Blogging Insights — Burnout

Blogging insights

Dr. Tanya, at Salted Caramel, published another one of her Blogging Insights posts in which she poses one or more questions about blogging.  In this case, she asked three questions about blogger burnout.

Here are her three questions:

1. What, in your opinion, is “blogger burnout”?

0D7E35C2-D78B-4F90-9322-1C824617CB1DI think blogger burnout occurs when you lose your motivation to blog, when the joy of blogging disappears, and it becomes a chore. It’s different, I think, from writer’s block, where you still have the desire to write, but are drawing a blank. In burnout, that desire to write has left you, temporarily, at least.

I suffered blogger burnout in 2015 on my previous blog, which , I abruptly shut down. I had become obsessed with my blog. I was always thinking about it, talking about it, and even dreaming about it. I was still working at the time and my work was starting to suffer because I was more focused on my blog than I was on my job. I was even more focused on my blog than on my family, and it was putting my marriage in jeopardy. I finally decided that I needed to regain control — and balance — in my life, so I just stopped blogging. I don’t know whether or not that technically was a case of blogger burnout. But I do know that I was having a life flameout and I needed to stop blogging in order to get my real world life back on track.

2. Have you ever suffered from blog related stress?

I suppose what I just confessed about why I shut down my previous blog was an example of blog related stress. I think another stress inducing factor in a blogger’s life is stats. I look at my stats on a daily basis and, even though I realize that they vary significantly from one day to the next, if my stats are down for a stretch of two or three days in a row, it does cause me stress.

For example, I was looking at my monthly stats today and, much to my chagrin, November was the third month in a row where my views dropped. In fact, I had fewer views in November than I had for any other month this year except for February, which had only 28 days. And my blog had more than 1,500 fewer views this November than it had in November 2018! So yes, when I saw this chart of monthly views, I felt stress.e2ab2a6a-6e75-4197-87b1-15f5d9ca3c69.jpeg

3. What steps could you suggest to keep blogging from becoming a stressful activity?

For me, the answer is simple. Stop looking at, being concerned with, or worrying about stats. I love to write. I rarely run out of opinions to express, perspective to share, or stories to tell. It’s fun. It’s fulfilling. It helps me to hone my imagination and creativity and to keep my mind active and sharp. So I need to do my thing and not worry about how many views, likes, or comments my posts get.

Blogging is not a contest or a competition. It’s an outlet for creative self-expression and to be happy with what I create. It’s the act of writing and publishing what I’ve written on my blog that provides me with a sense of accomplishment. If people read what I write, like it, and comment on it, great. But if not, I shouldn’t let that stress me out. At least not so much that it will result in blogger burnout!

The Personal Cost of Blogging

355DF3F1-2A64-48EE-A0B0-750BAEAF5C96Dr. Tanya, over at Salted Caramel, posted these questions about a week ago under the banner of “What does blogging cost you in your personal life?” I thought I’d take a shot at answering them, since blogging has become an important part of my personal life over the past two years.

Does blogging infringe upon your leisure time?

I don’t know that I’d say it infringes upon my leisure time, but it probably does, more than any other single activity, take up a lot of my personal time. According to my iPhone’s Screen Time tracker, I spend between eight to ten hours a day using my iPhone and about 70% of that time  is related to my blog…composing, editing, and publishing posts and reading and commenting on the posts of other bloggers. So infringe upon my leisure time, no. Dominate, yes.

Worse still, does it distract you from your work/studies?

Since I’m retired and I’m not a student, blogging doesn’t distract me from my work or studies. But it does help distract me from the shitstorm known as Donald Trump and the damage he’s doing to my country (the United States) and to the world. I consider that to be a good distraction.

Is it taking a toll on your personal relationships?

My wife spends as much time glued to Twitter as I do to WordPress. So no, it’s not taking a toll on our relationship.

Has your health suffered?

If my health has suffered, it’s due more to my anger and frustration directed toward Donald Trump and his Republican enablers and rabid supporters.

Have you gained weight?

No. My weight rarely fluctuates by more than a couple of pounds. And I get plenty of exercise walking our dog three to four times a day.

Do you ever get writer’s block?

Not really. Between the news, the prompts, and life, I rarely have trouble finding fodder for my posts.

Have you ever suffered from blog related stress or blogger burn out?

There are times when I considered cutting back on the time I spend on my blog or the number of posts I publish daily, but I always end back at it again. It addicting.