A guest post by Tess Marshall of The Bold Life
Blogging demands your energy and time. As a newbie you’re required to write and edit posts, and an e-book or special report (a freebie for collecting emails).
You will learn Word Press, and a plethora of technology and internet marketing. You will promote yourself, comment, and network on social media in order to build a loyal readership. That’s a quick and incomplete summary.
One source says, there are 175,000 new blogs started everyday. Competition is fierce, you have to stand out to be noticed. The more progress you make the more you’re required to make.
Add this to your regular job, family, personal life and with out a plan you’re destined to eventually become exhausted, crabby and doubtful of your ability to succeed.
There’s no need to fight your own private war, with the right assistance, mentors, and tools it’s possible to recover from and prevent blogging burnout.
My personal story of burnout
Over the past few months, life has brought me several emotional ups and downs. Highlights were, joining the A-List Blogger Club, discovering new friends, and having my personal story featured on Good Life Zen.
A few of low points were my mom’s passing, a close girlfriend moving away and the loss of a big project to a friend and colleague. As my online life soared my offline life was filled with grief and loss.
Writing became a dreadful chore. Even my online friendships required energy I lacked. I felt as if I were holding on to the edge of a cliff, struggling to find a stronghold, a former glimmer of the delight and joy I previously experienced in blogging. I found myself chasing sanity in the midst of “blogging burnout.”
For beginners, the first six months of blogging are the most difficult. You get very little in return for your tremendous effort and work. All bloggers will suffer from blogging burnout at one time or another. The reasons are different, yet the thoughts, feelings and emotions are often the same.
When you have lost the ability to fully engage and feel like you want to kill your computer, the worst thing a writer can do is deny a break down.
Your offline suffering, will seep into the spaces between your words and engulf your creative brilliance. The first step to recovery is admitting you have the “blogging blues.” The best thing you can do is regroup, self-reflect and slow down.
Some Thoughts and Feelings of Tired and Frustrated Bloggers
- You think that everything new has already been written
- You are exhausted from trying to understand and contend with technology and change
- You feel jealous of the gifted, bright writers and their fast rise to the top
- You feel alone, useless and hopeless, believing nobody cares
- You’re exhausted, unmotivated, and uninspired
- You fear your blog will go unnoticed and your time and energy have been wasted
4 steps to revive both your online and offline life
“Love the moment and the energy of that moment will spread beyond all boundaries. K.D. Lang
1. Give yourself a blogging break.
Everyone will create and design their break according to their personal needs. I cut back on commenting and visiting other blogs. This is my first guest post since last October.
Read creative blogs outside of your niche. My blog is about personal development. Therefore, in my free time I visit blogs about art, creativity, music, and comedy. Light hearted blogs, blogs that give me goose bumps or take my breath away. I read the writers that put a spring in my step and set my spirit free.
List activities that bring you joy. The ones you’ve denied yourself. What inspires you, makes your heart flutter, or revs up your fun meter? Schedule time for adventure and travel. Follow excitement. Savor each moment.
A CEO once told me, on Mondays she took piano lessons on her lunch break. She set a creative tone for her work week. Allow yourself time to daydream and create.
Angela Artemis, from Powered by Intuition, spends 48 hours a week, unplugged and offline. My break included two to three hours of free time daily to play, hike, paint, journal, and spend time alone. I also scheduled a trip to visit my grandchildren. Nothing brings me more joy.
Design your retreat to fit your needs. Nobody knows what you need better than you.
“Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them.” ~Brendan Francis
2. Create Boundaries
I temporarily gave up focusing on SEO, statistics, and traffic and blogs that intimidate me or bring touch on my insecurity.
Fear that I’m not enough, I don’t do enough and I don’t have enough. Fear that I’m being left behind, fear that I’m not worthy. Fear that everyone else is.
I’m only inspired by technical bloggers and brilliant bloggers when I’m at my best. When my blogging sabbatical is over, I will take these blogs in small does, until I feel I’m at my best.
The internet will always be about change. Whenever I catch up with something or someone, my ego moves the line. There will always be the temptation to chase status and fame. I will need to resist the race.
There will always be blogs with higher ratings and lower ratings than mine. There will always be more talented and less talented writers than me. I need to remember, “I am more than my blog!”
“Nature doesn’t worry yet everything is accomplished.” Lao Tzu
3. Foster stronger offline connections
Give your neglected loved ones, your full engagement. We are wired for connection, it’s in our DNA. Brene Brown says we often confuse communication with connection. (Brene’s name has an accent mark over the last e. After checking google I still don’t know how to make one).
On Face book and Twitter, we communicate. Face-to-face we connect. We touch, hug and make love. We show up, and allow ourselves and our vulnerabilities to be seen. We challenge, relate and grow.
When you are with your friends and family offline, be respectful enough to shut off your phone. Become disconnected from all electronics and connect with your body, mind and heart to those around you. That’s the purpose of your offline relationships.
Your restored energy and relationships will give you ideas and stories that will make your blog shine. Organically statistics will rise, comments will come and progress will be made.
Now that your cup runneth over, you can become insanely useful to your readers. Your content screams freshness and delight, and once again your love affair with writing becomes awakens.
4. Re-discover the joy of blogging
I only have one recommendation for how to prevent burnout. It is an umbrella for all other advice. If there is a chance for you to succeed you must partner and learn from other bloggers. Why not hook up with the best?
The single most important thing I did was join A-List Blogger Club. I was astounded to see the superabundance of support, information, companionship, kindness, friendliness and esprit de corps.
I don’t have many regrets in life. One of my biggest is not joining the club the day it opened.
Seriously, give up your Starbucks, cut back on groceries, go without whatever it takes and pay the 20 bucks a month.
It will skyrocket your progress and success. You’ll learn everything Leo and Mary did to succeed and more. And even better, you’ll become a member of a caring blogging family.
As you give yourself a break and implement these activities, you’ll sleep better and feel better. As your dread and fear dissipate, your calm manner and confidence will reappear and accumulate. Your blog will bloom and your love for writing will return.
How do you avoid or recover from blogger burnout? Please share in the comments below.
Enjoy more of Tess Marshall’s post on her blog The Bold Life
Entry to the A-List Blogger Club CLOSES on Thursday, 24 February until after the next Bootcamp. Click here to jump aboard!