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How to Work Through Blog Burn Out

How to Work Through Blog Burn Out

    Raise your hand if you have tried several times to start a new blog, and then completely forget about it weeks, months, or maybe even years later.  You’re definitely not alone.  Blogging can be fun, but it can also at times be very tedious, time consuming, and possibly even boring.  In addition to the occasional case of writer’s block, another hazard of the blogging profession (or hobby) is burn out.  Burn out is different than writer’s block; you can think of plenty of things to write about, but you just don’t want to or don’t have the motivation to.  You’ve been there, done that. You’ve blogged so much that you don’t know if you can blog anymore.  Burn out can kill even a well-established blog, something you might regret later when you’re feeling inspired again, so how can you avoid it?

    Write About What You Love & Know

    My primary website covers a multitude of topics and I have a quota I try to reach everyday in terms of what topics to cover.  I don’t always meet the goal, but I try to.  There are some days when I cannot for the life of me do a post on the latest health news, but I could easily whip out an entertainment piece.  This is one of the same concepts that I use to overcome the occassional bout of writer’s block.  Instead of trying to force out the kind of writing that I know I’d struggle with, I allow myself to write about something else that interests me at the moment.  It’s more productive than sitting there staring at a black screen, and you’ll at least get some content up.

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    Create a Stockpile of Blog Post Ideas

    Just as there are days when you struggle to come up with something to blog about, there are also days when you have so many ideas that you can’t possibly cover them all.  When these days come around, make sure you write down all your ideas, either down on paper or in a file saved on your computer.  When you aren’t motivated or can’t think of something “good” to blog about, consult your list – you might find yourself inspired again.

    Reconsider Your Blogging Frequency

    Perhaps blogging daily is too much for you, and scaling your blogging frequency back a little bit might help.  It doesn’t have to be permanently, but you might find that if some of the pressure to perform is removed, your interest in blogging may increase.

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    Read to Find Inspriration

    Sometimes blog burn happens because you just don’t know what to write about anymore.  Similarly to overcoming writer’s block, with blog burn out you can try reading to find inspriration.  Read some new blogs on a topics that interest you, read the newspaper or some magazines.  Read and enjoy it.  You might find something that sparks something in you, compelling you to write.  Or, you might just enjoy the break from blogging and find enjoyment in simply reading for a change.  Sometimes you really just need to take a break (more on that below).

    Take a Break

    If you find yourself struggling to write, no longer feel inspired, or dread the task of updating your blog, it may be time to step back and take a break.  As an online writer, I am pretty much on-call every day of the week.  It can get tiring and old, and there are times when I think to myself “It would be so much easier if I didn’t have to worry about the website.”  I get that feeling like I don’t know how I can possibly go on, writing day after day after day.  But I’ve always found that a break from it can really help recharge my mental batteries, renewing my excitement and interest. Sometimes, it could just be allowing myself an afternoon to take in a couple movies at home, or if I’m particularly burnt out, I might need a weekend free of blogging responsibilities.

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    Once I’ve had my time away from writing, I feel more inspired.  I have more things to say and to write about, and amazingly, it’s not so much of a struggle to produce.  The same thing applies to other forms of work — if you feel you’ve been slacking off, just don’t care, or are no longer excited or interested in what you’re doing, sometimes a break is just what the doctor ordered.

    Enlist the Help of a Guest Blogger

    If your blog is a topical one, and not a personal one in which you talk about your daily life, getting a guest blogger to step in when you’re burned out is a good way to keep the content flowing on your blog while you take a break.  Networking with other bloggers is a good way to find willing bloggers, and if you guest post yourself from time to time, you’ll find that others are willing to reciprocate.

    Coming Back from a Burnout-Related Absence

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    If you’re struggling to blog and will be taking an absence from blogging for more than a few days, it might be a good idea to give your readers a heads up that you may not be posting for a bit.  You don’t have to tell them that you’re burnt out, but the least you could do is say “I’ve got a few things to take care of and I’ll not be posting as much for the next week.”  This helps to protect traffic to your site and your relationship with your readers.  They know you’re out there and that you’ll be back at it soon.  Simply abandoning your blog for a week or two might lead your readers to believe that you’ve quit for good, and they’ll start checking in to see if you’ve written anything new less frequently.  If you’re gone too long without any notice, they’ll stop coming back for good.  If you’ve done this and notice less traffic when you do start blogging again, you’ll need to stay consistent in your writing.  People might start coming back around.

    Reader Feedback

    Have you struggled with blogging burnout?  What did you do to overcome it?  How many blogs have you abandoned, never to post on again?  I’d love to hear your experiences with this.  We can all learn a little something from others’ struggles.

     

     

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    Julie McCormick

    Julie McCormick is a writer, and co-owner of The Cleveland Leader, a Technorati Top 1000 site.

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    Last Updated on August 6, 2020

    6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

    6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

    We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

    “Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

    Are we speaking the same language?

    My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

    When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

    Am I being lazy?

    When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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    Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

    Early in the relationship:

    “Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

    When the relationship is established:

    “Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

    It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

    Have I actually got anything to say?

    When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

    A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

    When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

    Am I painting an accurate picture?

    One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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    How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

    Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

    What words am I using?

    It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

    Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

    Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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    Is the map really the territory?

    Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

    A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

    I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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