I’ve often posted about how we should be kind to ourselves. That might mean ignoring advice that doesn’t work for us or giving ourselves a break if we struggle with deadlines or the many demands of our lives.
Especially in the current environment, it’s been exceedingly difficult for many to focus and get things done. So of course we might find it extra hard to balance our day jobs, family/home life, and our writing life. That tricky balancing act doesn’t even account for if we’re taking care of others or have chronic health issues ourselves.
If we’re not careful with our time and energy, we can burn out or suffer serious consequences. So yes, every once in a while, we need to evaluate our workload and see whether we need to gift ourselves with time or by reprioritizing our many responsibilities.
Over the past few years, I’ve mentioned my many struggles to follow this advice. *smile*
Note to Self: Follow Your Own Advice
For the last several years here, I’ve talked about my multiple recent health issues—and how each one came with complications that created life-long chronic problems. From a bone-disintegrating infection in my jaw and too-many-surgeries-to-count to a deadly intestinal infection turning everything I ate into poison and nerve damage preventing me from walking for months at a time, the past few years have been brutal for me.
Many of you have marveled at how I managed to keep up with this blog, posting (mostly) new content every Tuesday and Thursday. (Answer: Over-achieving perfectionism with a huge dose of stubbornness *grin*)
What can we do if we're overwhelmed with responsibilities? Click To TweetI’ve also shared here that I’ve been on the verge of burnout for a while due to all those problems. I had hoped the fact that my chronic health issues are now at a “maintenance” stage (for the most part…as I mentioned the other week, I recently had another nerve issue keeping me from walking again) would reduce that feeling.
Then our house flooded last November, and we had to essentially move out for three months of reconstruction. In February, we finally got to move back in—and spend way too much time dealing with insurance—but surely March would be better, right? *cue COVID-19 spasms of laughing-crying*
My Attempts to Re-Prioritize
I’ve also confessed that this blog was a huge factor in my burnout. Each post takes me far-too-many hours to write and edit, and despite my best efforts, I frequently find myself staying up until 3:00 a.m. to finish a post before it’s scheduled to go live.
About two years ago, I announced that I’d try to change the structure of my Thursday posts (so I’d at least have only one massively-long post a week), but I’ve had mixed results. Short posts have always been difficult for me, and it’s only gotten worse as I learn more about writing. Maybe I’ve learned so much about writing over the past ten years that I now have too much knowledge in my head to write a short post. *smile*
Between the burnout and hours spent on this blog, my fiction writing has taken an unfortunate back seat lately. In addition, my family has been understandably frustrated by my crazy sleep schedule and blogging obligations.
Yet at the same time, I never wanted to abandon this blog—or all of you. I still love helping writers and talking about writing craft and publishing.
About a year ago, I hit upon an answer…
Announcement: New Blogging Schedule!
The problem isn’t this blog or my long posts. The problem is the strict Tuesday/Thursday schedule I’ve kept for ten years that turned this blog into an obligation.
So last year about this time, I decided that my 10-year blogiversary milestone would also mark the end of my regular blogging schedule. That milestone is coming up next month, on July 12th.
In other words, for my 10-year blogiversary, I’m giving myself the gift of time and freedom. Not forcing myself to stick to a certain blog publishing schedule will let me reprioritize my time for real.
What Does This Change Mean?
Yes, this blog will still exist. *smile* Not only will this website with all its 1000+ posts stick around, but I’ll also still be writing new posts to add to the knowledge base here.
However, the publication of new posts won’t be on any type of schedule. Some weeks I won’t publish any posts, and other weeks I might publish one or two.
What Posts Will Be Added?
In addition to the strict schedule I’ve had, the other stressful aspect of this blog has been trying to think of new post topics every few days. Now, when I think of topics I haven’t addressed before (including when there’s industry news), I’ll work on a post as I have time. (No more 3:00 a.m. bedtimes to meet an arbitrary deadline! *grin*)
If people contact me with writing questions, I often turn those answers into new posts as well, and that option will continue. (So feel free to keep the questions coming!) Also, I’ll still share guest posts from other writers when I think they can bring valuable information to all of us here, and I’ll continue to add worksheets and other resources as I get inspired.
No Schedule? How Can We Know When There’s a Post?
This new “schedule” won’t start until after my official 10-year blogiversary in mid-July, but I’m letting everyone know about the change now so people can adjust. Those who have had a habit of checking here every Tuesday and Thursday will need a new method of notification for when there’s a new post.
When I do publish a post, I’ll share it on social media, but the best way to ensure you don’t miss a post is to sign up for my blog-post newsletter. That way, you’ll receive each new post (whenever it happens to publish) right in your inbox.
Why Should We Sign Up?
A year ago, I had grand plans for what I’d have done and ready for you all by this milestone. I started work on a big writing-focused project back in November with NaNoWriMo. (If you were paying attention, you might have noticed that I never talked about what I was working on during NaNo…because it’s all hush-hush secret. *grin*)
Then the house flood in November interrupted those NaNo plans, and the whole world has just gone downhill from there. However, I’m hopeful that not having most of my week taken up by writing blog posts (and then zombie-stumbling through the following days after poor sleep) will give me more time to finish said projects. So in addition to knowing when I post, you should sign up for my newsletter to make sure you hear when I have these secret projects ready for you all.
When I first started blogging, I wanted to be a writer-who-blogged and not a blogger-who-wrote. At first, I was able to keep that healthier balance, but as my chronic issues grew and I had only limited energy, something had to give. And that “something” turned out to be everything except this blog, as I stubbornly stuck to the schedule I’d established.
Love Jami Gold's blog? Learn how to not miss a post with her new blog schedule... Click To TweetI’m hopeful that removing the obligation of a set schedule will help me overcome the burnout and love blogging again. I’ll be posting for the joy of sharing information with all of you rather than just because I “need” to publish two posts a week.
All that said, I’m still here for you—and I’m still pathologically helpful—so if you have any requests for posts or topics you’d like to see covered, just let me know. Or if there are resources you’d like me to put together, let me know that too.
I’m not disappearing or stopping my personal mission of helping writers along their journey. These secret projects I’m working on are for you too, and I’m just giving up the scheduled aspect of my blog so I can focus on other ways to help writers. I hope you can forgive me. *smile*
Have you ever needed to do a major reprioritization or shift of your focus? Was burnout or other scheduling problems behind the change? How did the change work out for you? Do you have any questions about this announcement? Do you have any wishes or hopes for what the secret projects might be? *grin*Pin It