Discussion: Blogger Burnout
Hi everyone! Today’s discussion post is part of a larger conversation that has been going on in my head and relates a bit to the discussions that have been happening in the book community as a whole. This particular topic can easily become something completely different, so I think this will be part of a larger group of discussions on book blogging in general and my thoughts and feelings these days.
Writer’s Block & Motivation
Okay so, blogger burnout. For me specifically, I’ve been really struggling with my content and what I want to write next. As I write this, I’ve got 63 drafts just sitting there, half finished or not even started because I get an idea but then have almost zero motivation to actually write the damn thing. Add in the pressure that I know if I’m not consistent with my content, my engagement will drop. And let’s all be honest with each other here – engagement is a HUGE reason for us to keep going, no matter how many people claim that numbers don’t matter. Would I still be blogging 3 years after I started if no one but my family was reading what I was putting out there? Absolutely not.
The Times, They Are A Changin’
In the wider book community, the focus seems to be shifting a lot more towards other forms of blogging such as tik tok (or booktok, if you will). Bloggers have always struggled to be seen when put next to BookTubers and Bookstagrammers, who are much more visible and get more views and interactions. Because of all this, bloggers aren’t being treated very fairly within the publishing industry. If you haven’t been on Book Twitter, then you will have missed the discourse about how people interact with blogs and bloggers, with the largest part of that discussion centering around payment for our work, which is a whole discussion in itself.
Maybe it’s because I’m more in touch with publishing now than I was when I started blogging, but it definitely appears like publishers are more inclined to work with people who use these other mediums because their engagement is better than a book blogger. This is something that is certainly having an impact on my drive to write blog posts and its definitely a little upsetting to not be appreciated, especially when the majority of us do this as a hobby and not a full time job because we love to read and talk about books.
Feeling a disconnect
This is probably somewhat my fault, but even three years into blogging, I still don’t feel like I’ve found my group of people. I read mainly fantasy, but I don’t feel like I’m truly a part of the SFF community. Maybe this is partially impostor syndrome and feeling like because I haven’t read all the popular fantasy books I don’t really belong, or maybe it’s because my engagement with the rest of the community is lacking. I know plenty of people who have groups where they talk about the books they’re reading and can talk spoilers, but I haven’t had any of that. I know that I don’t make friends easily, but after 3 years you would think that I would’ve found someone that I can talk to not just about book stuff. No matter what the reason is, I feel like I sit on the outside of the community.
Blogging is a lot of pressure
I’ve talked about this before, but there’s a lot of pressure once you’ve started blogging to keep at it, be consistent, and have good quality content. A lot of this pressure comes from ourselves, and for me that’s definitely the case. I put myself under a lot of pressure to continue to better myself and my blog. Add in the fact that blogging is a time-consuming hobby that I do in addition to a full-time job, other hobbies, and actually reading the books that I blog about, it takes a lot out of you. In the three years I’ve been blogging I’ve never taken a break longer than a week or two because I’m afraid about being forgotten if I’m gone for longer than that.
So basically, I’m tired. I personally haven’t experienced some of the things other, larger bloggers have encountered, but even just seeing these things happen is difficult. Combine that with a lack of motivation to write and not really feeling like a part of the community and I’ve just been feeling so burnt out. I know there will be people who say maybe it’s time to take a break from blogging, and while that seems like the most logical thing to do, I don’t want to because I still love blogging, it’s just hard right now to find that motivation.
How do you get through burnout? Do you take a break? Push through it? Or maybe you take a stab at different content? I’d truly love to know!