Friday, January 20, 2012

Posted by Laurel Garver on Friday, January 20, 2012 21 comments
Call it Seasonal Affective Disorder, or "my anemia isn't gone despite the horsepills," or post-holiday slump, or immobilized-by-major-decisions-to-be-made.

It's been a struggle to blog.

There. I've said it. And I know I'm not alone. Today Adam Heine at Author's Echo talks about what he calls "Blog Fatigue." Go take a look. It's good.

I've tried many of his suggestions. Taken hiatuses. Done the reposting thing. Posted pictures and videos that caught my attention. Arranged guest posts.

But I feel guilty about this. I like the teaching aspect of this blog and feel like a truant when I can't consistently show up with something good and helpful. And when I put in a halfhearted effort, I think it shows. No one comments and then I feel even less motivated to keep up the blog. It turns into this downward spiral of acedia.

Have you dealt with this? How?
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21 comments:

  1. I'm in the midst of it now. I took a hiatus which was nice, and though I missed my "friends" on the blogs, I didn't miss blogging at all. I think you may be right, it has to do with seasonal disorder, and so many of us are changing hats it's hard to come up with anything intelligent to say anymore.

    A few short years ago, we were all "aspiring" writers. Now most of us have written, edited, polished, queried, and published, if not our books then our short stories. It becomes a different mind set. I mean, what do we talk about that hasn't already been said a million times by a million other people.

    I think you should just be yourself. If you don't want to blog, then don't. I cut my blog down from 5 to 3 to now 1 day a week. I just have too much stuff on my plate to keep up with the 400 or so blogs I have on my rolls.

    Chin up though. Spring will be here soon and that always brings around a reawakening of spirit.

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    1. I know what you mean about a circle of my friends shifting from craft mentality to marketing mentality. I'm not that comfortable in marketing land. The content tends to be more, um, light, which isn't particularly my strength. But the sicker I've been, the less energy I have to do what I enjoy best in blogging, which is teaching and analyzing. I do think I'd be better able to have a stronger blog if I did one good post a week and then popped in other days only when I felt like it.

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  2. Don't beat yourself up over it- you're missed when you don't blog but if you don't feel like it, don't!

    Take care of you; don't underestimate how much anemia can zap your energy (I totally sympathize and know how that feels) and winter does get to all but the winter-sports loving folks (and I don't ski...)

    I blogged in a completely non-writing related arena for a couple years, then took a break (had to end that blog- someone was stalking someone in my family through it- long story) and then when I came into blogging about writing, it was all fresh and new- as Anne said: everybody was aspiring- now almost all the writers I knew then are published either self-published (the majority) or traditionally (the minority) and everybody has changed. Some have made progress, some have not changed for the better.

    That is the part that bothers me- not whether or not people keep or stop blogging but if they forget the friends they made before they were published. But now I'm just going off on another topic, sorry about that.

    End of story is, be happy. Life is too short to be unhappy. Spend your time doing what makes you happy now, and if blogging falls off the list, then so be it.

    hugs
    bru

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    1. You're right. I frequently underestimate the toll anemia takes now that I'm out of the "needs a transfusion" level of ill.

      Yes, some folks have changed, but change is the one constant in life. Seeing them change has helped me begin to really question and sort out what I actually want to accomplish with my skills. I'm realizing sometimes the only way to get to the place of being happy is to stub your toes in the dark for a while.

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  3. I always encourage people to blog about what they want, when they want. This is one of the few arenas where we can make up our own rules, our own schedules, choose our own topics. It shouldn't be one more onerous chore; we have so many of those. Sometimes I blog just one sentence: a quote or an idea that's going through my head. Some people post "Wordless Wednesdays," where they just post a picture for people to think about.

    The first rule is, you can make your own rules!

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Jenn. I do tend to get bogged down in my OWN rules, though. I don't often stop to examine and question whether they're worth following and need to be revamped. Obviously, I should! :-)

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  4. I fell off my blog schedule some time ago so I could focus on writing. I still read other blogs, but only blog once a week when I feel like it.

    Regardless, I still feel like part of the writerly blogging community, which is really all that matters to me.

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  5. It's good to see you again! I suspect I'd be happier if I followed your lead. After 2.5 years of blogging, I think my most solid 'virtual' friendships would remain strong even if I showed up a little less often.

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  6. I know what you mean. I took a 6 month or so hiatus because blogging had become a chore to me and I just wasn't feeling it. Plus I wasn't getting anything done that I needed to. Now that I'm back, I need to get back into that groove, but its still hard! I'm trying not to pressure myself too much, and just visit blogs of those whom I consider friends- who I've known for a long time. I just can't dedicate the time some people have what with a job, family, writing, etc. Don't beat yourself up about it- it happens to everyone.

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Abby. I think I need to lower my expectations of what I do here. I can't dedicate the energy or time to writing deep posts all the time. I wish I could, but my day job has become quite demanding and my hubby's job is even worse. Something has to give.

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  7. The short answer to you question of how I deal with it is: not very well.

    I have decided not to give myself a schedule, despite what "everyone" says about consistency. I'll blog when I am able to, or it becomes another that I dread.

    Over the last few years of blogging, I've discovered what I like about blogging, and have sorted out the information about how blogs tend to work. More importantly, I've experimented long enough to know what works for me.

    I am thankful with my few faithful readers who come by whenever I post, and I enjoy reading and commenting on the blogs I like without feeling like I'm doing it with an ulterior motive: "visit as many blogs as possible and comment on as many as possible so I become visible and hopefully there'll be some quid pro quo going on and I get some traffic."

    My blog won't be the platform or the effective networking tool that some other blogs have turned out to me. That's perfectly fine with me. I am very happy with the people I've found. I don't have many followers, and even among the official followers are people who won't visit much. That's not a problem. I don't need the numbers. I have found great people in the community and I will stick with them. More isn't better. Better is better. And I have quality bloggers I follow, such as you.

    Or maybe I should change my mind about how I answered your question. Maybe what I'm doing with my inconsistent blogging schedule is exactly right for me. Hope you find something works perfectly for you.

    Take care of your health. I struggle with anemia as well. I can share with you some supplements I have found to be more effective than others if you're interested, but I'm sure you have all that covered.

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    1. Thanks for your thoughtful answer, Yat-Yee. I have seen a number of people abandon their blogs lately, so I know it's a difficult habit to maintain long-term. I'm not sure what will eventually work for me, but I think giving myself permission to not play online creative writing professor all the time would be a start. :-) And as far as the anemia goes, I need to have the underlying cause dealt with--an outpatient surgery for fibroids in March. Till then I muddle through with the iron pills.

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  8. Sorry, I'm not sure why my proof-reading skills get so much better after I post a comment...

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    1. Laurel, don't be hard on yourself. You've always written such helpful, encouraging posts that established strong bonds with your readers. Whether you take a break or cut down on blogging, we will all be here for you. It's important you take care of yourself first. I needed a break for a LONG time but everyone is different.

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    2. Y2: Happens to us all at one time or another. Don't sweat it.

      Saumya: I might take the long hiatus route. But I think there are other ways to make blogging less onerous for me--like writing a batch of posts ahead of time, for one. And being silly occasionally too. ;-)

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  9. It seems to be an epidemic going around the blogosphere these days. I've been there, and at times, I still am there. My long hiatus last year didn't seem to help a whole lot. I'm not sure what the answer is.

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    1. I've missed seeing you! There is something cyclical about blogging energy. When others lose it, it can be very, very contagious.

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  10. I don't really have blog fatigue. I have more "no time"-itis. I'm seriously having to prioritize the writing or it's just not getting done. Work has exploded. :p But I guess... take a break? Like do a month hiatus? I've done it before. Everyone understands. :o) <3

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    1. Work has exploded for me too. My higher-ups want to gun for me to go full time. I feel like so much of my creative energy goes to finessing others' writing, I've got nothing left at the end of the day.

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  11. Please don't feel badly! Sometimes, we just can't figure it out! What to blog about, I mean. It can be exhausting, trying to come up with something on a daily basis. Have you tried giving your days themes? Dropping to 3 times a week? Write down 100 words that describe you and your ideas and goals and morals. Pick one. Blog. You don't have to tecah us something every day! We just loving hearing your voice!

    BTW, I've nominated you. :) http://www.aprilplummer.com/2012/01/if-this-doesnt-scare-you-off-nothing.html

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    1. Thanks for award, April! I'd already dropped to 2x/week. I think having themes and schedules worked at a certain point. Now it just feels confining, so I'm giving myself permission to be much more sporadic. Most blogs go through this life cycle--build up, peak, decline; build up, peak, decline.

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