For a blogger, it’s little things. A mistake found in a post months after publishing. You are embarrassed but no big deal. Then someone says something a bit sarcastic towards you, and not your post, and you blow it off. After all, everyone is entitled to their opinion. Right?
One morning, you check your comments and two dozen comment spam, selling casinos, porn, drugs, music, and mortgages, slips through, littering your blog. You hit the Mass Edit button and quickly deal with each evil nasty, worry about whether or not your comment spam fighting tools are really doing their jobs, then look at the hundreds they caught, compare the ratio, and stop worrying.
Then a blogger writes something not so kind about one of your blog posts, taking you a bit to task for overlooking or ignoring an important point. Oh, well, they are also entitled to their opinion. You look again at the post in question and realize that they are right. You did overlook something important, but that’s what having a good blog conversation is about. You don’t have to say everything. Let your commenters and other bloggers fill in the missing blanks.
Still, how could you have missed that?
Your blog writing slows down. The white screen of the Write Post panel stares back at you, more wall than welcoming mat for your ideas and thoughts. Hey, that’s okay. The experts tell you that you don’t have to publish posts every day. Skipping a day now and then is actually good and helps you avoid feed fatigue, overwhelming your readers with too much content.
Tomorrow looks better for blogging.
What was that thing you wanted to blog about? You had it clearly in your head a couple hours ago. It was a brilliant idea at the moment. Where did it go? Hmm, must not have been such a good idea. Oh, well.
Another commenter takes you to task for an issue off-topic of your blog post. They are so far off base, you wonder if they are reading from outer space. You debate whether or not to delete the comment, then just give up. Why bother?
Yep. Skipped another day of blogging. So what will you blog about tomorrow? Don’t worry, you’ll think of something.
Comment spam floods in again. Damn. Time to update Akismet, Bad Behavior and Spam Karma. Maybe consider adding a CAPTCHA or quiz? You know they don’t work, but this is getting ridiculous. You feel like you spend so much time getting rid of comment spam, sifting through porn, sex, viagra, mortgages, casinos, and useless crap in the caught spam list, searching for false/positives, there’s no energy left to write a blog post.
Tomorrow, you promise yourself, you’ll do it.
There is no tomorrow. There is a week and suddenly you think of something to blog about. You rush to the computer, start tapping away, and ten minutes later think, “who really cares about what I have to say.” Why are you wasting people’s time with your babble. You’re not really contributing, you’re just rambling. Why bother?
But you have to publish something. So you do a quick search using Google Blog Search for some thing interesting, or plow thorough your feed reader to find what someone else has said, then link and blockquote their point to share it with your readers on your blog. You can’t say it, so find someone else who can and share it with your readers. That’s better.
At least you published something.
Does any of this sound familiar?
Welcome to the joys of Blogger’s Depression.
Surviving Blogger’s Depression
If you have been doing this long enough, you will recognize many of these symptoms. We all go through it. I’ve gone through it many times in the more than 14 years of doing this web stuff. It’s natural, and normal. But few ever talk about it.
While I can say many things and offer great tips for surviving blogger’s depression, the truth is that there is only one bit of advice I can offer:
This too will pass.
Honestly, it passes. If you love what you blog about, if the subject truly stimulates your brain and is your passion, enthusiasm will return. Creative thoughts will kick in.
If you let them.
There, as they say, lies the rub. If you let the negative thoughts, the negative experiences, the constant work that blogging often entails, get you down, it will keep you down. You have to want to jump start your blogging energy, or at least wait through the dark days, until the creative juices and joy returns.
It will, but you have to be open and willing to let it back into your life. When it does, you can throw open the doors of your blog and fill it again with the sound of colorful thoughts and laughter.
Fake It ‘Til You Make It
However, I don’t have time to wait. When your blog is your income, direct or indirect, when it is your reputation and business communications tool, you have to keep blogging. This is when the fake it ’til you make it cliché comes through.
Knowing it will pass, you have to push through the depression. You have to keep slogging through blog content, in spite of your lack of interest.
You have to keep marking comment spam as comment spam, especially if you are using Akismet because you are helping others prevent those comment spam you mark on their blogs. Do it for the community, whether you feel like it or not.
You have to upgrade your blog, Theme, and Plugins when security issues arrive, whether you are in the mood or not. You have to protect your readers and your blog from harm.
If you keep pushing on, the blogger’s depression will pass and your long term faking will turn sincere. Remember, you started blogging for a very good reason, and the reason hasn’t changed. You’ve changed. Now it’s time to not just change back, but get better because you’ve learned along the dark road of blogging as well as the light road.
Blog Struggles Series
This is one of an ongoing series of articles on blog struggles, the challenges of blogging as I see them from 14 years of experience.
- New Article Series – Blog Struggles
- Blog Struggles: The Search for Blog Content
- Blog Struggles: Ideas and Drafts
- Blog Struggles: The Blog Focus
- Blog Struggles: Why Should Your Blog Have a Focus
- Blog Struggles: Finding Your Blog Focus
- Blog Struggles: Changing Your Blog’s Focus
- Blog Struggles: When Spelling, Grammar, and Punctuation Interferes With Your Blogging
- Blog Struggles: When Are Too Many Comments Too Many Comments?
- Blog Struggles: Taking The Moral High Blogging Ground
Site Search Tags: blog struggles, blog challenges, blogging challenges, depression, blogger depression, bloggers depression, blog writing, writing tips, blogging tips, overcoming depression, writers block
Subscribe Via Feedburner Subscribe by Email
Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network, and author of Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging.