Blogger Problems #001
October was an amazing month for me, I had over 28,000 page views and lots of blogger love. Last month, my blog sister told me she was going through a blog burnout. I was wondering where my burnout was because we started around the same time and we usually have a lot in common.
Then I recalled she started blogging approximately 1 month before I did. March 22 for her blog birthday and April 22 for my blog birthday.
(How cool is our blog timing by the way?!)
So yeah, 1 month later, I’m feeling the dreaded burnout. It’s a little different from hers though. It’s not a blogging burnout; I really like working on my theme design and messing around with Canva. What I don’t like and can’t seem to get over right now is how every word that comes out of me sounds like something out of 3rd graders essay paper.
(Do 3rd graders even get essays…?)
What Writer Burnout Feels Like
Gurahgghhhgh, I can’t write anymore. Somebody put me back into 3rd grade because I don’t remember how to assemble words.
Everything I write sounds like a joke. I go back and just delete, delete, delete. Who is laughing at this mess? Oh, a fun fact, I never attended 3rd grade…so…yeah. #Excuse
I try to post 3 times a week. It’s essentially like unpaid part-time work to produce legitimate content three times a week all by yourself. It doesn’t matter how fun or amazing anything is (and it can be) if you do it day in and day out, it will get tedious fast.
Me and Ms. FAF’s consensus demonstrates if you survive past the 6th-month mark, you need to survive the 7th-month burnout mark. In my case, the 7th-month of ‘second guessing what in the world I’m doing/am I writing 24-7.’ Like I mentioned before, I’ve got zero experience prior to this so there are things I would have done differently if I could hit the rewind button.
Thankfully, I’m not short on ideas. You can write about money in so many ways. I’ve been writing down a lot of topics that I wanted to dig into. The topics keep growing but my interest in using legible human words on them keeps waning. I have 35+ drafts. More than 35 horrible, incomplete, ugly drafts that will probably never see the light of day. I could rescue them by devoting some time to rewriting and doing research but I end up zombie-ing out to something else completely irrelevant.
I told my husband the symptoms where every word I utter sounds like a fish trying to talk human. Jared diagnosed it as a self-esteem issue. Everything and every word come off crusty like dry bread, that’s how a writer burnout feels like. That was definitely not the case before where I feel super excited to write about personal finance.
How I’m dealing with a writer burn out
Taking a break?
I took a short blog break over the Thanksgiving holiday because I felt so burned out from writing. Except…I don’t feel particularly better. Perhaps because 2.5 days isn’t enough to recover. But that’s as much break as I’m willing to give myself right now. Being temporarily drained is fine but it’s not a real excuse.
Do overworked, under-appreciated mothers take a break from their baby? Nope, that’s not an option.
I’m blessed to have seen this blog come thus far (despite being the complete donut that I am) so I can’t waste that blessing. Taking a break is not something I’m willing to do for what’s at stake.
For the bloggers out there who are intelligent enough to prepare some posts beforehand, it’s completely fine to take a break. But if you are like ME and you do everything last minute then post it 2 seconds later (sometimes not even proofreading…) then taking a break might not be the best option besides making you even further behind. I don’t recommend a break for myself but your miles may vary.
Read other blog reports
Reading other bloggers blog reports makes me feel motivated to blog which in turn makes me want to be productive.
I don’t keep track of bloggers who publish blog reports or don’t publish blog reports. In my circle, I know who writes them, but other than that I just wait for Twitter to deliver me the news. In most blog reports, you hear bloggers go “oh shoot, this is hard WORK” and I nod along because I fully understand that point. It eases some of the guilt I have, seeing that I feel like I’m screwing up constantly. If I see someone else having issues growing on Pinterest, I nod along and go “ah, yes OK, it’s not just me.”
I try NOT to focus on the numbers or get into a comparisons game. In the beginning, second to third months in, I was a little crazy trying to find blogger metrics to measure up to. By the 5th month 6 month, I just got over it, thank God! I stop checking my daily stat counts multiple times a day and used that time to reflect on things outside of the blog life.
Avoiding distractions & grind it out
Avoiding distractions is really beneficial to getting the words on paper and that’s basically what’s keeping me glued to typing this post up right now. Just grind it out!
Distractions are my biggest issues with multitasking. Ms. FAF said in her post to multitask but I know I’ll get distracted if I do anything else while I’m writing. If I go to peep on YouTube for just the audio, I’m still not going to get a lick of work done. Case in point: 6 hours later, I have no more than 1500 words written because I just spent the last 5 hours watching Stranger Things. No regrets though, I love that show. 😀
Writing is very personal. It takes a lot of resources like your attention span, fine motor skills, and of a lot of neurons firing to jot those words down. Even with all that, the last biggest thing is the emotions. Sometimes I share really personal stories with you guys and they are hard to write. I’m trying to be as honest as possible, reflect them from a neutral standpoint, all the while trying not to come off as a complete psychopath.
Writing anything else just for fun
I love to write. I just don’t like to write about personal finance right now. Today, I was penning a post about the Millionaires Next Door and I had to stop because I couldn’t write another word about the US national salary or the widening wealth gap. I wanted to stop the monotony.
To remedy this, I’m decided to take on Adventure Rich’s streak challenge. My mission is to write at least 1,000 words a day for the next 40 days (on any topic). Swear words included; it should be a piece of cake.
That is why blogging about blogs is really important. It’s there to break up the monotony. I’m getting really sick of writing about personal finance. I’m a 3-dimensional person with needs and other passions. Ever since I listened to Les Chants de Maldoror by Lautréamont, I’ve been inspired to try my hands at a horror novel. That has no bearing on personal finance so I’ve been unhappily typing away about frugality even though I don’t really want to write about it now. Introspection on being frugal is weird…sometimes I think I’m just cheap…
Socialize with others (& bloggers)
Before I started this blog, my husband and I had date nights every weekend. Now I stay in (that’s why our eating out budget is so low) to type, type, type. This Thanksgiving weekend, we went out for Peruvian food, churros + ice cream for dessert, and Black Friday window shopping. It was really fun and we planned another date tomorrow to catch up. Socializing outside of the blog-o-sphere helped get me out of a writing rut a bit.
I can’t speak for any other blog communities out there but in this realm of personal finance, these are some of the nicest most supportive people ever. If you’re in this niche and you’re going at it alone, may God help you because you’re not going to last long. That is honestly what I believe in. The web is too big for you to conquer alone. I don’t understand why some bloggers don’t seem to reach out or choose to socialize, aka, act human.
For times like a burnout, it’s nice to have a support group of others to take your mind off it or to make you feel saner by relating to your problems.
Remind yourself why you started
“I started blogging because I realized my privilege was being wasted and there’s nothing more ungrateful than wasting privilege on the self. I am an individual with a functioning wallet, mind, and body. I live in a country with free speech and good internet access.I have enough $$ resources and experience to get into something like finance without recourse…andddd I really like making pretty pictures for each blog entry!”
I re-read why I started blogging and I still stand by it wholeheartedly today. The reason I started blogging has nothing to do with the feeling I’m currently experiencing so that’s good. If the original syllabus of why I started is still sound then everything else (including burnout) is only temporary – you know what I mean?
Quiet the ugly self-talk
If I don’t know enough about that certain topic I just simply won’t write it. Unfortunately, I can’t know about everything so I end up just not saying anything and deleting every word. You don’t need to be the master expert on it all (impossible to do) to write about your experience. I just need to avoid my ugly self-talk.
I just can’t bother to make myself write it if I don’t believe I know enough of what’s going on. I’ve debated if I should write about my side hustle experiences on eBay, Rover, and Etsy. All platforms I’ve been and have made money on…but they are in itself…very in depth platforms. There is a big learning curve for selling yourself on eBay, Fiverr, Rover, and Etsy. Plus those platforms change all the time. I have only scratched the surface of those platforms so it makes me feel a bit strange talking about something that I don’t completely understand…
Spark passion with accomplishments from others
Ummm…being curious…I Googled a list of personal finance bloggers on Wikipedia because as you know I’ve always wanted to be on Wikipedia. That is a dream of mine. There are so far only three personal finance bloggers with their own Wikipedia article for now. Mr. Money Mustache (of course!), Wisebread (duh!) and an investment one that I have not even heard of called Sense On Cents?
Anyways it just made me squeal that bloggers can end up on Wikipedia just by blogging! It makes me feel like the plan is so much bigger than just suffering from a little writer burnout. Talk about getting me going!!!
The success of these blogging giants makes me want to dream and follow suit. Bloggers who have met success and are public about that success deserves it. Whether you like it or not, they did something surmountable that others didn’t. We, new bloggers, are standing on the shoulders of Giants – never forget that.
Has anyone felt a writer burnout like mine? Did I describe it right? Do you have any tips and tricks to add?