If you work passionately to maintain a quality blog, pour countless hours into a never-ending hobby, or work frantically hard at a job without an end goal, you will, given enough time, experience burnout. (Unless you’re a workaholic freak of nature; then you probably aren’t reading this at all because you’re too busy doing whatever crazy shit you do while ignoring the divorce papers in your spouse’s hand and the hot tears running down the cheeks of your neglected children.)
So, for my fellow bloggers out there on the verge of blogger burnout, check out the following articles. I hope they help:
- On the Brink of Blogger Burnout? Here’s How to Avoid It!
(Article by The Department of Wandering)
- 15 Ways to Avoid Blogger Burnout
(Article by Pinch of Yum)
- When Blogging Becomes a Slog
(Article by Steven Kurutz for The New York Times)
- How To Recover From Blogger Burnout In 3 Easy Ways
(Article by Justina Ford for The Huffington Post)
Personally? Yeah, I’ve been struggling with burnout for about a year now. But that’s not the real problem. See, in the back of my mind — like, where the really naughty bits live — I’ve been planning to write a book based upon this blog. Hell, I’ve been planning to write it since I started Oh God, My Wife Is German way back in 2011. Now, here I sit — over half a decade later — and I haven’t even started the goddamn thing.
Writing, designing and self-publishing this book is one of my life goals. In fact, it’s number one on my bucket list — far more important than commingling my cocksure American sperm cells with my wife’s hyperconservative German ovum. (I mean, c’mon, we’ve still got a few fertile years left in which to conjure our malformed uterine troll.)
Sure, my writing has been published a few times in various print anthologies and online magazines (under a variety of scantily clad pseudonyms, of course), but those were older life goals. I achieved them and promptly set a newer, bigger goal: creating this blog. (After begging like a little bitch for my wife’s permission, of course.)
I distinctly recall having exactly zero readers at first. Then a few friends and family members subscribed. I was genuinely shocked when a couple of fellow bloggers — total strangers, mind you — joined up as well. I remember checking my WordPress statistics one morning to find I’d hit a total of 12 followers. I was ecstatic! But later that evening, I’d dropped back down to 10 because I was posting every single day and flooding these poor people’s inboxes like an overcaffeinated Russian computer hacker with a cold sore. (That — or more likely — because I was such a clueless newbie my writing was absolute dog shit.) Anyway, losing those followers broke my heart, but I kept on going.
I had to keep going, you see. I loved blogging. I was obsessed with it — so much so I couldn’t stop for any reason — not even billable work. I was so passionate about it, I could easily lose myself for an entire day; just writing and writing and writing without even noticing just how badly I needed to pee, eat, take a shower or change my undies. It was like a hypnotic trance of creativity. Challenging creativity, of course — and rife with self-doubt — but creativity all the same.
Earning those first 1,000 readers was an exciting time, but it took far longer than I would ever have expected. (I mean, I was convinced I was dropping solid gold every week: how dare more strangers not flock to my blog by the tens of thousands to appreciate my undeniable genius?) But still I kept on going, because I wasn’t writing for them; I was writing for my wife, and for myself.
With a bit more experience, I managed to write a couple posts which went viral, and my followers jumped up to 3,000 in a single day. Then 5,000 the next day. Then the next day, WordPress picked up one of my articles and featured it on their Freshly Pressed page (now called Discover), and the numbers really started to jump. And that’s when I started to panic.
It freaked me out so many people were reading the things I was writing. This made no sense, I realize, since the point of writing a public blog is to have it read by others, but I don’t know — suddenly I just felt so… exposed. Like, maybe one of these people would turn stalker and decide to hunt me or my wife down in person. Even one single online attack would have been cause enough for me to shut this mother down. But it was my wife who told me I shouldn’t stop. She said I should keep the blog going because she loved it, because other people loved it, and because she could see it brought me such obvious pleasure to write it.
Once it hit 10,000 followers, I kinda had to let my fears go. It was either stop entirely, or keep right on going. So I doubled down, poured even more creative energy into my posts and just enjoyed the process. Went with the flow, if you will. I hit the 50,000 followers mark. Then 75,000. Once I crossed the 100,000 followers mark, I upped my goal again. Fast forward to today, and my blog has over 200,000 followers and growing. To some people, this seems like a lot. To others, it’s no big deal. To me, it’s just a number; what really matters are the people who actually take the time to engage with my content.
The point is, I’ve got a new goal (though it’s actually a really old one). And to achieve it, I’ve got to take a break from blogging. At least for the next 6 to 12 months. And I need this break because I simply cannot divide what limited writing time I have into this blog and into a book. It would be like trying to maintain a house — one which demands constant repairs and improvements — while simultaneously constructing a magnificent castle. (You know, one of those big, huge, fuck-off German ones.)
So I’m going for the castle. I just need a little extra time to build it.
Want to help? Please take a moment to select your book preferences from the survey below. (You can select as many answers as you like.) And remember: your input is worth gold to me:
And once the book is done? Oh yes, I’ll be coming right back into the blogging game, and I’ll be coming in hot. (I’ve got like 25 articles just waiting to be written, and each one will blow your tits clean off.)
I’ll still be active on social media though, so in the meantime, if you need a laugh, want to read funny stuff, receive updates or check out previous articles you may have missed, just follow us on Twitter or Facebook:
I’d like to extend a big, huge cyberhug to all my readers. Thank you. You’re awesome.
Have an absolutely wonderful day.
Strange, isn’t it, that wordpress only shows me 5.111 followers on the sideline …
Take as long as you need – you have a dayjob, that puts bread on the table, you have a cute dog that really needs some discipline instilled into its brain, you have a wife who likes to work long hours herself and when you finally have time for each other you should not waste that time by thinking about blog articles.
I myself do not see blogging as a challenge, as a point on my bucket-list. I just write – and some people like what I write (about 240) and some don’t – and that’s allright with me.
Unless you do it for business reasons, do not take blogging too seriously.
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AMEN, SISTER! And yeah, that number represents the direct WordPress blogger accounts following my blog. The rest you can see in the subscribe widget at the top of my sidebar, which is a combination of Twitter, Facebook and the other social media platforms.
I really dig your attitude toward blogging, by the way. :) You rock.
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Your posts will be missed, but really looking forward for that book!
I’ll definitely keep on following as I soon want to move to Germany, so need that blunt/no crap advice of yours!
All the best with the writing.
The Guatemalan who’s soon moving to Germany,
Let us know when you get here! And thank you for the kind words!
Cyberhug right back at ya! Go for the castle, I am sure it will kick butt. All the best for the wife and you.
Thank you Sandra! I’m not going anywhere, so stay in touch!!
Hey Sandra, do you still answer to this email address? (The .net one)
I’m just happy my cat, my Mom, and my imaginary stalker Cyndi reads my blog.
Haw haw! That’s awesome.
Great article man! I’m new to your blog, but I’ll still be sticking around no matter what. I enjoyed reading your content, and I think you’ll eventually come around to posting on a semi-daily basis. You have a great sense of humor that shows in your post! Anyways, I’ll also be looking forward to your book! Glad I stumbled upon your blog as well man, keep up the good work no matter what. I’ll be sticking around for sure :)!
Hey thank you for the kind words and for the support! I really appreciate that. I’m glad to have you as a reader.
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I’m sure your book will be epic. :-) Looking forward to reading it. And I’ll miss you on the blog. :-)
Thank you Aurora! I’ll keep sharing via Twitter and Facebook while I write though!
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I’ll definitely buy and read your book when it’s published. :) I’ve read your blog for a long time; even before I met -my- German spouse and began to realize we’d eventually move to Germany. Now here we are and my own blog, which was once just for random nonsense and the occasional travel stories, is an expat blog. Your post about the specifics of coming here really put my mind at ease. :) Thanks for all the great stories, good luck to you and your family, and I can’t wait to read the book!
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How awesome of you to say such things! Thank you. I’m grateful to have you as a reader. And congratulations on finding your German and moving here as well!!!
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Ha…totally wasn’t looking for blogger pep-talk content, but stumbled on it at just the right time. Serendipitous timing.
It´s been about a year now. How’s the book coming?
Hey Alex! Thank you for asking. I appreciate that, as I am struggling with a mean case of writer’s block, and it helps to know you care. But you know what’s awesome? This expat finished her book! https://www.amazon.com/You-cookie-Learning-Deutsch-abenteuerlicher-ebook/dp/B07C3N7P1S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1544178398&sr=8-1&keywords=you+go+me+on+the+cookie&fbclid=IwAR2E0ymkhQEnYal2vGCXNfPr9tjpJpKgHFpKCuYEi4Mt8pcLYQoeGmJvXZA
I really love to read your blog posts, they´re written in a funny way which makes it wonderfully entertaining!
I had to smirk a lot, mostly because it reminds me so much of my American boyfriend and I (German).
I´m looking forward for your book to come out and to read about your beautiful story you´ve got to tell.
For me and my Schatz it helps a lot to know that we´re not alone and to read about two people that went through a process we will probably go through as well.
We are not planning to get married anytime soon because we´re bonded to our countries at the moment and still both young.
I know you´re not Hitch, the Date Doctor but if you could include some tips for a long-distance relationship in your book or make a post about it (that helped both of you personally) I´d be really grateful.
As I read it also has´nt been the easiest time for both of you as well until you finally moved together (I read “Denglish 7: A Long Distance Relationship Between A German Woman and An American Man” and we have the same problems as you mentioned in that blog post from time to time).
Please don´t feel hestitated to answer me, take your time.
You can also answer me per mail.
I hope you´re doing better with your writer´s block and that both of you are doing well!
Greetings to the wife and Yeti!
What a wonderfully considerate and touching comment! Thank you, Vanessa. I will do my best to always help out others in long-distance relationships. And congratulations on finding your American, by the way! (Germans and Americans make the best matches in the world, according to my 100% biased opinion.) Stay strong and please keep in touch!