Confessions of a travel blogger,  Sunday social travel talk

Confessions: I’ve got the Blogger Blues

Let me start by saying that this post is not meant to complain. There are not many things I truly dislike, but I just hate complaining and try to stay away from it where possible. If somebody is complaining to me, I always try to tell them to go and do something about it instead of whining. It leads to funny conversations such as “But what can I do about the weather” – “Well, you could move to somewhere else for starters” just to give you an idea.

 

When I started blogging, there were two important things I learned:

– Never complain.
See above. 

– If you are going to be away, explain.
So that’s what I’m doing. 

 

I think that most of us bloggers will understand me when I say I’ve got the Blogger Blues. Or whatever you’d like to call it. It’s this restless feeling you have and kind of includes the following:

 

– Missing the energy and motivation to write. Even though my head is full with stories, in fact more stories than I can ever write (why did I ever think I’d have a lack of stories to write? Why? WHY?) they are stuck inside my head. Just stuck, unwilling to come out.

 

– Having that “oh noooo” feeling when it’s time to get up and write. Over the past 1.5 years I changed my routine to getting most of my blogging work done in the morning, before heading out to the office for my “normal” job. So I get up at 06.00 am (OK, my alarm goes off at 06.00 and after snoozing, I usually get up at 06.18) and get my ass to the kitchen table for blogging. I never, not for one moment, felt trouble getting up, until recently. I cannot get myself out of bed for blogging, instead I just stay in my comfort zone and get up only 30 minutes before I really need to make my way to the office, where I’m stuck behind a computer for the rest of the day (by choice!).

 

– The feeling that I’m not good enough anyway, so why bother. Now I know this is total bullshit because we have to reject presstrips (ouch!) that are totally cool and our numbers have finally reached that magic 10.000 level which I’ve been working so hard for. For many bloggers, that level is like “yay” but for me it was more like: “finally … now let’s move to 25.000”. Really? Yes, really! That’s me… unfortunately. Never good enough…

 

– Not feeling satisfied enough with the work you do. You can always do better/more, a blog is never “finished”. I hate never being finished, it makes me restless. It’s not like reading a book for example, when you’re done reading it, you are finished. Or when a gym session ends after 60 minutes, you’re finished. But a blog is never finished. Social media sharing is never finished.

 

– People who know me, know that with me it’s all or nothing. I like you or I don’t like you. I want to do something or I don’t. It’s yes or no, there is no in between. No maybe. When I am committing to something, I want to commit 100%. Not being able to do so feels like failure. Due to recent family worries and an incredible busy time at my “normal” job I’ve had a lack of time to commit to we12travel. And it feels wrong, it feels like failure. Although I’m a believer of the “work hard, play hard” motto, I realized it was time to take a step back and dedicate my time to people who needed me. For driving them to the hospital, for getting chores done or for just being there as a friend, in between trips I’ve been making.

 

– My laptop is exploding. With half-written stories, with pictures I need to sort and with spreadsheets of things I need to do. Basically, I don’t know where to start cleaning up that mess. I need to back-up my photos (I’ve not transferred my iPhone pictures since the beginning of this year, if I lose my phone, I’m screwed), I need to sort out all the Word/Excel files, need to reply to at least 100 emails, finish print photo albums I started making a long time ago and send the newsletter that has been in draft mode in Mailchimp forever. And that’s just a few things…  but where to start?

 

caldera-de-taburiente

 

Last summer I happily announced I was going to publish 4 times a week instead of 3 times. What the hell was I thinking?? How could I ever have thought I’d manage that? I think I kept it up for about 3 weeks. Or maybe 6 but definitely not a whole year.  Not with a full time office job and lots of other projects on the side that all require my attention and are just too good to let go.

 

I need to get back on track and put quality ahead of quantity. The famous words. I should focus on writing things that I’m actually confident about publishing rather than just hitting the “publish” button just to get another story online. If this means less blogs and less visitors, that’s fine, really… And I definitely should to stop comparing myself to other bloggers who either/and have better/more posts and/or pictures because I’m not them and they are not me.

 

So that brings me back to the beginning of this blog. I am still having the blues, it’s not something that will disappear overnight. I may not publish something for a week or a month… if it’s not good, then it won’t be published. Maybe, having written this and spoken up honestly about it (rather than sitting on the couch feeling ashamed that the words don’t come out) will get me back on track. It probably has … sitting down behind the kitchen table and opening WordPress was a huge step for me. It’s something I hadn’t done in weeks.. I still love writing as much as I always did. However when you are publishing what you write, it brings along a certain pressure. Time to release the pressure and return to the base … sharing my passion for travel and being outdoors with you!

 

[Note … while writing this I’ve attached my iPhone to my laptop and did a proper back up … so for the people who would answer my question “where to start” with “just do it” … I just did!]

 

The Confessions of a Travel Blogger are a series in which I step aside from my outdoor/adventure personality and share some more personal stories. If you want to read more of them, you might like:
11 Reasons why I am the worst travel blogger
6 Things I learned at TBEX Athens
The “my fear of flying” edition

 

And PS … no need to share this, unless you feel that other people would feel the same. A comment, whether or not you agree in this case, would mean more to me… 

 

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Anto is a 30-something outdoor fan who travels the world about 100 days a year, combined with a full-time office job. She loves to go hiking, enjoys a good class of wine and can usually be found with an iPhone in her hand. Favorite destinations: New Zealand, Patagonia, Austria and Alaska.

32 Comments

  • Milou

    I understand how you feel, I think we all go trough this from time to time. I know I have. Currently I’m in an “up” mood, with exciting plans for the future, but I know that in a few weeks or months I’ll be like: why bother, and ‘ehhhh’ again. It’s just how it is I think. A little break will give you new ideas to get excited about and more clarity. It helps to get your head out from it, you easily become to involved. It’ll be fine. And remember why you started blogging in the first place :)!

    • anto

      Thanks girl! I know everyone has these moments but this time it seemed to last so much longer than before … oh well, we’ll see how it goes…

  • De Wandelgek

    Think about this:
    – You don’t have any obligation to blog, even if you anounce 4 blogs a week. I simply mean: where’s the signed contract?
    – You probably write more than most followers can read. That’s the case with lots of blogs.
    – See blogging as a hobby not as a job.
    Maybe that helps??
    I didn’t notice your lack of adding content to we12travel.
    -ask other bloggers about the blogging blues and maybe just take a break. Or better blog in your own tempo

    • anto

      Thanks for the comment. All true but the obligation… when doing sponsorships or press trips you are expected to post. By choice of course but taking a break then is not the smartest choice. However sponsored ones usually aren’t the most popular ones so I don’t just want to give readers that kind of stories. But you are right though 🙂 (incl. smiley, not sure why it didn’t go through!)

  • Tikva

    Ik snap wat je voelt.. herkenbaar. Soms is het gewoon te druk of misschien wel te veel gezien of op pad geweest en dan krijg je het niet op papier. Gelukkig heb ik zelf de luxe altijd nog wel een stapeltjes blogs achter de hand te hebben. Neem gewoon je tijd komt vanzelf en bovendien gefeliciteerd met je milestone!

    • anto

      Dank je Tikva … komt ook wel weer goed, as always. Ga maar eens aan het werk aan dat stapeltje blogs, klinkt als een goed voornemen voor deze zomer!

  • Katinha

    Though I have blog for less then 5 months, I can completely understand your point. There is so much good projects to keep up with and blogging is also one of them. Having read all the marketing advices, it just made me frustrated cause I couldn’t possibly publish as much as they suggest. Immediately on the beginning, I felt under pressure. But then I decided to take it easy – it doesn’t pay my bills anyway. Now I write when I have inspiration and time and I really enjoy doing it.

    • anto

      Yup, it’s also the other projects that keep me busy … but it’s fine really, just having said this made me feel better. The marketing advices only make you more stressed because they make you feel like it’s never good enough, while we are all working our asses off to be as good as we can. Good luck !!!

  • noel

    I get where you are coming from, juggling multiple projects and income streams. Yes I think you do have to step back for a moment and relax and enjoy the freedom. Some times for me just going through my pictures which I still have to size and get ready is a wonderful break and I’m actually re-living the trips without any thoughts to future posts. Even reading other travel stories might spark some new creative energy or for me, I’m spending a little more time finessing SEO, keywording and some of the nitty gritty technical parts that I’ve always avoided.

    • anto

      Thanks for stopping by Noel. So good to hear that many can relate. True that you are actually reliving your trips which is awesome but sometimes I come home and just don’t want to have to do anything with travel at all (cos I work in tourism) so instead I go to a kid’s birthday party, talking about nappies and such, which can be very relieving from time to time, too 😉

  • Yvon ~ TripBitten

    Don’t worry too much. I think all bloggers can relate to this. And to be honest, probably not just bloggers. I think everybody with a passion for something and doing something on a regular basis will feel like this sometimes. Too much going on, not knowing where to start. But, those blues will eventually go away.

    And 10000, a big hooray!!

  • Simone

    I totally know what you mean. I recently went through one of those crisis as well and I’m pretty sure most bloggers will at some point in time. For me it was having too many blogs (one travel and one food) and I was just getting confused on what to write where and when. So I made the decision to combine it all into one. I blog daily. I think simply because I’m obsessed. Lol. But crisis will pass and you’ll probably feel much better and newly motivated once you do. Trust me! 😉

    • anto

      Wow – 2 blogs is a lot. I find one hard enough to manage already. Obsessed here too but luckily I can still afford it to take a break and just stay away for a while without people really noticing, because in the end your offline life is more important than anything else…

  • Wanda Catsman

    Ik blog nog niet eens zo lang en ik heb zo nu en dan al dat bleghh gevoel. Even geen zin of energie, dat kan gebeuren. Het is soms best lekker om even afstand te nemen. Neem de tijd, je doet het immers voor je eigen plezier. En die trouwe fans, die zijn er over een tijdje echt nog wel.

    • anto

      Ja het helpt inderdaad om er even zo naar te kijken … even laten gaan en wel weer verder zien… thanks voor je comment!

  • Angela

    OMG I love this post, and it really spoke to me.

    This is completely how I am feeling. I have a desk job where I run a corporate blog (and feel like my writing isn’t good enough) and haven’t had time to post on my blog for awhile, let alone travel since I don’t have much vacation time. I feel like my voice isn’t where it needs to be, and I am focused on local weekend travel now that may not be as glorious. I want to keep my friendships up and not hide behind a computer. Be social and let my personality be spontaneous and not well thought out behind words.

    Cheers

    • anto

      You took the words out of my mouth girl. Just read your blog and LOVED the post about the weekend volcano climb so you are definitely making the best out of it, it seems! Totally true, hiding behind a computer is definitely not getting your anywhere and will only make you sad in the end…

  • Reni

    Dear Anto,
    Thanks for being so honest. Don’t blame yourself. You did fantastic and its a long, hard way to go. What you achieved is remarkable.
    In my opinion it doesn’t matter if you post 4 times a week or once every two months. Your followers and blogreaders appreciate whenever you share a story. No matter how often.
    I just had the blues with our english blog. As english is not our mother tongue its very hard to write articles on a proficiency level. Keep on going is what I tell myself ☺
    So, write when you feel like and if you don’t just enjoy life.
    LG,
    Reni

    • anto

      Hi Reni, thanks for visiting! I’ve not really posted anything (other than the blues post) in two weeks and it took me a while to realize that it’s perfectly fine. I’ve been having a great time offline with friends and family and that is what really matters, not a number of visitors or a blogpost going viral. I totally get you on the English, long ago I made the decision to blog in English but sometimes I wish I would have chosen differently and only write Dutch instead… good luck with your blog for the future!! Cheers, Anto

  • Lance | Trips By Lance

    good for you for writing this. I’ve been feeling this way for months. I even used my blog to change careers from newspapers to marketing, which made things worse. It’s hard to juggle a blog with a day job. It’s even harder when you know some of the things it takes to make a blog more successful but just don’t have the energy. Glad I saw this today.

    • anto

      Ohh Lance, sorry to hear that! Esp. when you’ve moved careers and things don’t go the way you hoped they would. By now I got so many replies to this blog (also many weren’t posted but emailed or messaged) that by now I realize that we are not the only ones and this is a thing many bloggers go through because at times, the pressure is just too high. I haven’t published anything (other than this blues post) in two weeks and I learned it’s totally fine, my numbers have dropped a little but in the end, I’m having a good time with friends and family and that is important, too. I hope you will overcome your blues and that other comments here will make you realize it’s totally OK to feel like this for a while. Cheers!

  • RoarLoud

    I’m pretty new to blogging but I can see how overwhelming it can be to try to do it all. The more articles I read on how to build my blog the more I add to do. There is only so much time in a day and most of my weekends I want to be outside or adventuring. It is a struggle to have balance in life, being a black or white person too I can relate. Take care of yourself first, do something small for you every day. You will come back stronger than before and ready to Roar!

    • anto

      Yeah there are so many articles nowadays on how you should do this/that/everything that it’s hard to find your own way because there seems to be a way to do everything right. Thanks for your cheer up comment and keep on adventuring!

  • Siets

    Hi,

    Wat goed dat je vertelt dat je schrijven nu even lastig vind. Dat lijkt me lastig, toch publiekelijk te doen zeker als er consequenties aan vast hangen (zoals bij persreizen).
    Ik heb zelf zoiets ervaren met m’n scriptie. Gewoon moeilijk iets uit je vingers krijgen kan heel erg frustrerend zijn, en veel stress opleveren, zeker met deadlines. Hoe dan ook, ik vind het jammer (ik had jullie net gevonden). Neem je tijd en hopelijk tot in de toekomst

    • anto

      Hi Siets, leuk om een berichtje van je te lezen. Ik ben op de achtergrond alweer bezig met nieuwe artikelen die ik eind deze week ga publiceren. Het tweede begin is er dus… 🙂

  • Pie Rivera

    I have been looking for bloggers who didn’t give up their normal day jobs and yet braved the world of blogging, just like my situation.
    Despite having a chaotic job in TV production, I created my food blog as a way to de-stress and share my food & travel adventures. But just like you, I have more stories than I could write, thousands of photos that I should sort and the list goes on… overwhelmed but the need to learn things about blogging, what started as a passion turned out as a “job” in itself.
    There were months I did not post any articles but wanted to and with the start of 2015, I thought of just doing what I love – no pressure, just keep finding what I love to do and hopefully to somehow overcome my own “blogging blues.”

    • anto

      There are actually quite some bloggers who didn’t give up their normal day jobs, but it’s sometimes a bit harder to find them because they are not online all the time. Happy to hear that you started the year with good resolutions, keep it up and keep in mind that for many of us, it’s just a hobby, although many people may not like it that I call it that way… all the best with your blog and your blues!!

  • Tarah

    Nou, ik ben 1 1/2 jaar gestopt met bloggen en eerder dit jaar het weer opgepakt. Heb dus vrij lang de blogging blues gehad. Wat moeilijk om weer te starten maar ineens was die behoefte er weer. Net als jij heb ik de ‘alles of niks’ motto maar ben wel wat milder voor mezelf geworden in dit opzicht. Wij perfectionisten, zijn altijd zo streng voor onszelf. Het geeft lucht om te zeggen; Het is even wat het is. Andere dingen die belangrijker zijn, geen zin hebben om te schrijven, of het rond uit ruk vinden op t moment, is allemaal ok. We zijn allemaal mensen. We hebben allemaal zulke momenten. Uiteindelijk is het wat JIJ ermee wilt bereiken. Het is JOUW verhaal ongeacht de bezoekers (trust me die komen er wel!) die je wilt aantrekken. Schrijf je verhalen, ongeacht of je het wilt publiceren. Schrijf het voor jezelf, en wellicht ervaar je hierdoor ook wat minder druk. *hugs*

    • anto

      Dank voor je lieve berichtje! Het moeten is er nu gelukkig af en langzaam aan vind ik eindelijk de motivatie weer terug om af en toe achter de laptop te kruipen en te schrijven. Soms lijkt het zo’n competitie met jezelf waardoor je eigenlijk vergeet waarom je ooit bent begonnen, namelijk (in mijn geval) voor mezelf, om een mooie herinnering aan mijn reizen te hebben. Wist trouwens niet dat je een blog hebt, waar gaat ie over? x

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