It might not come as a surprise to any of you who have been following my content for a while, but I’ve reached a bit of a breaking point. I am standing at the precipice of burnout, and wondering when the next strong gust of wind is going to send me toppling over the edge.
A large part of the reason for my burnout? Social media.
It’s not just the social aspect of it (though, I am an incredibly introverted person, and having conversations with people sometimes feels like running marathons). It’s also just, simply, how much time it takes.
See, what no one really tells you about getting into the self-publishing space is just how time consuming it is. Not only do you have to come up with content, but you have to write the captions, then you have to post, and engage with the followers. If you’re on more than one social media platform, you have to rinse, lather, and repeat. Do you have friends on these platforms, too? Gotta touch base with them.
Great, now that the social media stuff is all done, it’s time to write. Or edit. You’ve managed an hour or so of that, but now it’s time to get back on social media to advertise! Don’t forget to touch base with your ARC readers, your beta crew, your street team, etc.
To be honest, guys, it’s a lot of work. Hard, soul-rending work.
So, yeah. I’ve burnt out.
Though, to be fair, that’s far from surprising. I have the tendency of throwing myself too deeply into things. I suffer from what others would call an “all or nothing” mentality. Either I am living, breathing, eating, and sleeping something, or I’m doing nothing with it at all. Obviously, that isn’t the healthiest approach to things. So, please, anyone out there reading this who doesn’t suffer from the same Type-A neuroses I do — this is not dedication. This is not me grabbing my dreams by the balls and holding on with a vice grip until I get somewhere. It is an unhealthy infatuation with spreading myself too thin, and forgetting how to take care of myself. Learn from my mistakes — find balance for yourself.
Because that’s what I’m currently trying to do.
I’ve realized that I do not give myself much grace.
I am constantly preaching the good word and gospel of taking breaks. I tell everyone to take a breather — to stop beating themselves up, and to just allow themselves to trust and enjoy the process. As much as I hate to admit it, I’ve been a hypocrite. Despite knowing that I should be following my own advice, I’ve been doing the exact opposite. I’ve been spreading myself thinner and thinner until there’s nothing left.
It’s time for a change.
For those of you who don’t know, I’m going (or, by the time you’re reading this, I’ve already gone) on vacation in the beginning of July, and have vowed to start taking things more slowly (you can read more about it in this blog). I’ve realized that I feel more like myself after having a whole week to unplug.
I realize that a large part of this feeling of being overwhelmed comes down to just too much of the things I don’t enjoy and too little of the things I do. Don’t get me wrong, I love meeting you all. I love talking to you and getting to know you. It’s just the grind of seeking engagement, curating posts, etc., that gets to me. As a creative person, I am happiest when I am making something.
So, I have a plan.
I’m going to limit my social media time to no more than two hours a day. Once at the beginning of the day, and once at the very end.
Secondly, I’m going to dedicate far more time to writing and creating.
Thirdly? I’m going to focus on front-loading content and planning things ahead of time so I don’t get so overwhelmed.
And lastly? I’m not going to let myself climb the mountain again. I started writing and publishing because I enjoyed the process. I don’t want this to turn into something I dislike. So! I will be doing everything within my power to honor myself and my needs. And if that means taking a step back for a week or two, then that is what I’m going to do! And most importantly? That means writing more fun content, outside of my books.
So, look forward to more personal blogs!
How do you prevent yourself from burning out? Any tips and tricks? I’d love to hear them!
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