Thoughts

Why did I have blogging burnout this year?

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?

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12 thoughts on “Why did I have blogging burnout this year?

  1. I’ve been slacking lately as well- between my daughter and me, one of us has been sick since the last weekend in March, and I’ve just been completely and utterly exhausted. I’m trying to get caught up, but it hasn’t been easy. The kids are home for summer break, I have a buhZILLION things to do and places to go, projects that need working on, stuff that needs cleaning and organized… I’m worn out. It’s hard constantly coming up with new ideas, especially when you’re already worn out from the rest of life.

    I have no tips for fighting burnout right now, just commiseration because I’m there too (and my blog is pretty small, so it’s not like I have an adoring audience waiting for me, haha!).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Life can really get in the way of blogging! I never accomplish as much as I want and it can be stressful sometimes. But I am luck enough to have a co-blogger. I don’t know how people blog alone. I’m not sure I could do it! So you’re pretty amazing, I think!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for writing this. I think it is important to showcase the efforts we take for our own mental health, so that other people can see and connect with the idea, and hopefully ensure that they are looking out for their own well-being.

    Burnout for me comes when I am overloading myself. I actually just put up my new posting schedule at mgrace.world and let me tell you, I am already wondering if I am overextending myself. I think I am going to post that way for a week, then examine where I am at. Maybe go on a walk and talk to myself in public. Seems fun. But I would be really interested in talking with you Carrie about your plan, because I think I could benefit from your experience.

    I hear you about college though. I don’t know what your major was, but regardless, college is this unique crazy time where you are simultaneously insanely busy, yet you also have a lot of time to find yourself and work on what you value.

    For some reason, the ‘real world’ (wow do I hate that phrase) is less forgiving. I too have recently graduated, and where I used to post fanfiction updates like three times a week, once I started my new job I went a few months with absolutely nothing. For me, starting my own website was really my attempt to make time for myself and the things I care about, because when you graduate and are really passionate about your job or even just the idea of being in the professional world, I think it is easy to get overwhelmed.

    This leads to burnout, which has officially been recognized as a ‘real thing’ which of course we all already knew it was. At different times in my life, burnout has alerted me that I was overextending myself in school, on my writing, and professionally.

    Everyone has a different experience, and I am really glad to hear that you were able to recognize the signs and take the time that you needed.

    My advice for everyone would just be general wellness and self care. And y’all, self care is fun! It isn’t running and broccoli… unless that’s your thing. It may be taking the time to paint your nails, or going on a long walk with your friend, or doing a little shopping! Any time that you take for yourself to relax and recoup is self care.

    Self care isn’t a cure all though, and if you find yourself in a hole you can’t get out of, it is 1000% okay to get help. Reach out to a friend, google some coping techniques, or get in touch with a health care professional. I wish I had some good articles to link to this, but I am at work so I better not go searching, or else I will end up reading to many! But if anyone has any good links I would love to take a look at them after 5!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sometimes you just have to take a good hard look at things and reevaluate. I go through periods where I feel like my blogging life is thriving (right now I’ve been feeling pretty decent about it) and times where it’s been hard to do even the most basic blogging tasks. Finding that balance can be tough, so do whatever you need to do! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. While I hear you about the social media bit, I think that for me, I’m feeling more “day job” burnout than I am book blogging burn out. I think what contributes to any burnout is pushing yourself too hard. You should enjoy what you’re doing or switch things around so that you get more enjoyment from what you’re doing and how you are doing it. It looks like you’re on the right track, so good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank-you for sharing this reflection! It’s helping me to process some of my own challenges with blogging that I’m experiencing currently. One in particular: “I work now, and I don’t always want to be on the computer when I get home” – hear hear. I have only been working for a month, and I’m not completely glued to a computer all the time at work, but when I get home, I don’t really want to fire up the computer. You’ve also made some good points about the content of reviews being pretty similar and about whether a review is more like a reading log or something to help other readers. These are both things I realize I also need to work through if I’m going to keep blogging regularly and ‘successfully’ while starting a career.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Really relate to a lot of this! I think we all go through this at points- it’s completely normal- it can be really tough to keep blogging feeling fresh. and it’s especially hard for me to keep up with bloghopping and SM so I really relate there. I do think changing things up can really help and I think it’s important to recognise that we can’t always be online, and that’s okay. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. My burnouts always happen when I’m trying to do too much at once. I usually prioritize school over my blog, and I frequently find myself pushing off writing posts until I’m several behind and stressed out. It usually helps to continue writing about new stuff, and not worry about what I’ve missed. I’ll try to come back to what I’ve left behind, but it’s so easy to get bogged down by stale concepts that I don’t even want to explore anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

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