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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 January 24, 2021

    How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

    How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

    Do you say yes so often that you no longer feel that your own needs are being met? Are you wondering how to say no to people?

    For years, I was a serial people pleaser[1]. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time, especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

    But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

    It took a long while, but I learned the art of saying no. Saying no meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. When that happened, I became a lot happier.

    And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

    The Importance of Saying No

    When you learn the art of saying no, you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

    In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

    Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey, considered one of the most successful women in the world, confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything.

    Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

    Warren Buffett views “no” as essential to his success. He said:

    “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

    When I made “no” a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success, focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

    How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

    It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say no.

    From an early age, we are conditioned to say yes. We said yes probably hundreds of times in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work, to get a promotion, to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

    We say yes because we feel good when we help someone, because it can seem like the right thing to do, because we think that is key to success, and because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist.

    And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves.

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    At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we are feeling bad that we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

    The message, no matter where we turn, is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

    How Do You Say No Without Feeling Guilty?

    Deciding to add the word “no” to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say no, but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of no that you could finally create more time for things you care about.

    But let’s be honest, using the word “no” doesn’t come easily for many people.

    3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

    1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

    Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time, especially you haven’t done it much in the past, will feel awkward. Your comfort zone is “yes,” so it’s time to challenge that and step outside that.

    If you need help getting out of your comfort zone, check out this article.

    2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

    When you want to learn how to say no, remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it: who else knows about all of the demands in your life? No one.

    Only you are at the center of all of these requests. You are the only one that understands what time you really have.

    3. Saying No Means Saying Yes to Something That Matters

    When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else that we may care more about. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

    6 Ways to Start Saying No

    Incorporating that little word “no” into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

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    1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

    One of the biggest challenges to saying no is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no will reflect poorly on you?

    Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

    2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

    Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because of FOMO, even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

    Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better[2].

    3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say No

    Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say yes because we worry about how others will respond or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose their respect. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

    Keep in mind that saying no can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way.

    You might disappoint someone initially, but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to. And it will often help others have more respect for you and your boundaries, not less.

    4. When the Request Comes in, Sit on It

    Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

    Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say no. There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

    5. Communicate Your “No” with Transparency and Kindness

    When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest[3] to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

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    How do you say no? 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

      Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

      Clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

      6. Consider How to Use a Modified No

      If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” as this will give you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

      Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task, but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

      Final Thoughts

      Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

      Use the request as a way to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself.

      Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project, but not by working all weekend. You’ll find yourself much happier.

      More Tips on How to Say No

      Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] Science of People: 11 Expert Tips to Stop Being a People Pleaser and Start Doing You
      [2] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Tips to Get Over Your FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out
      [3] Cooks Hill Counseling: 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

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