Justin Tadlock

Blogging Exhaustion

Creating a balance and taking a break from the online world

It’s been one of those days.

Or, rather, it’s been a few of those days. I’m sure you’ve all had a stretch of days in which you’ve just felt like giving up, or a few days that you didn’t feel like blogging or dealing with other people at all. You just want to snuggle up with a good book or a bowl of ice cream and your latest torrent downloads of The Office.

I’ve had a few of those days lately. After releasing the Visionary theme last week, I felt a great release of pressure after putting the thing together. Then, I was suddenly hit with close to 100 comments (I’m sure it will hit that number soon enough), a lot of support questions, and theme stealers. On top of that, there’s regular life. You know, that thing you occasionally take part in outside of the online world. I vaguely remember it.

I was exhausted after a week of support, working on three paid design jobs, and my teaching job here in South Korea. Then, I got sick. Darren Rowse from ProBlogger.net recently talked about having a contingency plan for those times when life gets in the way of your online duties. Needless to say, I’m sorely unprepared for blogging emergencies. I’m already so backed up with projects that it’s hard to keep up with them.

What happens when you need to take a break? Simply take a break.

What are some of the things you can do to get away?

  • Watch a movie: I’m one of the biggest movie buffs of all the people I know. However, since I’ve been in Korea, I’ve watched only a few movies or TV shows. So, I’ve watched 300, Knocked Up, and Freedom Writers in the last few days. Of course, I didn’t really think things through when I decided on what part of my movie collection to bring overseas with me. Nevertheless, it was nice to enjoy a few movies again.
  • Take a stroll: There’s a nice park area near where I live that’s just beautiful. Over the weekend, I took a stroll just to take a few pictures and enjoy the autumn air.
  • Write something for yourself: Take out the trusty ol’ pen and pad and jot some thoughts down. I keep a journal offline to relieve stress and write my thoughts down. Be yourself. Completely. No one’s reading this, so take some time to let your thoughts flow.
  • Go out and do something you enjoy: I wish I could’ve done this, but I was a little too under the weather to go out and play. The most important thing is to remove yourself from behind the screen. Enjoy something away from the online world.

What about my blog?

I promise you, your blog will be there when you return. Your readers will understand if you need to take a few days off. Everyone needs to regroup once in a while. You can always write a few posts ahead of time if you fear losing readers. Lorelle has a good article on writing future posts.

Struggling to keep content continuously online is a…it’s a struggle. If you keep working at a pace of 8 hours a day developing your blog, then you will become exhausted, maybe even feel fed up with the entire process.

Remember why you blog:

Over the past few months, I’ve struggled with finding a direction for my blog, but I’ve finally found a few narrow topics that suit me well. Ask yourself, “Why do I love to blog?” If you can’t answer this, then maybe you need to reevaluate some of your blogging goals. If you don’t love it, well, that’s a whole other problem in itself.

I love to blog because it’s a part of who I am. It’s how I identify with a lot of the world. I also enjoy working with WordPress and feel the need to offer what I’ve learned back to that community.

My exhaustion has come from many sources. At my “real” job, we recently had mid-term essays and level-up tests for the students. I’ve been working my butt off developing my online presence in the last couple of months. Getting sick doesn’t help either. Basically, I’ve been overworked. At some point, you’ve just got to sit back and relax a little. Live a little.

Then, come back and remember why you put yourself through the struggles of blogging. When you take a break, you’ll realize (I hope) that you truly miss this remarkable tool, this part of the identity of people worldwide — blogging.

Final thoughts:

Take a break if you’re feeling pressure. I’ve tried to keep my posting consistency up, but have taken a step back from some of the other online projects I’ve been working on. It definitely relieved a little stress.

I’ve always been told to “never put off ‘til tomorrow what you can do today.” That’s not always the best philosophy. Sometimes, you should put a few things off and enjoy today.

Building your online reputation is a lot of work (some of you may not worry about such things). Be sure to give yourself small breaks every day too. Get up and enjoy a meal at a restaurant. Spend time with your friends and family. If you’re constantly working on your blog, then it will eventually feel like work. For those of us with jobs outside of blogging, this could potentially put us in a situation where we’re working 80-hour weeks. I’m sure that’s not healthy. I haven’t read any scientific evidence on this though. So, don’t just take my word for it.

What are some of the things you enjoy doing outside of blogging? How do you balance online and offline life?