Earlier in October, I got really sick. It was just a standard head & chest cold but since my sinuses are so very sensitive, standard colds always turn into a whole thing with me. My daily sinus pressure is intensified by 1000%, and head colds ALWAYS turn into a sinus infection. But it takes me a couple days to realize that’s what’s happened, then I need to make an appointment with my doctor, start antibiotics, ride the yucky antibiotic wave of nausea, take several humidifier-assisted steam baths, then finally, after a couple weeks, I wake up feeling refreshed and energized. I’m always amazed at how one simple cold can knock me down.
When my head is pounding and my stomach is churning, the last thing I want to do is sit up and look at my laptop screen. I force myself to do it, though, because I feel like I *should* be stronger than I really am. Mr. BFT always scolds me and tells me to rest, but it’s not that easy to do when you’re self employed! On one hand, it’s great to be able to set my own schedule and take time off if I need it, but on the other hand, every moment I’m not working is money slipping away. My illnesses always last way longer than they should because I don’t rest enough! I realize this, but when it’s actually happening I’m in denial about it.
Earlier this month, when I was whining to Mr. BFT about how I’m probably gonna be sick FOREVER and I’m feeling like such a slacker, he asked me what other bloggers do when they get sick. Hmmm, I really wasn’t sure how to answer that! I have discussed with my blogger friends about how they plan for their blog while they are on vacation or another planned break, but you never really plan on being sick!
I reached out to my blogger friends and posed this question to them. There were lots of great answers, and I picked up some great ideas for how to handle blogger sick days in the future!
Katie with French Pemberley: One, I always “try” to have one or two posts that are pre-written and saved for a time when I can’t write due to illness or surprise schedule mishaps. Two, If I’m not up to writing, maybe I feel up to leaving comments on blogs I regularly read who are also in my niche.
Carolyn: What I used to do (and haven’t done in a while) is have a few backup posts that are generic in terms of when they can be posted. They aren’t seasonal or anything like that. Maybe something about a book I read a long time ago that really influenced me, or maybe have a recipe post ready to go when you need to post something quickly.
Trina: I blog when I can and if family, work, illness come up, then blogging takes a back seat.
Sondra: I took a sick day recently so I can totally relate. I too schedule my posts in advance as much as possible. I try to post 4-5 times a week and have learned the hard way that being sick doesn’t often count as an excuse when you have a deadline. I promoted last week’s posts from bed in between coughing and blowing my nose.
Desiree: My posts with deadlines are done days in advance. If I can’t work through being sick for other posts, then I just don’t post. I like having at least one post up a day but if I skip one, two, or even a whole week, it doesn’t bother me. Even though I make a good income from my site I still do it just for fun.
Mike from Bemused Backpacker: I’m a nurse as well as a writer so I know the genuine importance of rest and time off to let my body recover, so that’s what I do. I take time off, a few days, a week, however long I need, and I don’t feel guilty about it. Nothing is more important than health. As for my blog, I generally have a few ‘top 5’ list posts in reserve that take very little time to write and I can throw up when I can’t write a full post. The good thing is people generally like those posts so they bring fair traffic to my site and also give my blog a bit of variety.
Caitlin: Scheduling posts ahead of time just takes like a huge weight off my shoulders “in case of emergency” but if I don’t have anything posted then I’ll do what I call “fluff posts” that I can just do from bed or the bath tub! Like a “best fonts” or an easy printable, something I can throw together on my tablet. When I’m sick, I simplify!
Jena from Lovely Lady JB: What I have done in the past is just create a quick post letting my readers know I have been feeling under the weather and may not post again until Friday (for example). I include a picture to go with it and that generally alerts the masses and lets them know I am not neglecting the blog.
Kathy: If I were really good I would have a few “evergreen” posts in the queue for emergencies like that. But I don’t, so when I’m sick the blog is on pause.
Deb: I try and have at least one round-up ready to go so if I don’t feel well or don’t have time, I still have some new content.
April: I have 3-4 unfinished drafts I call “floater posts” that I can publish any time. That way if an unexpected emergency comes up, I can go in and quickly finalize a draft to publish. Then I can rest and recuperate without the guilt of “letting the blog die!”
Cali: Dig out posts from the archives … schedule when the Nyquil kicks in. Then pass out!
Jennifer from Busy Being Jennifer: I am trying really hard to have content scheduled at least a week in advance so that when I don’t feel well, the blog is the last thing I have to worry about. If I am not that organized and do have an off day or two, I actively choose to not worry about it. The internet won’t break because I didn’t post on a Monday or Tuesday (or whatever day). If I’m gonna be “off” for more than a day or two, I’ll put out a desperate plea for a guest post.
Chelsea from Someday I’ll Learn: I ask for help! My husband and mother-in-law often [write guests posts for the blog,] so I just ask if one of them can step in with a quick post or two. If something NEEDS to be written by me, I hire someone to watch the kids and clean house for a few hours while I quickly get it done, and then rest.
Mary: I find contributors. Sometimes taking time for myself to rest is necessary because of burn out. I don’t stress when I do, because after all, I’m doing this for fun.
Bree: I try to schedule posts, BUT… I come first. My blog is my baby and my full time job and as crazy as it sounds, if I’m going through some rough times or I’m sick, my blog is not a priority. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll feel guilty 23 hours a day, but I’ve put in about 120 hours a week for 7 years on it and sometimes when I get sick it’s my body telling me to rest my brain. What I’ve learned is that nothing is more important than you. Sometimes focusing back on you is exactly what you need in order to get well again. This year I learned what self love was all about, and I guarantee that when you (or anyone) truly embraces it, your mind will be at ease and the pressure you put on yourself will magically disappear.
Rachel from Dysfunctionally Normal: I usually ask others if they want to guest post on my blog. I usually neglect my blog when I have tons of schoolwork. I was also thinking to post pictures when I do not have time to write up to show different snippets from a day in the life. And yes, I do feel guilty when I don’t write for a few days. Sometimes, I write more of a journal post that I don’t have to put too much thought into. Lastly, I do a “question of the day’ to interact with my readers when I really have no time and feeling totally under the weather.
Becky: I have a number of prewritten posts (usually!) so those at least are in reserve. Or I just pick a topic that I know won’t require too much thought or research to write about. I also try not to feel too guilty – everyone gets sick at times, so if there’s a little dip in content it won’t make too much of a difference as long as you get right back into it when you’re well!
Sue from It’s Okay to Eat the Cupcake: I usually still try to write if/when I feel up to it (ie when the medicine kicks in!). My goal is also to write and schedule posts out, and I’m working on that, but pulling something seasonally from the archives works, too!
Carly: I go through the photos on my computer and toss up a photo heavy post, like 10 photos from a vacation I took years ago or 5 photos of last year’s holiday decorations.
Cris from Kiss My Tulle: I always have “easy” posts that I can copy/paste the text then change the words to fit a new theme. I also have simple graphics with those that can easily be changed. Also, since I’m a budget site, I can always do a round up for deals from my affiliates.
Bloggers, what’s your best tip for taking a blogger sick day? Do you actually rest when you’re sick or do you power through and continue writing?