Discussion: The Art of Blogging in the Rain. How to go on when the sky is dark.

Hi dear friends,

 

I know that today I’ve made a wordplay with Garth Stein’s book title “The Art of racing in the Rain” (that you should absolutely read by the way) but it was too tempting as the topic is: How do you go on blogging when you feel exhausted and under water?

The topic was inspired by several bloggers that I follow, announcing they are going on a hiatus (Alexandra, Evelina among others) and I confess that it made me think as I too feel tired these last months.

Don’t worry I don’t plan on stopping blogging, even temporarily but I will change things….

 

If you are not a blogger or new to blogging and bursting with energy and enthusiasm you are probably wondering why someone would feel overwhelmed or want to stop something so fun as blogging!

I encourage you to read Evelina’s wonderful post about the myths of blogging http://avalinahsbooks.space/book-blogging-myths/ to have a better understanding.

 

The thing is that blogging is a lot like writing a book or teaching/coaching classes.

What these activities have in common is the “giving”.

When you blog you are actively pouring your soul, your thoughts, your passion into posts meant for others. If you want others to be interested and come back you have to get and keep their attention. It takes a lot of energy! The same way I am drained after teaching adults about my specialty as I had to go get them, draw their attention to ME and keep them focused all along!

It’s a lot more intense than purely reading or following social media for fun!

 

Blogging is fun and rewarding. That’s why we do it.

But life can happen. You either have to go to school, defend a master, begin your professional carreer, commute every day to your work, raise your kids or take care of your family and sometime of an aged parent or sick relative.

Life takes its toll on you and at the end of the day you have less and less energy to be upbeat, intense, interesting enough to draw people’s attention to your posts.

What was a hobby and a delight feels more and more like a core.

And that’s NOT OKAY!

 

So how to deal when the sky gets cloudy, when it does not only rain but pours? How to keep blogging with pleasure?

I don’t have all the answers as every person is different and will cope in various ways.

Here are my advices and I would love for you to comment on them and add your two cents of wisdom.

 

1) Listen to your body!

You should never go against your body and its needs. If you need rest, don’t stay up late to finish that post that you had scheduled. Just go to bed, rest and you’ll feel better the day after or the day after tomorrow or ….

Fighting against tiredness will never benefit you.

 

2) Take a hiatus

It can be stopping to post for a few days or weeks or it can be posting less. If you go completely off the grid it’s appreciated if you can tell others that you do so. It will avoid others to worry about you because, yes we care.

As I’ve had a very difficult year and feel really tired I have decided to post less. Instead of posting every day like I used to do for nearly three years I will probably post four times a week. Maybe more maybe less, depending on my mood and energy.

 

3) Slow down on commenting

I know that blogging is connecting with people. That’s our common goal. And the blogging community is the best part of blogging.

I used to comment on every post of blogs that I follow. If this was something easily done in the beginning as I had few friends and few blogs to follow it’s become impossible now or I’d have to stop working!

I thought deep and hard about commenting.

I’ve decided that I will always comment back (see below) because people take from their free time to leave a comment on my blog and the least I could do is comment back but for the rest, I will only comment on a post if I have something to say!

You are thinking “Duh! Of course” but that’s not so easy! It was after reading one of Sam’s @weleaveandbreathebooks  discussion post months ago about commenting that I decided that indeed, it’s better to comment less but be genuine!

 

4) Always answer comments and comment back but when you can

Again if you try to answer every comment immediately it can put a lot of pressure on your shoulders. That’s also not realistic as we live in different time zone and have a life to live outside blogging.

I used to feel bad if I did not answer in the following hours. I thought that people would believe we ungrateful, impolite etc. But I’ve had to get used to it these last months if I did not want to completely burn out and …I am slowly used to it.

 

5) Slow down on social media

Many bloggers, me included, have other social media to market their blog. I am on Facebook (page and blog), Twitter and Instagram (my favorite). Keeping up with all of them can be exhausting.

I’d say that you have to choose your battles when your energy level is low. Focus on the social media that you love most and stick to it for some time. A step further  would be a complete social media hiatus for some period.

 

6) Remember why you decided to blog and put things in perspective

When I began blogging I wrote as introduction that I was a busy bee and that I would not be able to post every day.

Turns out that blogging is addictive and fun and I did way more than planned!

But at the and of the day, I blogged to have fun! To connect with others and share my passion.

It’s meant to be a part of my life. Not my whole life.

It matters but it is not everything! So it’s all right to do less. It’s all right to want to just keep the fun and let go of the rest.

 

In conclusion: do what you feel, enjoy what you do even if you do less. Savour what you do 😀  This is YOUR blog and YOU decide. Not others. Not the community. Not the PR or writers or publishing houses. YOU DO YOU and that’s enough.

If you have some intake about this topic I’d be very happy to hear about it! I’ll answer …when I can but promise, it’s a matter of days, not weeks 😉

 

PS The Art of racing in the Rain has been made into a movie so just watch 😀

Thanks for reading!

Sophie

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33 Replies to “Discussion: The Art of Blogging in the Rain. How to go on when the sky is dark.”

  1. These are all really great points! You know, the funny thing for me is that (at least right now) have the least amount of issues with commenting and reading other blogs. It’s my own that gives me problems! I love reading and liking everyone else’s content but especially lately I haven’t been feeling super inspired to create my own. So weird right?
    I have noticed quite a lot of hiatus’s lately too though, maybe we are all just going too hard and need to take a break to take care of ourselves!

  2. I’ve noticed a lot of hiatuses lately too. Both planned and unplanned (I’m in the latter category ) and I think all the things you said here are super important! We all need to remember to take care of ourselves <3 My biggest thing I have been struggling with is commenting on other posts! Especially with my unplanned hiatuses I am super behind, but I think I have a plan now! I am going to stay up to date (which is usually 2-4 days after I post the post) and slowly work through my backlog of other comments!

  3. I couldn’t agree more with all that you’ve said Sophie! It’s nice to see it so beautifully articulated. That said, knowing that it’s okay to slow down, take a break, reply/visit at your own pace and actually doing it can be two different beasts! We’re so understanding when it comes to others but we often hold ourselves to different standards… We need to learn to practice what we preach and cut ourselves some slack. 🙂

    I hope your planned changes stick and you settle into a rhythm that works for you!

  4. Excellent post as always, Sophie! This is the price of over-eagerness and it can be quite costly when you forget why you even started to do this in the first place. I always had my jaw on the ground when I saw people more than twice EVERY day… Not only do I find that exhausting for the person, I also think that one could possibly be able to keep up such a pace either. You simply have to choose what you do and only do it because you want to, have time for it and don’t feel any kind of stress when doing it!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Lashaan every time I read one of your posts or comments I am amazed at the wisdom you already have at your young age. I am not condescending here just truly impressed believe me!

      1. Wow, Sophie. You really made my day with your kind words hahah I definitely don’t consider it condescending. Thank you for being awesome! 😉

  5. Great post and I agree with all of your tips. I know my blog hopping and commenting suffers when I get really busy and it has taken me 3 years to finally accept that sometimes it’s going to take me a few days to get everything done in the blogosphere that I want to when real life is busy. I used to have this fear that everyone would just forget about me, but then it just really finally sunk in that that wasn’t the case at all. We’re all in the same boat and real life gets in every blogger’s way and that’s why we always support each other no matter how often or how rarely we can post and comment, etc.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      3 years will be the time it will take me to come to terms with it too Suzanne! But yes we don’t forget the ones taking hiatus so why should they forget us right?

  6. It is hard to find a balance between everything and to make sure you don’t burn yourself out with blogging or have too many tasks at once. Especially when work is busy I find it harder to find as much time for blogging, so I just do a bit less and try to accept that it’s okay to be a bit less active at times. That way I can stay blogging, but also take things a bit quieter when necessary.

    You have some good advice here. When I am busy I often focus on commenting back first when I can and only do extra commenting if I have the time. It’s important to keep the blogging fun and take breaks or take things slower when necessary.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Lola I’ve just read your post about being busy and not blogging a lot! It is so fitting!

  7. This is such a fab blog post! As a newbie blogger I admit I am still in the fun fun fun phase and less wary of burnout but I still know I have to be mindful of spending *too* much time on blogging. For example, with the amount of blogs I follow, like you said, it’s impossible to comment on all of them!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Well Emme you’re already aware of what matters to last a long time! And that’s what I wish you!

  8. Great Post! Taking a hiatus once in a while is important when you’re feeling stressed. It’s a pretty hard to maintain a balance between an online and offline life.
    BTW that first GIF was freaking hilarious!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you Raven!!!

  9. Great suggestions! I completely agree. I’ve cut way back on blogging this summer because of exhaustion. For a while, I was forcing myself to blog, and it wasn’t fun, so I decided to take a step back. I’m hoping to be back to regular blogging in October. In the meantime, I’m still trying to comment and read my friends’ posts.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Well AJ I’ve seen that indeed you are otherwise occupied. No need to force you to blog or you could resent it and that’s so not the point! Maybe you are blogging as a seasonal worker LOL

  10. Sophie!! I totally agree about the commenting thing. I used to try and comment on all of the posts, but I just follow so many people now that it’s borderline impossible. I’m struggling just to keep up reading everything (I currently have about 300 unread blog posts to catch up on, and that’s after I spent a lot of time catching up at the end of July…) and read the books that I need to. But I also hate not being able to read everyone’s posts that they work so hard on. It’s really tricky!!
    (By the way, just wanted to let you know that you’re amazing and we love you, and your discussion posts are always so on point and wonderful x)

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you Meeghan! I suppose we’ll feel better or less guilty when we’ll have a few more mileage under our belt LOL

  11. I work two jobs now and blogging can become a bit of a chore now and then. I love it though, so I push through those times. And I used to comment on all of the blogs I follow and now I struggle to reply to ones on my own blog. I expect to find a happy medium….someday. LOL Great discussion!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Finding our happy medium. I could not have said it better Laura! And thanks!

  12. Fantastic advice! Whenever I start to feel burned out from blogging, I also like to turn to a book or author that I know I will enjoy, so tha tI will be inspired and excited to write again. Pacing myself also helps, but I try not to take too long a hiatus because I’m afraid I’ll be spoiled by the break. If I get too used to not blogging, I might not be motivated to start up ever again, lol!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      I agree with you about taking too long hiatus Mogsy! I would fear losing my drive 😉

  13. I love commenting, but I follow so many blogs, that I have to limit my commenting to posts I actually have something relevant to add to the discussion. I also comment back, but sometimes I don’t get to it until the weekend. I think doing what I like rather than what I think other believe is best has really worked for me. This is my hobby and I want to enjoy it.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      These are all wise words Sam! Truly it was your post about commenting that stopped me to feel guilty anymore so thank you!

  14. Oh, you absolutely nailed it, Sophie. The stress of blogging and then, add in the fact most of us a book blogging. Which means reading, writing reviews, posting and visiting others, it draining. And when it becomes too much? It’s best to step away and get back to the part that made us want to blog in the first place.

    And yes, we all have to find that happy medium, or face burn out. For me, it’s about posting stuff that interests me, and if people come, great, if they comment, even better. But it’s not the end of the world if they don’t. 😀

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Exactly Alexandra! Take it or leave it! But that’s also how you’ll find your tribe 😉

  15. Great post. Getting a balance and finding what works for you is key. I’m suffering yet another reading slump and I have no idea why!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Dang Caro! I hope you’ll soon be out of your slump!

      1. Thanks! It’s just awful! I’m cutting out arcs for a few months so I dont have any pressure!!!

  16. There was a post on the news the other night how people are paying good money (some up to $500 a night) to stay in locations with NO cell service! What, you say? How can you survive without FB or Twitter?
    We’ve become tied to technology and it’s hurting us more than we know. I’ve started unplugging for the afternoon. I spend the time outdoors, enjoying my garden instead. I do have my phone, but only because my grandson is type 1 diabetic and I need to remain in contact- otherwise it’s a no wifi zone and I’m happier for it.
    Surprise- vitamin D does a body good!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Jacquie being without a phone is great! It’s freeing truly and needed from time to time. But pating 500 USD? Oh no! 😉

  17. It’s definitely important to find a balance or else burn-out is going to happen. And remember that blogging is a hobby not a job. Blogging doesn’t pay my bills or contribute to my retirement or offer me health insurance. LOL It’s a hobby and I treat it at such. I refuse to stress over something that is supposed to be fun. If I’m feeling stressed or overwhelmed or just short on time… I don’t post. (And the world doesn’t stop turning, either. Ha!) And as much as I would love to visit every single blog post that my friends put up and leave lengthy comments every single time, that’s just not realistic. We all have to know our limits and do the best we can without over-extending ourselves.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      You are so wise Tanya! But when you say it does not pay our bills… 😉

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