On Blogging Burnout

Wah wah wah, oh you just swan up to events and have endless Prets with Laura and fanny around on Lightoom all day, wah wah wah.

But 4 months into me doing this previous side-hustle as a full-time gig and here we are. My mental health is at an all-time low, my Inbox is a bursting and bustling cacophony of, ‘It’s been 5 days, reply?’ (thanks new Gmail) and I pretty much hate everyone and everything about the bloggersphere.

Alright, that’s an exaggeration but I’m burnt out – I’m allowed to be dramatic, OK?

blogging burnout

I am basically the unmade bed. Cold, empty with no care taken over it but that contains a misery that is just so inviting.

So how did I get here? 

At the beginning of September I *should* have been going back to school, teaching the children I’ve know for years, with (some) colleagues that I loved and in a classroom I could make a haven. 

September signals new starts, fresh beginnings and a new sense of direction and purpose. But this September start couldn’t have been more different.

I suppose, when I worked as a teacher, I didn’t have all day to scroll social media and get pissed off at people who were rude, stuck up or fake.

I didn’t have time to obsess over feeds that made me compare myself and feel crap about what I was doing in life.

I also didn’t have endless time to sit around and contemplate, ‘what am I doing?’, ‘what is it all for?, ‘who is it all for?’.

But after illness, time off for my birthday, MORE illness and a mounting pressure to GET WORK DONE, I suppose I’ve just retreated into a cave where I don’t want to engage with any of it.

With the drama, with people I support who can’t even reply a, ‘thanks’, with the excessive push for consumerism, with the expectation to be attractive and light at all times, with the need for growth and validation.

It’s bloody exhausting!

And I know not all bloggers are like this. I know that a lot of inadequate feelings and bitterness towards others stems from my own insecurities and probably a hefty dollop of jealousy but I’m questioning EVERYTHING.

Why am I jealous of people with so many followers that they can’t even reply to a heartfelt, genuine and thoughtful message?

Why am I comparing myself to someone who has no other purpose than to shove a million affiliate links down our throats?

Why do I feel bad that I haven’t achieved x, when some of those who have achieved it have had helping hands?

It got to the point where I was obsessing over engagement rates and how quickly a photo took off on Instagram and why my traffic had halted (even though I haven’t been posting).

And it’s really fucking silly isn’t it? Imagine getting yourself into such a state? I just don’t recognise myself!

So I’ve taken a big break (for me) from my inbox. From this blog and from the things that were making me twisted to realign and readjust.

I’m now continually curating my feeds so that I am only exposed to things that make me feel good. 

I’m listening to my body and brain and spending a few hours extra in bed when I need it.

I’m taking a step back from the type of content I was thinking I’d have to create to be ‘commercial’ (because this is my job after all) and only writing things I am inspired to write (other than a few outstanding and contractually obliged pieces which I will still try and make as helpful or entertaining as possible) and getting back to a place of enjoyment and creativity.

I’m even going to be shoving up on YouTube, a very raw video about my mental health journey and the realities of my anxiety and depression which is risky because it’s so far removed from being ‘commercial’ but it feels so important for me to have the catharsis but also to show others that there should be no stigma.

And do you know what? I’m actually enjoying the challenge of YouTube. It’s the one platform that I haven’t obsessed over in terms of growth, views, validation or perfection. It’s raw and it’s me and I’m trying to keep it as a place for real creativity and a different type of outlet!

Because I’m in a place where I feel completely and totally directionless with the career that calls itself a, ‘full-time blogger’ because it is a title that has no meaning, really.

I have my ‘side hustles’ in Exciting Emails, books and coaching – which I absolutely adore, but other than that, I honestly have no idea what’s next!

All I want to do is create content that is helpful, educational, meaningful and entertaining but how do I balance that with making money and being able to pay rent, save for a wedding and pay back my debts? 

I don’t have a scooby.

So I suppose this post was to say that whilst I HAD never felt more done with the bloggersphere, I’ll always love and be fulfilled by blogging.

I’m using the time away to gain a new perspective, to reflect on what is really important about working online and having a platform so that I can continue to be a different kind of energy in the world of blogging and, ‘influencing’.

And if you could all stick around and maybe even be the change we want to see, that would be bloody fab!

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15 Comments

  1. September 13, 2018 / 10:25 am

    I feel very much the same in different ways. I think the changing season has a lot to do with it. The older I get, the more I think the moon has an influence on me. As we move out of summer, I’m sensing change all around me. It’s unsettling. I feel discontent almost everywhere. I also feel like a failure and just want to hibernate.
    But we need to sit in these feelings and accept them, not try to change them. How we feel is how we feel and that’s okay.
    Just remember Oprah’s favourite phrase: This Too Shall Pass

    • vixmeldrew
      Author
      September 13, 2018 / 4:44 pm

      It’s defo the moon isn’t it! Looking more into this at the moment… it’ll pass soon!

  2. September 13, 2018 / 10:26 am

    Vix this is SUCH a great post. With the way social media is these days there can still be such a whitewash if wanting life to seem perfect and yet for when it’s when I reach out with an issue or problem that people flock to send messages and relate. It’s important to always share the shit struggles as well as the good times and the grass is always greener. Right now I’m hating the day job more than ever because I feel like I don’t have the time to even attempt to try this for myself. But I know once I leave that safety net it will be a huge risk, fucking hard work and rarely rewarding. Focus on what you love and inspires you.

    • vixmeldrew
      Author
      September 13, 2018 / 4:43 pm

      Aw you’re the cutest – thank you!

  3. September 13, 2018 / 11:09 am

    Vix, as you know I literally love you [in the shouty from the side-lines, fan girl kind of way]. Probably way too much than I should ever admit publicly. You were the first person I remember finding on the internet and thinking – THAT is what I want to be. You have a writing style like nothing I have seen before, and an endearing honesty that makes me laugh out loud in some instances and want to give you a huge hug in others.

    You photos are just AMAZING too – I mean how you can make a made bed look cool and theme-y [is that even a word] is beyond me. SO basically what I am trying to say is, whatever it is that you choose to do, however long you choose to take off, I will ALWAYS be here, waiting when you come back. Listen to yourself, take extra care, and make sure you are the most important person. Soph Xxxxxxxx

  4. September 13, 2018 / 11:20 am

    I bloody love this and can certainly relate to feeling like an unmade bed. I’ve spent the week avoiding emails because I just don’t want to discuss a post that I don’t want to write. It’s alright to shut down and turn off for a few days. I actually think it makes you comeback stronger and more creative.

    I was talking about this the other night and we probably do more than 24 hours work a day as a creator. As we reply to comments while we’re uploading images. Send emails on the way to events, constantly updating and never stopping. So enjoy the extra hours in bed and only writing what inspires you. You genuinely have inspired me to not live this whole ‘I’m always busy’ culture creators seem to have to justify!

    X

    • vixmeldrew
      Author
      September 13, 2018 / 4:43 pm

      Oh massively! Rest and reset is the way forward!

  5. September 13, 2018 / 11:24 am

    I completely feel you on the burnout right now, I’ve fallen out of love with Instagram with the constant follow/unfollow ridiculousness, I’m over the drama and rudeness of people on social towards bloggers especially when bloggers themselves get involved. Do they not realise they are attaching themselves. I also feel overwhelmed with my task list right now and wish I could curl up in a ball and hide away but I have to remind myself that I bloody love blogging and having my little space online and the rest of it shouldn’t stop me from enjoying writing and creating my content. Look forward to seeing the change and watching your videos

  6. September 13, 2018 / 4:37 pm

    Blogging is going through a transitional period at the moment and it’s essential to take a step back, focus on what you want to do and put steps into practice to make it happen. Nobody can be all things to all people, you have to have a direction and belief in what you’re doing and stick with it – irrelevant of what everyone else is up to.
    I think you’ve put too much pressure on yourself to make an income from blogging, and could definitely benefit from taking a step back and finding something else to take the pressure off; I guarantee you’ll then start to fall back in love with it and reignite your passion. The majority of us are not making our living from just the blogs – everyone has a side hustle, business or way of making cash, so don’t feel like a failure if your site isn’t paying the rent right now.

    • vixmeldrew
      Author
      September 13, 2018 / 4:42 pm

      I’m a Virgo – total perfectionist and arrived. Luckily the coaching, consulting and EE side of stuff pays me a decent salary each month so it’s less about that and more just wanting to be even more successful in EVERYTHING. But that’s exactly what I’ve done, taken a step back and reassessed. Ready to get going again!

  7. September 13, 2018 / 8:04 pm

    Thank you for being the breath of honest, fresh air in the blogosphere that is so full of fake images and polished life stories! I lllllove your blog and I don’t mind the least if you have a break from writing, au contraire, I completely understand! And I’ll still be here the moment you publish something again 🙂

    xx Teresa | outlandishblog.com

  8. September 13, 2018 / 8:28 pm

    This is something I’m facing at this time in my life as well. I have this idea for a blog and I started putting out content, but I’m not really sure where it’ll take me.
    One thing I know for sure, and with all due respect to those who are fine with it, but I honestly don’t see myself introducing a product or a service in order to make a living out of my blog.
    This was supposed to be my way of writing about things I’m contemplating on and sharing it with the world. Hopefully I’ll find a way to make it a full time thing, but for now I’ll keep doing what I’m doing and, hopefully, it will take me where I’m supposed to be at some point.
    Thank you for speaking out on this matter and take your time to put yourself together. It’s quite common to feel overwhelmed, so don’t put so much pressure on yourself.
    Take care.

  9. Erin
    September 16, 2018 / 11:14 am

    You just need to decide and focus on what is right for you lovely. I have recommended a few people now that blogging doesn’t need to be the only thing. I have seen people go back to a role they loved before blogging, and the joy has come back because it’s been hobby and fun rather than all serious. I know I could never commit my full being to this world, but I know you love it. But I know everyone naturally goes through ups and downs, so its just a case of following your gut and doing what is right for you! go for YouTube, I have been loving it again recently, unfollow accounts that don’t bring you joy, say no to poopy emails and make sure everything you do you are loving and feel passionate about! 🙂

    Erin || MakeErinOver

  10. September 16, 2018 / 3:24 pm

    Oh, I definitely empathise with you here Vix. I hugely admire you and the other bloggers I read who are open about their mental health struggles while still managing to work for themselves. For me, I need the routine (and, let’s face it, stable income) of my j-o-b too much to even think about giving that up, although I’ve been lucky enough to go part-time and get closer to a balance that works for me. It doesn’t surprise me in the slightest that you’ve been wrestling with these feelings though at the start of your first academic year while self-employed, and when your health has been so shitty lately too.

    Deep breaths. The world is waiting for you to conquer it again once you’re ready.

    x

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