Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

“Reading and writing are acts of empathy and faith. Guard that trust carefully — in this rapidly changing business, it’s the only sure thing.” ~Erin Keane
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Blogging Burnout Anyone?

Today is the post day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group, and although I'm not real clear on what I'm feeling insecure about today more than any other day, I do like to hop around and visit other blog posts. This is my favorite day of the month to go blog hopping, because the IWSG posts tend to be sincere and heart-felt.


As for me, I'm burnt out from posting daily for April. I kept up with writing my posts but didn't seem to find time to go visiting others on the list. This is a shame since it's part of signing up.

Pretty sure it's my last year to do the A to Z Challenge. I've participated each time since Arlee Bird initiated it, one year with two blogs at once. Two years in a row I've posted on Guatemala, last year as a new resident, this time with things a tourist might enjoy. Three times would be too much and besides, I think I'm done with heavy-duty blogging responsibilities like that.

Having cut back on blogging during the previous couple years, I'll probably continue in that vein, posting only two or three times a month. This works for me, keeping me in the loop without creating too much pressure.

I'm not really insecure about my blog since I've been moving in this direction for awhile and it feels right for me. But after five years of blogging and promoting blogging and some years even spending 20 hours a week on it, it feels weird to finally accept and acknowledge and even embrace entering a more low-key phase with it.

42 comments:

  1. I scaled back a couple of years ago.

    That month long blog hop is much too much. I don't blame you for cutting back.

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    1. Maria, I scaled back big time a couple years ago as well, then picked it up when we moved to Guatemala because it seemed like all of a sudden I had more to say. Twice on the A to Z Challenge about Guatemala, 3 x would be too much, thus time to scale back again.

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  2. I'm with you, Karen. That's why I didn't do the a-z these past few years. I've become so protective of my time and energy.

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    1. Karen, Being protective is a very good way to put it!

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  3. Well done for taking part every April. I can see how you might suffer a little burnout. This year was my second time - and I needed a couple of years' distance from the first. A blog should be fun, so if you don't find it fun anymore, scaling back seems like the right thing to do.

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  4. I hear you, Karen... I was a 20 plus hour a week blogger for the first two years, and now I may post once a week if that. It works for me too. I think us seasoned bloggers (ALEX excluded) just don't have the time to put into it any more. We want to because we love the community and want to keep in touch. But, life always seems to pop up and smack us in the face. So we need to address those more pressing issues. At least in my case.

    I enjoy your posts on your new life and look forward to reading more about your adventures. I can't wait to have a few new ones of my own. That is if I ever get out of Chicago. It's iffy at this point. Life...

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    1. Michael, I know you will end up where you need to be, whether it's Chicago or Florida or somewhere else. It's really good to spend a lot of time on blogging when first starting out, and then cut back gradually to maintain what was built. I don't regret a minute of the time I spent early on.

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  5. I feel the same way. I signed up for the Challenge at the last minute because I hoped it would help me get over my burnout. I enjoyed it but I know I won't do it again. I hope to post a few times a month over the summer because I don't want to give up blogging completely - I still really enjoy keeping up with the community.

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    1. Julie, I couldn't imagine giving up blogging completely because this community is my connection to writers. I don't have a real life group and am unable to go to conferences. The online writing community is my support group and extremely valuable to me.

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  6. I think we must all listen to our inner writer selves and do what we must to satisfy our muse. If backing off is what you need, then do it, and don't look back. I think it's important to listen to what feels right and go with it. Thanks for sharing! Lisa, co-host #IWSG, @ http://www.lisabuiecollard.com

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  7. Blogging felt like a full time job during April. I enjoyed your posts on your lovely lifestyle and all the beautiful places around you.

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  8. I know what you mean about burnout. I have just enough energy left to get through today. Your posts were fascinating though!

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  9. I think the A to Z was good for me, but I have certainly been burnt out before. I have decided on twice a week and think that is a manageable pace. I hope so anyway...

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    1. Hart, Twice a week seems like a lot to me now but in the early days it was sometimes twice a day!

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  10. I definitely feel the burnout, too. It's definitely a good idea to take a break and cut back!

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  11. I think a lot of us have cut back a bit - as readers we can't respond to everything, and as writers we need time for Life so we have stuff to write about!

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  12. I'm with you. Posting isn't the problem -it is getting back to folks. It just seems rude but all I really have time for are the deeper relationships fostered in the blogosphere. I'll probably limp along though.

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    1. Jan, A couple years ago I changed my blog's gmail account and have since realized that people I followed before no longer show up on my feed. I've been going around re-following to remedy the situation. I actually found some bloggers I'd thought had dropped off were one's who just weren't showing up on my feed. Anything I can do to make the visiting easier helps.

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  13. That's why I didn't do it this year. It's just too much for me. I enjoyed it from the sidelines though.

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  14. I just know that if I tackled the A-Z-- I would be un-blogging for months after. I figured that, for me, pacing (in everything) is key.
    Do what works for you. Then you'll do it longer, and only for as long as it is meaningful personally or professionally.

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  15. Everytime I come here I just want to sit on your porch and enjoy that view!!

    I've lost the blogging urge too, and feel like I do more filler posts (as in, book promo's) than actual content. And sometimes, visiting everyone is such a chore. I do love the IWSG days though. I a few days hopping around, and feel like I've met my friendship quota, lol.

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  16. I like the low key myself. I started out posting a lot and visiting tons of sites, which was great in the beginning. Now, I like to take a more relaxed pace. I think you'll enjoy it!

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    1. Bear, I've already been enjoying the slower pace except for April LOL. I feel certain I'm on the right track-- balance and moderation so I can maintain a level that works for me.

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  17. Same here! I realized the A-Z was just too much for me. But I'm keeping up with blogging and running hops, although I only post once a week. Returning comments takes a lot of time though.

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    1. Lexa, Yes, it does take a lot of time to return comments. I now put commenters' blogs on my sidebar so I can visit them easier. I think regular visits to their blogs is a nice way to pay back when people regularly visit and comment on mine.

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  18. I loved doing the A to Z challenge the two years that I'd done it, but I remember feeling burnt out when those months were over.

    I think it's fine to blog at the frequency that works best for you.

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  19. It really is exhausting and time consuming...yet I love the interaction I get from friends.

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    1. Romance Reader, same here, which is why I keep trying to find my balance. I've posted about the struggle so many times I'm sure people are getting a little tired of hearing it.

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  20. I think you do what you can. By the way, Karen, I'm finishing AFRAID OF EVERYTHING (mentioned it in tomorrow's blog post - it's scheduled). A lovely book. We do live to write, and we do have to make time. In this case, I'm glad you wrote it.

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    1. Diana, Thank you so much! And especially for your positive words about Afraid of Everything. These kinds of comments are what keep me going on the next book when the writing is rough.

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  21. I'm with you! Life goes in phases, right? The nice thing about having been more active in blogging earlier is that we've formed these connections that don't go away just because we're stopping by less frequently.

    Your A to Z theme this year sounds great. I'm going to have to take a skip through.

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  22. I'm not sure that I would call what I feel burnout as much as a frustration with never have enough time to do everything I would like to and need to do for proper social networking. The writing I like but it must me curtailed if I want to do the visiting and I find that added to the other things in life I can't do it all adequately. And this includes more reading of books which I don't do as much as I'd like.

    Then there are the physical limitations related to the amount of time spent sitting in front of a computer (maybe a standing station would help but that would come with it's own problems I guess) and the toll taken on the eyes--I've been experiencing a lot of visual fatigue in recent months though my eye doctor says me eyes are fine.

    So burnout I'm not sure is the word I'd use. I'm mostly frustrated that I don't have more time for blogging combined with other things. I'm considering cutting back like you've done, but seems like there are always so many posts I want to do.

    If you're comfortable with your schedule then that's what you should do.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Lee, You are so right when you say it's more a sense of frustration than burnout. With the huge success of blogging came other social media sites to add to it, along with more blogging responsibilities. It's difficult for one person to keep up. I can imagine how hard it must be with all the blogs you maintain, and each one is really well done and interesting.

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  23. In that case, congratulations on scaling down and feeling good about it.

    Thanks for finding and following me. I'm honored to return the favor.

    Happy Sunday, Karen.

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  24. A few times a month will be fine - although the connections made via blogging are priceless (how would I ever have known about you otherwise?), we must take a stand for Real Life as well, the scented sort.

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  25. I definitely remember the feeling of burning out on the A-Z challenge, and I only did it once. Congrats on making it multiple years, and with more than one blog. I'm planning on posting 4 times a week over the summer. We'll see whether that ends up burning me out.

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  26. I think you should only do it if you enjoy it. I found that few people visited my blog from the list. The only new friends I made were through me visiting them first. So I'd say you could go through and read a bunch of blogs next year and make new friends without participating!

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    1. Stephanie, That's actually a really good idea! I'm always on the lookout for new blogs I might enjoy and the Challenge has a list of hundreds.

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  27. I usually blog about once a week, so A to Z was a huge change for me. Though I definitely enjoyed the challenge, I'll also have to start scaling down too. Fortunately, the blogging community is very understanding, and I'm sure it will all work out for you, Karen!

    Julie

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  28. Karen, many are feeling the same way. Blogging can take too many hours out of the week, but it is usually a delightful past time. I still enjoy it. Other than the constant book blogging which I totally get, most blogs have upped the ante a little and are more heartfelt than years ago.

    I dropped out of the A-Z two years ago. It's too much time suck. Many participants complained that people didn't comment back this time, more than other years. Sign of the times. Getting the posts down is the easy part...visiting other blogs is the hard part.

    I'm hosting Ann Carbine Best today and have mentioned WiDo publishing BTW.

    Denise :-)

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  29. I totally understand. I have dropped my blogging way back. I spend more time on Facebook and writing than ever! I wish for the days when I spent more time on Blogger but they seem gone. :(

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  30. Hi,
    I understand exactly where you are coming from. I was also wiped out after the Challenge, but I must admit that I cut my blogging back about 2 years ago to concentrate on where I want to go with my writing as a novelist. I still blog and I maintain my blogs but I put out a blog letter letting everyone know that I would be downsizing the output of articles.
    Shalom,
    Patricia at Everything Must Change

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