How My Blogging Break Saved Me (Emotionally and Financially)

Blogging Tips | How My Blogging Break Saved Me (Emotionally and Financially)

After a difficult few weeks, I thought I should give you an update on my situation where the subject of my short blogging break was concerned, as so many of you have asked how things are! I’m glad to say I’m back on the regular blogging schedule, and taking a break was probably the best thing I could have done. It’s been a torrid time, but things have settled down – for the time being, at least.

I wanted to say a massive, MASSIVE thank you to everyone who has been in touch either through comments on my blog post, via tweets, email – even Instagram messages – your support has been truly overwhelming and I can’t begin to tell you how kind everyone has been.


I’m sorry to say it seems an awful lot of you have been through similar experiences, but here’s where things stand at the moment, as a kind of reassurance about my future as a full time blogger – I know many of you were concerned I wouldn’t continuing with Not Dressed As Lamb (as was I)…!

Blogging Tips: How my blogging break saved me - emotionally and financially (The benefits of a well-earned break from blogging) | Not Dressed As Lamb
[If you’re after this tea cup, saucer and plate set it’s by Royal Albert, you can buy it here in the UK and here in the US]

Basically, in the original post I summed up the total money that was owed to me roughly into thirds:

What was owed to me – and what still is

One third wasn’t overdue, but I hoped I’d get it paid to me: I’m so happy to say it has all been paid. I didn’t have any qualms about those clients paying so the good news is that the mortgage and the bills will get paid next month, and I don’t need to give up blogging and get a full time job (not yet anyway)… Hurrah!

One third was owing from over a year ago from a company that went into liquidation… I’ve accepted I’ll never see that money again, though for a long time I naively thought I would. With the recent news about Mode Media shutting down suddenly last week without notice – owing many bloggers hundreds, if not thousands – I can totally sympathise. Sometimes these things happen and you have to accept you’ll never see the money and move on. What can I say – life’s a total b*tch sometimes.

The final third is what I’m currently fighting to get paid to me. It includes the money owed to me from Passionfruit Ads that a lot of other bloggers are trying to get back as well following its announced demise. I’ve taken all the legal steps I can at this time, but it’s going to be an ongoing process.

What I’ve learned 

I’ve learnt an awful lot from all of this happening to me – personally, legally and financially. Not forgetting emotionally. My “mean reds” only lasted a few days, and once I’d made the decision to take a break and sort out my affairs I could then concentrate on what had to be done in a practical, methodical manner.

So things aren’t fully resolved, but they are better. One thing I have decided to do in future: Take a break from blogging at least once a year, if not twice.

Whereas before I scheduled posts to continue if I was away on holiday, this time I think I’ll simply put up a “Gone on hols” post and leave it at that for a couple of weeks, even if I’m not going away anywhere.

My page views didn’t drop all that much. The world didn’t end. The pressure of posting three or four times a week (and letting everything else slide) had gone, and although I didn’t actually go away it was very liberating… I could concentrate on what had to be done.

Thank you

So once again, thank you so much for all the messages of love and goodwill sent my way… They were greatly appreciated, I can’t even begin to tell you how much! Though I really wish these posts didn’t have to be written, one day I’ll write a post about how to get money back that you’re owed, and what steps to take to prevent it happening. It should be relevant for bloggers and freelancers alike.

The fight to be taken seriously continues on – meantime I’ll leave you with this video to hopefully make you laugh: Paying bills with “exposure” (story of a freelancer’s life)…







Linking up to: Brilliant Blog Posts


  1. 20 October 2016 / 7:50 am

    I am really impressed with how honest you have been. Look at how much it helped everyone! Even me! You write one of my new favorite blogs. Keep it going. I love your voice.

  2. 14 October 2016 / 9:44 pm

    I had no idea what you were going through Catherine, what a terrible time of it. Glad you're back, stronger than ever. Catch up soon, cc

  3. 26 September 2016 / 9:38 pm

    I'm so glad Catherine that things are on more of an even keel even if it's meant choppy waters and the navigation of some more choppy water ahead for you.
    It horrible being owed money – I do hope you get if not all at least a good amount.
    And bravo for sticking with blogging.

  4. 24 September 2016 / 7:21 am

    Gemma's video sure puts the ridiculous idea that bloggers should be happy (even honoured!) to be paid with "exposure" into perspective, doesn't it?? It's sooo lovely to have you back, dearest Catherine; I didn't think you'd go down without a fight…but this is some pretty serious stuff you've been dealing with, and taking a break was obviously very necessary. Please do keep us up-to-date with the progress on your "final third!!" XOXO

  5. 24 September 2016 / 6:25 am

    Glad your getting on top of most things Catherine X you take as many breaks as you want as long as it means you will carry on with your wonderful posts xxx

  6. 23 September 2016 / 2:11 pm

    Hi Catherine, there is nothing worse than being owed money and it's never excusable not to pay money you owe, for whatever reason. I'm glad that things are looking more positive now and a blogging break every now and again does us all the world of good.

    Hope it's all up from here on in.


  7. 22 September 2016 / 9:07 pm

    So glad the break gave you the time and space to sort as much as you could. So sorry about the money you won't see, Mode owed me thousands but there's nothing I can do. Really feel for my PR friends who worked there and lost their jobs. So glad you are back and with good SEO in place which you have, lots of content you can take breaks and not see big dips. I only blogged a few times during the weeks when we were away and felt so rejuvenated on my return. Blog breaks are good for the soul like digi detoxes, we love what we do but a break helps us chill out and come back stronger xx

  8. 22 September 2016 / 2:12 pm

    I'm so glad you are "back in business" Catherine!
    I knew you would resolve what could be resolved and move on from what was unfixable.
    Onwards and upwards!

  9. 22 September 2016 / 11:41 am

    It's amazing what a difference a break makes x


  10. 22 September 2016 / 4:55 am

    Have a listen to Young House Love has a Podcast Ep 14 – "What quiting our Blog taught us". You'll find the "taking a break" bit to resonate! Glad you're okay and all is being sorted. Hugs

  11. 22 September 2016 / 1:32 am

    so very glad everything is working out for you.

  12. 21 September 2016 / 9:31 pm

    I'm so glad things are better and I'll drop you an email about advertising now passion fruit are out of the mix.

  13. 21 September 2016 / 8:49 pm

    So glad things are back on an even keel with you. This is a fabulous blog and we'd miss it! The articles you, and Forever Amber, have written on the subject of being compensated for your blogging work have been insightful and useful (although it's not nice to read about you having to fight for rightful earnings), so thank you for sharing your stories.

    As a freelance artist I've heard all the lines about art being fun therefore you should do it for free. And if it's a genuinely good cause I support then often I donate my time as I can add it to my CV. But of course it's not something I can do regularly. My pet hate are requests for a stained glass window design, for example, where the sale never happens because the clients have no intention of ordering but let you do the groundwork anyway. For example, I was asked about making a large mirror with a leaded light border (my own design). I spent a morning doing a design which I posted with some glass samples that I had to go across London to buy. In return for the graft I didn't receive so much as an email thanking me for the hard work though politely declining. My design costs are free upfront but are deducted from the final total, so you can well imagine it's a risk if a client decides not to go ahead or ignores your effort, but it's a risk that has to be taken if you're a freelance creative.

    The time that really sticks in my mind was when an acquaintance asked me to make some interior glass panels. Meanwhile a friend and I arranged to go out for dinner, and both being teetotal we decided to drive. She kindly offered to go out of her way so the completed panels were delivered safely (she was a stained glass artist herself and had a good idea about transporting delicate glass panels). So I explained that my friend had generously offered her help, otherwise they'd need to collect it or I'd have to add a delivery charge. Unfortunately my friend's car needed an unexpected repair and she understandably had to renege on her offer. Thinking the client would be fine about collecting, I was shocked when they demanded a reduction in the cost of the work as they were coming to get it themselves! Cue a spot of good old-fashioned guilt-tripping and a request that I pay for the whole taxi delivery myself (which I haggled down to 50%). It certainly left a bad taste. Although to give them credit once they saw me overseeing the fitting and cleaning the fitted panels till they shone, they said they didn't realise how much work was in it and they now wanted to cover the whole cost of delivery.

    So not really a chasing-up story, more of tale of creative work and time being undervalued and having to deal with difficult clients who want to skim off every penny. (Lesson learnt: Never involve a third party, even if the intention is well-meant and could potentially save you and the client time and money).

  14. 21 September 2016 / 6:21 pm

    I do think your experience with this could be a wonderful learning for all of us. I can't wait to read your future posts on this subject! It may even be more important than great photography & content!!

    • 21 September 2016 / 6:44 pm

      Thanks Jodie! It's bad though that this stuff has to be written and talked about, isn't it…

  15. 21 September 2016 / 6:07 pm

    PHEW! I'm so relieved and delighted that you'll be able to continue Not Dressed as Lamb – I absolutely love receiving your posts in my inbox, Catherine. You're a super star blogger in my eyes and I still can't get my head round people not paying you!
    Suzy xx

    • 21 September 2016 / 6:43 pm

      Oh blimey Suzy thank you – not sure I quite come up to the standard of a superstar(!) but bless you, that's so lovely of you to say!!

  16. 21 September 2016 / 4:31 pm

    Wow!! Glad you're getting it sorted and moving forward!

  17. 21 September 2016 / 4:23 pm

    Catherine, glad to hear things are at least ticking along if not looking all the way up yet, and that you'll be continuing to blog. Fingers crossed things work out with Passionfruit!

    • 21 September 2016 / 5:49 pm

      Jenny thank you – though I don't hold out much hope for Passionfruit, most bloggers aren't getting anywhere 🙁

  18. 21 September 2016 / 3:21 pm

    I'm really glad you're able to continue (I need to get my fix of apricots, dusky blues, and flowery trousers somewhere, you know) and I so hope you get that third of your money paid ASAP.

    • 21 September 2016 / 5:48 pm

      Izabel thank you, that's really lovely of you to say!! More apricot, blue and flowers are on their way 😉

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