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Wednesday, 20 July 2016

BLOGGING: Managing frustration and burnout


This post should have been out a week ago. It also should have been about what I've been doing this summer, and maybe been done in enough time for proof reading and editing. 

Unfortunately, as is pretty obvious I've been struggling with making time for writing recently - a florid combination of university, socializing, and fatigue has near on obliterated any timetable space for this blog. On top of that has been a lot of frustration and discontent sapping my love of blogging; a mix of reasons are behind those feelings, but it wasn't going away no matter how much time I had. And I figured given it's showing, I might as well talk about it. A problem shared is a problem halved, right?

Try as I might, sticking to a posting schedule has been really hard this year - it seems stupid and over-dramatic to talk about burnout with what is essentially a hobby with benefits for me, but I do miss what posting on An Honest Drug was for me in the past. You can read all the inspiration prompts and blogging resources you like, but if you're not in the right head space writing is just not going to happen. (Which isn't to say that you can't learn writing discipline, or train yourself into the right head space - just that it's difficult when there's already a lot of demotivating influences.)

"You can read all the inspiration prompts and blogging resources you like, but if you're not in the right head space writing is just not going to happen."


Some of that has been feelings of inadequacy compared with other bloggers - with everyone monetizing standards have skyrocketed, and as someone who does it in their free time that's hard to compete with. I've posted before about some of the camera troubles I've been facing, and whatever the recommended post frequency is I probably can't do it. Comparing yourself against others is never a good idea, but it's really hard when you've already noticed your own shortcomings. I've also been feeling like my blog isn't representing me, and I'm not actually sure what I want to write about now - combine all of the above with a rapidly changing personal style, bake for several months, and you have a recipe for existential writing angst. 

So how do you deal with that? I know that taking a break is generally advocated for this, and has worked for me before, but I'm tired of staying away from my blog. Giving myself deadlines and hoping it trains me into sticking to them... is clearly a terrible strategy. No, this is a more multi-faceted problem, and I've been looking at how I can make more room in my life as well as what I like writing about (and whether some of that belongs here, or in a separate place. But you didn't hear that from me). Learning to be accepting of what I'm capable of is a hard lesson (even posting this was difficult) but viewing my efforts as more of a stepping stone to something better helps me accept what they are currently. And I guess that accepting this - that I have limitations and fluctuations - is really the most important part. From there, I can start thinking bigger, and better.


Has anyone else experienced burnout with a hobby? What do you you use to get your writing urge back again? I'd really love to know, so please let me know below!


     


4 comments:

  1. I'm experiencing the same thing, have been for years. I really do want to type and write (and read) again but...my mind just isn't for it right now. And it hurts a lot. So much is happening in my life...most of it, if not all, is negative...so...I don't know what to do.

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    1. Yeah, some of the blocks previously preventing me from writing have been due to health problems. I'm sorry you've been struggling too; I hope that life starts to improve for you.

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  2. That is profoundly true and I'm the first one to admit it, too. I love writing and do objectively find that it usually comes very easily and fluidly for me, but sometimes it doesn't. Point blank. I've long learned that it's best not to force myself (or at least not to force myself more than is strictly necessary), as everything from my writing to my mood will suffer.

    Instead, I try to recognize that my muse is temporarily MIA and focus on other areas of my life as well, especially creative ones, as I often find that being creative in one field will trigger a chain reaction in others.

    Sometimes though, even that doesn't help, and one just has to ride out the storm. When that it case, for me at least, I've long come to realize that my missing mojo is usually not due to the act of what I'd like to be accomplishing itself, but rather from other parts of my life being in a difficult/stressful state at the moment. If I can get a better handle on those, Ms. Muse usually comes bounding right back into town again (though of course, such is not always an easy or straightforward thing to do, just depending on the situation at hand).

    Go easy on yourself, my dear, and try to enjoy the beauty of this season, which in and of itself, can often be wonderfully relaxing and inspiration.

    Many hugs & immense understanding,
    ♥ Jessica

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    1. Thanks Jessica - I actually used some of your blogging posts to try and spur me on! I do really like writing, and it does come naturally to me; unfortunately I've also been experiencing a total lack of excitement for it. Forcing myself to write is usually ineffective, but I'm thinking that actively trying to remind myself why I enjoy blogging might prove more useful.

      Thanks for the kind words - looking forward to reading your posts again!

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