I was about a week later than the rest of the blog world, but I finally found a second to sit down and read the New York Times article that had been all over my feeds and reader. If you haven’t read it and don’t plan to, the article focuses on a blogging couple who recently decided to take an indefinite blogging hiatus to focus on life offline.
They explained that, as bloggers, they were burnt out and need the break to revive themselves.
While the article focuses mainly on DIY/home-improvement bloggers, the sentiments can be carried across almost every genre of online space. The story of starting small, giving it your all, pushing yourself and working your butt off to gain incredible opportunity and success. And then, almost as quickly as it began, despite the organic nature of the project, it takes you over and becomes something that consumes rather than energizes you.
We’ve seen blogger after blogger reach the quintessential blogging mountaintop, only to run down the other side, escaping it all.
After I read the article, I started thinking about my own blogging journey. How it’s changed and will likely continue to change as I change and grow. I started to wonder what would lead up to me feeling burnout. A few months ago, I started working on a blogging e-course, and I was SO excited. Planing out each lesson, writing the materials and moving the course along was an amazing process. But throughout, I was constantly telling myself to push. Write longer lessons, make three more worksheets, move up the launch date.
My list of things to do to offer something of value continued to grow, and my attachment to the project definitely lessened.
Now, I’ve scaled the course back a bit, I’ve started writing for it again and I have a more realistic launch date in sights. But the forced need to push myself, and the unrealistic expectations coming along with that nearly caused me to burnout.
The same thing seems to happen among bloggers. Very rarely do you see a post titled “Loving the Phase Your Blog’s In,” but there are a million sharing ways to grow your blog or following. Bloggers are under tremendous pressures to create more, keep readers engaged and interested. The launch of one project is quickly followed by creating the blue print for the “next big thing.”
It’s exhausting, and it would be shocking if bloggers and creatives weren’t burning out.
As a community, I think it’s time for a celebration of slow movement. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for setting goals and working to get them done, and motivating yourself to accomplish your dreams. Yet in still, a new monumental goal a week is too much, and despite what we think, overachieving can be unhealthy. This need for more, on the side of bloggers and readers, is only going to lead to a community filled with unsatisfied readers and burnt out bloggers who are in it for the wrong reasons.
It is very rarely the push that motivates us to accomplish our goals, it is the passion.