Hello guys !
Back in April & May, I had taken a step away from my blog, not posting anything but reviews, not blog-hopping, not answering comments, no nothing. I was never really present on here because all the posts that went up were pre-schedule. And I had said that it was because my exams are coming up and I needed to study and although that was true and this semester was hell, it wasn’t *just* that. It was a bit of everything. Stress, bad mental place, personal things, AND blogging burn-out. Yes I said it, I went more than a year of blogging consistently without it happening but it finally did, and it hit me hard *sobs*.
This introduction to say that those two months are what inspired this post because I know that most, if not all of us, are bound to go by a phase where blogging sounds like the least appealing thing in the world. No matter how much we love it. I love it a lot, it’s been one of my proudest decisions ever, but that doesn’t mean it’s always sunshine, rainbows and unicorns. Sometimes it’s so damn hard. Which we don’t expect when starting. I never thought it would be as big of a committment, but this blog is my pride and joy, so I’m happy to commit.
Anyway, ramblings aside. What I want to talk about today are the signs that a it’s maybe time to taking a step back from blogging as well as how to do that.
It starts feeling like a chore
To most of us, blogging is a hobby ONLY, so it should never feel like work or something you *have* to do because when that starts and it’s not caught early, it can be bad, real bad. If posting starts feeling daunting, un-fun and like something you’d rather not be doing, it’s a sign that you definitely should not be doing it. Sometimes, it’s just to one kind of posts, sometimes to all of them, you just have to figure out what is putting you into a slump and deal with it.
It actually happened to me, posting didn’t appeal to me at all for almost the whole of March and I only did it because I felt like I had to (bad idea). That only made my burn-out worse and the need for a break even more urgent. So I was grateful for exam period because as hard as it was it helped recharge my blogging batteries.
This doesn’t apply to posting only, it applies to interacting as well. Before and during my hiatus replying to comments and blog-hopping felt like the biggest chore of all and you may have noticed that I’ve fallen back on that front compared to how I was a few months ago. But fret not, I think I finally got back on the blog-hopping and comment answering horse because I’m back to actually enjoying it. And I’m sorry to anyone who thought I was ignoring them, I wasn’t, I was just burnt out.
You’re feeling uninspired
You feel like you’ve done it all, seen it all, and nothing really stands out to you when you think about what to post. This happens especially with discussion posts. I have this whole list of them on a notebook that I write as I get them and at a certain point none of them felt like something I wanted to talk about, or like I had anything to say about. I felt I wouldn’t add anything by posting about them and I couldn’t think of other ideas that reignited that inspiration “spark”.
The funny thing is that I didn’t know that it was because I was falling into a slump, I thought I was losing “my touch”, rambly touch I mean. I am great at rambling. Some of those ideas that felt so bleh to me back then, I actually posted about after my hiatus and I really liked how they turned out and the responses they’ve gotten. So yeah inspiration can be a pretty capricious child to deal with, it is as much a blessing as it is a curse.
Life is hard, man
Let’s not lie to ourselves, life is stressful, blogging can be stressful and the two together is REALLY stressful. So when life starts being too much (exams, promotion, more working hours, moutains of homework, essays…) you need to start prioritizing and unloading some of the stress and the first thing that I can think of cutting back on when I am like that is blogging. Because as much as it is an outlet and an activity where I can lose myself and think about anything but real life for a bit, it sometimes makes things worse. A double-edged sword, people.
Too much pressure
We’ve all felt it because as much as we say and try to believe that we do not compare ourselves to others, that we don’t care about our stats, we do. When you see someone’s blog growing, doing new things, being creative, making friends and you feel like you’re not there, yet, or that you’ll never be there, your blogging-self gets slapped. Little tip, we all go at different paces, we all do what we’re comfortable with, and your best is good enough even when it feels like it isn’t. I promise it is.
How do you know you’re falling into that pressure hole? You’re focusing a little too much on your stats, and not so good stats dampen your mood, you feel like you have to put out a certain types of posts, a certain times a week and that if you don’t you’re failing and you feel bad about it. That is no good. Repeat after me, “I am doing the best I can, and my best is good enough”. Keep repeating that until you believe it, it is the truth.
Beat the slump to it
Take a break before you are forced into one. It doesn’t really have to be a full on Hiatus, there are a lot of ways to do this.
- The main and most obvious one is the good ol’hiatus obviously. A clean break from everything, taking time to focus on yourself, and things you actually like to do at that point when blogging isn’t one of them.
- You can also cut back on posting. If you’re used to posting 4 times a week, get it down to 2, focusing on posts that don’t take much effort or that you are still interested in posting.
- Forget the schedule. Post whenever you feel like posting. This can really help because it takes the pressure of set days off of you and you can just enjoy posting when you feel like it.
Go back to your roots
An introspection might be required here. Take a moment and think about why you really started doing this? What changed? What direction do you see yourself taking with your blog? And focus on making that a reality. More often than not, blogging burn-outs come from a place of dissatisfaction so looking at where you stand and where you want to go can help with sorting out tangled feelings and getting out of a sticky situation.
My slump had come from feeling uninspired, blogging feeling like a chore AND wanting to take a different direction and not knowing how or it would work. But this really worked for me and for a friend of mine as well. My blog has been slowly refocusing on diverse reads since the start of the year but you might have noticed that since I’m back from hiatus it’s 100% diverse books and even my discussion topics are a bit different. I also slightly changed my schedule and will soon (this week actually) introduce a recommendations feature.
All of this to say, try it, it might work for you too.
Get a co-blogger
This is specifically for when it’s the stress causing your burn-out. Getting someone to help filling out your posting days can lift a weight off your shoulders. Just make sure you know the person, that they’re a good fit and that you actually can work with a co-blogger. Spoiler alert: I can’t. I am bossy asshole who would probably turn into blogzilla if I had to share with anyone. But I really do admire those of you who can.
I think this will be it for this post. And I hope it’ll be useful to some of you. Those are just things I picked up in my year and a half of blogging.
That’s it until next time.
What things could possibly put you in a slump?
What other tips do you have to get out of one?
Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.