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In Denial: Blogging Slumps

in denial: blogging slump

I’ve been in denial about this for a while, but it’s time to be honest and own up to the reality of my situation.

I’m in a major blogging slump.

I know that I’ve talked about how keeping a schedule and scheduling posts ahead of time can help you to weather both reading and blogging slumps. And that is TRUE. But I am also reaching the point where I am running out of scheduled posts, and seriously, you guys, that is scary. I need to find a way to refocus on my blog (and reading) and get back into it.

So tell me, my dear readers: what do you do to re-energize yourself about blogging when you fall into a slump? I need all the advice and suggestions I can get.

AmandaLovesYOU

About the author: Amanda, noun: 1. Creator of On a Book Bender and Bout of Books. 2. Editor at The Path of Least Revision. 3. Lover of language and books. 4. Drinker of wine, coffee, and vodka. 5. Idea wrangler and wielder of words.

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  • Honestly, I’ve had a LOT of blogging slumps, especially for a newbie. I suck at focusing on a blank screen and writing something, so I usually keep a notebook (or eight) and write down pretty much anything that comes to mind in order to avoid slumps altogether.

    For motivation during an actual slump? I schedule my already prepared posts a bit further apart, avoid the computer and my blogging platform, and read non-review books. As well, I surf other blogs, and read more discussion posts to get my brain going. Of the books I read, I may not necessarily write a review for them, but I do take some simple notes on its pros and cons to get into the feel of reviewing again.

    • I think my slump comes more from not devoting my time to blogging. And reading. I need to carve out time in my day for blogging. (I’ve already started making time to read. As I do that, the whole blogging thing is starting to come back.)

  • Not sure, I haven’t been blogging long enough, but I still like to ask for guest posts from other authors. I find that my readers seem to really enjoy those (and so do I for a variety of reasons). I like to pic an author of a book I’ve read and ask them to write about a question I may have had regarding their book. It’s a win/win. The readers enjoy it, you are posting valuable content, and it’s a post you don’t have to wright enabling you to recharge your batteries. Good luck, I love your blog!

    Paul R. Hewlett

    • I have some reviews from Kelly and one from a friend coming up, and those helped me A LOT. (In fact, once I got those, I felt like everything was a little more under control.) Unless I get a really good topic, I’ve found that guest posts aren’t all that popular with my readers. Sadly. =/

      • Well I guess that won’t help much :) I will be happy to be a guest reviewer for you if you ever need a break. I co-author a children’s/mg/ya blog so I’m used to doing reviews. This isn’t really my genre, but it might be fun to try. I would need a bit of notice and book suggestions though. Keep me in mind and let me know if I can help. Have a great weekend!

        Paul R. Hewlett

  • As I do this longer, I definitely get into those slumps and they’re extremely hard to shake. But then I read a couple of comments from bloggy friends and remember why I do it or pick up a book I’m excited about and need to talk about it with someone. Then I blog. Even though I have a schedule, I don’t really plan ahead — usually my posts for the week are written on Sunday, in front of the TV. Sometimes, I do them the night before. This is why I currently have over 20 reviews to write. *sigh*

    I’m sorry. I’m really not helpful. Just commiserating with you! Keep on slogging & you’ll hit that stride again!

    • I’ve been in a reading/blogging slump for a few months now. I think the reading slump caused the blogging one. As I’ve started to read again (30 minutes every day, baby!), I’m starting to come back into blogging. Specifically devoting time to blogging has helped, too. I just get so focused on other things (read: my business) that everything else suffers.

  • Honestly I take a week off from all of it! I just give myself permission to not comment, not post, not have content on my blog, and not read. Then I make a deal with myself that I will reread something I know I love when that week is over and write a post about something that I want to rant about. For some reason, these two things kind of give me a blast out of my blogging blues. That was my Christmas break this year!

    • I’m scheduled so far ahead that I could take (and have taken) a week off from posting. That’s not really the issue. I think it’s more that I stopped making blogging a priority, and the habit slid away from me. This year I’m working on making reading (and, by extension, blogging) a priority again.

  • Agreeing with Felicia. Sometimes you just need a break and a quick post “Going to be gone for a week/two weeks” is more than okay and necessary at times. I find that I get into slumps when I’m not sure how I want to approach writing about a certain book and, when that happens, I just bypass that review and go onto easier ones, knowing that the next review will come to me eventually or will be left in the dust. If that’s the case, it was never good enough to be written at all :D

    • Oh, I definitely skip over writing reviews if it doesn’t come. I’ve learned that if I can’t write a review, then I also put off reading. So I usually cut my losses and move on.

  • Seriously dude… I SWEAR I was in a slump for ALL of 2012! I just COULDN’T pull my shit together. Honestly I think giving yourself a pass to say, “Screw it.” Is the best way to handle it! If you stress too much about it- then you’ll be even more irritated with yourself because you aren’t measuring up to YOUR standards.

    xoxo

    • Yes. YES! I think the pressure I put on myself to keep my blog running was beginning to overwhelm me, and so I just backed away from it. I have to let go of that and have fun. :)

  • Oh yes Amanda, I’ve been right where you are! Like almost everyone has said above, I just take time off. I usually still have enough posts that I’m not skipping a day on the blog, but even if you do, what of it? No one will care. We’ll still all be here ready to visit and comment when you get back. I know I put so much pressure on myself to post 5-6 days a week and feel crazy guilty if I can’t post one day, or don’t have time to comment, and then I think to myself “the world will not stop spinning if I don’t post/comment today”. Let yourself off the hook, take some time off, read books for FUN and then see what happens. Reading books that I don’t have to turn around and write reviews for always helps me, it’s a good reminder of why I started the blog in the first place – because I love reading.

    • *huggles you* Thanks, Jenny. I think most of the pressure I feel is pressure I put on myself. I needed the reminder that everyone will still be here if I miss a day.

  • *slaps MR. Whip down on the desk*
    What’s that? You’re having a slump? Mr. Whip can help you. He’ll motivate the shit out of you. NO JOKE!
    *fondles Mr. Whip in an entirely inappropriate manner*
    *cackles maniacally*

  • If you figure it out, please tell me! I’ve been in a slump for months and can’t figure out how to get out of it. I thought graduating would be the push I needed – but it wasn’t.

    I’m reading more now, but I’m not writing about what I’m reading. I just stare at my screen and think *meh*.

    I hate this feeling!

    • Maybe a change of tactic? Having time to blog means little without the motivation behind it, yeah? If I have problems with writing a review, I either do a mini-review OR a list. Lists are awesome.

      I hate the feeling, too. I think for me it’s just a matter of making myself sit down and BLOG. None of this, “Eh. I’ll do it later.” Because I won’t.

  • I have been here before! Actually, in the last few weeks I haven’t really been reading and I’ve been okay with it. To tell you the truth, your scheduling post way back from Bloggiesta helped a LOT with my blogging woes. It’s nice to see the days I’d really like to get a post up, but still have lots of open days in case I read a lot more, or think of more content. That way, if I don’t have more content, I don’t have to stress about it.

    I think when I feel like I’m in a blogging slump, I’ll really brainstorm about topics for discussions, or any other posts for the blog, catch up on writing reviews, and just schedule, schedule, schedule. The further ahead I can get, the better.

    Of course, if you’re not feeling like blogging is a priority, then that might not work. I agree with what a lot of other people are saying — take a break! Just step back and rethink what’s important for you. Maybe make a list of what you love about blogging, or revisit some of your favourite posts. Maybe set aside a certain time each day just for blogging. Or come up with a new feature or something.

    I like that you’re setting aside time each day to read — I need to do that! I feel like I’ve been falling behind.

    Good luck!

    • I think making time for blogging is all I really need to do. I did that a little earlier this week, and I felt some of the spark come back. :)

  • So am I, so am I! I’ll keep an eye on what people suggest here and see if anyone has any tips :)

    • So far taking a break and just giving yourself permission to read for fun seem to be the leading suggestions. I hope you find a way to get out of your blogging slump too, Vicky!

  • This post made me sad! You’re like, my organization/blogging guru! Do they have those? Cuz you’d be one.

    Regardless, I think you should just take some time and maybe you’ll see a post or a book or something that inspires you to hop back on the blogging train!

    As I said earlier, you can read TTEN with me! Maybe we can talk while reading it and do a joint review or some sort of Perry-licious feature. Maybe that’d be fun for you/us! PLUS it’d incorporate the deliciousness of Perry!

    • Blogging coach? I could definitely do that. I’ve even thought about it from a business perspective. :)

      I actually feel like admitting that I’m in a blogging slump was what I needed to start getting out of it. After I wrote this post (earlier this week), I started to get back into it. Slowly. IT IS COMING BACK.

      • YES. That would be it! If i could afford ya, I’d hire you ! [But god knows your pricey!]

        AND GOOD. Thats what I want to hear! NOW you WILL read THROUGH THE EVER NIGHT with me, whether you freakin like it or not. YOU HEAR ME, AMANDA!?

        • lolololol. Maybe I’ll put out a $5 DIY blogging boot camp product. Would you buy that? ;)

          OKAY. Maybe we should have our own TTEN read-along. I know that there are other people who haven’t read it yet, either. *eyes Kelly from across the Internet*

          • YES I would! ;)

            And YES. YES. YES. My friend Judith from Paperiot has to read it as well! I’m SURE there are others.

  • *kicks your test comment in the balls*

  • Good. Now I can kick your blogging slump in the balls.
    *kicks your blogging slump in the balls*
    I always do what I say I’m gong to do.

  • *pokes comment thread warily*

  • I don’t have anything to add that several others haven’t already said, plus I don’t consider myself much of a bloggy authority! I’ll just say I agree with those that say don’t force it and give yourself permission to take a pass for awhile, and that I hope it comes back to you soon (for you, not to pressure you!) It sounds like you might already be on the mend though. You acknowledged that slump and took all it’s power away! :D

  • I HATE WHEN THE COMMENT THREAD ENDS I HAVE MORE PROFANITY TO SPEW!

  • Will look forward to reading what everyone has to say about this topic.
    After taking most of the summer off ( all 4 boys being home kinda put a dent in my computer time), I am finding it hard to get back into blogging as well. I’m still reading tons it’s just getting on the computer to try and write a fresh new review…. doesn’t happen.

    Hope you can get tons of new ideas

  • My last reading slump caused a 2 month blogging slump (where I just took time away… because I really wasn’t feeling it!)

    For me? I needed to bust the reading slump before I could even fake enthusiasm about blogging again.

    -Jac @ For Love and Books

    • Jac, I think you’ve nailed it. I’ve been in a reading slump on and off for the past few months, and I think it’s finally caught up to me blogging-wise. I’ve been working on getting over my reading slump (dedicated reading time every day) and I think I’m making some progress. I hope. :)

  • I hate when I get into slumps, I’m doing my best to avoid one that I feel trying to grasp me and pull me under. Clearly I will have to read some awesome books. I’m feeling a bit better about my blogging because I have all of January scheduled so far, now to get ahead on February…

    • Yes! I managed to finish scheduling January earlier in the week, and it left me feeling empowered to tackle February. You can do it! :)

  • I do this! I keep trying to get myself into the habit of writing up a post a day, and then I’m ahead on scheduling, but then I’ll say to myself “Okay, I’ve got reviews through X month, so I can work on other stuff.” And then X month comes and I realize that because I thought I was so far ahead on reviews I read a bunch of stuff NOT for review and I suddenly need reviews and have nothing to write about. It’s annoying to say the least – I always have the best of intentions, but usually end up failing anyway :(

    • I pay a lot of attention to the number of scheduled posts I have. The fewest I’ve ever had is 5, and that’s when I was finally ready to admit my blogging slump. Though it seems to be less of a blogging slump and more of a continued reading slump.

  • This is something we’ve all dealt with, methinks. My new job was killing my blogging mojo. I’m still not back 100%, but taking January off from and getting things scheduled for the future helped me a lot. I’m still not at the point where I’m as internet crazy as I was. I’m still surprised about it, but I’ve been putting emphasis on other parts of my life, which is fine with me.

    So take a break. Go get inspired. We are not going anywhere.

    • My slump is because I haven’t been invested in my blog. I don’t need a break; I need to devote time to the blog. I think it was my lack of reading that kind of led to the blogging slump. I’m working on reading more, and that seems to help me… a lot.

  • Well, poop. I don’t really have much else to offer. If it’s a time devotion thing, my only suggestion would be to have a set, short task you want to get done every day. Like your 30 minutes of reading time, but blog oriented. Tell yourself that tomorrow you will write that one review. The next day you’ll schedule a couple of TOT posts. Just pick something specific that you can look forward to accomplishing, that may not take all damn day (so that you don’t feel bad about devoting that time).

    • I always write my review right after I finish the book, so that’s usually not a problem (especially now that I have my 30 minutes of reading every day–if I want to meet that 30 minutes, I have to make sure my review is finished before starting another book). But I do think you’re right in that choosing one thing each day to focus on might be a good idea. A discussion post, a few ToT posts each day would go a long way toward building my blog reserve back up.

  • Don’t worry, Be Happy. I just let it go. Sometimes it is because I just can’t peel myself out of my reading chair. Let it go. I do it, because I love reading. So why would I make that suffer? Sometimes it is because I’m too busy at a soccer tournament all weekend. My kid is most important. Why stress about it? Give yourself a pass & it’ll work itself out.

    • In this case, I think it’s because I’ve been putting TOO MUCH focus on things like my business (all business, all the time) and not enough on things for *me*. I’m working on getting around that, though.

  • UGH. AMANDA. I know what you mean… especially in the new year, and with some (very) recent… changes… I’m not sure how I want to approach blogging in 2013. I’m not sure HOW. And… yes.

    I wish I had the answer. I don’t know that I do, or have anything that gets me out. I think it changes… like… you know how every time you catch the flu, it’s still the flu, but the virus evolves? You can never catch the same flu virus once, so the virus changes? BLOGGING SLUMPS AND READING SLUMPS ARE LIKE VIRUSES.

    I am not sure that makes any sense. But I think that, if anyone could decipher what I mean, it’ll be you :P

    • Yes. YES! It’s like the CAUSE of slumps are always different. The causes change. It’s still a slump, but you can’t necessarily use the same tactics every time to cure it.

      o.O Do I know of these changes?

  • I’ll stalk this post for a bit. Having both a blogging and a reading slump, could use some advice too

    • =/ I hope you find something in here that’s helpful, Celine. Blogging and reading slumps are the worst.

      • Thanks, Amanda. I don’t mind the blogging slump that much, after like three years my followers aren’t going anywhere, but I do miss being fully engrossed in reading a book.

        Hope you can find some time to spend on stuff for yourself soon, instead of only working on your business (the spreadsheet thingy on your site is great though)

        • I will second that, Celine. I think my reading slump is what caused my blogging slump. I’ve tried committing myself to at least 30 minutes of reading per day. It seems to work decently well, though my concentration is definitely worse during the week (versus the weekend).

          Thanks! :) I think once I get my products finished, I can take more time for myself. It’s kind of a push to get everything up and running.

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