That's right, I am not sorry.
Blogger Burn Out.
In A Rut.
Hit a wall.
(Thanks to Kara from Great Imaginations for that last one!)
Whatever you call it, I was in it! My husband took a week off for us to have a Spring Break "Staycation" (I know, I hate that term too but it is accurate). I had all intentions of still posting during this time. I know that every time I take a break of more than a day or two I lose followers and my page views plummet. The thing is, I just could not get motivated to write a post. I decided I would skip a day and get a post up the next morning. Then the next morning came and I decided to watch TV instead. I watched everything on my DVR. I thought for sure I was ready to get a post up on the blog, I had nothing else to do. . . I just could not bring myself to even turn on the computer.
I started watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer the TV series on Netflix a few months back. Then I added in watching the Angel spin off because I did not want to miss the crossovers. Last week I felt like I needed to get something up on the blog, but I WANTED to watch Buffy. I made a decision to watch Buffy and I am glad that I did. The thing is, I feel pressure to make Books Devoured special and awesome and entertaining and all of that stuff. That pressure? It comes only from myself. No one emailed me and asked why I had not posted in a few days. No one got on twitter and called me a loser because I did not have a review up. Probably no one even noticed.
I will admit that part of this is because I am 6 months pregnant. This will be my third child and this pregnancy has been pretty hard on me to tell the truth. Me and the baby are for the most part healthy. It has just been 6 months of small things; hurt wrist, hospitalized for severe dehydration and weakness, ER trip to make sure labor had not started early, and most recently a broken tooth. That does not even include the normal stuff like heartburn and just generally being always uncomfortable. I know it sounds like I am whining and I guess I am. All these things have just contributed to my Buffy marathon.
I see it from bloggers all the time. We miss a few days and then post about why we were gone. I think the truth is we are writing these posts more for ourselves than our readers. We feel guilty. We shouldn't! Life happens! Pregnancies, weddings, family trouble, computer trouble. You know, LIFE. We assume that our readers are checking our pages and feeling upset with us because we have not posted anything. Maybe I'm wrong and others don't feel like this but I realized that I do. I have started to feel like this is a job that must be done and not the fun hobby it started out to be.
So what happens now? I tweeted that I wanted to just quit. I was feeling nothing but stress about the blog. A few friends reminded me that this is supposed to be fun. So instead of forcing myself to get a post up before I was ready, I watched more Buffy. You know what? It was worth it! I let myself forget about the blog for a few days and watched Buffy and enjoyed it instead of spending my tv watching time feeling guilty. It was just what I needed because when I stopped worrying about the blog, I finally missed it.
The questions I needed to ask myself were:
1. Where is this pressure coming from?
2. Why do I feel I can't take time off from my blog?
3. Who am I accountable to?
4. Why did I start this blog in the first place?
5. What do I do now?
I answered those questions after I took a real break. Not the first few days off where I wasn't posting but was still stressing about it. I was only able to really answer them after I let myself off the hook and really enjoyed a few days off.
The answer to number 5 is one I would like to share.
What's next is I am going to make CHANGES!!
Coming soon I am going to have 2 new features. The first is called "Shannon's Shelf Saturday." I love taking review requests because it opens me up to books I might not otherwise have heard of or read. However, I was taking too many and because of that I have SO many books on my shelf that I want to read that I bought and paid for. I did not read them because I would feel guilty knowing I had review books waiting. SSS is a way for me to take away some of that guilt. I am scheduling in a time for me to read my own books. Sometimes they will be new books and sometimes they will be older. Either way, they will be ones I bought because I was excited to read them. I even have a possible graphic made for this one!
Another feature I plan to roll out soon is tentatively called "Cookin the Books." Oddly enough, I always planned to review cook books. I love cooking and really enjoy collecting great cookbooks. That is part of the reason I chose the name Books Devoured. I always planned to incorporate food into the blog but I just lost my way. I am not sure why I never got around to doing this, I think it was because of the pressure to take review books instead. I don't have a graphic for this one yet or all the details worked out but I will probably have some videos with this feature. I will talk more about it soon!
So maybe this post is more about me working something out in my own head than it is for the readers. I do hope that other bloggers read it and remember it in the future when they need it. The best thing I did was take a break. A real break where I did not feel guilty about it. Next time that you have Blogger Burn out, I hope that you will allow yourself to take a break too!
What about you? Have you had blogger burn out?
How did you get past it?