Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The blogging burnout syndrome

Don't know if you saw this, but Amy Welborn is leaving her Via Media blog, and Beliefnet, behind:
I'm not going to offer long explanations because there really are no long, complicated reasons. In brief: I have a different kind of writing to do, a real opportunity to do it, and it's the kind of writing that requires lots of thought and focus. I thought I could do both - because I have, in a way, in the past, but for whatever reason, I can't fit it all in my brain anymore. In order to do these other things, I need to have the spectre of "gotta blog something" and "wow, this is so bloggable" lifted from my consciousness. It just has to go!
First of all, best wishes to Amy wherever her next venture leads her; we'll all hope that we see her again soon. Her writing is always eminently worth reading and pondering, rich and deep, poetic, full.

Second, though, I've noticed that Amy occasionally mentions her introversion; I'm not the hundred-percent extrovert type, but usually wind up on the extrovert side of the middle, so to speak. I suppose that's the reason why I never feel as though blogging is a distraction, or that having too much to blog about is anywhere near as much of a problem as not having anything newsworthy or interesting swirling around.

But lots of those who do blog on a regular, professional scale talk about the burnout, so in all likelihood I haven't experienced enough of that kind of full-effort daily blogging to be able to comment about its draining effects.

How about you? If you blog, professionally or otherwise, have you ever reached a breaking point and wanted to quit? Have you ever, in fact, quit, only to come back later because you missed it? Do you feel energized by your time on the Internet writing blog posts, or is it draining and distracting to you?


Irenaeus said...

As you know, i've stopped and started several times. It's a time suck for me, time maybe I should spend reading and writing professionally. But I need it, often, the outlet, and so I continue.

I thought Amy was a lot better when she was blogging at Charlotte Was Both. Of course, she wasn't planning on her husband dying somewhat soon after she started the beliefnet thing, and thus her blogging changed.

I hope she blogs again in the future, but she also needs keep writing good, print-on-paper books, and blogging does take time from that.

Jeff Miller said...

I am a bit of an introvert myself. But really I am a gregarious introvert so blogging fits my personality in being shy and wanting to connect with people.

I've been blogging pretty much daily for over 7 years and I haven't felt burned out yet.

tmamone said...

Oh yes! In fact, in the middle of my burnout I had to delete my blog of two years to start anew. Up to that point, I was basically writing things just to get attention. I wasn't writing from the heart anymore. So I said, "Let's go back to the way it used to be" and started a new blog, one that's more concerned with the quality of writing than the quantity of readers.

PersonalFailure said...

tmamone hit it on the head. i don't blog on weekends (weekend posts are done in advance) and i only blog about things that really interest me. if i have nothing to say, i either post a pic of my dog or post nothing at all.

Dawn Farias said...

I've only been blogging since December but I did experience a time of being disenchanted with the whole thing because I thought no one was listening. I got over that, though.

And I tried starting a separate blog for separate topics but that didn't fly.

I also don't seem to have any shortage of things I want to blog about. I don't have any paid-for work, though, competing for my attention.

And I discovered a hobby of designing blogs and digiscrapping kits. Who knew that would happen?? (If that shop ever gets clients then I suppose I might one day have paid-for work competing for my attention....)

Before starting blogging I didn't know just how big the blogosphere actually is or how long some people have been blogging. Like the above commenter that's been blogging for 7 years. Wow.

Tim J. said...

I've thought about quitting a few times, not from burnout, but because I often doubt that I have anything really substantive to add to the conversation, especially when there are better and holier minds already on the job, blogging about everything under the sun.

I've never, I don't think, had an original thought in my life, and I find so much of what I believe has been said already, and more beautifully and completely than I could ever manage.

Still, I enjoy the blogging relationships that I have immensely, and it is worth doing just for that. I have a small number of regular readers (150 hits a day, or so) and I would miss them if I stopped.

It's a tiny roadside hut on the web, but it is mine and a few people stop by and chat every day, which is great fun.

I post about nearly anything at my blog, and don't care that much how many people see it. If I have something halfway decent that I want people to read, I post it at Jimmy's!

LarryD said...

I've been blogging for 16 months now (but who's counting!) - no burnout feeling to speak of - but if I ever get to the point where my humor fails to make me laugh, then I'll stop.

Since I continually crack myself up, that day may never come.

I consider myself one of the USO acts for the Church Militant.

Dawn Farias said...

I felt like Tim did about everyone else already saying what I wanted to say, and more eloquently to boot. But then I figured, "whatever!"

I enjoy writing and insofar as doing a bit of evangelizing, well my friends read my blog. They don't read other Catholic blogs. So, someone somewhere is getting a Catholic earful at least every once in a while.

I like what LarryD said about cracking himself up. I used to feel like that when I was teaching. I would always make jokes and then laugh at them. Sometimes a student would even 'get' it.

LeeAnn said...

Sometimes I dislike the time it takes to blog. I have inspirations of things I'd like to write about but then get impatient with actually sitting down to write it. It's so much faster to just think about it to myself, but then I forget all about it.

I take blogging breaks when life is busy or when I don't have much to say. My blog has little focus other than pictures and words about things I like. So of course, I don't have much of a readership (ha ha) because most people look for blogs about specific things. They get impatient when you interrupt your usual stream of Catholic apologetics with forty pictures of your kid's 2nd birthday or whatever.

But that's okay with me, I decided. My blog is for me. If someone else wants to chat with me about what I wrote, fine and dandy. If not, that's okay too.

BTW I don't think Amy started Via Media at Beliefnet until after Michael died.