Archive for Busting the Big Blogger Blues
A couple of months ago, I asked a few fellow bloggers if they had any advice about dealing with blogger burnout. I’m pleased to report that they answered my call for help, and that over the next week, I’ll be posting some of these little gems. I hope you’ll find them as useful as I did. In case you missed Part One, go HERE.
Jacinda from The Reading Housewives of Indiana
I suffer from blogger burnout about once a week. It usually only lasts one day or one afternoon or one hour, but it happens to me a lot. Usually something happens on Twitter (we all know that drama is happening in the book blogosphere daily anymore) which just upsets me and I always ask myself, “Why am I blogging when I just get ticked-off on a regular basis?!” Yes, Twitter can bring out drama that starts other places on the interwebs. I remind myself that Twitter mostly is a good place to be! I love discussing and chatting with people about books on Twitter. I wouldn’t have nearly has many book blogger friends if it wasn’t for Twitter. I continue to blog to share my love of books with others.
Here are a few things I’ve done to get out of a blogging rut:
- Take a vacation from blogging. You can take a vacation for as long as you want. Take a step back and focus more on your real life or even just reading (OH! Read books that aren’t for review!). I recently took most of the month of December off. It was fantastic. At the same time, after being gone for a month, it is a bit difficult to get back in the groove of blogging.
- Take a Twitter vacation. Twitter seems to cause of why I want to stop blogging altogether at times. I close all of my Twitter windows and even delete my Tweetdeck app from my phone when I’m taking a break. This works for me!
- Re-evaluate how you blog. I stopped doing memes. This has helped me out TONS! I’m less stressed out. This is nothing against people who do memes, I just noticed I like blogging more when I’m not doing them. Also, you don’t have to post every day. This is another thing I think many of us bloggers stress out about. Blogging isn’t supposed to be stressful, so if there is something stressful about it, find what it is and fix it!
- Talk with another book blogger. If something is bothering you, maybe getting a different perspective on it would help or at least being able to talk it out would help. I have my sister to go to for that, so I’m lucky.
Julie from Manga Maniac Cafe
I haven’t suffered from a bad case of blogger burnout, because I take steps to prevent it from happening. The best advice I have is to make a plan. I have a daily planner, and I spend the first half hour on Saturday morning planning out blog activities for the week. I also keep a daily checklist of review due dates, though I admit that I am not the most organized blogger in terms of my review pile. When blogging starts to feel like work, I head over to the library and check out some shorter books that catch my attention, just quick, fun reads to get me focused on reading again. I also browse through publisher catalogs, because nothing gets me more excited about blogging than that sweet burn of anticipation at the thought of promising future releases.
Small (at Small Review)
Blogger burnout happens to me when I’m feeling stressed and overwhelmed. So what do I do? I procrastinate. I let things pile up even more…and then I feel even more burnt out and stressed! Wonderful, right? But that’s not the advice part, this is:
DON’T PROCASTINATE! If you’re feeling overwhelmed, DO something. Even if it’s something small. In fact, pick the smallest thing on your To Do list, and DO IT. Then cross that sucker off your list! HA one down! Are you starting to feel a little better? Now find the next smallest thing and DO THAT. I like to keep up a running commentary of self-congratulations. Like, “Small, you ROCK! Look at what you’ve done—fantastic! You will DOMINATE this list!” Sometimes I’ll throw in a happy dance.
Don’t worry about all of the things you didn’t get to (there’s always tomorrow!) and allow yourself to cut your losses sometimes (that review that is totally not happening? Forget it. You don’t have to review every book). Focus on the things you did accomplish and give yourself a big pat on the back. The key for me is to get my mental state from “Waaaaah it’s too much! I suck and should crawl into bed and never look at another book or review or email EVER again!” to “I am amazing and I can accomplish anything! Weeee!”
(Pro tip: This method works best when you are alone, as in, NOT in public where people give strange looks if you talk to yourself.)
Mickey from I’m a Book Shark
Sometimes when I’m in a blogging rut, I try to focus more on reading than writing about reading. I’ll take a break from review books and tackle books I’ve been wanting to read. Usually that will help inspire the blogging feeling. I would also suggest trying out a new meme or dropping one that just isn’t working. Lately I’ve been asking for guest posts and doing author interviews and giveaways to fill some space and create a fun atmosphere on the blog. That takes some of the “hard part” out of it.
Thank you to all the bloggers who participated:
Smash Attack Reads
Leanna at Daisy Chain Book Reviews
Cialina at Muggle-Born.net
Jacinda at Reading Housewives of Indiana
Julie at Manga Mania Cafe
Mickey at I’m a Book Shark
A couple of months ago, I asked a few fellow bloggers if they had any advice about dealing with blogger burnout. I’m pleased to report that they answered my call for help, and that over the next week, I’ll be posting some of these little gems. I hope you’ll find them as useful as I did.
Smash Attack Reads
I don’t ever really get the blogging blues because blogging is pretty much my biggest stress relief! However, I do feel overwhelmed constantly, and find book blogging to be a little chaotic at times. So my words of advice are…
“Don’t let the fun of reading be lost in the process of maintaining a book blog. Don’t allow your TBR pile to overwhelm you to the point where you throw your hands in the air and say I GIVE UP! Always, always remember that your blog is YOUR blog, and you can do with it what you wish. You can read as many or as little books as you want, post one day or all 7, and participate in 1, 20 or no memes. At the end of the day, if the blog is what you want it to be, and you aren’t trying to please the masses, then you will be happier, your personality will shine, and people will enjoy your blog because it is genuine.”
Leanna from Daisy Chain Book Reviews
Leanna has a wonderful post all about this topic. She told me I could grab something to put up in this post, so I chose the part that blows my mind the most. Check out the rest on Leanna’s blog.
“Yes – publishers or authors will sometimes request a review on a certain date, but as a blogger you should have your own schedule. Blogging isn’t paid employment where you have to meet deadlines and you shouldn’t feel under pressure to do so.”
Cialina at Muggle-Born.net
Procrastination will be my downfall when it comes to blogging, and it’s my sincere hope it doesn’t happen to you. I have a tendency to put off writing reviews, and it’s terrible because the more I push it off, the harder it becomes to write. I’m getting lazy when it comes to reviewing, partly because I think it’s starting to feel like a chore. I think it is very important that I take a break from reviewing every couple of books or so. I want to be able to enjoy reading without the thought of what I’m going to write a review about looming over my head. … And when I do procrastinate when writing reviews, I make sure just to do a quick bulleted list of what I thought about the book to use for reference when I do get around to reviewing.
Stay tuned for more wonderful advice later in the week!
Last week, I posted a blog introducing Busting the Big Blogger Blues (or Bx4), wherein the subject of scheduling came up. Then it came up again this week when I wrote up my answers for Small’s Busting the Newbie Blues questionnaire. I’ve also taken a bit of time to visit a few of the other bloggers that are participating in Small’s event–and here’s the thing: scheduling is something everyone wants to know about. Primarily because, in addition to being book bloggers, we’re also teachers, librarians, students and other members of society with Other Things on Our Plates.
So, today I thought I’d talk about scheduling. I’m not a pro at it–far from it–but I’ve been blogging for a while and that means I do have something of a routine. Before I get to the fancy stuff (i.e., the color-coding), here’s how my blogging week (generally) goes.
- Sunday: This is my coffee shop day. I take my computer and myself to the coffee shop, order a double easy vanilla latte (both shots caffeinated). I chat on Twitter with Amanda. Comment on a few IMM/Clock Rewinder posts. BUT: the primary goal for Sunday is to map out my week. I figure out:
- What memes I’ll participate in.
- Which reviews need to go up.
- What else I want to feature on the blog (a read-along, a special feature post, or something new and different?)
- Monday–Friday: I write up posts, try to comment other blogs, and read. How committed I am to this depends on what kind of day I’ve had. Some days, like today, I decide to take the afternoon off and write this one early. That means no post on Thursday. But, since I posted twice on Tuesday, I’m letting it slide.
- Saturday: Catch up on emails that I’ve avoided or haven’t gotten to during the week. If I want to request a book or query an author about an interview or guest post, this is usually the time I set aside to do it.
The thing about blogging is that it really does take up a significant amount of time. There’s no getting away from that. What I’d like to figure out (it’s my blogging goal for this year) is how to use that time more efficiently. So, a week or so ago, I took myself to Staples and got myself a few scheduling supplies. You guessed it; this is where the color-coding comes in. Take a look:
My new scheduling system works this way:
Blue: Weekly memes I’ll participate in
Orange: Features (like Book Bullying Babe posts or Thematic Thursdays)
Hot Pink: Special Event stuff: Book Bully Week and Bx4
At the beginning of the month, I filled the calender in with a rough schedule. Then I went back and added more detail at the beginning of each week. Ambitious, no?
The Post-Its are lists of books, and part of a system I’ve had for a little while. On the far left is a list of “past due ARCs”–ones that have already been published and still need to be read and reviewed. The pink Post-It is a list of books I’ve read, but haven’t reviewed yet–either because the review hasn’t been written or it hasn’t been posted due to time. The remaining Post-Its are the ARCs I have by month–up to March.
Finally, the last scheduling “thing” I do is have a standing “10 comments a day” reminder sent to my email. And, for special events I’m planning, I’m big on GoogleDocs. Just ask Small.
So, what do you think? Helpful? Unrealistic? Completely inefficient? Feel free to comment or share your own scheduling techniques. In fact, if you want to do a post on your own habits, feel free to link in the comments! I’d love to see.
Don’t Miss Book Bully Week!
Your favorite bloggers bully you into reading their favorite series!
Giveaways with every post!
Coming Jan. 15
I have been blogging for a little over a year now (it will be a year and four month on January 5), and I gather this makes me a “Big Blogger.” Naturally, I shy away from the term “oldie blogger” because in my heart, I’m still that girl who thought 16 seemed soooooooooo far away. Still, it would be useless to deny that my year and change of blogging experience hasn’t taught me tons–I’d be worried if it hadn’t–but the truth is, blogging is just like everything else. There’s always more to learn. It’s just that the things you have to learn as an established blogger are a whole new kettle of fish compared to the queries and concerns of the newbie blogger.
And that’s just what this event is all about.
But first, I know the question that’s on a lot of minds right now is:
How do I know if I’m a newbie blogger or a big one?
There’s no black and white answer, but I can tell you that when your blogging concerns begin to shift from:
How can I get ARCs?
How can I blog and yet still have a life?
You’ve probably made the transition to big blogger. And in my opinion, that this is when the need for support is at its greatest. In the beginning of blogging, enthusiasm carries you a long way. Once you’ve been blogging for a while, once the honeymoon is really and truly over, you that wonderful community that the book blogosphere is known for.
So, let’s chat.
With this post, I’m giving you guys an opportunity to share struggles, to give advice, and to ask questions of your fellow bloggers. Go ahead–don’t be shy. I’ll start with a few questions of my own:
- How in the heck do people find time to comment? Commenting is a constant struggle for me. Does anyone have any techniques to share?
- What are the best ways of networking with other bloggers, authors and publishers? Twitter? Facebook? Please don’t tell me it’s Facebook.
- How do you snap out of “reading feels like work” ennui?
- Tell me more about this thing you call “scheduling.”
It’s your chance to get–and give–support!
Huggle the blogger next to you.
If you’re a newbie blogger OR an old one, make sure to check out Small Review’s sister event, Busting the Newbie Blues. It’s a wonderful opportunity for newbie bloggers to learn the ropes, and for older bloggers to share a bit of their wisdom. I participated last year, and met some really awesome folks. I’m looking forward to answering the “oldie blogger” questions and seeing what’s changed. Plus, Small tells the story of how we “met!”
Not too long ago (in the halcyon days of November 2011), Small Review and I co-hosted an event. During the course of planning said event, we had numerous, off-topic, tangential chats, and our divine Princess Link was formed. But what about before that? What about the dark days before Small and I shared books, laughter and chocolate? How did we meet? WELL, I’LL TELL YOU:
Today I discovered a blogging event called “Busting the Newbie Blues.” It’s hosted by this blogger who has pretty pink stripes on her blog. And she has one of those girls that reads on her header. I’m sooo jealous I can’t even tell you. Anyhoo, I joined up with the event because I think it’s really cool and most of the time I feel like I’m flopping around the blogosphere like a fish out of water. It’s nice to know that others feel the same way, and to hear advice from some more seasoned bloggers. Also, I think Small Review may be my newest New Best Friend (if I can get her to notice me).
Can you believe it!? Small and I “met” when she hosted the very first ever Busting the Newbie Blues event in December 2010. And guess what else? Small Review is hosting the event again this January, with a special sister event for seasoned bloggers hosted by moi. If that’s not enough to get you interested in the event, I don’t think we’ll ever convince you! Wait, what’s that you said? You want me to back up a little and tell you more about Busting the Newbie Blues? Why, of course! I’d be delighted!
Busting the Newbie Blues is a special event hosted by Small Review. It’s an event designed to help out new YA bloggers by encouraging networking, giving advice, and sharing experiences. I speak from experience when I say that it truly, truly is a wonderful event, and a great way to make blogging buddies.
Busting the Big Blogger Blues is a special sister event planned by me (um, Ruby), to help out us “big bloggers.”(Though inside I still consider myself a baby blogger.) Basically, Bx4 is designed to help more established bloggers with the struggles that come a bit later in the game. I don’t know about you, but I have plenty of trouble with scheduling, managing my review pile, and making sure I comment other blogs, and I’d welcome any advice I can get.
So, now that I’ve filled you in, Small and I have a favor to ask. Part of our grand scheme of advice-giving is to answer blogging questions newbies and oldies might have. We don’t purport to experts, but we’ve been around the block once (the block being a year), so we may have a spot or two of wisdom. Plus, we’ll be posting questions for the whole community to answer. Thus, DO YOU HAVE A BLOGGING QUESTION?
Otherwise, feel free to grab our event buttons!