When I first started writing this post, I was thinking specifically about blogger burnout. But as I wrote it, I realized that many of these things can be applied outside of blogging. Whether it’s a goal, a hobby, or a job, sometimes it’s hard to know the line between hustle and burnout. So while I wrote this from the position of blogging, I hope it helps you in whatever you’re pursuing!
I started blogging in 2010. When I first started this hobby, I had literally no expectations. I was taking ugly pictures with a Droid cell phone (oh hey there, flash). I didn’t spend time thinking about the “SEO” of my post, and I basically wrote about whatever I wanted. It was a hobby and I fell in love with it.
Over the years, the blogging industry has changed a lot and so has this hobby. I spend more time thinking about keywords and analytics and photo editing. Posts are less “stream of consciousness” and more planned out. Overall, I’m happy about it. It’s taught me a lot of valuable skills that I’ve actually used in my day job. I like learning and I like pushing myself. But these things can also make a hobby feel a lot like… work. And when something feels like work, it’s easy to lose the joy. And isn’t that the whole reason we started?
So I thought I’d share some of my tips for avoiding burnout:
Know when to stop being a perfectionist.
Truthfully, I’m not a perfectionist. And while sometimes I wish I was (because let’s be honest, I wish my blog posts never contained a typo and I would love to have the patience to spend 30 minutes editing a photo) I think it’s a blessing that I’m not. I know far too many people who won’t even start blogging because they simply can’t accept the learning phase. You’re not going to have amazing pictures right away. You’re not going to understand keywords and analytics and Facebook reach after one post. Give yourself some time to learn. Even if you’ve been blogging for years, sometimes you have to let go and just enjoy the learning process.
Remind yourself why you started.
Whether it’s running a marathon or writing a book, think back to the passion that brought you here. Every once in awhile I just don’t feel like blogging. But rather than give up. I think about all the amazing people I’ve met thanks to this little site. I think about friends and family that have started eating more vegetables because of this blog. Focusing on those things get me energized to put the effort back into this site.
Find a supportive tribe.
This whole “tribe” concept is pretty trendy right now, and for good reason. Having a supportive group of friends that understand your specific situation is so powerful. I’ve met some amazing blogger friends through Virginia Bloggers and Bloggers Gonna Blog and it’s made all the difference. Hearing about their successes, seeing their accomplishments, and talking through our challenges is such a comfort and inspiration. I love these networks. If you’re into running, join a running club. If you’re starting a business, join a mentor program! Having someone with you in the trenches through the ups and downs makes the downs not quite so bad.
Teach someone your skills.
I love when people ask my questions about blogging because it makes me realize how much I’ve learned along the way! Sometimes we need the perspective of someone else to help us see our progress. If you’re a pastry chef, invite a friend over who wants to learn how to bake a simple cake. If you’re a computer programmer, help a friend install Google analytics on their blog. Sometimes helping someone with a simple task can make you realize how much you’ve learned in your specific niche. Trust me, it’s a confidence booster!