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!

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.

I’m a Man Of Many Words

67557C99-854A-4E95-B81E-93E7122DDDD8How man words? Well, according to the highly reliable and completely accurate WordPress stats, I wrote 385,508 words on my blog in 2018. Those 385,508 words were spread across 1,644 post during the year, for an average of 235 words per post. That’s not a lot of words per post compared to a lot of other bloggers, but many of the prompts I respond to have word limits of, say, 100, 150, or 200.

I posted an average of 4.5 post per day last year. My blog was visited by 27,770 visitors, an average of 76 per day. My posts received 117,582 views, an average of 322 per day and 72.5 per post.

My 1,644 posts received 41,262 likes (113 per day and 25 per post). Also, 24,916 comments, (68 per day and 15 per post).

And as of midnight, December 31, 2018, there were 1,607 people following my blog.

Excluding my daily one-word prompt, FOWC with Fandango, here were my most viewed posts each month:

January: Couples Counseling

February: Perspective

March: A tie: Warning Signs and Top of the World

April: Bloggers Beware

May: Househunters International

June: The Way You Write

July: All Dressed Up and No Place To Go

August: Better Than Sex

September: To Prompt or Not to Prompt

October: Missing the Point

November: Weird Words

December: I’ve Never Skied Naked

Yes, I know that this post has been one big brag about me and my blog. But were it not for all of you, who read and respond to my posts, there would be nothing for me to brag about.

The interactions you provide, your likes and comments, are what makes blogging worthwhile. You have embraced my FOWC With Fandango prompt more than I could have anticipated, and I owe a great big thank you to those of you who post regularly in response to that prompt.

And I want to thank the others of you who post your own prompts. Your words, photos, and challenges provide us bloggers with the inspiration we need to write such creative, entertaining, informative, fascinating, and sometime silly posts.

So in what I consider to have been an otherwise crazy, chaotic year, thank you for providing something to look forward to each day, for a way to cope with the nonsense swirling all around us. Thank you for reading my blog and for being my inspiration.

Happy 2019.

Count Along With Fandango

F0DBCFDB-4FB7-4AD4-9AF3-CB80998CE0F7Can you guess what these five numbers mean?

  • 2,000
  • 200,000
  • 31,100
  • 707
  • 1,503

Give up?

2,000 — In late November This, That, and the Other surpassed 2,000 posts. As of today, it’s 2,024.

200,000 — TT&O is currently 63 views short of 200,000 views.

31,100 — My blog is four visits shy of 31,100 visitors.

707 — The highest number of views TT&O received in a single day.

1,503 — The number of followers of TT&O.

9895D394-EC54-4E02-8231-56DD835165D5Okay, I know this sounds very self-serving, but I am stoked.

What can I say? I love numbers.

Thanks…and I’m Sorry

4309368D-15B0-405C-B121-D38C03390913Last night at around 10:40 my time I did something pretty pathetic. I sent out an S.O.S., a call for help. I wrote a post literally begging for some “likes.”

I had just received a notification in my WordPress reader that I had set a new record of likes for one day. 199 likes. Was I happy about my new record number of likes? You’re darn tootin’ I was.

But then I got greedy. I thought, wouldn’t it be nice to hit 200 posts in one day? And so, figuring there was over an hour left in the day, I sent out my solicitous post asking for likes.

Well, it worked. When I woke up this morning and looked at yesterday’s stats, I had received ten additional likes, for a total of 209 for the day. Woo hoo!

So first, thank you for helping me surpass my goal of 200 likes in one day. And second, I apologize for my brazenly egocentric and manipulative tactics in a lamentable effort to jack up my stats. It’s inexcusable.

Now let’s go for 210!