BBAW: The Dreaded Burnout

BBAWWell, it’s the last day of this lovely celebration, and today we discuss the dreaded burnout: One of the unfortunate side effects of reading and blogging like rockstars seems to be a tendency toward burnout. How do you keep things fresh on your blog and in your reading?

I’ll be the first to admit it – I didn’t handle burnout very well when it hit me. When I started blogging eight years ago, my reading posting pace increased exponentially. By 2010, I was reading and reviewing over 200 books per year. A few months into 2011, I slammed into a wall. What followed was a messy and chaotic untying of threads, jostling through non-book topics and shuffling through blog after blog after blog. Only after I disconnected completely for nearly a year was I able to find balance.

I never want to experience that kind of burnout again. For me, avoiding it involves a couple things.

On the book side, I read what I want, when I want. Sometimes, that’s ten books in two weeks. Sometimes, I don’t read a word for a whole month. Sometimes I read the same book six times in a row. If I can read however my brain desires, the reading tends to stay fresh, which helps me to feel fresh, and the blogging to feel fresh.

On the blog side, the most important thing for me was to quit caring about stats. When I worried about page views and comments, I felt compelled to come up with content and write more often, thereby pushing myself to read more and stick to detailed schedules. However, when I disconnected completely and posted my reviews in a completely private location with no stats to see, I was much happier. Now, I can post generally on a schedule, but not so rigidly that I feel trapped by it, and I’m not compelled to read or post at any particular pace.

This balance has helped both books and blogging to stay fresh for me, and honestly, I think that counts most when it comes to avoiding burnout!

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About Amanda

Writing. Family. Books. Crochet. Fitness. Fashion. Fun. Not necessarily in that order. Note: agender (she/her).
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16 Responses to BBAW: The Dreaded Burnout

  1. I think you got the secret: I read/blog what I want, when I want. I’m blog you are here, proving it is possible to keep at it for many years

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  2. chrisbookarama says:

    I do what I want is pretty much my blogging philosophy too.

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  3. Two hundred books a year! That’s insane! I mean I remember when you were super prolific, but I guess I just didn’t realize the extENT of it. I read just about exactly two hundred books a year, but I didn’t review anywhere near all of them. Gosh, no wonder you got burned out! And I’m glad you’ve now found a blogging pace that suits you better. 🙂

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  4. Trish says:

    I wasn’t reading 200 books a year, but after my highest number of books read I totally fizzled out. I realized that reading and book blogging wasn’t all that there was in life. Honestly, with some prodding from my husband who was kind of fed up with me always having my nose in a book!

    Sometime I can see newer bloggers moving at that same pace that we did back in the day and I almost want to warn them because I can see the burnout coming. And sure enough–it usually ends up happening. Why do we pressure ourselves so much!!

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  5. 200 books a year? I’m agog. No wonder you needed a break! Whew!

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  6. priscilla says:

    I remember visiting your blog long ago (I think we did some of the same challenges?) when I first started in 2009…you were definitely a powerhouse, someone I admired, but it makes sense that at 200 books a year, you might feel a little burnout. I think even professionals would have a difficult time with that. I’m glad you found your niche and kept going, and I’m glad I re-discovered your blog this week!

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  7. Literary Feline says:

    Yes, to letting go of obsessing over stats! I don’t follow mine anymore either. And while I still get a thrill when I get a comment, I no longer see it as a reflection of me. Those things alone have made me feel more free. I think some of best advice out there we can give to other bloggers is to blog the way you want, what works best for you. You are right on.

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  8. Deepika Ramesh says:

    Hi Amanda, I have just discovered your blog, thanks to BBAW. I am glad to have met you here. And, thank you for sharing these lovely thoughts. It is comforting to learn that a lot of bloggers believe in free-ranging, and not worrying about the stats. 🙂

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  9. Kay says:

    Finding a balance and do what you do – reading and blogging – for you – that’s the perfect statement. Good. For. You!!

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  10. Wow – 200 books!

    I totally agree with your points, both of which I’ve come to learn myself during my time blogging. Stats are something I think we can easily get caught up in – it’s kind of fun seeing how many people are reading, but what I’ve learnt over my years on and off book blogging is that it doesn’t matter how many people are reading, it matters about who the readers are.

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  11. Great post! I am so glad you came back. I have always enjoyed reading your posts.

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  12. Michelle says:

    Yep. Do what you want has always worked for me. I always know when I have shifted away from that philosophy because I start feeling pressure or at least a bit stressed when I think about writing posts.

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  13. Kristilyn says:

    I started over with a new blog after 7 years of blogging at Reading In Winter last year. It’s been so hard getting away from stats! I mean, seeing that only 5 people visited my blog one day is so hard, BUT then I get comments from some devoted readers who have been with me for years and it really lifts my spirits! Plus I remind myself that I like to write up certain posts for myself and it’s great to get certain things off my chest.

    And yes to reading what you want when you want! I’ve gotten so much better with that once I stopped reading review books and it’s great! I would also read and review 200+ books in a year and now that just seems ridiculous. It’s great to go with the flow now and if I only get 10 minutes of reading in, that’s totally fine. And sometimes Netflix wins and no reading happens and that’s fine, too!

    Wonderful post!

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  14. I know you’ve posted about this a few times before now, but your 200 books read and reviewed stat boggles me each time I read it. That sounds relentless and exhausting!

    I’m glad you’ve found a pace that works and that you are continuing to publicly share your thoughts. I’d miss you if you went totally private again! 🙂

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  15. Kristen M. says:

    The day I stopped looking at my stats was the best day. I have no idea how many people are reading what I write and I don’t care because I know a handful of good people are and that’s all that matters!

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  16. Ceri says:

    I remember when you hit that place where you just felt overwhelmed with the need to keep reading all the time. I’m so glad you’ve found this balance and are just doing you now.

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