“Blog fatigue” is a common subject – pretty much every blogger I know has come down with it at one point or another. I seem to drag every summer as the weather brightens and I question spending so much time staring at the computer screen.
One strategy I’ve used to ease “blog fatigue” is simply: “mixing things up.” First, take a step back, look at the posts you’ve written in the past year or so, and analyze your blogging “modus operandi” by answering some questions:
- How do you normally write posts?
- What do you consider a typical post on your blog?
- What’s your regular blogging schedule?
- Where do you usually get your blog ideas?
Then look at your answers, and change things. Fatigue often arises from a habitual routine; doing the “same-old, same-old.” To get out of the rut, break the routine.
Here’s what I came up with:
How I normally write posts: Write a draft, then sit on the post for a day or two through a few rewrites.
How I mixed it up: Some very off the cuff, stream-of-conciousness posts, with hardly any reworking. This one garnered a lot more comments than I thought it would.
What’s my typical post: I usually write long, wordy posts.
How I mixed it up: Wrote a short, atypical post. Also received more comments than I thought it would.
My regular blogging schedule: Post every day.
How I mixed it up: I’ve slowed down significantly, even (gasp) missing a few days here and there. It hasn’t affected traffic that much.
Where I usually get my blog ideas: As a technology blogger, I would usually go through Techmeme or Google Reader, and write posts answering articles I read in both places.
How I mixed it up: I’ve since moved over to FriendFeed, finding inspiration from within, broader posts unifying a few subjects, or just going on autopilot based on subjects I’m passionate about.
What I usually do: Blog after work on the laptop, in front of the television.
How I mixed it up: I’ve started bringing the laptop to the library and other places, just to get a change of scenery. I’m now considering the unthinkable: using the iPhone for writing – just for the novelty.
You may be reluctant to change your routine from fear that if you do something really different, your “usual” content will change, and you may drive away regular readers. Through some careful experimentation, I’ve found this not to be the case.
I think the few readers I have are rather adaptable, can handle some variety, or even more likely – don’t have any clue that I’m changing my production process – the change is really only evident to me. They just care about interesting content. Routine may harm the quality if the writing becomes boring, or you’re simply bored writing it, which will undoubtedly be reflected in the writing as well. I like reading blogs where the writer is really into what they’re writing about – not bored and in a rut.
I’m also thinking that over time, people change. If our blogs are partly a reflection of ourselves, our blogs should change as well. Let’s not be afraid of change, and welcome the opportunity and ability to mix things up.