Bloggy Burn Out

So this is bloggy burn out. The total and complete lack of desire to be within ten feet of a computer. To miss reading your favorite blogs simply because you dread getting on the computer for any length of time. To want to do anything other than sit down and type. You aren’t obsessively thinking about what you are going to write about. Blogging has become just one more thing that is always on your “To Do” list. It has become a chore.

On the other hand, your house is clean. Your children have been on a walk several times during the week. You’ve read an entire book. You’ve visited with friends and had play dates. You have been away from the computer for hours without once feeling guilty about not responding to comments. You aren’t stressed about posting everyday. You’ve enjoyed an evening of TV with your husband, and never once thought “I should really be on the computer”. You’ve caught up on your DVR’d shows. You remember what it was like to have free time.

How did it get to this point?

What did I do wrong? I love blogging! Why does it now feel like something that I don’t want to do and that I don’t look forward to doing?

What the hell happened????

The other day, one of my best blogging friends Kristin at Taming Insanity wrote about what blogging has given to her and why she treasures it. I completely related to her post 100%. I’ve met some amazing people, made some wonderful friends, and learned a lot. And I don’t want to give that up. Her post got me to thinking about why I blog; what I get out of it. Other than venting frustrations about the day-to-day challenges of motherhood, and recording my children’s childhoods, why do I bother?

The answer is simple. I love to write. I love the creative outlet that blogging has become for me. I love getting emails and comments that say “oh, I can relate” or “I feel the same way” or “you are not alone” or “thank you for writing that, it helped me so much”. I love the ideas I get from others, love sharing my experiences, love the beauty and power of words. I am attracted to it *pedantically*.

But a lot of the burn out has been brought on by the pressure I put on myself. The pressure to try to respond to every, single comment. The pressure to try to visit every commenter’s blog, as well as the blogs that I visit because I enjoy them. The pressure of obsessing over the numbers…the visits, returning visitors, page views…all the stuff that shouldn’t matter. And all of that is where the burn out came from.

The Mommyologist recently wrote a post titled Blogging Means Never Having To Say Your Sorry, and it got me good. She talks about the need to STOP apologizing for having a life outside of blogging. In it she says:

“The blogosphere is supposed to be a community that is free of judgment, and full of support, so why are so many bloggers being judged, and why are so many of them feeling the need to apologize for having a life outside of their blog?”

Powerful, huh? Why do I feel that I need to apologize for not posting everyday? For not responding to comments or visiting blogs daily? It takes hours of time to do that, and I have 3 kids three and under that need me and I want to give them my full attention! The bloggers that I love and visit regularly know and understand this. So if they don’t see me for a few days, they know that I’m still around (and reading their posts on my reader).

So, I know why I’m burnt out and I have decided to make some changes to my blogging. It won’t be every day; it may only be once or twice a week. I will visit other blogs when I have time, and I’ll respond to commenter’s that ask me a question (if they have an email address to reply to).

I want to love blogging again; I want it to be fun. I love the connections I’ve made and the wonderful writers that I’ve found. I won’t continue to blog/respond/comment out of the feeling of guilt or necessity. I’m not required to do any of this and so I have to do it on my terms, when I can, and how I want.

I love the blogging community, and appreciate every single person that stops by to visit…whether it’s only once or every time I post. I just hope I get out of this burnt out feeling soon because it sucks!

Have you entered for your chance to win a Mommy of a Monster bracelet created just for me by Betsy at the Funky Mama Bird shop? Go enter now!

And so it goes…

**If you haven’t already done so, please sign up for an email subscription to my blog so you’ll know when I post something since it’s not going to be as regularly as it’s been.

Mama's Losin' It
I wrote this post for Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop in response to Prompt #1: Why are you burned out?

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Comments

  1. I started blogging about a year ago and posted every day. But it was like a full time job! So I had to cut it back and now I'm at 2 times a week and feel a lot better.

    I hope your new schedule works better for you too. Don't feel pressure to post and comment when you don't feel like it! It should be a fun thing for you!

  2. It happens to all of us. I stopped replying to comments where all I had to say in return was "thank you!"

    We have to have lives outside of blogging or we have nothing to blog about.

  3. I am so with you.

    I tried to post every. single. day. I cut back to five days, with one of those days being a photo, and it was amazing how much more pleasure I found in blogging. I may cut back even further when the juice runs low. And I should be o.k. with it.

    I also stopped responding to all the comments, even though I LOVE THEM. Because I just can't think of anything interesting to say and it does take time.

    I'm glad you are taking time to be yourself. That's important.

  4. Nat, yours is one of my favorite blogs, and while I love my daily dose of Nat, I'm sure your readers would rather have you periodically than never at all.

  5. I'm right there with you. Maybe it's the time of year too. It seems a lot of people are feeling it.

    I think my dilemma in cutting back is not the worry so much of the visitors, or the comments. It's how the friendships I made will maintain themselves. While I know my close bloggy friends will always support me…let's face it, the less you are in contact with someone, the harder it becomes to maintain that relationship. With Twitter keeping people up to date on every small detail of people's lives…even 2 or 3 days without it makes you feel like an outsider very quickly.

    So that's what I struggle with. Sorry this turned into a narcissistic comment. But I really wanted to say yes, I agree with you, I feel this way, and yet, I can't yet decide what tradeoffs I want or am willing to make!

    I'm glad you figured it out :) Can't wait to see you Saturday!! :)

  6. THANK YOU for this! I'm going through the exact. same. thing. right now, and I think it's all the pressure to do EVERYTHING. When I fall short on one thing (like responding to comments for a day, it all starts to go downhill).

    It's hard to forgive yourself, give yourself leeway and room. And, while I'd like to think no one else cares if you don't read/comment or respond to comments sometimes, I don't really believe it.

    I'm trying to get to the place you're at, but I can't come to terms with watching stats fall, y'know? No matter how much I try to spend a day completely free from blogging and worrying and monitoring, I still come home at the end of the day, see what happened (or, more likely, didn't happen) and feel sad.

    I wonder if Seth Godin ever feels like that.

    Anyway, I still love you no matter what you do! And, I think above all else, blogging should be here to enhance our family lives – not detract from it.

    So good on you! Thank you for being a leader on this!

  7. Bethany @ Organic Enchilada says:

    Yes, yes, and more yes. I'm totally cool with more bloggers joining me on the half-assed side of the fence. Welcome. It's low-stress over here. You'll like it.

  8. i hear ya! I just posted about my own hiatus!

  9. Did I win the giveaway yet?

  10. I know how you feel. I love blogging for all the same reason but I just don't feel like I can keep up. And I feel that if I don't do it my blog will never grow.
    For now I do what I can and pretty much ignore the computer on the weekends!

  11. Here, here.

    Although I have a confession. If I get a lot of "new" commenters on a given day, I'm a hell of a lot less likely to respond to them. I can't build a rapport with 20 people at once like I used to…

  12. Yup. Yup. Yup. All of it.

    I've thought about quitting, threatened to quit even, more than once. I am hooked. But.

    I only write what I want when I want. I no longer obsess of getting a post in for every little carnival or blog hop.

    I go for days without reading and commenting, and usually catch up in an evening.

    I am seriously considering committing to only ONE post per week. If I do more than that, fine, less would be fine too.

    Also? I may just disappear one day.

  13. Sheena Simpson says:

    Maybe I just started blogging and it will be different when I am an old hat at it. But I can't keep up with blog reading. At this point I don't try to. I figure if for some reason I have free time inbetween the kids, zoo, hubby, and homeschooling I will go visit my favorites. But I noticed a month in that the more I obsessed with blogging and following the less stories I had to tell about the kids and adventures. Do what ya gotta do Nat, being a mommy is ten times more important and the internet will be here when they are older.

  14. Wow, I just posted this same topic! Although, you were much nicer than me. :-)
    I'm right there with you though.

  15. I love how Gigi commented that she doesn't want to sounds narcissistic, and then Momma K writes, "Did I win the giveaway yet?"

    We are a special group of people – oh yes! As long as you stay on Twitter, Nat, I'm cool with it. :)

  16. I'll tell you a secret. I was so relieved when you stopped commenting on every one of my posts because I always felt pressure to return the favor. I'll always be a fan and don't ever apologize for living your life. Loved this.

  17. The recognition of many many comments is nice but after a while it needs to stop being the focus of blogging.

    My focus, is writing. Coming up with good content that makes people want to come back every day. And if all I get is one person telling me I made them laugh, then I am happy.

    Don't get me wrong, I still pay attention to my stats and wish for tons of comments but its not going to happen. Well it will if I stop living outside my computer and I really can't do that.

  18. The Mommyologist says:

    This post kicks so much ass, I don't even know WHERE to start. I nodded my head in agreement through the whole thing!!

    I think we all go through phases with blogging and there are times when we just want to reconnect with our "real" lives. The minute that blogging feels like it's taking over, you have to take a step back.

    I post 1-2 times per week usually, but this week, I had a lot going on and have not posted. I will get back on track next week, but for this week, I'm taking the break and not worrying about what it does to my numbers. Numbers are just numbers, and it's the content and the connections you develop that are important, whether you write/connect once a day or once a month.

    You have to do what feels right for you and your family and your blog…bottom line!

    Thank you SO much for the shout out…I truly appreciate it! Off to tweet this post!

    :)

  19. The Mommyologist says:

    I just went back and read the comments and laughed my ass off at Shell's comment:

    "We have to have lives outside of blogging or we have nothing to blog about."

    Best thing I've ever heard!

  20. Circus Daily says:

    blogging for me has been a bit of a roller coaster this past year. Some weeks are all about posts almost daily…then I hit a wall…and a week goes by with no bloggy action over here.

    Then i start to feel the pressure. The numbers. The comments. The "why can't I get more followers" questions.

    Then I ask myself…wait, why do i care.

    I know friends, family, my family in particular all enjoy the blog, so why isn't that enough.

    And this gets me past the hump and I happily start blogging again. Until the questions/numbers/pressure game all starts back up.

    Right now, i'm in a good place and have set a few rules which have helped. 1. I never blog when my boys are up, it's not fair to them. 2. I never blog when my hubby is home and also needs some attention…also not fair. 3. I have decided to not worry with PR promos, giveaways, and other sponsorships…not that any have come to my door knocking, but that's where I'm at right now.

    I love your posts and also respect your life outside of your 'puter. So "no worries" it's all good. Enjoy your blog, and we'll enjoy reading it.

  21. I've been planning to cut back once I hit the year mark in December. Your plan sounds excellent!

  22. Allyson & Jere says:

    Clearly this is an issue all over right now. Mommy Monologues wrote an almost IDENTICAL post earlier today. It is amazing how much time can be sucked up by "the blog". I think you just got way too caught up in the idea of it and the numbers. I'm glad for you, happy that you're able to take a step back and reassess. You're right, those who like you (which I'm gonna say is all of us who subscribe) will be here when and if you decide to post. Frankly, I get overwhelmed when people post every single day sometimes. I need to breathe as well. So, take your time. Enjoy your real LIFE! Talk to "us" when you feel like it. We'll be here.

  23. I think everyone is going through some form of this with the holidays….there is just too much else….but you are right to take the break and enjoy the "real loves" in your life…I am sure after a taking the pressure off you will be blogging more than before!

  24. I've totally been there. But as soon as I would be less active in blogland, I was super inspired & ended up being more into it. I guess it comes in waves.

  25. Great minds think alike. I posted on this today too. Not that I expect you to go over and read it.

    Like most people, I care about the community I've worked hard to build. But at the end of the day, if you're not happy blogging, then you definitely need to take a step back.

    I am guessing this might be a topic Saturday night! You're still going, right???

  26. Oh girl, haven't we all been there? I think it is healthy to step away and grab a dose of perspective. I still see your presence around and you always have a fun & encouraging word. Go grab a coke!

  27. I just started blogging a month or so ago and I am always wondering, "How do these women get it all done? Mommyness, wifeyness, house stuff, and everything. I was feeling like a failure not blogging every day like everyone else! Whew! Nice to know I am not alone!

  28. I am 100% with you:-) I have blogging maybe once or twice a week. I guess I started taking things too personally, I would ask myself "Why don't more people comment?" "I have all these followers and no one says anything." But i have to keep in mind that I started writing it for my long distance family, that is what is important:-)

  29. Good for you Mama!! I'm in a similar place. It's no fun anymore when it feels like one more thing you "have to do" than an outlet. Putting too much pressure on yourself takes away the joy of blogging.

  30. I think every blogger has experienced this at some point or another in their bloggy career. I was close to burnout myself and wrote a post earlier this year about it – I knew I had to pull back before I lost my bloggy mojo.

    It sounds as though you've found that space that your comfortable with. I've always said the *moment* this gig feels more like a job it's time to take a step back and reflect – because blogging thing is supposed to be F-U-N!

  31. amyblam.com says:

    I try to post two to three times a week. I respond to comments on my site if it makes sense and I always visit their site to leave a comment. When I was responding to every one on my site AND visiting their site, it was too much.

  32. The Empress says:

    I know what you mean. Once I came clean on my blog, I felt so much happier.

    Essentially, I just posted, "i'll visit as I make my way through."

    I love blogging, I love the people I"ve met, It's saved me from depression. I can't let it go: it's done more for me than any meds or talk therapy.

    So, I'm here to stay:just have to figure out the balance.

    Good luck to you.

  33. Perfectly said, Natalie. I hear ya! I just can't keep up with all the great blogs I find, so I email subscribe to those I can't miss and find the others when I can. But I have to try really hard not to keep saying I'm sorry to everyone for it!
    You'll love blogging again; you've got the virus. And we're here when you do.

  34. TornadoTwos says:

    Very wise of you- blogging is supposed to be FUN. Once we lose the fun, what's the point?

  35. Life Without Pink says:

    Girl I am right there with you! I am getting overwhelmed too. When this happens I try and take a step back…with kids, the house, school and a PT job it is hard to keep up with. I always feel guilty for not commenting, etc {and I know we shouldn't feel this way}. I only blog 3 times a week…and if its less I dont beat myself up.

  36. Hello! I'm Kate. says:

    You're right we did write the same post! Good luck!

    I like the quote you used from the other blog post, that's exactly true-why do we feel so much pressure?!

    And I'm ready to be out of the burned out funk, hope it ends!

  37. Funky Mama Bird says:

    I went through the same thing a few months ago. It was a struggle and still is, but letting stuff go was the only way to stay sane.

    Hang in there. =)

  38. Mrs.Mayhem says:

    I feel the exact same way. It is tough, and I don't have any solutions. When you find one, let me know!

  39. Lori @ In Pursuit of Martha Points says:

    You and Kristin both get "Amens" from me today.

    It needs to be fun, at the end of the day, it just NEEDS to be.

    Do what you need to do to make it be.

  40. Mothers' Hideaway says:

    I feel the exact same way. I decided that I will blog when I have the inspiration because otherwise my blogs suck. On top of that I want to spend as much time as possible with my boys and if blogging takes that away from me, well, what's the point of being a stay at home mom? So…go…play…work…have fun…and have a life because without it…blogging's just another thing.

  41. The Flying Chalupa says:

    I think we can ALL relate to this post. All I can manage is one or two a week. I respond and visit when I can. So don't worry, chica. I understand.

  42. CraftyMummy says:

    I know this feeling, Natalie – you expressed it so well! Enjoy your little time out, won't you.

  43. Fantastic post!

    I've been blogging for a really, really, long time. Since spring of 2004, actually. The only way that I have been able to maintain that sort of longevity is to have weeks where I post every day and weeks where I post once.

    I think you're smart to pause before you burn out. And speaking of which, time for me to turn OFF the computer and work on some sweet pickle relish.

  44. Retty N. Hakim says:

    Hi, I just found your blog…
    Blogging is really a door to unimaginable neighbours…I'm from Indonesia, and I have three sons (the eldest is entering his teenager's rebelling period, and two little "monsters"…they're growing up quicker than I imagine).
    I'm also trying hard to balance my life, but I know for sure that blogging and blogwalking is a part of its balancing weight. It's so nice to read so many comments that would enlighting my own quest into blogging.

  45. Good for you that you noticed what was happening- and stepped away before you burned out totally. I only blog once or twice a week- and I have definitely lost readers because of it. But I have come to peace with that- I figure the people that stick around are the true readers of my blog anyway. Plus- now I write when I'm genuinely excited about something! When I have a great offer, or tip. Not just to fill space- and I believe that makes my blog more fun! And anyone that doesnt agree- is just missing out;)

    Have fun with your precious kiddos!

  46. I'm a fairly new blogger, and I can already relate! I recently felt like I was getting caught up in the numbers. It takes the fun out of it. I just try to focus on what I want to write, when I want to write it. :)

  47. Retty in Buah Pena says:

    […I was blogwalking to a blog that has a unique name "Mommy of a Monster (I Mean Toddler) & Infant Twins", and read this post. I have a teenage and two "little monsters" (I mean twins…]

  48. Kristi {at} Live and Love...Out Loud says:

    Ditto to everything you and Jen (Buried with Children) said. At first, you feel the need to reply to every single comment but after a while it becomes impossible. It takes away from the enjoyment you felt throughout the creative process of writing. I no longer comment on every single blog I read and I don't feel the need to reply to every comment I receive either. I started my blogging journey to express my creativity, not so I can make others happy. That's just the icing on the cake. While I love icing, I'm not going to chase it around like a chicken without a head. I want to focus more on writing about what I want, when I want and enjoying the whole process. Thanks for sharing what so many are afraid to say, Natalie. Have a great day.

    Kristi, Live and Love…Out Loud
    @TweetingMama

    PS Stumbled this. :)

  49. Kristi {at} Live and Love...Out Loud says:

    Okay, I'm afraid that my comment may not have been totally clear. When I referred to "icing", I'm not referring to the friendships I've made through blogging. Those, I wouldn't give up for anything.

  50. Jersey Diva Mom says:

    I was starting to get really wound up a fewe months ago that I had dropped to once a week posting for a few weeks. Then I realized the Earth's axis had NOT shifted, the gravitational pull that drives the tides was still in effect, and life had gone on. We all need time for our lives!!!!!! Love your blog– and will love it as much if it's a treat vs. daily staple.

  51. SurferWife says:

    Blogging is so cyclical. There are the ups and the downs and most of us travel in them together. I feel like the groups of blogs I started out with has dwindled a lot. Like we had our day and many didn't return from Burn Out.

    Now I see it happening in your 'generation' and it just becomes that much more clear.

    Like I told you on Twitter, if you just roll with it and leave yourself free of any expectations, blogging will be fun again. Once you have a grasp on not needing the comments, followers, etc. you will feel so much less pressure.

    It chaps me when I read these 'Blogging 101 Tips' that say how you need to respond and you need to follow and blah, blah, blah. No. You don't. If you stay connected through any social media and merely do what you want to do, you wont lose your followership. (As you visit less you will notice your comments dwindle but that's OKAY!)

    You going down to a couple posts a week actually makes us who have allowed ourselves the break feel less guilty about missing your posts. (If that makes sense?)

  52. Very well put. You deserve a break and to have a life outside of blogging. Don't feel guilty about not putting in the blog time.

    You started blogging only 9 months ago and went at it full steam ahead… give yourself a break.

    Your true Mommy of a Monster fans will love you no matter what and will continue to visit whether you post 7 days a week or 2.

    I'm with Liz… stay on Twitter as much as you can. :) That's real time and instant.

    Hang in there, friend. xoxo

  53. P.S. I tweeted and Stumbled :)

  54. Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip says:

    I completely relate to this post. I love blogging too. I love the friendships. The writing. The camraderie. The comments. I love connecting with other moms over thing stuff of daily life. But blogging is work. And sometimes I burn out too.

    I have a terribly guilty conscience and I spend WAY too much time stressing about who I haven't visited and how full my inbox is with comments I've never responded to. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one that feels this way. And glad to know that even you, Natalie, who are AMAZING at blogging, feel this way from time to time. Whew!! Did you hear that sigh of relief? I feel so much better now! And now I'm going to go take a break and hang out with my husband a bit. Without feeling guilty. Thank you. :)

  55. hey there good perception info sharing, expect this will be really helpful for people

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  1. […] to get her to share her tips with us.) Natalie, from Mommy of a Monster, also wrote about it in Bloggy Burnout. She described the signs of burnout as when “[b]logging has become just one more thing that […]

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