I am a creative scatter-brain. While it can be fun at times, it can be one heck of a hindrance too, especially while being a one-woman show behind a brand. Let me clarify what 5 minutes in my mind sounds like:
I wanna design clothes
I wanna design cards
I wanna collaborate with bloggers
I wanna finish my orders
I wanna sleep
I wanna do something else entirely
I wanna just hang out with my boys
I wanna hire a team
I wanna quit, just the blog
I wanna only blog
I wanna change my image
I wanna stay true to my brand
Actually, that was only two minutes. Yep, me in a nutshell, 24/7. My mind constantly racing with new ideas, burnout, sudden inspiration, fear of failure, weeping under the covers, skipping with joy and then the cycle begins again. I realized I was burnt out. I mean, to a crisp. This is no good, especially with two young boys growing up faster than you would like. Major changes had to happen in the life behind the blog.
So what's a gal to do? Below are my five tips on avoiding blogger burnout:
1. Step back and refocus
It isn’t enough for me to say I am an artist. This leaves it way too open for me to roam free, happily skipping in my imagination. While that’s fine for me as an individual, when it comes to a brand, people should be able to describe you in one sentence. My goal is for Cozy Reverie to be known as a colorFUN textile designer. One sentence - BOOM.
2. It is okay to say “No”. So say “No” A LOT.
In three years, I had gone from nobody wanting to work with me (I barely had a presence online) to a ton of daily requests via Instagram, Facebook, Etsy and email. For about a year, I said yes to everything. EVERYTHING. Even projects that didn’t really match my style. It didn’t get truly overwhelming until my second son was born. It got real CRAY when I started my full-time job.
There wasn’t a whole lot of studio time anymore, but the requests kept coming in and much more frequently. I tried my hardest to keep up. It wasn’t until I realized I could be missing out of family life when I worked up the courage to say “no”.
This doesn’t mean I say a hard “no” to everything. “Yes” is still a big part of the biz! “No” usually means “not right now”. Also, I have become more selective on projects I work on: Does it fit my style? Does it fit in the schedule? You know, jazz like that. This list is super helpful for me too.
3. Step away from the social media!
This one is HARD because I have such a love affair with Instagram, but it is necessary. Be a human once in a while! You don’t have to be live for every “like” or comment. I have scheduled my IG posts three times a day. The goal is to post and step away. Come back later. Go on a hike. Read an actual book. Take a nap. You’d be surprised how refreshing this can be for a creative mind. You might just come up with another brilliant idea!
4. Don’t strive to break the Internet with every post.
Not every post will be your game-winning touchdown and THAT’S OKAY. You will stress yourself out and go completely bonkers with high expectations like that. Focus on the idea, rather than how your post is received. “Likes” and RTs may be important for small businesses, but they aren't the be-all end-all of life. Personally, I have started to schedule my future posts to once or twice a week, which provides less stress, opportunity for better quality in posts, and more "me" time.
5. Do you and ONLY you
Stop comparing yourself to others. Easier said than done, I know, but seriously STOP IT. This is not only damaging to your brand, but to you emotionally. Instead, rechannel any jealousy into support! Instead of competing with others, become a cheerleader those that inspire you. This leaves your mind open for you to make, create and BE YOU.
These changes will not happen overnight. I keep this list as a daily reminder to basically chill the eff out. Just know that nothing is more important than keeping yourself happy in this blogging world!
Thoughts? Questions? Looking for more tips? Send me an email! I'm all about sharing my journey if it can help others out with their own craft!