Burnt Out

There has been something seriously wrong with me for weeks. I have this churned up feeling in my stomach. I feel overwhelmed. I’m not sick or anything. No, I’m perfectly healthy. It’s blogging which is causing me to feel this way.
Some days I want to delete my blogs, run away and live another
life. I haven’t known what to do. Perhaps it’s time to close my computer
and move on? That thought has been going around and around my head for a while now.
This morning I woke up and these words popped into my
head: ‘burnt out’. I’d forgotten what burnt out felt like. It’s been years and
years since I last experienced it as a homeschooler. It’s not a good feeling at
all. It makes life seem heavy and lacking in joy. As a burnt out homeschooler I
just wanted to escape but I knew I couldn’t, which made it worse. I’d try different approaches, make new resolutions, start again with renewed enthusiasm and end up
back where I started. Then one day I faced the fact that homeschooling was ruining the relationship between me and my children. I stopped trying to fulfil other people’s expectations. I threw out everything that wasn’t working for us. Instead I started listening to my children. And so we arrived at unschooling without ever making a conscious decision to do this. Burnout became a thing of the past.
But this is blogging burnout, not homeschooling burnout. This is different. I don’t have to blog. Blogging
doesn’t have to be part of who I am. Or does it? Writing is definitely part of
who I am. Even though I’ve been having a tough time lately, I’ve still
enjoyed writing the posts I’ve published. I still feel excited when an
idea suddenly enters my mind that just has to be written down, and later
shared.
After some more thinking, I have decided that what’s causing
me the most problems is not writing posts but trying to keep up with the blogging community. I love
reading blogs and stopping to say hello and joining in with discussions. My
blogging friends are very special to me. But I am finally admitting I can’t
keep up. I feel guilty. I feel sad. I feel burnt out.
So what am I going to do? Delete everything and run away?
No. I am just going to face the fact I can’t read everything. I can’t join in with every conversation. I can’t keep up with every person I am connected to in
the blogosphere. I’m not particularly happy about this. But I know I am not
superhuman. I also know I don’t want my blogging life to be the only life I
have.
Blogging is a two way process. It’s about giving as well as taking. If I don’t do much networking, maybe I won’t get so many visitors to my blogs. I could find no one stops by to say hello. Could I live with that? Yes. But what if I lose contact with all the wonderful friends I have made? That won’t be so easy to accept. But still I have to make changes. Because if I don’t, I’ll stop writing. And
really I can’t imagine a life without words. Words want to be written whether anyone wants to read them or not.
I could bury my head in the sand or run away from my problems, just like this ostrich. Instead I’m making some changes. How about you? Do you ever feel burnt out?


Image: Ostrich Head by Craig Nagy, (CC BY-SA 2.0)
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Comments

  1. Reply

    Oh lovely Sue, that is sad because you and writing go together like Fred and Ginger or Gin and Tonic but, I can relate very much. I stopped for a while last year (did anyone notice? … hehe) and have resumed but only on the condition that I write only when I want to and read only what I really want to! Funnily enough a lot of blogs I cut out were probably of no help to me (my life certainly hasn't changed by nor reading them that's for sure). I mean they were fantastic and clever and daily (groan) but I wasn't coming away with much, except feelings of inadequacy and probably envy I suspect. Now I make sure that I really only read who I want and when I want. It's still good. I would still love to be one of those daily beautiful professional bloggers but, I am not and that's all there is to it, so I may as well be happy doing what I am doing. And that's chilling with the kids and having a good laugh with friends whether online or in person.

    You started the year with some really emotional blogs, that must have been pretty hard sharing and rehashing stuff like that. Sometimes things effects us in a way we don't anticipate. Like coming in from a big run, we need time to regroup before we go on another big one. Which is funny coming from someone who really doesn't get long distance running at all! Now I shall go back outside and get myself some sun kisses. xxx

    1. Reply

      Lisa,

      Of course I noticed your blogging absence! I missed you.

      I only write when I want to too. That's very sensible advice, It's not like blogging is a job or anything. It does't have to be done. It would be sad to turn it into a chore.

      Beautiful professional bloggers? Oh I started out wanting to be one of those, I will admit. Lots of followers and comments and fame. Wow! That was a stupid idea. I can't even cope with my small blogs let alone a popular one. Think of all the work involved. I wouldn't have time for writing which would rather defeat the purpose of blogging. (I wonder how big bloggers cope.)

      I like your big run analogy. That's very appropriate for me. Oh yes, I could be in a recovery phase. I wonder where I'll run to next? I guess it's good to take time to recharge every now and then.

      Sun kisses… I first heard that term from a Welsh friend. I think the Welsh for freckle translates literally into sun kiss. Isn't that a beautiful way of describing a freckle? I hope you enjoyed your afternoon in the sun. And thank you for being such an understanding friend!

    • Eva
    • March 9, 2014
    Reply

    I wrote a long comment, but it disappeared. Now a shorter one. I know how you feel, I have thought so myself many times, even though I only have one blog and no other social media. I started my blog to keep in touch with my parents and siblings in Germany, but that hasn't really happened, most of my siblings don't read my blog and even my parents don't read it all the time either. I have met many new people through my blog, though, not just online, but quite a few of them also in real life. I am so happy about those connections. So my original intention what blogging is all about has changed quite a bit. Now I am sharing resources and activities with like-minded people. I do have thought many times about stopping, nevertheless, especially because I am also teaching out of the home now. However, my children think stopping the blog would be very sad because for them the blog is a documentary of their homeschooling days. So I have started to restrict my blogging time. Have you ever thought about giving yourself 30 minutes each day to either read blogs or write yourself and then stop? Or alternate days, one day write and the other day just comment or read somewhere else? I think a blog is like a good conversation, there is a give and take in talking and listening. And always take at least Sundays off? Or schedule regular blog vacations? I don't comment on all blogs I am following anymore. I don't count my visitors, But I do try to visit a handful regularly and try to comment on them too. (You could have certain days for visiting certain blogs):

    I don't know if this is at all helpful, but I have always been in awe about how you could manage so many blogs, Facebook and Twitter. That would make my head spin. Maybe Lent is a good time to find out what your blogging and social media future will look like. I can only say that I like to read what you write. I don't care for Facebook, so I don't know if I would read there, though.

    1. Reply

      Eva,

      I am so sorry your comment disappeared. How frustrating! You are kind to start again. I know your free time is precious.

      Oh you are so right about the giving and taking nature of blogging. Sometimes I don't feel entitled to post on my blog because I haven't done enough reading and commenting on my friends' blogs. How can we have a good conversation if we don't take an interest in what everyone else is writing? That's a big dilemma.

      You make some excellent suggestions. It sounds like you've thought carefully about the best way to incorporate blogging into your busy life. For me, writing isn't something I can do in a hurry so I don't know if 30 minutes a day would work. I can spend more than that amount of time just answering comments. But I could write less posts and allow time for networking. Anyway, you have given me lots to think about. Thank you!

      I must admit I don't visit Twitter very often. But I do like Facebook. I like how I can post and chat about all my blogs on one page. Posting links and photos is quick and enjoyable. I also like following friends' FB links and reading their blog pages.

      Thank you so much for stopping by. I do appreciate it.

      • Eva
      • March 9, 2014
      Reply

      Well, you could still find a time limit and start a blog entry during that time and finish it the next time. I find Facebook utterly confusing and too busy for my taste. Good luck with whatever you do.

    2. Reply

      Eva,

      I love how you continue conversations despite your shortage of free time. That's very generous of you. I just want to say your comments have been very helpful. I think they make perfect blogging sense. I am just realising however that I am not really a blogger. What I want to do is write. I can't do that to a restricted timetable. Maybe I should face the fact that I need to stop blogging so I can give that time to writing. That's a huge thought. A bit scary because blogging has been a big part of my life for nearly 4 years. Perhaps I should give up Facebook too! Thank you Eva for your help.

      • Eva
      • March 10, 2014
      Reply

      There are many blogs out there where people only write and not post any pictures, but I guess most of those are not homeschooling blogs. Maybe you should start writing a book on homeschooling ideas or on your way of doing unschooling. Just a thought. Or maybe become a homeschool consultant for English composition. You could open your own program and help other homeschoolers. Sandra Garrant from
      CHC does something like this. She has written books, but also does workshops on writing. Or do you know the Brave Writer site? That is another example of what I mean.

      I am sitting here preparing my German college class for tomorrow, but really should go to bed. It is getting too late.

      • Eva
      • March 10, 2014
      Reply

      Sorry, Sandra's last name is spelled only with one "r."

    3. Reply

      Eva,

      Thank you for all your ideas. Maybe there is a new project waiting for me. Things don't have to stay the same. I'll look at the sites you mentioned. I hope you got enough sleep. I appreciate your comment.

      • Eva
      • March 12, 2014
      Reply

      You are welcome, have fun trying out new things. It is again kind of late (and no, I don't sleep enough, but normally take a nap after lunch most days). We are supposed to get a snowstorm tomorrow. Everybody in the U.S. seems to be posting pictures of spring, but we are getting more snow. All the best to you.

  2. Reply

    This is so where I am at. Part of my issue is this extra cold and snowy winter but we are in the middle of a Chinook right now (a warm wind) so snow is melting and I can see grass again.

    I wish that, for blogging, I could just write and post. But there are links, pin worthy photos, networking…. I am going to have to make some changes too. Thank you for this post.

    1. Reply

      Tessa,

      "I wish that, for blogging, I could just write and post." Oh yes! That would be so simple. I suppose there is nothing stopping me from doing that. It just doesn't seem right though. As Eva said, blogging is a 2 way conversation.

      I don't think I want to network in order to promote my blog. I used to do that but now I can't be bothered linking up or joining in with carnivals etc. I only want to network to promote friendships, so we can support and encourage each other. But even that seems too much at the moment. And I haven't even got the excuse of a long cold winter to account for my mood. I bet you are looking forward to the spring! I can imagine how exciting that first glimpse of green is.

      Thank you so much for stopping by. It's good to share, especially when things aren't going so well.

  3. Reply

    Just promise to go omn writing. Thn I don't care if you only comment on my blog once a year. I keep my blog in English mostly for you, but for me to know that you pop by and read it from time to time is fine. The "rationing" system suggested by Eva sound rater smart to me, as I also struggle with the "How much do I have to comment"-itits of the blogosphere.
    – Maybe our lenten thing this year should be to abstain from commenting, maybe even closing down the possibility of comments on our blogs , and then NOT ONCE look at how many have read our posts. I don't know if it's doable 🙂 or if I'll even try. But please continue writing whenever you feel like it. I always read your blogposts, but I do not always comment.
    – Install a "like"-button like on facebook, then we don't have to comment, just push like to show we've been there.

    1. Reply

      Uglemor,

      Oh you are such a good friend! Thank you for your kind and understanding words. I will always write but I don't know about blogging. But even if I didn't post here any more, I'd still visit your blog so we could stay in touch. I like reading about your life. We have shared a lot.

      Your Lenten 'thing' sounds good. I once turned off my comments. That was a couple of years ago. but someone complained I was shutting out my readers. I'd turned the 2 way conversation into a one sided one. I try not to look at my stats. Does it matter how many page views our posts get if we have enjoyed writing them? It's all just numbers. I used to count every page view but now it doesn't mean much to me, especially when I know sites like the vampire one like to mess up the numbers!

      A Facebook button? I have spent hours trying to install one of those without success. I did it years ago and then removed it, and now I can't find any instructions that I can follow easily and which lead to success.

      I am very grateful you write your blog in English as well as Danish. So please continue. I'll still be reading!

    • Kari
    • March 9, 2014
    Reply

    Sue–

    I quit a few months ago for SO many reasons. I still read some blogs occasionally but writing my blog just stopped being about all the things I started it for. I hate to admit it I haven't missed blogging perhaps because it was not about my love of writing or my desire to evangelize by the end. I do still write but now only for me. I've tried to come back to blogging but so far- I just can't bring myself to post. And now my writing, though it is much less frequent and consistent, brings me more peace and less demands.

    The decision is obviously very personal and should always come through prayer and discernment but from a former blogger (who may someday come back full force?!?!?!?) know that life is just as full and rich without it. And any relationships forged through blogging can continue after blogging if they are worth the time and energy (which you just might have more of if you quit).

    Hope you are all doing well and that God is blessing your beautiful family each and every day.

    ~Kari

    1. Reply

      Kari,

      It is so lovely to see you on my blog. I've missed you!

      It seems a big decision to give up blogging though I know a few people who decided to do this and everything worked out well. You sound at peace with your decision. Yes, friendships can continue outside blogging. btw, I was very pleased to receive your Christmas greetings and photo. Thank you!

      I'm glad to hear you're still writing. I enjoyed your short story very much. I need to follow your example and get some of my novels finished and published. Blogging is definitely taking up time I could be using for these writing projects.

      Kari, you have given me much to think about. Actually I was thinking about all these comments as I was running this morning. They are all helping me sort out what I really want to do. Thank you!

  4. Reply

    I've been feeling the same way lately. I love to write, and I love to read other people's posts, but I'm at a point where I've subscribed to far too many blogs, and I just can't keep up with it all. I feel bad about it, but I've just been reading the ones that seem to be of immediate interest to me, while I used to read every last one. There are some- like yours- that I look forward to because you've always got something relevant for me. Those I do read all the time. I spend more time reading blogs than I do writing posts. Something's gotta give. Suffice it to say, I know how you feel.

    1. Reply

      Shelly,

      You seem to do a lot more networking than me, with all the link ups and links to other people's posts on G+. Probably Twitter as well but I don't often visit there!

      I know all about subscribing or following too many blogs. I keep saying, "It'll be okay. I'll manage to read just one more." Just facing the fact I can't manage at all.

      I'm sorry you're feeling the same way, Shelly. I hope you find the right solution that makes life easier for you. I do admire the fact you keep up with so much that is going on in the blogging world when you have such a big family to care for too. 'Something's gotta give'… Yes!

  5. Reply

    Hi Sue~
    Just stopping in briefly to say HI and tell that you…hey, you can't do it all. Certain seasons of our lives lend them to more "community" and "reaching out." If you blog and simply re to others' comments on your blogs…which is HUGE bc many cannot timewise….that in itself is major.Don't worry about visiting friends' blogs/ commenting on them, joining threads in FB groups… you can't or you'll drive yourself nuts. Everyone understands and no one will be wondering why you're not commenting on their blogs—some times it's just easier. At other times, we all try hard just to keep our heads above water. The main thing is your vocation to motherhood…don't stretch yourself thin beyond that.
    I hope you don't mind me giving you advice……

    Hang in there and keep writing!
    I'll keep coming by to read…tho may not com all the time. But I'll come by!

    Love ya

    C

    1. Reply

      Chris,

      Of course I don't mind you giving me advise. I welcome all your suggestions. We've all been through similar situations I'm sure, and it's good to share. The support and encouragement is appreciated very much.

      I think it is sad that we are all writing and posting but we don't have enough time to really immerse ourselves in other people's blogs. Much of the time we are racing through the blogosphere trying to keep up. We exchange quick comments to keep in touch. But what I really enjoy is your emails that appear unexpectedly! I hope if I give up blogging you will write even if it is only very occasionally. No pressure of course. Just want to keep up our friendship!

    2. Reply

      Chris,

      It's great you are able to make some money while blogging, and the reviews will be helpful to others. Your blog must be getting lots of page views if companies want you to review their products. That must feel worthwhile. Though I also understand about wanting to post something more personal, something YOU want to write about. Perhaps you feel your blog is being taken over by other people. Anyway, I hope you feel more relaxed about blogging soon. I look forward to reading your posts. Thanks for popping back again!

    3. Reply

      Oh my gosh, of course….I definitely plan to keep up….and keep fingers crossed that you and the rest of the Elvises decide to visit the Big Apple. In which case, we'll get to meet in person!~ That would be the BEST.

      It's funny, bc I wrote a post today, but never hit publish..(.interrupted by "real life!")
      on how I don't like what my blog is turning into…or really, what it's turning me into. Reviews, giveaways and sponsored posts I agreed to quite a while ago have taken over my writing…( and I only have one more left!—tho I did sign up to rev a few curr items that I'd get for free and get paid $25…not a huge amount…but hey, why say no for an hour's work or so writing about our time with a product. I've not heard back from that company, so I assume that went with another blogger to promote their items…which is actually just as well.
      Anyway, so I am dealing with a similar issue, but slightly different, in that I took on too many things for blogging that caused me to pretty much dread hitting the "compose" button and begin to write since this, of late, is all around what I "should" do and commitments I made but should NOT have!
      I look fwd, after posting my latest rev tomorrow, to writing about what I want to! LOL
      I hope all is well with you and the family… Enjoy your day, Sue, and I;ll talk with you soon!

    • Hwee
    • March 9, 2014
    Reply

    Hi Sue,

    It sounds to me that you're probably overwhelmed by the commitment to "keep up" with all the expectations of blogosphere, i.e. following and/or reading and commenting on others' blogs. I think maybe the solution is to think about why you started your blog(s) and whether your actions are taking you closer to your goals. For example, if you're after huge amounts of traffic, then keeping up with various social media is probably the way to go and the price you have to pay to generate the massive amounts of traffic. If, on the other hand, your (homeschool) blog is a record for yourself and your family of your journey, then perhaps it is not so important to spend so much time on generating readership. Just some ideas for you to think about. 🙂

    1. Reply

      Hwee,

      'think about why you started your blog(s)'… That is a good question. I never intended to be a blogger. All I wanted to do was promote my grief book, connect with other bereaved parents who might be feeling isolated. I didn't actually know much about blogging before I began my first blog. Someone just suggested this might be the ideal way to tell people about my book. Then I discovered blogging is not that simple. I was expected to publish regular posts, network, comment…. Actually I enjoyed all that otherwise I wouldn't have gone on to create lots more blogs. I wouldn't have stuck around long enough to make some great friendships.

      Why am I blogging now? I'm not sure. It's not to create a family record. I've enjoyed exploring lots of homeschool and parenting related ideas. That's been good. I've also enjoyed exploring the stories of my life in order to learn from them. But I can do all that away from blogging. I'm thinking about putting my various posts (after editing) together into book form. Maybe that would work out better for me. I keep saying I want to do this but never actually start. Perhaps it's time to actually do it.

      Hwee, thank you for your comment. It's helped very much.

  6. Just my two cents… Personally I blog for me. It is a way I can look back on our journey and see what we did and how we have grown. Really how I have grown as a parent and as a homeschooling momma. If someone reads my blog great if not I don't stress because it is just a way for me to express myself. I see my blog as my journal,lol. If something is draining your joy be it blogging or anything else then change it. Life is to short to feel this way. I love the idea of turning your post into a book.

    1. Reply

      You are so right! The joy has certainly disappeared from blogging recently. But I got up this morning and felt like writing something and so I did. I'm not going to stress if no one reads because the post won't go to waste. At least I enjoyed writing it!

      Even if I continue to blog, I might still put together some of my posts into a book. I'm glad you like that idea!

  7. Reply

    Dear Sue, I appreatiate your honesty. I think many people are affected with all this soical media conact, connecting and profile stuff. Our society is dealing with something like a screen (internet, ipad, mobile phone, social media etc.) addiction! It is just too much if you do it all! I also think people just get used to things. If you are reguarly commenting, people will miss you if you stop. BUT they will get used to it. They will also get used to it if you just comment much less or stop entirely. I used to have a personal facebook page (a few years back) but deleted it because of similar reasons. I don't regret it and I don't miss it! If writing is your main thing, than maybe you should consider writing a book. Writing online takes away so much (precious) time. Writing alone will keep you away from all those online distractions. BTW you could automise your fb, twitter and google+ updates. That would save you lots of time, if you don't mind having somewhat unpersonal profiles. I need certain times limits, because it is so easy to spend time infront of the computer instead of with "real things" and "real and close people". In the whole – internet can be a blessing or a curse. We have to find a way to keep it a blessing!

    1. Reply

      Bernice,

      Yes, the Internet can be wonderful but it can also rule our lives. It can be different finding a balance.

      I have a rather neglected personal FB page. I never seem to get time to visit it and post anything. Not that it matters. I actually enjoy my blog FB page more. My post notifications do get posted to Twitter and G+ automatically. I do the FB ones myself. I decided to concentrate on FB as it's a good meeting place and lots of people use it. I can post and comment about all my blogs in one place. That makes things easier.

      I am very interested in your book. You know all about finding precious writing time. Maybe your efforts will inspire me to finish my own projects!

      Bernice, I always love chatting with you. Thank you for understanding and for your suggestions.

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