The title of this post is pretty self-explanatory: I have blog burnout.
In short, this means that I have a blog for which I want to craft eloquent posts, but I simultaneously feel like sitting down at a computer to crank out a single line of text might be proverbial equivalent of pulling my own wisdom teeth sans Novocain. And that was the short version.
Before I debate the merits of blog burnout, let’s start with a little flashback, shall we?
I started getting really into blogging at the beginning of June after my graduation. My schedule cleared, the burden of exams and tests lifted, and all I had to do was keep myself out of trouble and in shape to head to college come August. I felt invincible, so I poured hours and hours into my blog and watched the stats spike.
As my follower count skyrocketed and engagement shot through the roof, I started to feel the pressure of blogging to a large audience. What did my readers want to read? Did they follow me because I followed them or are they actually interested in what I have to say? Was I saying the right stuff? Was I going to offend someone if I said the wrong thing?
The sparkle quickly disappeared. Blogging started to feel less like a creative outlet and more like a chore. I felt that I was obligated to produce new content every day so that you, my lovely readers, would be happy; so that you would keep coming back and reading what I have to say.
And thus we’ve arrived at the present situation: I feel pretty burned out.
This is in part because I set such a regimented schedule for myself: I wanted to write two posts a day until I got at least a month ahead of my posts and then I would start taking it slow. WordPress is fabulous for this with the scheduling tool, but I can only schedule posts after I write them.
On top of that, I felt a lot of self-induced pressure to read and review the “hot” books so that my readers would be intrigued and see that I was current and relevant. I’m a fast reader and can devour a book in a day, but reading new books takes time and money, both of which I seem to have little of lately.
AND on top of that, I’m trying to finish writing my damn novel. My protagonist is super high maintenance and complains when I don’t spend enough time with her, so I’ve had to dedicate hours to stroking her ego and writing new scenes for her.
I love doing all of these things. I love to read and write and blog and spend time with my main character (she’s a trip), but I can’t do them all at once. And every once in a while, I have to get some sleep too. Do you know how much I would pay to not have to sleep?
So the question I asked myself was, when did it stop being fun? When did the things I love doing turn into burdens? When did blogging become the equivalent of dental surgery without anesthesia?
I don’t have the answers to those questions as we rarely do when we as bloggers experience this phenomenon. It’s taxing and painful to realize that your passion may not be your passion at this very moment. Every time I open up my manuscript and can’t find the motivation to put words on paper, it breaks my heart a little bit.
So here’s the deal: I’m not going to quit blogging. I’m on a downswing at this moment, but I feel like the pendulum is about to shift in the right direction. You won’t be getting rid of me so easy.
What I am going to do is find ways to make this fun again. I’m going to try writing new posts, making new graphics, talking about the real stuff: the beautiful, the grizzly, the mediocre, and everything in between. I’m going to reread my favorite books and give my bitchy protagonist the attention she deserves.
I’m just going to see how it goes. Maybe I’ll write three posts one day and no posts the next. Maybe I’ll read a book in a day and then go on a two week reading hiatus. Maybe I’ll get in the zone and write 4,000 words. Maybe I’ll write four. No matter what happens, I want this to be fun again. I want to enjoy the time I spend working on my blog and reading and writing. I want to fall in love with literature again, so that’s what I’m going to do.
How do you deal with blog burnout? Got any trade secrets for making writing and reading fun again?