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Coping with Burnout

Burnout is a problem for many writers, but can hit bloggers especially hard because so many of them set highly ambitious schedules. Writing on the same topics over and over again can get…boring.

Unfortunately, the problem doesn’t always creep up on you slowly, giving plenty of warning. Sometimes you just wake up one morning and the thought of writing another blog post ranks right below vacuuming. (Or fill in your least favorite task. I happen to hate vacuuming with a passion.)

Once burnout hits you, it can spell the end of your blog.

So what can you do to make sure you never hit that point? Here are some ideas:

Change Your Schedule

If your schedule has you writing a new post every day, plus keeping up with other blogs and researching new topics, you might be heading for burnout. Even if you are working on something you love, you need to spend time away from it.

Take a look at your schedule. Get some variety into it. You can still write every day, but don’t write on the same subject. If your blog is on cooking, and you really want to post every day, change the focus of your posts. Maybe Monday, Wednesday, and Friday you write about cooking techniques but change Tuesday to restaurant reviews and Thursday to a reader recipe post. That lets you change your focus, and pull in your readers.

Or maybe only post three days a week on your cooking blog, and start the one you’ve always wanted to start on food photos, and post to that on the other two days. Just mix it up, and you’ll be able to keep interested in your project without the whole thing becoming stale.

Work With Others

Writers frequently work alone. The drawback to that is you don’t get other points of view, new opinions, and human interaction. If you find some friends to provide guest posts, work with someone as a co-writer, or just ask your readers for input and articles, you make your blog more interesting. Both to yourself and to your readers.

In addition to having new ideas (you love pasta, and your guest blogger writes about deserts), it also turns your blog into a conversation. People love conversations. They like to see people interacting, even when those people don’t completely agree.

So talk to people with similar interests and see if you can pull in some fresh voices and ideas.

Write Somewhere New

One of the reasons I love to write is that I love to learn. I tend to focus on things I don’t know how to do, then I have to challenge myself to figure it out before I write it down.

If you are writing about a favorite topic, and focusing on things you really know, maybe it’s time to challenge yourself and your readers. Tackle something new.

For that cooking blog, tackle something you’ve never tried before, or something you’re not so good at. You might learn something new, and get yourself more interested in your project. And maybe even find some people to work with, in the process of learning.

Try a new topic or new approach

Take a look at the type of posts you write. Maybe all of them are how to posts. Or reviews. Whatever you do most frequently, try a different type. Tackle a review of a tool or product. Try a contest. Or maybe take a new approach altogether and try creating a quick video demonstration.

Doing something in a new way can make the topic more interesting, both to your readers and yourself.

Take a break

Schedule breaks into your blog. Maybe you take off a week, or a month. If you can, have a guest blogger fill in for you. If not, just let your readers know ahead of time that you’re off to refresh yourself. And maybe you can even come back with new content (let them know how the food was in St. Louis when you return to your cooking blog.)

During your break, don’t force yourself to think about your blog at all. If ideas come up, jot them down, but don’t schedule blog time at all. When you get back, you’ll find yourself much more willing to get back to that schedule and write, write, write.

Get enough sleep

I know when I’m tired, everything seems harder. It’s much easier to abandon my schedule when I just want to sleep. If I get enough sleep, I can focus on my posts and get them done. (Not to mention, I’m much more likely to say “ehh, that’s good enough” and not worry about grammar, spelling, or whether or not my article even makes sense when I’m tired.)

So try and get enough sleep.

Get some exercise

Studies have shown that exercise makes you more creative. So get out there and sweat a little. Maybe you’ll come up with a great new post!


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