If you’re a hardcore blogger like me (admittedly so), then you would have no doubt heard about the recent New York Times article on blogger burnout, as well as the blog post by Young House Love that spurred the whole matter. I read the “feeeeeelings” post on YHL, because I’ve been following them since their beginnings, but it was through one of my blog mentors — Holly Becker of Decor8 — that I first learned about New York Times article.
The article also featured the opinions several bloggers I follow, like Justina of Justina Blakeney and Erin of Design for Mankind. Each of these ladies had their own take on blogger burnout, but I must say that they had a common thread regarding what has kept them blogging through the years, in spite of burnout. I think Erin put it best with her commentary post entitled “be slow and steady”, which came out a few days after the NY Times article was released.
Slow and steady. For me, this means many things as a blogger.
To be “slow” means to not let blogging be a bane to my being a blogger. To favor “living” a life so that I could have something meaningful to blog about, instead of letting trends, events, the “buzz” and the latest thing dictate my blogging. To let blogging be as natural to me as doing a project with my son, or enjoying the day or a meal with family. To let blogging not feel like work, but make it inspirational, invigorating, so that I could do work that I loved and not feel like blogging was just an “addition” to it.
To be “steady” means simply to keep on going for the right reasons. To keep being grounded as a blogger, I need to remember my reasons for blogging in the first place. And my reason has always been to provide practical inspiration for living, working and blogging. It’s been that way for the past five years.
You all know I’ve thought of quitting more than once, and for various reasons: too many contests on the blog; too much “sponsor-pleasing” or brand pandering; too little of “me” and too much of what I thought people wanted to read. At one point, there were even falling outs between me and other local bloggers. (Let’s just say we didn’t agree on many things regarding, well, blogging, as a whole.)
Through the years, I have wanted to quit blogging altogether, for several reasons. But I never did.
I always had something better in mind than quitting: To make blogging blissful, just as I could make my life, family life, personal pursuits and work blissful. If I was going to be using my blog as more than just some review-lifestyle-current events-and-trends blog, I would have to stick to these beliefs and press forward.
And so I did.
I’ve designed my life in such a way that blogging is a natural part of the work I do, the kind of life I live: a very homebased, family-centric one. Throughout each bout of blogger burnout, I’ve had the courage to stop and rest, learn from my mistakes and my blogging boo-boos, and start afresh. Much of my real success has happened in the last two years, when I started using my blog as — and I love the way Holly Becker puts it — “a catalyst to live my best life.”
By God’s grace, the worst seasons of my blog have brought about some of the best fruits of my blog.
I don’t think I will ever feel like I’ve “arrived,” though — at least not in the world’s sense of having “arrived” as a blogger. I don’t have the readership of some of the bigger blogs out there (like those of my mentors here, here, here, and here). However, the work I do now and the life I’ve chosen to live has all been made possible through this blog. I don’t earn from sponsored posts much or advertising or page views, but I have been able to create a blog-centric business that I love, through Martinedeluna.com, offering “blog coaching” as I like to call it.
Thanks to blogging, I have been able to keep my own hours, and even dictate which days I work and those I don’t; take holidays mid-week, because I can literally bring my work with me if I have to!
Through blogging, I’ve also helped other women conceptualize, build, launch, and even improve their blogs and businesses. I’ve been able to hold workshops and events that are aligned with my credo of “making things blissful”, i.e. doing what you love, getting paid for it, and making the most out of your ordinary everydays.
Has it been a cakewalk? No. There are some days when I feel busier than ever, when I sometimes doubt why I’m doing all this even. But it’s a busy-ness I can stop when I want to, without feeling guilty about anything. “Blissmaking” is also a mission I keep on fine-tuning, learning more about, because life is a never-ending lesson anyway.
Best of all, blogging has taught me that I can tell you guys — my dear readers — that I’ll be “slow blogging” or taking a break, and you won’t think I’m a nutcase or anything for it. I really thank you for sticking with me when I have those “off” periods of blog burnout. Because of that, all I know for sure is: I’m going to keep on blogging, but only in the way that feels right for me.
How about you? What’s your take on the “blogging to slogging” issue? Have you yourself struggled with “blogger burnout”? Have you ever quit blogging? How’d you handle it and what were the steps you took to get out of it?