We’re wrapping up Book Blogger Appreciation Week with a discussion on preventing blogger burnout. It’s no secret that burnout is a plague we all face and it’s scooped up far too many blogs in its talons—our book blogger survey from a few years ago lays it all out. There are certainly times when I start to feel like throwing it all out the window, but I’ve been able to prevent that with a pretty simple focus: Blogging is not a job or a chore. If I get in a position where it feels like either, I make a change. I started this blog, in part, as a means of escape from a job that was really bringing me down and it’s worked marvelously. The last thing I want is to have this little refuge turn into something that causes me stress.
No “Have To” Involved
I really, really try to avoid saying I “have to” do anything related to my blog. I don’t have to write a review for every book I read (even if it’s an ARC). I don’t have to post on specific days. I don’t have to read a book by a specific date. I don’t have to share something to make money. None of it. Without the pressure, I find it all balances out. Does that make me flaky and noncommittal? Maybe. I hope not, though. I’m clear about the way I run my blog in my review policy and commit to things I know I’m capable of doing. What if you don’t write a review for that ARC you just finished? That’s okay, it will show up in a list or post I write later. But what if a publisher won’t send you another book? I have plenty. And a library.
Comfort with Comments
I usually share my posts on Twitter and other social media twice: once in the morning and once in the evening (I know conventional wisdom says more, more, more, but I start to feel spammy beyond that). I try to make it a point not to share a second time unless I’ve responded to most of the comments that have already been left on the post. It’s a weird little practice I created for myself, but it does help me see what people are thinking and respond fairly quickly. At the same time, if I don’t get to everything in a day or two, I let it go. I definitely want to respond to everyone who is kind enough to leave a comment, but at some point I just let it be.
Finding a Tribe
It’s no fun to float on an island alone. Honestly, that feeling of shouting into a void can be one of the toughest parts of starting a blog. And for book bloggers who don’t fit into the YA corner of the blogosphere, it can be even tougher. Finding a group of bloggers who read similar books and have a similar mindset about blogging has been super important in helping me fight burnout, both as a place to seek out ideas and a safe sounding board for complaints.
But by tribe I don’t mean clique. I think it’s easy to get bundled up with your pals and forget that there are other bloggers learning the ropes or feeling like their island is a little lonely. Even if you don’t have the time to reach out, it’s not hard to be friendly, genuine, and welcoming (and it tends to come back to you when you need it most).