I’ve discovered a new ailment that seems to be sweeping the nation. Or perhaps the world…
It’s just as the name suggests – an unidentifiable problem which prevents bloggers from coming up with creatively brilliant ideas and (indeed) renders them glassy eyed and almost comatose at the thought of having to write a blog post.
I thought it was just me. (Given I’m so special… 😉 ); but there seems to be a theme popping up on social media and elsewhere on the internet that leads me to believe there’s an outbreak of some sort.
My recent struggle to move outside my comfort zone and my increasing reticence to push the boundaries has been obvious in my posts. I love that I’m getting into yoga and considering health and wellbeing to be about more than my weight and fitness, but… I’m also concerned that I’m just struggling to care. At all. Have I given up all hope, I wonder?! I’m not sure. And I feel it’s reflected in this blog.
However… like I said, it’s not just me.
My ‘Reader’ (a tool which allows you to subscribe to blogs and keeps all new posts – by a range of bloggers – in one place) hasn’t been as overwhelming of late. I subscribe to A LOT of blogs and it was generally the case that – if I ignored it for a day or two – I had over 100 unread posts glaring at me when I next logged in. However… in recent times, it’s been amazingly quiet. Even those peeps who used to blog daily don’t seem to be doing so. It’s a bit of a relief – as I stress about keeping up (whether I’m just reading or reading and commenting) – but, it’s so obvious I started checking out Facebook and Twitter feeds of bloggers-I-follow to see what’s happening.
Is everyone disillusioned? Do they – as I do every so often – wonder if there’s any point? Do they think / realise no one cares and decide to spend their time on something else? Or, are they just tired?
After much scientific analysis (not!), there seem to be a number of factors involved, and – for many – a combination of several.
1. Why do I bother?
The honeymoon phase is over for many bloggers. I’ve been blogging for over 4 years and still feel like I’m going nowhere. Fast. I write because I enjoy it, and I do… but like someone who’s toiled away over an extravagant dinner and received no thanks – I often wonder why I bother. I mean, does anyone actually care? (BTW – that’s not a call for reassurance, just an observation! I don’t believe we SHOULD expect others to care! We have to convince you to care.)
2. The comparison trap.
We all tend to fall into the comparison trap – bloggers or not. Indeed I often look at those who’ve been blogging for far less time and who have far more followers and comments and wonder WTF I’m doing wrong? It’s easy to doubt your content or your writing. It’s easy to doubt yourself.
3. Being creatively stifled.
And then there’s the difficulty of coming up with something new and different each day. I use blogging to work through issues and write about stuff playing on my mind. It helps. But… sometimes I get tired of writing about the same stuff. Again and again. Readers surely get tired of reading the same stuff. If we blog about something specific and we’re not growing, what is there to say?
I’ve also been struck recently by the number of bloggers struggling with depression and anxiety and occasionally wonder if blogging is a help or hindrance.
4. So (so so so) tired
And then there’s just the tiredness. This year has flown. I cannot believe it’s September. But… to many, the year has been busy and stressful. They’re tired. Like kids whose batteries run down in the lead up to holidays each term, adults can only sustain so much before… They. Just. Don’t. Care. Any. More.
Is there an answer?
I bloody well hope so!
Indeed, several people I’m in contact with have commented about the ProBlogger training event this coming weekend. They’re using it to refocus, they’ve said. They’re using it to re-energise, they’ve said. And I’m with them.
I feel stale. Writing is my passion. Writing and reading (AND watching television) are the things in life that give me the most joy (don’t forget I’m single and childless – before you judge!). When I haven’t read for a while, I’m beyond excited when I open the book. There’s excitement. There’s anticipation.
I used to get that when I wrote. I HAD to write. The words were literally bursting out of me. (Which is actually still kinda the case with my Debbish blog incidentally!)
I want that back. I too am hoping that being around other bloggers at the blogging conference and those passionate about writing, helps rekindle some enthusiasm*. So fingers crossed I come back next week with renewed vigour and passion.
Can you relate to any of these? (Even if you’re not a blogger!)
Any other causes I’ve missed or suggestions to help in my (our) recovery?
* I hope I don’t just feel like a very small fish in a very big sea – which I did at the end of last year’s conference!