BBAW: Fighting Blogger Burnout (Revised)

February 19, 2016 Blogging, Book Blogger Appreciation Week 51

Happy Friday, Bookworms!

We’ve reached the end of Book Blogger Appreciation Week *tear*. Our final topic is Fighting Blogger Burnout, which is something that every blogger I know has struggled with at one time or another. I am prone to existential crises, so periodically I get a case of the “does anybody even read my blog”s and “I am never going to get blog famous why do I even bother?”s and “this blogger is so intense- I am much too lazy that is probably why nobody reads my blog”s. It’s like having a case of the Mondays, only weirdly specific.


I’ve rewritten this particular blog post four different times because I kept going off topic or whining or just vomiting words all over the place. I’m going to try to distill my thoughts into a highlight reel. This is the sort of stuff I try to remember when it all feels like too much and that I suck at everything ever. And if you’re feeling lazy and don’t want to read it, it boils down to Amy Poehler’s brilliant mantra “Good for you. Not for me.”

  1. You do NOT have to read every buzz book and award winner. It’s OKAY just to read what you want.
  2. It’s okay not to LIKE every buzz book and award winner. I have a horrendous track record with Pulitzer Prize winners.
  3. You do NOT have to accept for a review a book that sounds boring. If it doesn’t sound like your thing, pass. If you’re too busy, pass. If they’re offering you an unholy sum of money probably pass too, because that is not a thing that happens and you’ll probably end up having your identity stolen.
  4. Just because some bloggers offer insightful political and social commentary doesn’t mean you have to. If you don’t feel up to the inevitable debate, it’s okay to opt out of it. If you’d rather absorb things, learn quietly, and form thoughtful opinions in the privacy of your own head, that’s fine too. (That said, if you HAVE THINGS TO SAY, then SAY THEM, by all means!)
  5. It’s okay if you don’t totally know what you want out of blogging. (Don’t let Ryan Gosling tell you otherwise.)
  6. goslingIf whatever you’re doing makes you miserable, it’s probably not worth it. If you really hate a book, put it down. If you need a break from the blogosphere, take it.
  7. Avoid the comparison trap. Nothing good ever came from constantly comparing yourself to other people. You have no idea what goes on behind their scenes. You only see what they choose to present to the world.
  8. Embrace the friendships you make in blogging. Your blog friends will probably relate to your struggles and can help you out of the inevitable slump.
  9. Even though the friendships you make on the internet are real, the negativity doesn’t have to be. Do you even KNOW the person behind that tweet or comment? Will you EVER have to avoid eye contact with them in the grocery store? The real world is a thing too. Remember that. Live in it.
  10. Have a little fun. Blogging doesn’t have to be a serious business full of how-to lists. Being serious all the time is really, really boring. Own your quirks. Do what you like. Take selfies in penguin sweaters. You’re more interesting that you think.

That’s right, kids. Until you fully mature into the superpowers I have no doubt you will someday develop (and I REALLY hope mine will be teleportation!) just admit you’re not a superhero. When you hit the blog wall, remember my sage wisdom… Or don’t. I mean, I just told you to ignore how-to lists and do you own thing, so who am I to judge? Just… Be kind to yourself.

Now come on in, here, Bookworms. Give me a big old weird internet group hug. There’s room. Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeze! Any whispers of insight you’d like to share are welcomed.


51 Responses to “BBAW: Fighting Blogger Burnout (Revised)”

  1. heather


    I don’t even try to read prize winning books. Who picks those? Do they just choose the most depressing books ever written?

  2. Ryan

    Hey Katie

    I (for the most part) just started reading books on a regular basis this past summer, so I am getting caught up on some literature I have missed over the last couple of decades. I wanted to let you know that I just discovered your blog a few days ago and really love it! Keep up the good work, I will for sure be frequenting your book reviews for what to read next, and if you do, in the off chance, have a favorite book of all time that I must read right this second (if you feel comfortable narrowing it down to just one) let me know!

    Thanks for your great blog, you are helping a new reader get caught up!

    • Words For Worms

      This is the best comment a book blogger could ever hope to receive. Welcome, Ryan! Don’t hesitate to leave a message or email me if you want more personalized recommendations! 🙂

    • Words For Worms

      Thank you! I really think that people everywhere think they’re dull and they’re so NOT. Like, I know nothing about something you’re totally into. Tell me about that!

  3. ThatAshGirl

    Uh do you know how many times I’ve logged into my dashboard and started drafting a “I’m back and here’s whats going on post?” But I get distracted at work, or have a shitty day at work. Of just want to hide with a book, my knitting and my cat and tell everyone to piss off. I’m seriously getting in the habit of not going online on the weekends. The struggle is real. And the longer I’m away the easier it gets but I don’t want to throw in the towel.

    I never went into blogging wanting to be famous. I seriously just wanted to write and interact with people and when I was dealing with the whole therapy thing…share what it was like for others who may have been dealing with it.

    But I also tossed in a lot of Fluffy Thing Fridays and rants about why dating in your late 20s is shit-tastic (totally made that word up but whatevs)


    • Words For Worms

      Crazy Aunt Katie is going to be out in full force tonight. My niece is coming to visit! Ooooh I hope they put her in one of the many penguin ensembles I’ve bought her. I will instagram that until the cows come home!

  4. shanayatales

    Yes, yes, and yes! This was such a wonderful read, Katie! I can say ditto to all of those points, especially to the Pulitzer Prize one – these days I tread very carefully in that segment.

    • Words For Worms

      I tend to feel guilty when I just don’t LIKE a book that’s won a lot of awards. Like, am I missing something? Do I not appreciate great literature? It sucks especially when everyone is raving about it, but it is what it is. Not every book works for ever person. I need to remind myself of that a lot!

  5. Literary Feline

    Haha! I like your approach to this topic. And every single one of your points is spot on. I think your final advice, be kind to yourself, is so very true. Especially as so many of us are prone to be our own harsh critics.

    • Words For Worms

      Right? I have to make a concerted effort sometimes to think “wait, would you say that to your friend? Then it’s too mean. Be nicer to the Katie.” My internal monologue speaks in the third person.

  6. Michelle

    So much YES to all of this but especially your second point. Seven years of blogging and I STILL struggle with guilty feelings when I dislike or even hate a book others love or one that is earning tons of awards. I know it is not rational, but there it is.

    • Words For Worms

      I’m glad I’m not alone. I always feel like I’m missing something or I’m not smart enough. It could be true, but that’s kind of the point of my blog. It’s what I would tell my friends to read. If I think it’s boring and horrible, I’d tell them so.

  7. Kristilyn

    I remember being all over every buzz book when I really got into blogging … it was horrible! I felt like I wasn’t following my gut with reading and I got more duds than I could count. I did enjoy finding new authors this way, by who other bloggers were talking about, but I’ve learned to steer clear of all the hype.

    I also remember when I learned of review books and accepted everything under the sun. Again, bad idea! I got so burnt out from reading! Now i try to read what I want, when I want and it’s so much better! Now I actually want to talk about what I read instead of feeling like I have to.

    Great post! 🙂

  8. Jenny

    Perfection! I love it! I think a lot of advice I’m seeing sounds a lot what like I had to say. Somehow you make it sound much more entertaining and doable. Love the keep it fun advise!

  9. Trish

    This is the post that should come with any blogging manual ever written. And yes yes yes to the comparison bit. It’s so hard not to compare but I always try to remind myself that we’re just seeing a snapshot.

  10. loraliej

    No insight here, just want to say that I love your blog and however or whenever you blog is great! Book bloggers do a lot of work for basically free and I just appreciate the effort you put forth! I always get good suggestions from your blog which I appreciate!

  11. Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness)

    Good advice with #4 🙂 I’ve jumped into blogging debates and controversies once in awhile, but a lot of the time I know I don’t have the energy or time to jump in fully and so I don’t. And that’s ok! Internet hug!

    • Words For Worms

      Thank you, Kim! Sometimes I feel like I’m part of the problem for staying out of it, but I just can’t. It stresses me out and it’s just bad for my overall mental health.

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