As you might have noticed in February and March, I took a hiatus from blogging and changed my posting schedule. I posted a lot less and have been generally less active on social media. I realized while I was on hiatus was that I felt burnt out, not just that I needed a break.
We all go through it at some point, but I didn’t recognize the signs of it coming. I was running out of scheduled-ahead blog posts and feeling less motivation to blog. I thought it would be enough to just force myself to get back into it after a week or so. That’s not what happened. Because this burnout caught me off guard, I want to analyze what has caused my own burnout recently and in the past.
Book reviews can be a chore
Book reviews have been the main content on my blog forever, but they can be a chore to write, especially when I race ahead in my reading without writing the review. I ended up with a big backlog of reviews between February and May, and it has been painful to write them. I let myself get far behind, and I don’t know that I can catch up on all of those books. In the past, I had to let it go when I’ve disappeared for months at a time.
In what other ways do book reviews contribute to my burnout?
- They’re relatively the same type of content, and it often feels like I’m more documenting my reading than being helpful to someone else. I think my reviews help in some ways, but sometimes it feels more like a reading log.
- When I tried to cross post on Goodreads, it became a chore and a pain to reformat.
- Book reviews don’t always get the views. For most bloggers, book reviews don’t get viewed or commented on nearly as much as other posts. One or two reviews have reached my top 5 most viewed posts, but the vast majority are rarely touched again.
The solution: Think about why I have continued to write book reviews for seven years and consider changing it up.
I’ve always liked sharing my thoughts on books, and I like my current style of trying to treat it like I’m talking to a friend about the book. But I think I need to make more effort to write about other things or to change up the style of my book reviews.
It’s hard to come up with blog content
Similarly, I run out of ideas for blog posts. I love writing discussion type posts or general opinions on things or guides, but the inspiration well runs dry sometimes. Then while you flounder for an idea that could work or some other filler post, the clock runs out to get something posted in time.
Worse, I sometimes spiral to a point where I wonder how much more can really be written about books. That’s true in one light, but in another not so much. I’m more often frustrated trying to find something that I want to write about in those moments. Something that inspires me or gets me excited to write.
The solution: Create a list of ideas to write about as I come up with them and do some pre-writing.
This has worked through most dry inspiration-well moments, but it hasn’t helped as much during this most recent burn out.
Another solution: Try something new.
I’m finding that trying to find more creativity in my life or backing off of blogging has helped. I started making blackout poetry. I don’t think it’s wonderful, but it is fun to cross words off a page. Doing something else gets my mind away enough from blogging to let it recharge a little.
It’s hard to keep up with social media and blog hopping
I’ve had trouble being a regular user of more than one social media platform at a time with blogging. It helps to have scheduling apps, but you have to make time to go schedule posts and comment on other people’s tweets, photos and blog posts. And those are necessary for growing in book blogging.
Once I realized I was behind on all of this, how do you catch up? It looks more and more daunting as the days pass.
The solution: Make time and balance it.
I’m working on making more time to allow myself to schedule posts for social media. For example, I’m making more effort with photos for Bookstagram. I try not to spend more than 30 minutes or an hour per week planning the photos and captions. Twitter has fallen to the wayside, but I want to make sure that I at least look at it on the weekends.
I want to change my blog design
For a while, I’ve been wanting to update my blog design, but that is another pressure on top of the other things that have contributed to my burnout. It will be a pretty big undertaking for me to go through, find another theme or adapt the current one to my needs, update the header and reorganize my posts.
The solution: Update in stages.
I think it will be beneficial to work on redesign over time, in pieces. It’s going to require baby steps since I am already blogging on a tighter schedule than before. I need to make a plan of what needs updating and prioritize it and then put it on a schedule.
Blogging life balance has changed
Balancing blogging with life has changed since I graduated college. I work now, and I don’t always want to be on the computer when I get home. I also want to do other things sometimes, so I’ve had to reconsider what I can keep up with.
At one point, I went a couple of weeks without getting on the computer, and it was nice. There was something nice about not being attached to the computer, and it has affected my blogging.
The solution: Change my posting schedule.
I have gone this far already, and I worry that I may change my posting schedule yet again this year. Posting less is absolutely necessary, but I also need to find a better way to juggle the other things that come with blogging. Those are social media, commenting and blog hopping.
So, those are three things that have contributed to my recent burnout on the blog. It’s clearly time for some change on this blog.
What has caused you burnout? What tips do you have for fighting it?