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Blogging is a slippery slope. Sharing your life online has its benefits, namely from the careers and communities one can build from it. But when blogging about your life becomes part of your work, it can be nearly impossible to define that work and non-work time. Even if you blog for fun, the effort can get the best of you and one day you’ll just find yourself in a mild mental breakdown at brunch because you left your phone at home and you can’t instagram your eggs benedict. Not that that has ever happened to me…

I didn’t sense that blogging was causing my real life to feel out of whack until a few months back, when I started to resent it. I would feel such internal frustration- I wanted time away but I felt obligated to document and photograph every single little thing  to keep up. The problem with that attitude is that instead of helping my blog flourish, it just brought me closer to burnout.

My blogger burnout was brimming right around the time that CC was becoming one of the biggest promotional platforms for my business. Knowing this made me realize just how important it was for me to figure out how to maintain a healthy relationship with blogging because my business was pretty dependent on it! Slowly but surely I started to make some changes, and over the past few months have been able to develop a pretty balanced schedule when it comes to blogging consistently about my life while still having time for my actual life. Here’s how I did it:

I started setting boundaries. I made a point to spend 1 full day a week away from the blog. That generally tends to be Saturdays. I also started setting boundaries around when I would document- or really, not document- my life. One example of this is restaurants. I’ll instagram a pic or two but usually never take my big SLR. That also applies to dinner parties! When I have friends over I just want to spend time with my friends. To get even more specific, sometimes I’ll instagram a pic of dinner before Brandon and I sit down, but then actually post the pic after we’ve eaten and enjoyed our dinner. These little things helps so much!

I got help. Sarah started blogging more, and we brought on Lauren! CC puts out 24 posts per month. Of those 24, I teeter between 12 and 14 posts per month. For me that is the amount I’m able to support while consistently putting out quality content. There are moments where I wish I could do more (and I bow down to you bloggers that do!), but that is simply what works for me.

I began scheduling my social media…a bit. I feel like people have such issues with this, like it’s not authentic or something, but it’s totally necessary for my sanity! Truthfully this is an area I’d like to get a little bit better about. I read a tip somewhere that you should schedule all your content at once- both blogs posts and social media- so that your content and promotion is completed all at once. I’m slowly working towards that.

I’ve tried to detach from my stats. This one is so hard. ‘Tried’ is definitely the operative word. Right now I’m trying not to look at stats on the weekends, but long term I’d really like to limit this even more- it can be such a time suck, and completely unproductive! Plus it often leads me to think all sort of crazy negative things about myself, and well, that is just not useful- period.

Woo that was a lot! But it’s all helped me so much. Have you guys experienced an imbalance when it comes to blogging and real life? How do you separate the two? I’d so love to hear!

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  1. La Torontoise

    Clara, can not agree more with Jessi Arrington…
    Thank you so much for this post!
    All the best!
    PS. For more on experiments in lifestyle design, I would add the link to Tim Ferriss’ 4 hours work week site:
    http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog

    • Clara

      I love Tim Ferriss! My boyfriend is especially obsessed with his books.

  2. This is so great, Clara. I try a lot of the same tactics you do, but even then it can be hard to totally “detach” from blogging–especially on the weekends, which is when I get most of my “work” done. I try to schedule as many posts as I can in advance, and the same goes for blog tweets–not that they’re not genuine, it’s just that I don’t have time during the day to be constantly tweeting when I’m at my real job. I also have to be really mindful of burning out writing, as I do it for a living too. I love the idea of one day completely free a week–I’m contemplating more and more a completely social-media free day a week always!

    • Clara

      The one day is really helpful. I’ve toyed with the idea of taking even longer breaks… because I think that’s really necessary in order to mentally recharge, but we’ll see. Perhaps this summer!

  3. Katie Meyers/Meyers Styles

    Clara- great post. Last week, I took a week off blogging & basically 99% of the normal amount of social media interactions I have and guess what? It was the best thing I could have ever done! I felt so energized & was able to recharge my batteries… All the while teaching me, this needs to become a more regular occurrence in my life. I think taking Saturdays “off” is brilliant… Take time to really, truly enjoy being present & appreciating the moment.

  4. Totally agreed. I was reading somewhere that some people felt like if they didn’t take a picture of a meal etc. it was as if they hadn’t eaten it and then they couldn’t stay “plugged in.” I definitely fall into that mental space sometimes. But it helps me to remember that there will be many more delicious and beautiful meals, and spending time enjoying the meal with your loved ones is more important than documenting it! Great post xo

    • Clara

      Oh goodness, that’s so much pressure! I think we should work towards NOT photographing all our meals :)

  5. I 100% agree with your dilemma here – I went through it first last year, and made the decision to cut down my posts from 5x weekly to 3-4 a week. As much as I’d love to blog everyday, the quality of the posts are definitely compromised when I aim for quantity. I also used to be far more addicted to my stats, but after outsourcing it to my husband (he and I sit down every month to review them, which is incredibly helpful!), I’m able to focus on the creative elements of my blog – which is fun for me. We also have a new “no phone” rule at meals, with the exception of snapping just a few pics once the plates are placed in front of us. It helps us focus on each other and the meal we’re sharing.

    • Clara

      I love that you guys sit down and do it together. I often feel like even though I’m staring at them all the time- it’s not actually helping anything. It’d be better to sit down and look at them for a solid amount of time- and THEN make some strategic decisions around the information. Is that kind of what you guys do?

  6. I love this, Clara! I especially agree on the point of scheduling social media- I get it if people are constantly churning out scheduled content and not responding, but there are proven times that are better to post than others- why wouldn’t bloggers take advantage of these tools?? I also feel like I have the worst memory these days, and if it weren’t for Buffer my posts would never make it onto Twitter.

  7. I love this post – but more importantly, I just discovered your blog and I adore it! Thanks for such an insightful post about finding balance, planning and setting boundaries… all are areas that could use some fine-tuning in my world. :)

    • Clara

      Em- thanks so much for your sweet words! I’m so thrilled to have you as a reader. xx

  8. Scheduling social media was big for me – not all of it – but the posts where I talk about that days post – those are all scheduled. I also need weekends – at least parts of weekends – for me and my husband, without the iphone glued to my hands. I still haven’t coaxed myself away from the constant checking of pageviews – but hopefully one day I won’t feel so tied to them.

    • Clara

      Hi Lexi- it’s a really really hard thing to detach from. I’m really not where I want to be in terms of how often I’m looking at them, but I find if I put the goal on paper I’m a bit more likely to actually complete it. Here’s hoping!

  9. I love the tips you provided. I used to manage a blog several years back and after having it consume my life, I eventually closed it down. It was becoming quite overwhelming and was starting to interfere with my life in general. I’ve recently re-created a blog to serve as a mere outlet.

    • Clara

      Hi Connie- so glad you found the tips helpful! xx

  10. Thanks for your honesty and sharing this with us. I, too, have a hard time balancing between blogging and life at times. I usually try to just go with the flow and post when I’m inspired (because I tried the whole forcing to post thing and my posts turn out to be crappy when I do that.) I also don’t set a schedule for my blogging and every surrounding it which is good yet bad. It’s good because then I don’t feel obligated to meet certain standards. Most creative folks don’t like constraints and a schedule would provide that yet a structure would provide consistency to a blog which is desirable for any blogger so I’m in a catch 22 with that. I guess in time, I’ll gain balance with this dilemma. Now, social media… that’s a whole other story. lol

    • Clara

      Hi Jolyn- It’s a really hard balance to strike, and truthfully I feel like I’m just figuring it out after blogging for over two years. I’d say be patient with yourself and give it time- things will shake out for the best for you!

  11. Amy

    As a very new blogger, I am especially grateful for all of your insights on blogging. I’ve only been at it for a month, so it is helpful for me to read what seasoned bloggers like yourself are thinking. Mostly, I appreciate your honesty. I am devouring all of your Blog Posts as part of my education process! Thank you!

  12. Thank you for your insight Clara!

    • Clara

      You’re so welcome!

  13. I really enjoy posts about the business of blogging and managing blogging & life. It really can be overwhelming! I’m in the process of launching my new blog on 6/1 and I am really trying hard to plan breaks and establish boundaries so I don’t end up resenting the blog. I love blogging, but it can become consuming.

    • Clara

      Hi Kimberly- so glad you’re benefitting from that. Comments like yours are the reason I do this series!

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