever the reason may be, when you need to take a time out, you just have to do it.
    Dedicating one’s self to writing is good, no doubt about that. That said, be careful not to focus too much on said writing. You’ll become tired of it, and it’ll grow into a chore instead of being a passion.

    & happy new year to you too ^^

  46. Andrea Lundgren

    Go for hibernating, but do come out to see the rest of us once in a while. 🙂 I think a good writer with a strong following shouldn’t fear being away for a while. It’ll make us all the more eager to welcome you back when you return.

    I hope the MS comes together, quickly and effectively.

  47. simonfalk28

    Oh don’t feel bad about hibernating at this time of the year. I do too. We all need a bit of a break. Yes, I tend to withdraw from things. That said, if your candid post was a little peep from the hibernation hole, your followers are glad you made the peep! Happy writing. 🙂

  48. rozaliadame

    Congrats on reaching 7 years!
    And don’t worry about all you need to do, you’ll make it! We’re all here cheering you on and wishing you all the luck in the world!

  49. darkenwulfbytes

    The 7th b-day is impressive, cool!! This year I’ll be pushing to get some individual things done and have to say Sorry, But to some requests and book parties. I’ll still be there for others as I have, but less. If they love you, they will understand & other bloggers can come to the forefront. When your inner core speaks up and the time is right, it’s time to listen – and do what must be done. The best of luck.

  50. Arlee Bird

    We all need some rest now and then unless we’re superhuman or something like that. I’ve done a bit of hibernating over the past couple of months and it felt like the right thing to do.


  51. Tasha Driver/Rae Ford

    Congrats on your Blogiversary! I don’t think it’s bad at all to take a break. We all need them, particularly when a MS is on the line. Plus, sometimes you just need focus, rest, or both and if something needs to suffer, it should be your blog or social media presence. The fans waiting on your next book will understand.

  52. creativewriter

    I think taking a break is good. Good for your health and good for you to reflect. I hibernated in the last two weeks of December from my blog so that I could take the time to enjoy the holidays. I did a seasonal post, let my readers know I’d be away and told them when I’d be back. You can always re-blog material, schedule posts or take a much-needed break 🙂

  53. capsulecreations

    I’m currently on blog hibernation myself so i say go for it and finish off your MS. Think of it as a little blogiversary present to yourself, after all 7 years of blogging is quite monumental.. Happy new year lovie, congratulations on this milestone and good luck with your MS!

  54. Jacqui Murray

    Many many bloggers do exactly that, Damyanti. No worries. I just took two weeks off and I think the rest of the blogosphere did too because my numbers were about a quarter of the norm.

    Having said that, nice to hear from you. Glad to know what’s keeping you busy.

  55. Michelle Stanley

    You’re not the type of person one will easily forget, and I always look forward to reading your posts. Like you, I’ve been absent from blogging, and you’ve posed questions that are also concerns of mine. I feel guilty for been away and not visiting other sites, but it could not be helped. I like your determination to finish your MS, and find it motivating for me to complete my MS and a few stories. Dusting them off tomorrow, uh..this week? 🙂 Have a blessed New Year!

  56. Dan Antion

    Happy 7th anniversary. You can hibernate as necessary, don’t worry about crickets, we’ll be here when you wake. In my day job, I have often had to find ways to concentrate on particular projects at the expense of others. Usually, it’s a systems development project requiring attention (a form of writing, but not really). No apologies necessary.

  57. jaredfeh

    I took a long hibernation recently. Not fully by choice, but life, work and being a newlywed got in the way. I just started blogging again a week and a half ago and I feel more focused and devoted to writing than i ever have. A hibernation can be a great thing.

  58. mlbradford

    Everyone needs to RECHARGE some time. For th last 2 yrs, I have made Dec a Blog-free month, (to catch up on other projects, finish off odds-n-ends before year’s end.)
    Did the break do me good?
    Happy New Year, Damyanti!

  59. Elizabeth Hein

    I feel it is perfectly okay to hibernate every once in a while. Listen to your body and instincts. We will be here when you are ready to come back. Good luck with the manuscript.

  60. samokan

    When I take a long hiatus with my blog, it mostly cause I’m busy with my so-called life. If you need to hibernate to concentrate on something, DO IT and then come back in full force 🙂 Good luck on your MS.

  61. D. Wallace Peach

    I call it “the zone.” It usually happens during first drafts when complete immersion is key to cranking out the prose. I give friends and family about thirty days notice and then become an unresponsive zombie for as long as it takes. Enjoy your creative hibernation! No apologies necessary.

  62. NeuronTree

    I’m a huge fan of hibernating. I sleep more, I go out less and then begin to bloom when spring arrives. I find it most beneficial to my sanity to live by the seasons.

  63. Carol Balawyder

    The problem with blogging is that it’s fun, it puts us in contact with awesome people, feeds our creativity, hones our writing skills, and keeps us from working on our manuscripts. I find it normal and necessary to put blogging aside so as to concentrate on our raison-d’etre of blogging.
    Now, stop reading these comments and get back to your manuscript! 🙂

  64. macjam47

    Writing comes first. We will be here when you are ready to come back. Wishing you all the best with your writing. Yes, your MS is important – very important! Happy Blogeversary! Seven years – now that’s impressive! Sending hugs and love.

  65. Patricia Lynne (@plynne_writes)

    I’ve taken blogging breaks before. Sometimes you just have to. Usually, I leave a little post that says I’ll be on a break and for how long. That way new visitors will know it’s not a stagnant blog and I’ll be posting again.

    Happy Blog Birthday!

  66. davidprosser

    Good for you. If hibernation is what you need then take it. I hope you achieve all you want to. I wish I had your courage to be able to do this. Just be sure to come back.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

  67. Amos M. Carpenter

    You don’t write to support your blogging, you blog to support your writing. Gotta have those priorities straight – writing needs to come first. My blog is most neglected when I’m writing most… and it shows (in followers, etc.), but I’m ok with that. I’ll work more on cultivating my blog (which takes an insane amount of time away from my writing) when my writing allows it, not the other way around.

    Keep at it, and good luck! 🙂

  68. Melanie

    The truth is, you should do what you need to do to stay focused and positive even if it involves taking a little time away from the blog. Just let your followers know that this is what you are doing and just check in when you have the desire to do so or have something you want to share with us until you have finished your MS. It will help to ease some pressure or stress and allow you to focus more on the task at hand.

    Best of luck on the MS and congratulations on 7 years of blogging!

  69. ianscyberspace

    Happy New Year. Yes the pressure of responsibilities in one area of activity or another does limit time spent on the internet. There was a time when I blogged daily but that was on Yahoo 360 when blogging was a new and exciting thing. However I now have multiple interests and can only get to Facebook once a week and that about sums it up for WordPress too. Writing is important. Once an idea forms you just have to follow it through to a conclusion and that’s what you are doing now. I would not call it hibernation but rather the release of your creativity. We will all be here when you come back so follow your current dream and bring it to a successful conclusion.

  70. Christina Lawrence

    Last year was pretty much me hibernating all year to get my tax qualification done (I know). So very little writing, except for NaNoWriMo and my blog seriously suffered. Now I am using all that study time to finish off this year’s NaNoWriMo projet and getting back into blogging and I’m loving it.

  71. misfit120

    Well, I began to have thoughts of writing yet another useless book so instead of blogging every day as I did for 5 years, I’m only writing when I get an inspiration. Therefore I am also able to do some research on my book idea. Call it “blog hibernating.”

  72. C.M. Skiera

    Happy blog B-day! Congratulations on 7 years–that’s a nice long run.

    It’s a good time of year to hibernate, that’s for sure. I can see the temptation with your MS looming. But it is probably a good idea to poke your head out once in a while, just to be safe,

    And don’t worry, you’ll never be an asshat, Damyanti! 😉

  73. yeoldefoole

    Get that MS done! Do whatever it takes to complete it AND hang on to your sanity (you’ll want it later).

    When I need to hibernate I warn my lived ones so they won’t think they’re being sbandoned, then cut engagement with the world down to the minimum possible. And then be lavish with the self care….