An Honest Post: Return from Blog Burnout & Your Thoughts

I’m in my own existentialist, surreal mode thanks to the less-than-one-week-away arrival of our third baby. By nature, my husband and I lean analytical and a touch philosophical, so when it’s time to welcome a new human into the world, we feel about a hundred emotions at all times. Not a lot of room left for blogging.

Attempting to care for the other two kiddos, maintain a happy relationship with my husband (yay!), cook (relatively) healthy meals, and keep a (relatively) clean home? Not a lot of room for blogging.

Things are winding down, but I went through some major anxiety and depression in the past couple of months when dealing with some work transitions. Plus, prep and all the things floating in my head that I know I “should” do pre-baby. Again, not a lot of (mental) room for blogging.

Wasting my free time on social media to give myself the mental letdown I crave at the end of a tiring day. Leaves surprisingly little room, time, or inspiration for blogging.

Until…it did.

See, my guilty pleasures are Instagram and YouTube lately. They don’t drag me down like Twitter and Facebook. They let me know that there are other moms out there dealing with similar lives. They inspire me to continue dreaming and acting on certain passions. If it weren’t for the privacy thing, I’ve found myself even inspired to consider making a YouTube channel of my own.

But, what about my other creative outlets? What about the blog I’ve relied on and messed around with for 7+ years? What about the new blog I’m working on? What about my own side writing projects? What about my complete lack of talent and technological know-how?! 😉

Back to the inspiration thing. I follow a sweet, super down-to-earth go-getter of a U.K. mom who vlogs AND blogs. Her family is adorable and her accent and relatability give me all the feels.

Well, she recently poured her heart out about having a hard time figuring out what her next move would be – focus on the kids and family more, focus on her career and less on vlogging/blogging, or putting all her energy into the vlogs/blog. I totally got it.

As I pondered her issues, I strangely found inspiration (is that weird?!). I started to realize that 1) a lot of people (and, particularly, moms) who share their lives with the world don’t do so in a vacuum and 2) we don’t have to do everything 100% (just good luck retraining your brain to believe it).

Those are kind of vague. Let me explain.

See, my idea for a new website and blog involved essentially letting go everything I’ve already written here at Meg Acts Out and focusing my attention on solely one topic. I’d seen a couple of other sites/blogs do a similar thing and really appreciated what they were putting out there.

But, the more that I worked on it and brainstormed posts and tried to pull together visual inspiration for the site, the more that I felt stifled. This is the stuff I should’ve felt a spark about, but for the most part I felt like I was trying to fit a round peg into a square hole. It didn’t seem sincere or “me” and I couldn’t figure out why.

Well, that’s where the “vacuum” idea comes in. In order to find your inspiration to live a more fulfilled life, overall, we tend not to rely on only one source to supply it. So, putting my attention into only one topic without the rest of life included (or only included under the umbrella I had put up) made it feel forced.

The second realization has to do with pretty much everything we do and how much we put into it. We find ourselves prioritizing #allthethings until we realize that the juggling is extremely stressful and sometimes harmful to our health. We just can’t do it all.

So, what about making smaller goals for ourselves? What about “chunking” life (much as we “chunk” words together when trying to read) into more manageable bites? What about prioritizing more honestly and simply? What about paring back on the stuff you tell yourself needs to be done that maaaaaybe doesn’t really?

In practice, this may look like cutting yourself slack on letting your child eat in the cafeteria once or twice a week. Unless our kids are super gross and sweaty, we bathe them every other day (and I only wash my hair every other day, as well). Not every dinner has to be like “Sunday dinner.” The list goes on, but there are ways to chill down the craziness. Try making “to-do” lists at work and prioritizing them by due dates, or learning to tell people that their issue may need to wait if you have more pressing matters (that’s a tough one!).

In addition to both of those realizations, though, I’ve faced several blogging issues lately. I’ve been burnt out elsewhere and haven’t been able to find the time to blog, my voice has fallen flat so my own self-criticism of “it sounds like my heart’s not in it” creeps in (and maybe my heart HASN’T been in it enough) and I abandon the post, and I’ve had a lack of inspiration as to WHAT to write.

HERE’S HOW I’M ATTACKING THOSE ISSUES

Time & burnout. Because I still write for Thirsties weekly on the side (and generally hit my deadlines AND come up with post ideas on the regular), a lot of my thought and energy goes into that goal each week. But, what if I had TWO goals a week; one for Thirsties and one for my own blog? Or a simple editorial calendar or simple list of post ideas (I used to maintain this but have stopped and find my old topics downright suck) that I actually use to pull a weekly topic from (the way I do for Thirsties). Why can’t I do it FOR MYSELF if I’m able to do it for a paid gig?

My voice is gone. Even in my side paid writing, I find that the writing is fine…but not what I’d like to be putting out there. Of the dozens of half-written blog posts for myself, they sound more like manuals than the writer I know I am. Maybe that’s why I’m drawn more to podcasts, Insta Stories and YouTube videos; the visual and audio appeals to me more than reading lately. (Says the librarian.)

So, maybe I do need to try out a new format. Or maybe I simply need to get a schedule going in order to get my routine back. My husband and I have been chatting back and forth about the importance of consistency with writing, of carving out time to actually sit and focus on writing something. Self-imposed deadlines may help. I’m going to try ‘em.

What do I write?? And, honestly, without something I’m passionate about to write (or podcast about, or vlog, or whatever), why do it? I need to truly brainstorm some ideas that get me excited, pick just one for one single post, and go from there.

This is where I have a couple of questions for you all. It’s as simple as this:

1) Do I keep up the Meg Acts Out platform or do I go forward with my new idea for a blog – a fresh, more organized space that’s easier to navigate (possibly with some old MAO posts that continue the feel of the space, possibly not)? I’ve asked this question before during times of identity crisis and obviously I’m there again.

2) What kinds of posts are you interested in? Here’s just a slew that I’ve written about in the past and some of the topics I’m drawn to mixed in:

A. Parenting
B. Decor/Design
C. Eco-Friendly Living
D. Decluttering/Organization
E. Simplifying
F. Recipes
G. Personal Stuff
H. Other

Please feel free to leave a comment on the blog to let me know what you need more of to help you live a happier life!

(And if you made it this far, thank you so much for reading!)

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