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!

Double Whammy

Stomach painYesterday I had to go for a CAT scan of my head because of a hearing issue. But the night before my scan, I came down with a pretty severe stomach ailment. I don’t know if it was something I ate (i.e., food poisoning) or if it was due to a 24-hour virus I picked up somewhere. But either way, it both literally and physically knocked the shit out of me.

I did manage to show up for my CAT scan yesterday, which turned out to be a bit of an ordeal due to my chronic positional vertigo ailment, but that’s a story for another day. By the time I got back from the scan, though, I was doubled over with severe stomach cramps.

I spent most of the rest of the day alternating between sitting on the toilet and sitting on the couch wrapped in a blanket watching the first day of the televised impeachment hearings. Oh the drama! Ultimately, having been pretty much exhausted from the continual stomach cramping during the previous 24 hours, I went to bed at around 8:30 last night.

The good news is that the worst of my stomach issues are over and, for the first time in 36 hours, I was able to eat (lightly) and drink something other than water. I even missed my daily fixes of Ben & Jerry’s Stephen Colbert’s Americone Dream ice cream for the past two nights, so you know I was really feeling miserable. Fortunately, I’m doing much better now than I was yesterday at this time.

But my reason for writing this post is not to make you feel sorry for me or to get your sympathy, even though it might appear that way. Actually, my reason for this post is to let you know that from Tuesday evening through most of yesterday, and even until midday today, I wasn’t using my iPhone at all, which means I wasn’t on WordPress, either. I didn’t write any new posts on my blog, although my daily FOWC with Fandango prompt, my provocative question prompt, and even my One-Liner Wednesday post were all scheduled in advanced.

But more important, I didn’t get a chance to read any of your comments or links back to my post. Nor did I have a chance, since Tuesday night, to read any of your new posts that showed up in my Reader. And while I will try tonight, now that I’m almost fully recovered, to catch up on all of your comments and pingbacks, I probably won’t be able to go back and read 48 hours worth of your posts that I missed. And I’m very sorry about that.

I hope you’ll accept my apology.

What Did I Do To Deserve This?

F9D03D15-0CCE-4B18-8EC2-B4A8A67CAA61Okay, I started getting a bunch of comments from porn sites on my blog a few days ago. I don’t know why such comments would start showing up because I never ever look at porn on my iPhone. You believe me, don’t you?

Anyway, here are just a few of the “enticing” taglines that are contained in those comments:

  • Young Heaven – Naked Teens & Young Porn Pictures
  • Sexy teen photo galleries
  • Teen Girls Pussy Pics. Hot galleries
  • New sexy website is available on the web
  • Daily updated super sexy photo galleries
  • Nude Sex Pics, Sexy Naked Women, Hot Girls Porn
  • College Girls Porn Pics

Apparently someone thinks I’m into teenage girls. I will admit that I was into teenage girls — when I was a teenager half a century ago!

The good news is that all of these comments went into my spam folder. Still, I got tired of having to go through a few dozen spam comments one by one to make sure that no legit comments inadvertently got swept up into my spam folder.

So I went to my WordPress settings, and in the “Discussion” tab, added the word “porn” to my comments blacklist. Now all those porn related comments go directly to trash and I can delete them en masse without going through them individually. I still get about two dozen such comments in my trash folder each day, but I can permanently delete them with just one click.

So why am I telling you this? Just to let you know that if you include the word “porn” in a comment to any of my posts, your comment will go right to my trash folder and will never get read by me.

Keep Those Cards and Letters Coming In

Wow, last night before I went to bed I went to check and clear my spam folder and I saw something that I hadn’t previously noticed. My blog, in its 27 month existence, has received 50,500 comments!ACDB98D0-10C1-43B2-836F-F0087097AADBOf course, 12,013 of those comments, or almost 24%, were comments I made in response to comments others had posted. But that still means that you folks have commented on my posts 38,487 times!

I have nothing to compare these numbers to, but they sound like high numbers. According to my stats, my average comments per post so far this year is 17, which doesn’t sound that high to me. But I suppose, since I post anywhere from three to five times a day, they add up quickly.

Whatever the numbers mean, I want to genuinely and sincerely thank those of you who regularly read my blog and I really appreciate it when you take the time and make the effort to leave comments on my posts.

I’ve been kinda of critical of WordPress and all of the glitches and issues that keep surfacing on the WordPress app for iOS (since I do almost all of my blogging from my iPhone). But despite my whining about the WordPress app, the WordPress community of bloggers is the best.

I love you guys!

Disappearing Act

0DE6ADF4-60C2-41F7-8BD4-590D9C849F68I received a rather strange and disturbing email via my contact page from a blogger I follow, Marilyn Armstrong, over at Serendipity.

“Haven’t heard from you in weeks. You mad at me?” she wrote.

I didn’t know why the real Marilyn would send that, since I read her blog almost religiously, click like on most of her posts, and comment on many of them. I thought maybe someone had spoofed her email, and that if I clicked on her embedded link, I’d be the victim of malware.

So I reached out to Marilyn, who informed me that the email was, indeed, from her. She responded by telling me that she hadn’t seen any comments from me since early April.

What? The only explanation is that my comments were disappearing somewhere in cyberspace or getting hijacked in the blogosphere.

You know, I’ve seen other bloggers complain that their pingbacks weren’t working or that their comments weren’t showing up, but I didn’t realize it was happening to my comments as well.

So if you suddenly happen to notice my absence in you comments section, it might be due to some glitch in WordPress.

Just wanted to let you know. In case, you know, you missed me.