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A burnout is “the state of having no energy or enthusiasm because of working too hard,” according to Cambridge Dictionary.
When someone has a blogger burnout, it means that they are no longer as motivated or enthused to do anything related to their blog.
And that’s the state I found myself in after working on my blog for at least 3 hours every day for seven months (roughly 1,000 hours in total).
As a personal finance blogger, I was perplexed and disappointed in myself for not having the drive to continue with something I held so dearly to my heart.
I tried the steps I laid out for myself to get over the blogger burnout.
In a way, I got through it since I was still interested in blogging and didn’t want to give up.
Yet, the dreadful feeling of constantly churning out content lingered on.
I have to thank my blog sis Lily at The Frugal Gene for her unwavering support.
She cheered me up when I felt down and always offered suggestions on how I could improve my blog.
I can’t say enough how helpful she’s been in this blogging endeavor.
In my 11th month of blogging, I gradually realized that the burnout actually had both pros and cons to it.
Related: How To Get Over A Blogger Burnout
1. I’m no longer obsessed with blog traffic.
When I was engrossed in the blogging world, I tried to use every waking moment of my life to build my blog.
Whether it was listening to blog podcasts, writing new content, creating Pinterest images, or sharing content on Twitter and Facebook, I tried to use every minute of my day outside of family and and work to build my site.
I wanted to be productive, and nothing made me happier than knowing that I had done something useful for my site and seeing the the traffic grow.
After I got burned out from blogging, however, I reassessed my priorities and work-life balance. I realized I had spent too much time blogging: 20-25 hours a week on top of an 8-5 job and a 2.5-year-old toddler).
From being obsessed with traffic and letting it dictate my mood every single day, I started to not care as much anymore. I no longer checked my stats constantly, sometimes every 5 minutes. I didn’t feel bad when traffic dipped.
In fact, my pageviews plummeted during the Thanksgiving weekend, and I still felt happy because I was spending time with family and friends.
If it happened in my 4th month of blogging, I might have had a major nervous breakdown and probably lost sleep over it.
But it’s not the case anymore. My blog no longer took control of my life. I got my life back!
2. I spend more time with family.
I resumed some of my favorite activities I did prior to blogging without feeling guilty about it.
I watched a Christmas romantic company called “Back to Christmas” with Mr. FAF. We had a great time enjoying the movie (or at least I did) and discussed the plot and the acting.
That was something I did NOT want to do with Mr. FAF before getting the blogger burnout. Watching movies, to me, was not a good use of my time since I could have spent it blogging instead.
But now that I dreaded writing content and sometimes staying active on social media, spending time with the husband sounded appealing again.
I became more patient with Mr. FAF since I no longer felt annoyed whenever I thought he was wasting my time (i.e. asking me to find his stuff for him).
I started experimenting with some dishes for the family. I made the Vietnamese chicken soup (with leftover turkey from Thanksgiving), and got raving reviews from Mr. FAF and my mother-in-law (MIL). I also made rice pudding, and my MIL loved it.
Mr. FAF and my MIL are very honest when it comes to my cooking, so I’m confident they liked what I made. Those dishes would not have seen the light of day had I been still so obsessed with blogging and traffic.
I made this vegan rice noodle pizza. You can see Mama Tang’s recipe here.
The first thing that took a hit from my blogger burnout was my traffic. After increasing at an average rate of 20% for 7 months straight, my blog traffic took the first hit in month 8.
Instead of being all moody and frustrated like I normally would, I just accepted that fact and moved on. It would be nice if the traffic kept increasing. But if it didn’t, and it was ok with me.
Rather than seeing the traffic decrease as a failure on my part, I just thought of it as part of life. There are ups and downs to everything that I do. If there’s a bump on the road, I just need to get over it and proceed with my journey.
I have no excuse. The traffic dipped, and that’s a fact.
The decline in traffic is just the tip of the iceberg. What I found particularly frustrating about the blogger burnout was my lack of passion and energy for the whole blogging endeavor.
I once thought I had found my true passion, something I could do every single day for the rest of my life: blogging about personal finance.
If I’m no longer interested in blogging, then what is it that I’m passionate about? What’s my purpose in life? Is there anything out there that I’m good at and can do even when I retire from my day job?
I thought I would be blogging away when I retire early. If I don’t like blogging as much anymore, what will I be doing when I’m FIRE’d? What’s the point in retiring early if I don’t know what I want to do with so much free time?
Those questions keep popping into my head, attacking my already exhausted brain, which had no answers. I felt so empty, lonely, and aimless.
I felt like I was walking alone in a jungle and couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. I was just walking for the sake of walking. I had no idea what I was going to do with my life.
One of my biggest fears is to die one day without knowing what I’m good at or building a legacy for my offspring. That fear seems to be materializing since I don’t know what I’m good at.
I want to publish a book one day about my life and the lessons I have learned all those years of living on this earth. But if I don’t even feel like typing, then how is that book going to get finished, let alone getting published?
As you might already tell, blogging for me is not just a side business. Blogging is an outlet for my confused emotions, desires, drives, passions, interests, and everything in between.
In a way, I associated blogging with part of my identity and purpose in life. When I started doubting my passion for blogging, I also began to question my identity and lifelong goals. I felt lost.
As I’m pouring my thoughts out into a blank page of paper, I realized I had just finished a post for my blog.
It’s new content for my site. But more importantly, I have been able to articulate my perplexity into words, which in turn helps me think more clearly in figuring out what it is that I want to do with my life.
As I’m typing these last words in the article, I still don’t know where my blog is going and when this blogger burnout will ever end completely.
However, I don’t want to add more pressure on myself by posing more questions I don’t know the answer to. I will just let my head and heart guide me in this journey.
If I have something I want to share with you all, I will. If I don’t like writing, I will stop temporarily until I regain the momentum.
I have enough post backlog to know that even if I stop writing for half a year, my blog will keep going. And I hope and believe that during those six months of possibly not creating my new content, I will find my true passion and rekindle my love for blogging.