photos by Chelsea Francis
It’s no secret that I’ve been feeling burnt out by blogging. After six years, I suppose that’s to be expected, but I never anticipated feeling this way. While I saw other bloggers post less and less, take time off, and share about their dwindling desire to produce content, I felt more inspired than ever to say something new and make the most of my space on the Internet.
Lately, for the first time, I’ve felt more like spending my weeknights out with friends than sitting at home and blogging. Maybe that sounds silly, but I lived for hunkering down on my couch to write every night. It’s been my routine for so many years that now not wanting to even open my computer has me a little shaken.
On one hand, it makes sense. My lifestyle was never exactly sustainable as far as the amount of content I’ve been producing (keep in mind that I write for my day job, have a podcast, and wrote a workbook this year, plus having a social media presence). I did a little interview recently for Urban Outfitters where they asked about my “day in a life” and I actually felt a little ashamed by the consecutive hours spent in front of a screen, if only because there was so little time spent away from one.
In 2017, I tried to take things to the next level with the workbook. I spent four months writing Feel Good, Dress Better, on top of my already content-heavy schedule. Since its release in June, I’ve just not had the energy or motivation to promote it. It’s like I wrote all the words I could already, and now I’m just scraping the bottom of the barrel for the few remaining sentences I can string together.
I’ve honestly prided myself on having it all: a job I legitimately love, a thriving blog, a weekly podcast, a wonderful and supportive partner, a fantastic friend group. The downfall was, of course, my messy home and my sometimes-worse-than-others mental health, but lately the things I’ve sacrificed have outweighed the things I have.
My depression and anxiety have taken over to the point where some days all I can do is sleep. My self-esteem is the lowest it’s been since college, and for no real reason. There is so much tragedy going on in the world around us – discrimination, fear, bigotry, disaster, and hatred – that it’s hard for me, as for a lot of people, to find the right words or to talk about seemingly trivial things. Trying to post to Instagram isn’t a matter of not having content, it’s a matter of being far too difficult to even muster a photo and caption, much less hashtags or a consistent feed. If I’m only going to get one or two things done in a day, none of them can be Instagram. I just don’t care enough, and it certainly doesn’t matter enough.
So what does matter? I guess that’s what I’ve been trying to figure out. I mentioned in this month’s goal post that I’m going back to therapy after taking a year off. The decision to go back is one of the only things that’s made me feel better in a while, and I haven’t even had my first appointment yet. I’m looking forward to regaining my energy so I can be excited about something.
I swear I still love having a blog. Last week, it occurred to me that the people I keep comparing myself to do this shit full time. Can you imagine what I could do if I blogged full-time? Putting up 3+ posts a week for six years while working a full-time job never felt like a chore until this recent bout of depression. I have no intention of leaving my job (which I lovelovelove) or my blog, but I do hope to find a better sense of balance and a more realistic, sustainable approach to all of this. I don’t necessarily have to give up any of my projects, but I do need to take a step back, put less pressure on myself (this blog does not even come close to paying my bills! why do I treat it like it does?), and enjoy my life more instead of just writing about it.