Every couple days I tried to access her URL again, until I finally had to face the fact that she had closed down her site. Since starting my own blog, I have watched as a number of bloggers have shut down, gone on hiatus, or simply vented about how burdened they have become. The fun of writing gives way to the pressures of deadlines and earning potential, social media issues, and hosting commitments.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
Although relatively new to the blogging platform, I worked as an editor and writer for years. I understand all too well about stress and blogger burnout. Hopefully by having an open discussion of the issues, we can all learn techniques for staying fresh and focused, while maintaining balance in our lives.
Whose Blog is it Anyway?
Remember back — way back for some of you — when you clicked ‘publish’ on your very first blog post? There was a mixture of excitement and nervousness coursing through you. For a while, you rode on the pride of accomplishment and the thrill of seeing people respond to your stories and ideas.
Then somewhere along the way, the blog ‘took over.’ Compelled to keep to your editorial calendar, you live in a world of post-it note reminders. A low stats day puts you in a funk, and your family knows to lay low if you encounter a technical issue. When did the fun stop?
It stopped when you tilted off balance. Even good things in life require moderation and balance. Setting clear and firm parameters for how and when you work on your blog keep it from feeling like it is taking over your life. The good news is that it is YOUR blog, so you can be the one to tame the beast. You set the pace for how often you post, what other venues you participate in, host, etc. You can slow it down. Really, you can.
The Blogger Personality
I don’t think it is too great a stretch to say most Bloggers have a similar personality profile: they are tenacious, self-motivated, creative, driven, perfectionistic and engaging. They tend to be very hard on themselves, have trouble saying no, and want to please everyone. Am I close?
They have to be in order to put themselves out there, pushing themselves to write despite all the other obligations they have, and even though they may not see any benefit for a long time. It’s a great personality because it means they are able to create, share and engage communities of people. It’s bad in that they can become obsessive and develop health problems from overdoing.
Aside from giving up your blog or getting a lobotomy, here’s what you can do to avoid blogger burnout, keep your blog and your sanity:
1. Scale back — You decided to do X posts per week. You can choose to slow down the pace and catch your breath. Honestly, no one else is really noticing that you missed a day. They will notice if you give up and disappear altogether.
2. Don’t post stuff you aren’t proud of. There is nothing as self-defeating as feeling like you are selling out or publishing nonsense just to complete your quota.
3. Regroup — go back to why you wanted to write, what you wanted to write about, why this is important for you to do this. Get re-energized and excited about your message.
4. Streamline — are you trying to be ‘all things to all people?’ Focus on the subjects you most enjoy or are excited about today. Do a couple things really well instead of a lot of things half-heartedly.
5. Ask for help — Find a co-host for your link party, get a Virtual Assistant (VA), join a forum of bloggers to share resources and ideas.
6. Take a break. A small one. Take a week off from your blog, shut off your electronics for the weekend, or simply go out and play in the yard with the dog and kids for an hour. You do need a mental break from it to rejuvenate your spirit. The breaks are just as important as the structured writing time for your long-term success.
7. If it comes to the point where you really have had it and you don’t want to keep doing this, then you will know. But exit with grace and say goodbye. Thank your readers who shared this journey in your life. If you hosted a successful link party, why not pass it along to a newer blog?
Think of all the positive growth having a blog has had in your personal development. View it as an experience to learn from and a journey. Where you are at in this journey, and where you will travel, is entirely up to you.
Please note: there are affiliate links contained in this post. If you should choose to purchase any products by clicking on a link, I may receive a small percentage of the purchase price.