(CW for discussion of mental health, depression, abuse, trauma, and anxiety.)
To go on hiatus is to take a break, or to pause something that has been ongoing.
The first time I went on hiatus in an online kink community, I had a full-on hot mess breakdown. I didn’t know what “hiatus” even meant. I was terrified it would be forever, and I didn’t even know how to reassure myself, let alone the people around me. It was 2016 and I was still new to size kink as a shared experience instead of a shameful secret. I’ve come a long way. I’ve made mistakes and learned a lot. That seems worth sharing.
What this won’t be:
This won’t be an official guide. It won’t be an argument for or against leaving a community temporarily or forever, because only you can know what you need. I won’t talk about what it’s like to go on hiatus when you depend on NSFW Twitter to make money from art, writing, or sex work, because I don’t have personal experience with that yet. (If anyone does, and wants to share some advice, I’ll gladly consider quoting you!)
I also won’t pretend to understand you, your situation, or how you feel about your body or mental health. Some of my advice will be a good fit for you, and some of it you can leave. I’m not a mental health professional, and strongly recommend you consider talking with a counselor or therapist if you even halfway think you might want to try that. (Jump to the end for a list of kink-friendly therapy databases where you can look for sliding-scale and low-cost options.)
What this will be:
Hopefully, this will be a useful collection of my thoughts on my own hiatus process that I’ve developed after years of trial and error and watching friends go through the same. Some come back to the community and some don’t. Some hiatuses are scary. Some are a huge relief.
I’m writing this to you, and to the person I was during my first panicked hiatus. And to the less-than-supportive friend I have been to others going on hiatus. I’ll draw from examples in the size kink / #SizeTwitter community, but I think much of this will be relevant to NSFW Twitter or other online kink spaces in general.
I’m writing to share some questions that you might not have considered, and to point you towards some resources, and to just show that it’s okay to need a break—even from something you love.
Topics I’ll cover
- What’s the point of a hiatus?
- How can a break help with my creative blocks?
- How do I know when to go on hiatus?
- How do I go on hiatus?
- Why should I announce my hiatus?
- Is it okay to go on hiatus after asking for money?
- How do I get through the hiatus?
- How do I know when to come back?
- How do I know it won’t be forever?
- How do I reassure people that I’ll come back?
- How do I come back?
- How do I support someone going on hiatus?
- What can help me through my hiatus? (Resource list)