Thoughts On Pushing Yourself & Blogger Burnout

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I was about a week later than the rest of the blog world, but I finally found a second to sit down and read the New York Times article that had been all over my feeds and reader. If you haven’t read it and don’t plan to, the article focuses on a blogging couple who recently decided to take an indefinite blogging hiatus to focus on life offline.

They explained that, as bloggers, they were burnt out and need the break to revive themselves.

While the article focuses mainly on DIY/home-improvement bloggers, the sentiments can be carried across almost every genre of online space. The story of starting small, giving it your all, pushing yourself and working your butt off to gain incredible opportunity and success. And then, almost as quickly as it began, despite the organic nature of the project, it takes you over and becomes something that consumes rather than energizes you.

We’ve seen blogger after blogger reach the quintessential blogging mountaintop, only to run down the other side, escaping it all.

After I read the article, I started thinking about my own blogging journey. How it’s changed and will likely continue to change as I change and grow. I started to wonder what would lead up to me feeling burnout.
080913_host4A few months ago, I started working on a blogging e-course, and I was SO excited. Planing out each lesson, writing the materials and moving the course along was an amazing process. But throughout, I was constantly telling myself to push. Write longer lessons, make three more worksheets, move up the launch date.

My list of things to do to offer something of value continued to grow, and my attachment to the project definitely lessened.

Now, I’ve scaled the course back a bit, I’ve started writing for it again and I have a more realistic launch date in sights. But the forced need to push myself, and the unrealistic expectations coming along with that nearly caused me to burnout.

The same thing seems to happen among bloggers. Very rarely do you see a post titled “Loving the Phase Your Blog’s In,” but there are a million sharing ways to grow your blog or following. Bloggers are under tremendous pressures to create more, keep readers engaged and interested. The launch of one project is quickly followed by creating the blue print for the “next big thing.”

It’s exhausting, and it would be shocking if bloggers and creatives weren’t burning out.

As a community, I think it’s time for a celebration of slow movement. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for setting goals and working to get them done, and motivating yourself to accomplish your dreams. Yet in still, a new monumental goal a week is too much, and despite what we think, overachieving can be unhealthy. This need for more, on the side of bloggers and readers, is only going to lead to a community filled with unsatisfied readers and burnt out bloggers who are in it for the wrong reasons.

It is very rarely the push that motivates us to accomplish our goals, it is the passion.

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  1. I think true blogger burnout – not just a moment where creativity and inspiration desert you – really hits those bloggers who have been doing it for YEARS. We’re getting to the point where some blogs have been going for ten years or so, we’re seeing the natural life span and ultimately the death of some established blogs. That’s just the way things work. Some things last.. others don’t.

  2. I agree with Sophie, but it’s also pretty fascinating to be around to witness the end of these blogging pioneers. It’s a little bit exciting when things get mixed up and messed with. Idk, I’m just excited to see how this reverberates in the community.
    And I am very much with with you on slow movement. A lot of people talk about slowing down in your daily life to appreciate it, but not in your blog life.

  3. This post hits the nail on the head!

    I think blogging is a challenge for many people, including myself. While we want to be creative and use blogging as a platform to express our ideas and teach others, there’s also so much pressure to grow, grow, grow! I’m passionate about writing and blogging, but there are days where I can’t get myself to sit in front of my computer for another two hours when I could be spending time with my boyfriend or relaxing.

    I’ve learned that blogging is somewhat of a love/hate relationship. While it feels amazing to get gain a community of readers and friends, there’s also those days where you feel like “What’s the point?”. I think you’re totally right about enjoying the “slow” side of blogging. Maybe it’s time to really focus on the value we’re trying to bring to our communities, rather than simply writing content to build our brands and create an income.

    Your content is amazing as always! I know whenever I need a push, I definitely visit your blog to find inspiration. I think I might try to figure out some content for the upcoming week! 🙂

  4. A celebration of slow movement, I love that! I wholeheartedly agree. I just want to be creative and write and find inspiration.

  5. Love this! I just started blogging a couple of months ago, and I’m growing very slowly, but I’m ok with that! I know I have a tendency to push myself on things until I burn out, so I’m really trying to just slow down and enjoy building relationships and discovering new bloggers to read and enjoy!

  6. I love this! I think bloggers get so hung up in wanting to have a popular, successful blog. I used to feel the need to blog daily, but I’ve realized that as long as I blog semi-consistently (even just twice a week), I’ll be okay. Focusing on great content and making friendships are what will make your blog successful. And what’s great about it is that you can go slowly with it. As they say, slow and steady wins the race 🙂

  7. Thank you! I really needed this. I’ve got to remember that I started blogging for my love of writing and desire to help, not to blow up ‘overnight’ or become a full time blogger. Appreciating a slow and steady growth is okay! This is certainly not the field to be in if you’re not okay with that. And I feel bad sometimes when I’m not dedicating all of my free time to the blog, but this is a great reminder that I shouldn’t feel bad about taking time out to pursue all of the other things I want to do and not worrying over being the ‘perfect’ blogger.

  8. Love this Amber! I have had burnout before and I didn’t blog for years. I had a lot going on personally, I was getting married, etc so it made sense for me to just take a step back. I think today’s burnout and the burnout focused in the article have a lot to do with blogging as an income and the pressure to put out content constantly to pay your bills. I think your tips would definitely help but there has to be a better way for the advertisers to help support the content creators who are making their ads and products shine.

  9. Hi Amber! As usual, an excellent post! I agree that we need to focus on slowing down and enjoying the process. On another note, it’s important to recognize burnout for what it is + try to find ways to combat it when you feel it coming on. For instance, maybe that means stepping away from the blog for a few hours or a day, a week, etc. to do something inspiring.

    I started blogging for real last year in November, but I took a blogging break around Christmas time and a couple of times this year during our honeymoon + our trip to Spain. So even as bloggers, it’s important to take a blog vacay every now and then just like you would in a traditional career. It reenergizes you + helps you regain your focus.

  10. I love this post, especially this line: “As a community, I think it’s time for a celebration of slow movement.” When social media was at its newest & most exciting, we pushed our boundaries & explored daring new ways to revel in completely unheard-of technologies. But now? We’re burned out. All of us – individually & societally. I like these moves back toward a slower-paced society, set with intentionality – because we still HAVE all these tools, but we don’t NEED to use them every second of every day. I’m hopeful that more people will start to recognize/embrace these concepts & stop putting so much pressure on one another & on ourselves to go, go, go & produce, produce, produce.

  11. Sign me up for slow (and happy) movement in the blogging world. Lovely post Amber, I surely can relate.

  12. As usual you’ve hit the nail on the head. Sometimes burnout doesn’t necessitate quitting. In the past, I’ve tried to listen to myself and be generous in allowing myself breaks and changes and even coming up, this rebrand. Because if my blog doesn’t reflect me and what I need + want in life, I’m failing at blogging.

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