Writing Burnout

I used to blog a lot. My motivation was simple: make money blogging. I did so many paid posts it isn’t funny. But that money was just what we needed as I was staying at home with my daughter. Losing that second income hurt..a lot.

Thanks to better job opportunities and returning to work after my daughter started school, we are financially sound for the first time in our lives. It’s kind of a weird feeling but one I could get used to. Since I have stopped paid blogging, I find I have trouble blogging or writing in general. I suffered burnout at the end of my paid blogging career. I thought once I took a break from writing that the burnout would fade. Now I’m wondering if it ever will.

It doesn’t just affect blog posts either. Anything that has to do with the written word gives me fits. I took up Java coding and find it very had to stay focused as it is basically writing and thinking about what to write. I miss writing. I want to write but cannot keep myself focused.

One thing that used to help when I had writer’s block was to change up where I was writing. That little trick now is not as effective. Part of me just says buck up and write. It will get easier. There is a part of me that doesn’t believe that. I will forever struggle with writing.

One thing I plan on trying is writing down what I love about writing when I’m in the head space to think about that sort of thing. Then post it where I see it every day. It’s time I remind myself just what I really love doing and why. Then just do it.

I can’t get away from writing

My first blog was an experiment. I wanted an easy way to update my website without having to upload a webpage every time I added content. I loved blogging. It was easy, and you would see the results instantly instead of having to ftp changes. I was hooked.

I soon turned my whole website into just a blog and upgraded to WordPress. Before I was using a very simple blogging program that used a file system(read: simple text files) to store blog posts. As I wrote more, I found blogging communities and other bloggers. It was too long after that I learned of opportunities to make money with your blog. I joined every paid blogging site I found and loved making some extra cash for our family, but there was a price.

I was writing paid blogging post but also needed other posts in between them, so it was just paid post after paid post. I was writing a lot and running out of things to say. About a year into this, I was burned out. I no longer looked forward to paid blog posts as it was just getting harder and harder to write.

I gave up paid blogging and continued to blog with no set goals or schedule. I was averaging a new blog post every six months. I thought a nice break would re-engerize me but it didn’t. I still could not bring myself to write.

That was really hard since I loved writing but found it impossible to do. Would I ever write again?

My husband is writing a book which I am thrilled he is doing it. He’s an amazing story teller, so I am sure he will find success. His interest re-ignited my love for writing. Last NANOWriMo(National Novel Writing Month held in November) I wrote 50,000 words. Thrilled with myself, I was finally feeling that my writer’s block was gone. While I have written a few more thousands words since then, my writer’s block isn’t completely gone and probably never will be. But that’s OK. I know that I can write and still enjoy writing. If I set small attainable daily goals then I can get into better writing habits.

It seems that everything I want to do involves writing. There are blog posts and books that obviously need to be written, but there are other projects. I want to write crochet patterns and computer programs. While those are really more technical writing, it will still be hands-on-keyboard-writing. Sometimes I love to just type on a keyboard to hear the sounds of the keys.

Writing is a passion of mine. If I just remember that and remind myself that I really do enjoy the process of writing, I can hopefully keep it up.

How I’m winning NaNoWriMo

No, I’m not close to 50,000 words. My total sits at about 17,000 words with six days to go. Will I hit 50K? I’m going to try but even if I don’t, I’m still winning NaNoWriMo. How you may ask? Well it’s simple.

To me, NaNoWriMo is about writing and I’ve written over 17,000 words. The past few years I haven’t written that much even though I’ve had plenty of ideas. I just cannot commit it to paper or computer screen. It’s been very frustrating to say the least.

With NaNo, I have been able to finally sit down and wrrite. I’ve never written 17,000 words on anything. That is a great accomplishment for me and hopefully one I can build on in December. This exercise is teaching me to just write and stay with an idea. I’m excited about writing which I owe to NaNoWriMo and and thousands of other participants. Knowing there are so many out there typing away on their story is inspiring.

I am going to try to get to 50,000 words; whatever my final word count will be an amazing accomplishment.

One less blog..

There can be only one..or three in this case..

The moniker war is over and Raesmom was triumphant over Geeky Housewife. After the long fought battle that raged for weeks (ok more like an hour) in my mind, Raesmom just makes more sense. I am no longer a housewife. *sniff* I’m still the wife part but I have a full-time job outside of the home and will be employed for – regrettably – for some time. I will always be Rae’s mom, so it makes sense to go with the name that I love so very, very much.

All of the Housewife posts are here and I do plan to continue offering household tips, but there will be a wide mix of blog fodder here as well.

So now I will only have three blogs –

Raesmom.com – eclectic
CrochetMae.com – crafty
Questionablemilk.com – funny (hopefully)

The Writer’s Life

I feel very much like I am at a crossroads in my life. Should I continue a career in my 8-5 job or should I set forth and make my own path? Having had a taste of the freelance life, it calls to me – some days very loudly.

Freelance writing is a lot of fun and I enjoyed it a lot. It is also very unnerving when jobs are plentiful and when they are scarce. Worrying about money was also in the forefront of my mind. With a steady job, I know my paycheck will come regularly.

My husband is interested in pursuing a writing career which has renewed my interest in writing. I used to blog way more as I learned you could make money blogging. I became burned out and didn’t enjoy writing for a long time. It just wasn’t fun.

So I’ve learned a few things about what it takes to be a freelance writer but more importantly I am learning what I need to do to become successful at it. So when I do hand in my notice, I will hopefully have to worry less about money and just worry about deadlines.

Internet Most Awesome Thing Seen Today

So I see a lot of stuff everyday on the Internet. Some of it cool, but every once in a while, I run across something that makes me laugh out loud or smile uncontrollably. Here is today’s piece of awesome:

This is the best cosplay costume. Go ahead, click on the link. It’s to a post by the Bloggess and a great pic of..well just click on the link.

Maybe tomorrow I will have something else to share that is awesome.

Blogging Style

Now that I am maintaining eight blogs, I feel that I need a solid blogging plan so each blog has new content each week. My blogging style has always been ‘fly by night’ – when I have an idea, I blog about it. I have tried doing a blog calendar and blogging ahead but with never much success.

Since my blogs represent my interests, some days I like to talk about more interest better than the other. It makes it really hard to be consistent and have new content each week. Still if I want to be a better blogger/writer in 2012, then I must find a system that works for me.

From what I’ve learned in 2011 about my blogging style is that I blog better when I am alone. It is very hard for me to blog on weekends/evenings when the whole family is home. I just can’t concentrate. Also I really enjoy writing in a very casual voice – like I am talking to a friend. Punctuation is probably horrid on most posts but thanks to spellcheck spelling should be pretty good. I also hate editing – which is ironic since I used to be an editor sort of when I worked in television. It is way easier to pick apart someone else’s work than it is your own.

My biggest blogging challenges are finding time to myself. When I have a moment, I may want to read, crochet, or just do nothing. Blogging means getting on the computer which means checking email, Facebook, etc. So that post that will take 15 minutes now will take 45 minutes to an hour.

So moving forward in 2012 I need to take what I learned about my blogging style and use it. I will post when I have something to say but will try very hard to say something at least twice a week. I will use more images and start my own personal stock photography from my photos. Small goals for now. If I get to hitting those regularly, then I will be more ambitious.

A New Year, A New Blog

Well not for me but for my husband. Last night he set up a new writing blog. He does game reviews and other writing on his other blogs. This new blog will be whatever else strikes his fancy – probably fiction. As he was telling me how much fun he had setting up his new WordPress blog, he mentioned how he would like to get paid to do that for others. To which I responded, people do get paid to set up blogs.

In that moment I realized that while that is true, I wouldn’t know how to offer that service or where to begin. So I’ve added a new goal for 2012 – learn more about freelancing that is beyond writing. I have been so focused on writing that I have tuned out other ventures but this year I plan to add one or two income streams that are new.

A new blog is always fun. It renews an interest in blogging that is for sure. So starting the year off with a new blog is a good start.

Duplicate Blogging

Some days I will think of a subject that I want to blog about. Most of the times it’s a subject I have blogged about before – even maybe the same little story I have told on my blog. A lot of times I then think of another subject but now I’m thinking that it may be a good idea to blog about the same story(subject) more than once.

My exact blog posts will not be the same – so even if readers remember it will be a different twist on the original one. This will be good for those new to my blog to hear stories that I love to re-tell. I’ve heard people tell me the same story on several occasions – but if it’s a good story, then I will listen to it again and again. Why not apply that same attitude when it comes to blogging?

I used to keep up with what I had blogged about. Now I just blog when I feel like it. If I pick a story that I may have told way back in 2007 who is really going to remember one little story from my blog four years ago? Heck, no one – well maybe Google – but if it is different then it won’t be the same in their search engine eyes. In fact, it may help my ranking on said subject since I blogged about it more than once. That’s good, right? I’m really not trying to ‘game’ Google. It’s just that I have a limited set of experiences I really want to share with the world at large. If I happen to repeat one or twenty, it is really not an attempt to gain better search results.

The Husband Blogs

My husband is also a blogger – a very casual blogger. He blogs when the fancy strikes him – which is usually three times a year. Last night he posted on one of his blogs and today he is complaining about not having any comments yet. Seriously?!?

He posted the link on his Facebook page – something I used to do with my own blogs until he complained about it. So, he posted on his wall and I guess he expects reading his post to be on top of everyone’s to-do list.

I will admit that his posts are really good. They are well-thought out, funny, and entertaining. This is why I wish he would write more – he is really good at it and does enjoy it. If he wrote more, then he would have a following. People visit blogs that are maintained. Fresh posts make a blog seem more desirable to read – or at least it does to me. I like knowing that if I comment that the author will read it since they are checking their site often.

So I guess I will have to read his post to comment on it. I told him that I had six months to read it before he blogs again – to which he responded that he already had another post ready to drop in four days. Maybe he can keep it up. I’m certain the Internet will be more enjoyable if more of his writing is available.