I’m in a slump. I have such blogger burn out.
You’ve probably noticed over the past two years that I’ve barely updated this blog. Does it count as blogger burn out when you haven’t really been a blogger in over a year? To be honest, I barely write anything anymore. It breaks my heart but I just don’t have the inspiration or motivation that I used to. I think all the way back to 2008 when I had energy and hope for the future and unfailing faith in myself. Four whole years before Instagram, I used to write fresh articles daily. Sometimes, I’d even update Bostonista multiple times a day. I was just so passionate about the fashion industry and storytelling it was easy.
I actually googled “blogger burn out” today to see if anyone else was feeling this inept. I may not write on my blog anymore, but it turns out other people still do! Coffee with Summer has some great recommendations like taking a step back (okay, that one is probably not as useful for me), remembering why you started in the first place and re-purposing old content when inspiration is hiding. Problogger also has multiple posts about how to stay inspired, including writing your own post about the blogger burn out experience. Obviously, I took their advice.
By 2012 I was basically blogging full-time! I was writing consistently, growing on social media, attending fashion shows, shuttling between Boston and New York. I’d started styling photo shoots and writing on a freelance basis, and though I wasn’t “killing it”, I did feel like I was on my way to something. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I think I was really happy and content.
Somewhere around 2015 and 2016, something changed. I was obsessed with Instagram, with getting the right shots, and 800 likes, and “bubble nets” and contests. I’d long since stopped buying subscriptions to my favorite magazines, casually strolling their socials was so much easier. I wasn’t reading anyone else’s blog, why would I? Everyone updated everything on Insta! Most people had told me that they couldn’t remember the last time they actually visited a blog. The iconic bloggers emerging when I started, like Susie of StyleBubble and FashionToast, seemed just as outdated as magazines.
There was just so much pressure and people just starting were suddenly so successful, even as I watched those of us who had been working so hard toward something for years struggling to get there. It was frustrating. It IS frustrating.
Obviously, I can’t blame Instagram culture for my lack of motivation. Depression and anxiety, as always, plays a big part. Age, too, because while I might still feel like I’m in my twenties, I’m definitely not. The pressure of time closing in on me is very real; It feels like stacks of bricks crushing my chest. It always gets worse this time of year, about a month before my birthday, when I realize another year has gone by and I haven’t accomplished what I intended to, that I no longer even know where to start. I stopped trying a long time ago, and I’m not okay with that. I want to climb out of this self-dug hole and be inspired to create again. I want to do it without worrying about my Yoast SEO score, or if Instagram really is shadow banning me or if I ever get a sponsored post again. (Okay, I’m probably lying about the last one.)
This summer, I’m challenging myself to be more open, to actually attend the many events that I’m still (somehow) invited to, to spend less time stressing over Instagram (and leaving those facebook advice groups. Unless you’re a full time professional social media manager for a brand, how on earth are you spending your entire day clicking on hashtags, commenting, etc. I read them and my heart starts to pound.) And to actually write. I miss writing. In my journal, working on my novel, and here. I’m aiming for updating the blog once a week to start, maybe I can get my groove back. I hope you guys will help keep me accountable!
Have you faced blogger burnout? Is depression or anxiety threatening your creativity too? I need all the help I can get so if you want to share your experience, please do!