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!