I have always loved to read. This was because as a kid my grandmother would read me a fairytale every night. This was a nightly ritual that had to be followed or else I wouldn’t go to sleep. Whenever my family would go to the mall my mother would take me to the bookstore. With my love affair for books it’s no wonder I learned to love writing as well. In high school I used to keep a journal. At the end of each day I would narrate what happened on it. But I usually kept my entries short. As much as I enjoyed writing, doing it by hand can be tiring.
It was in college when I discovered the art of blogging. I was surfing online when I stumbled across a food blog. I realized it was something that I could do as well. So I decided to try it. I blogged for a month and I loved it! Blogging is not only fun it’s a great stress reliever as well.
“Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.” Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), American writer
Have you lost your common sense with all the information attacking your head every day? While the normal person going about their daily work and life is bombarded by information, bloggers actually seek even more – making their brains resemble overstuffed furniture with wadding leaking out through the cracks in the Naugahyde.
I have over 350 feeds in my feed reader. I have 97 tabs open in my FireFox web browser. I have the radio tuned to National Public Radio, and podcasts are downloading onto my Zune right now as I work so I can listen to them when I work out tomorrow morning. I get hundreds of emails a day. Tons of blog comments across numerous blogs – I’m overwhelmed with information and input and I’m losing control.
How are you managing all the input a blogger needs to stay in touch, keep up with the news in your blogging industry, tracking down story ideas, researching stories and articles, reading through comments, researching the answers, and responding back…and all the things we do every day to keep our blog life alive? How do you do it?
What are the tricks of the trade you’ve learned along your blogging path? Want to share? Share your time saving, information overload prevention tips with your blogging pals and I’ll write up a summary, and maybe even honor the best offerings with my book, Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won’t Tell You About Blogging.
Which begs the question. What is it that bloggers won’t tell you about blogging that we need to know in order to prevent blog burn-out?
In Has Your Blog Been Banned or Blocked?, I asked if your blog has been blocked or banned and how you found out, and what you did about it, if you could do anything. I recently published How to Access Banned WordPress.com Blogs in response to WordPress.com blogs being blocked and recent problems I’ve had trying to access my blogs and Gmail from various hotels and corporate WIFI firewalled networks.
From the stories people have shared, blocks and bans can happen from a variety of sources, not just from within a country. Blocks are in place within businesses, libraries, educational institutions, hotels, and even Internet cafes.
When a friend asked me how would she know if her blog was blocked from any potential readers, I thought it was a question worth investigating. How do you know if your blog is blocked or banned? read more
I recently published How to Access Banned WordPress.com Blogs, and a friend asked me how would she know if her blog is banned by a country, government, Internet Provider, company, school, or otherwise. Good question.
On Monday, I’ll be publishing a feature article on how to find out if your blog is banned and offer some options to get your blog off a ban or blocked list, but what about you?
Has your blog been blocked or banned by a government, educational institute, corporation, or web filtering service or program? How did you find out? Did you find out why your blog was blocked? Were you unable to get your blog unblocked?
Jason wrote that spending time with friends is the ultimate cure for startup stress:
We headed over to Mike’s hotel, and along with my wife, Loren Feldman, Scott from ThisNext, Brooke from MySpace, and Tyler from Mahalo settled in for a great meal. No stress, lots of laughing, good food, and big smiles when the digital cameras popped out.
Which lead me to realize what the greatest tool for managing stress in the world is: your friends. Fred Wilson point this out in the comments of my last post on “death by blogging/stress,” so it was brewing in the back of my head and last night confirmed it.
And I have to agree.. my friends and what I do with them are the greatest stress relievers in my life.
I’ve been working for myself, in some way, shape, or form, since I left college in 1996. And while that sort of ongoing freelance/startup life has its benefits – it’s never fun to have to deal with the stress inherent in that sort of lifestyle. Particularly when you’re launching a new business or working with a ton of clients with very high expectations.
On top of that, I’ve spent the bulk of the last 22 months in graduate school – which thankfully will be ending quite soon – so my average day can be 12-16 hours between work, class, homework, and client work – and my weekends are really not that much different.
There’s a couple things that I make sure that I do in order to appropriately manage my stress level:
Take breaks: It’s good to get away from what you’re doing regularly. Go watch Battlestar Galactica. Talk a walk. Chat with a neighbor. Or just make a cup of hot tea and enjoy the sunlight while it’s there. But take time to get away from what you’re doing to relax.
Exercise: I’m an avid cyclist – so I usually try to take a midday ride during the warm season here in Minnesota. I actually keep an older bike on campus so that I can do this between class/client time – as well as a road and mountain bike here at home. It’s a bit tougher in the winters but I find that the local gym does ok for me – and it’s a good time for deep thinking as well.
Vacations: I’m doing this right now – but as you can see I’m still blogging (more for fun than anything else). I’ve already spent a week in Cozumel, Mexico this year (no blogging from there though) and am now on a 200+ mile cycling trip in/around the Ozarks in Missouri here in the United States. It’s a great chance to clear your head in the fresh mountain (or beach!) air and take a break from it all.
Laugh: Whether you’re just watching a funny movie, listening to a stupid joke, or visiting a funny website – laughter truly is good for your soul.
Sex: No comment ;)
Most importantly: Spend time with my friends: They help keep me grounded – try to help me avoid most of my mistakes (when I remember to listen to their advice), and will always have my back.
That’s what helps keep me grounded and my stress level low. What do you do?