Is it just me, or does Spring bring about feelings of overwhelm?
Maybe it’s because the whole “New Years Resolution” buzz has worn off, or because you thought things would die down “after the holidays” but they never did.
Regardless, now is the time of year when I begin to get that “oyyyy what am I doing with my life?” itch.
So, this week, I wanted to touch on the subject of staying motivated.
Does the following sound like you?
“I’m struggling with balancing working full time at a stressful job, and blogging on the side. By the time I get home at night, I don’t want to do anything but watch Netflix and eat snacks!”
Yep. Been there.
Or how about this?
“It seems like everyone else is growing 100 times faster than me, and I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. Sometimes I just want to give up! I quit!”
Ohhh yes. This sounds very familiar. I believe I said this…yesterday?
No matter what your blogging situation or how much (or how little) experience you have, I can officially assure you we’ve all been there. This is what we call blogger overwhelm.
And let me just be openly candid here–this feeling never goes away. From running out of ideas, feeling exhausted and wanting to throw in the towel, or simply not feeling good enough–it’s something we all deal with.
This happens to me all the time.
But then I pull myself together and get over it.
Want to know how? (Hint: it’s so much better and easier than you’re expecting!)
(You totally were expecting some generic answer like “do more yoga” or “read for 5 minutes every morning,” weren’t you?)
But…that’s it! My blogger friends and I try to make it a point to get together regularly to discuss ideas, share our challenges, and help each other overcome them. This might sound strange, sharing all of your success secrets with people that could be considered your “competition,” but I guarantee it has been one of the biggest factors that has lead to our growth.
Have you heard of something called a “mastermind” group? It’s basically a term that a lot of entrepreneurs use to describe these get-togethers they have with like-minded business people.
And they work.
When you start to emphasize community over competition, two things happen:
1. Those negative “competitive” thoughts you have about your peers? They dissolve, and even reverse. Your friends remind you how far you’ve come, how many things you’re doing right, and if you’re lucky–give you honest feedback about how else you could be growing. You also are reminded of how hard your friends are working, and this allows you to look at other bloggers and say “wow, look how far she’s come. I’m so proud of her!” rather than, “why didn’t that happen to me?”
2. You grow exponentially. There is no way you are stronger as an individual than you are as a group. You bring different strengths to the table than the person next to you, share your knowledge with each other, and you’ll learn way more than you ever thought was possible. You come away inspired, with your mind running 100 miles a minute, with a page full of notes and ideas.
Me personally? If not for my friends, I know my photography would still be complete crap. Without their tips, my Pinterest profile wouldn’t have grown by thousands of followers in the last 6 months, and I would still be caught in the dust with Instagram. (Well, actually, just kidding–aren’t we all? Effing Algorithm.)
Oh, right and you wouldn’t even be reading this blog post right now, because I wouldn’t have ever been able to create Blogging For Keeps without Blair!
So, if you’re frustrated with your growth, or anything else blogging related, grab a blogger buddy this weekend, and lay it all out on the table. I guarantee you’ll grow faster than you ever have before.
Okay. You believe me now. But how do you find these blogger friends?
Well, for starters, I would google blogger networks in your area. (For example, Chicago has Windy City Blogger Collective)–there is also a national network called The Blog Societies that you can join. This provides a chance to either meet in person, or make friends online that are in the same boat as you are! (“Make friends online” sounds totally creepy but I promise it’s not. And way better than Tinder. Note to self, maybe I should invent tinder for blogger networking?)
Events are also a great place to meet other bloggers–if local brands invite you to events, go! Introduce yourself to the other bloggers there and see who you hit it off with. This is how I met all of my friends in the beginning.
Another idea? Reach out to the bloggers (who are similar in following size) that you interact with on a regular basis on Instagram. Start a Facebook group or a monthly skype call (or both!) to talk about what’s working and what isn’t working for you, and swap ideas that way. Even if you live in the middle of nowhere, you can still create a close-knit network of blogger friends online.
This might sound a little daunting, but I promise, it’ll be the best thing you’ve ever done for yourself, and your blog! (Maybe consider it homework for this weekend?)
Overwhelm is something that happens to all of us, but we can make dealing with it way better together.