So many people have asked me: how do you manage to do all you do?
Believe me, it’s a question I have asked myself many times too, and the only answer I came up with, and am sticking to is: I am passionate about what I do, and I am highly organized.
Now the first part of that answer has been true from the moment I started blogging, and will be true until the moment I stop, if ever. The second part — being highly organized — there I have faltered, and many times in late 2018 and a big part of 2019 the thought crossed my mind: I shouldn’t get a burnout because of my blog.
You see, I am no stranger to a burnout. Back in 2012 I had a burnout after taking on too much (read: not being able to say ‘no’ to managers who kept on piling up more work), and that’s a feeling I never want to experience again. The first blow came at my work, where I started crying after a simple, normal remark by a colleague (“take care of yourself”). She forced me to call in sick the next day, which I did. By the end of the next week the HR wanted to call me to discuss how to move on, and I decided that after the weekend I would return to work. I logged in on my email… that’s when I got the second blow, and all I could do when the HR called was cry, and cry some more. I was home for 4.5 months, before I slowly returned to work again, but never fully recovered from the burnout. I only started to feel stronger again when I cut back to four instead of five days of work in 2016. I’m off from work every Wednesday, and that’s just the break I needed.
Then my mom died. My mental health was on a downhill slope, to the point where I had suicidal thoughts. In 2018 I saw a psychologist, who turned me away from the cliff, and I was offered to take a step back at work, and lay down my managerial tasks. That saved me, and prevented me from having yet another burnout.
But, as I said above, back in 2018/9 the thought that my blogs might cause me to have a burnout crossed my mind many times. No matter how passionate I am about what I do, I put a lot of energy in it, and it took me some weeks to realize I had to change some things. No one but me would notice, but it needed to be done.
True to myself
One thing I realized is that I had fallen into the trap of wanting to write for absolutely every prompt and meme out there, even those I had no knowledge of. I wasn’t being true to myself, while preaching to everyone to stay true to themselves. I started my blog because I wanted to get my words out there, my thoughts, my feelings, and write about things I am passionate about. I needed to return to that, to only write about things I know something about, and not force a post out only because I feel I have to write about it, for whatever reason. By staying true to myself, motivation to blog would (and did) return.
One thing I — and I am sure my readers too — have noticed, is that I am writing less posts about sex. Yes, there are still quite a number of posts that have a sexy aspect to it, but there are much less posts dealing with actual sex and sexy encounters. This really bugged me for quite some time, and was part of what made my blog feel more like work, and less like pleasure. It was a process I went through, to accept that my blog might be hovering on the line between being a sex blog and a lifestyle blog. And you know what? Once I accepted that, the words seemed to flow easier, and it felt less like work. But it was not all that was needed.
To make sure I didn’t burn myself out by keeping my blog going, wasn’t only not forcing words onto paper, but also make sure I keep a balance between reading and ‘me-time’. I realized I needed to rest more, to be more organized. I started using my planner differently, started planning the posts I wanted to write. I didn’t write for every prompt, every meme anymore. If I had nothing to say, I didn’t write anything.
And you know what? It turned out I still had a lot to say AND it felt good to get the words out. I felt like I had found myself again. All words on the blog had always been my own, and they always will be, but I returned to writing for myself, and not for others.
In all of this I have my planner next to me, and have blocked my time to blog, time to sit on the couch, time to do chores, time to sleep. On Saturdays I plan the posts I want to write for the coming week — my #SoSS posts are not only for you; I also use them to keep an eye on interesting prompts. I am blessed with the ability to have a high productivity (also in my work), which sometimes makes me write extra posts, but I don’t feel bad anymore if there are memes I can’t participate in for a specific week.
My advice to anyone who has just started a blog or is planning to start one, and even to those who feel a bit dragged down by their own blogs, is to ask yourself a couple of questions:
- What is the goal of your blog?
- Why did you start the blog?
- Who do you want to reach with your blog?
- Who are you blogging for?
- How much time to you have to blog?
Your answers to these questions are just that: YOUR answers. And those answers should help you to decide how to keep your blog going while at the same time making sure you keep a balance with the other things in your life, AND stay true to yourself.
NEVER blog for someone else — ALWAYS blog for yourself!
Note: If anyone needs blogging advice, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with me. I don’t know everything, but I have learned a lot through the years, and might be able to help you, and best of all, my advice is free.
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
© Rebel’s Notes