What to do When Overwhelmed With Blogging

“I like blogging for the social connections, but I just can’t keep up.” I hear this kind of statement quite frequently.

As I mentioned in an earlier post this week, blogging won't establish a true readership for unpublished authors. It can help us begin to get our name “out there.” But for most of us, this web presence happens mostly among the writing community.

Therefore, blogging for unpublished writers becomes more about social connections with other writers. And that’s truly a fabulous blessing. I can attest that my writing journey is much richer because of all of you.

However, once we’ve blogged for a while, we may find our followers and friendships growing to the point that we can't keep up with everyone. We rush through blogs, battling to find time to read and comment on all of them.

We also might begin to struggle with what to write in our posts. Perhaps we've said everything we can think to say, and some days we don't have anything left to share. When that happens, blogging can turn into a chain around the neck that weighs us down.

What should we do when get overwhelmed with blogging?

1. Take a blogging break.

I know several writers who are on break. They wrote a post explaining why and for how long, and then pulled out of the blogging community. Whether the hiatus is for a couple of weeks or a couple of months, it doesn’t really matter. The important thing is that these writers didn’t just one day fall off the face of cyberland. Instead they took the time to explain to their readers why they were taking a break and for approximately how long.

From time to time, we all need a blogging vacation. Some writers participate in the once a month “unplug” week during the third week of each month. Others, like me, pick busy holidays to take a break. We need to give ourselves permission to slow down and back away from time to time.

2. Cut back on blogging.

We all have to find a blogging schedule that works for us individually. For unpublished writers, there’s a myth that the more often we blog, the more traffic we’ll get. I’ve yet to see evidence that supports such a statement.

I personally think increasing blog visitor statistics has to do with a lot of other factors. In fact, if we’re posting every day, but we’re running out of things to say and not able to visit other blogs, we may even see our visitors drop away.

Frequency is somewhat irrelevant, but consistency is important. If we decide to post three times a week, twice, or even once, we’re wise to let our readers know our schedule. Pour our hearts into those few posts we do write. Quality trumps quantity.

3. Put blogging in its proper priority.

No matter where we’re at in our journeys to publication, blogging isn’t as imperative as writing our books and stories. Even though social networking is important to me and I budget blogging into my work schedule, I don’t let it interfere with my daily writing time. Those are sacred hours.

I prioritize my writing time first, then give blogging the leftover time. I never let reading other blogs take away from my scheduled writing time. Some days and weeks that means I may not get to visit friends as much as I’d like, but I’m working at keeping blogging in its proper perspective.

And just what is the proper perspective for blogging? It’s a helpful tool for our writing career, but it’s not going to make or break us. Only crafting a well-written, saleable story has the potential to help us “make it.” If we have to choose where to put our limited energy, why not channel it into something that can truly help our writing careers?

In other words, keep the main thing, the main thing.

What do you think? Have you ever felt overwhelmed with blogging? What have you done to make sure you prioritize writing and keep blogging in its proper place?


  1. A big "AMEN" to your post!! I couldn't have said it better!

    One day I timed how much time I spent blogging. Even though it was in spurts, I was amazed at how much time it consumed in my day! I could have written several chapters in WIP!

    I enjoy blogging and learning from other writers and making such wonderful blog friends, but I'm disciplining myself to keep it on a schedule that doesn't distract me from my writing and life's obligations. Otherwise I'd blog all day! LOL!

  2. WOOHOO! You know I totally agree:-) I went down from 5 posts a week last October to 3 posts a week, which helped a ton, but have now gone down to just posting Monday's and Fridays. This was my first week at it, and so far, in the words of my kid's favorite fast food restaurant, I'm LOVING IT!

    Great perspective, Jody!!

  3. I'm posting two times a week until the summer, when I have more time. I agree. I used to put so much pressure on myself where blogging was concerned...llike if I didn't get x number of comments, the world might explode. After taking an extended break, I realized it was all silly. As a working mother/wife/writer, blogging most certainly must take it's proper place.

  4. I like the discipline of writing posts. I like picking other writer's brains.

    When I get overwhelmed I back off some. Take a few days off, though like you I'm mostly a holiday time off gal. (I just wrote the word gal.) I also stepped back from 5 to 3 posts per week.

    Great advice about keeping the main thing the main thing. Works for time with God too.

    I write when it's quieter. I can blog with the background noise of kids swinging from the rafters, but my sacred time is quiet time. Ah, quiet time. Ah. That feels so good to write. ;)
    Happy Friday.
    ~ Wendy

  5. Sound advice.

    I think this is harder for writers who have started writing by blogging or who need to build a platform for nonfiction books. It's hard to make the shift and figure out what works best.

    I'd add to this: experiment a bit. You will find your way to do it by gradually eliminating what DOESN'T work for you.

  6. I usually schedule my blogs ahead of time. I read blogs with my first cup of tea in the morning. If I don't have much to write about, I don't worry and the same if I can't get to everyone's blog. Things always seem to balance out.

  7. I love this post. Like on Wednesday. Not too many blog diabetes has been giving me problems. So now I feel behind. I didn't write, couldn't blog. As my super friend Katie talks about above, (and she is a super friend)I thought the world WOULD EXPLODE on Wednesday. And I woke up late today. Still having problems with my type one. As I popped over to visit with my super, beloved friend Jody =) she declared, KEEP THE MAIN THING, KEEP THE MAIN THING.

    Oh Jody. God must've put this on your heart. I needed it. And this Monday is UNPLUG week. So how thankful I am to know in my heart of hearts that it IS okey dokey and guess what? The world will still be here. Who figured? =)

    And ALWAYS let the blog friends know when you won't be around. That's just plain courtesy. I love courtesy. =)

    Happy weekend Jody. I shall see you after unplug week. Revitalized?? Invigorated? Galvanized?

    Thank you. May I cut and paste and put this post beside me as I write? Knowing me, I probably need to look at it from time to time. To remember. You know the world? It'll all be okay. (^_^)

  8. I have a feeling you're going to get a lot of nodding heads of agreement today, Jody. I have absolutely loved the positive sides of blogging - the friends I've made, the writing connections, more experience writing, connections with others. I could go on. But there are definitely times we must pull back and find a different balance and repriortize. Blogging once a week during my busy work schedule has been amazing. I put my heart into one post a week and still try to visit as many blogs as I can. It keeps blogging the positive aspect of my life that it should be, and not a chore that I think blogging can become. We shouldn't be blogging becasue we "have to," but because we want to. And my reduced schedule has made me realize how much I love blogging and bloggers. I can't wait to get back on a more regular schedule in May.

    I also think you're right in that we should always be putting our story writing first - no matter what!

    Happy Friday!

  9. There are times I'm overwhelmed with blogging, when I just can't think of anything to write, and I just have to step away for a brief time. Currently, I try to post three days per week - M, W, F. Every now and then I might post something brief on T & TH, but rarely on the weekend. Normally, I stay away from the blogs on the weekend - a self-imposed exile of sorts. : )

    I think when anything becomes, well, demanding, then we need to take a step back and reasses why we are doing something and if it is worth the stress. Sometimes, just a small step back, one less post per week, is enough!

    Great post . . . as always.


  10. I took a break when Chloe was born. BUT I'M BAAAA-ACCK! :) I cut it down to 4 days a week (mon-thu) instead of the full work week. That seems to work well because Thu ends up as a book review/drawing which is pretty simple to compile. It's the days I'm not feeling creative that kill me ... :)

  11. This is a GREAT usual.
    So far I LOVE blogging--get soulmate feedback, that "writerly" understanding that the "others" just don't have.

    But a big trip is coming up and I see how problems will develop. I have a deadline right now but strangely find blogging gives me that "quick break" before I plod back to reality...

    I guess right now I'm seeing blogging as something I GET to do, not something I HAVE to do. And in my strange brain, that does make a difference.



  12. Insightful post as usual. Like many of your commenters here, I'm in a bit of a blogging quagmire right now. I have given myself permission to miss a few posts here and there which has helped. For the time being though, I'm scared to take a big break, because of the fear that I won't start up again. Does it matter? To me, yes. If it weren't for blogging, I would never have focused on writing again. Now it seems like my good luck talisman.

  13. Will I sound like a broken record (for those younger than forty, a record is a vinyl disc we baby boomers played music on. If it had a scratch, it would repeat the same phrase over and over 'til it drove you nuts) If I say, "Pray about it?"

    That is my solution to everything from a stomachache to a friend's sinking marriage to a blogging schedule. Nothing is too big or too small for God to fix.

  14. Hi Jody,
    I so agree with what you've written here about prioritizing blogging and that it should come after our own writing. I've had it backwards. I do think there's a difference, though, in the importance of blogging when you've self-published, as opposed to having a traditional publisher backing you and marketing your book for you. I've sold books because of my blog to people who'd never have known about me or my book otherwise, because I wasn't able to do a nationwide launch.

  15. I agree completely. Blogging can be so time consuming. I still love the writing process and find it helps me with my "real" writing because many of my stories come from blog posts. However, there are simply not enough hours in the day to visit with all the blog friends I'd like to. I feel badly about this, but cutting back on visiting has definitely given me back time and a sense of peace.

    I love reading the others comments and feel encouraged that I'm not alone in the constant challenge to find balance.

    Thanks, Jody.

  16. We get pulled in so many directions with the advice out there, and you're right. The main thing is the main thing. Always. I find it helps too to write a number of posts well ahead of time and put them in scheduler, so we're not actually creating and writing blog posts on a regular basis. It just seems to free up my daily writing time that way.

  17. You nailed it Jody! Blogging should never turn into a burden. I relish making the connections in this community, but my writing has to hold first place. This is the primary reason I participate in unplug week.

    Writing a great novel will never happen if I don't write, and blogging is very time consuming. I feel I've cheated my colleagues if I don't invest in my craft, because I pray one day you all will also become my readers.

  18. Yes! Amen!

    I'm taking a break next week. And while I love blogging and am thankful for the network of friends/encouragement, I'm not near as "hyper" about it as I was (internally--most people in my real life don't even know I have a blog). That's helping a lot.

    Have a great weekend!

  19. Well said! You know I've been there.

  20. It's true, blogging shouldn't replace your writing time. And I think it should be as rewarding for the blogger as it is for the reader. It can be your chance to share, to vent, to educate, to entertain.

  21. Wow, this was a timely post for me! I find that when I have a deadline I just can't put the time and energy into blogging that I'd like to. Breaks are good.

  22. Yep, felt that way, too. I changed my blog schedule from five times a week to three. Helped a lot.

    Have a great weekend!

    Lynnette Labelle

  23. I've really enjoyed this week's posts about the pros/cons of blogging. As a yet-to-be-published writer, I struggle with whether to start a blog or not. I've heard so much in its favor AND I feel I've heard dire warnings if you don't blog (you won't be taken seriously by an agent/editor, you need to start NOW to build a following even before you're published or you'll never GET published, etc.) You've put it into great perspective and I wanted to say thanks for taking a calm, measure approach to this topic. Patrice

  24. This is timely advice for me, Jody! I'm trying to get my entry ready for the Genesis on top of taking a very grueling online writing course. I've been thinking of taking another blogging break this month, and your post has inspired me to do it. :-)

  25. Well said, Jody, as usual. I'm in the midst of learning how to balance all the wonderful things on my plate. I've yet to achieve that goal, but you're giving me great food for thought.

  26. You always seem to know just what is needed at exactly the right time. I've seen a lot of this around the blogging circle lately. Great advice, Jody. I think you are exactly right. :-)

  27. I really appreciate this whole series. You have great insights!

  28. So far I've been posting daily for 6 months and with fairly consistent quality I think. I've enjoyed it and the meeting the daily schedule has kept me disciplined in writing.
    I sometimes do start to feel overwhelmed as I try to keep up with other blogs and leave comments. I may have to start pulling back on that part. And I have been considering posting less, but not for lack of anything to say-- I feel like I could never run out of ideas.

  29. Yup. Have had to cut way back with working now as my writing is much more important:) I like the part about quality over quantity!

  30. Yes and yes! I think taking a break when needed is key. I want to have something GOOD to say and not just something to say. :O)

  31. Girl, how do you keep coming up with these awesome posts? *grin*
    100% agree.

  32. I love this post! I have been thinking about discussing it on my blog, for I have felt a bit overwhelmed in keeping up with all the blogs that I follow.

    I love the friends I've met through blogging, and the things that I've learned have been great, but my aim in the coming weeks is to back off a bit and get a better balance. Thanks so much for your thoughts on this. So timely for me!

  33. One of the many things I love about reading your blog is the way it clears the cobwebs and gives permission for us to focus on what's truly important. Thank you!

  34. I'm newer to blogging, so I'm still in love with the whole process. I've found that my morning blog post helps to focus my thoughts and get me in the right mindset for writing.

    I also like to connect with people through their blogs. It's encouraging to see people in all different places along the journey: where I am, where I was, where I hope to be.

    Maybe in the future, I'll cut back, but for now, it's a help to me.

  35. I think everything you have said in this post makes perfect sense. I love blogging, it's the only hobby I have and therefore my favourite, but writing my book has been too important to me and I have occasionally put blogging to one side in order to complete it. Which I did!!!

    CJ xx

  36. Hi Jody -

    I blog three times a week, and love other bloggers who do the same. It gives me a day or two in between to catch up with everyone.

    Writing the blog is the easy part for me, although it does require some research. I read a book a week on average, contact authors for interviews, and search the web for links.

    The key for me is scheduling my posts. If I get in a jam, it isn't a disaster.

    The hard part of blogging is visiting and commenting on other blogs. Since I'm out of work, time isn't as much of an issue as it is for most people. I know that will eventually change, and I'll need to make adjustments.

    Susan :)

  37. I haven't tired out yet, since I've only been blogging for a few months. But I agree that writing has to come first.

  38. I enjoy blogging, but sometimes I wonder if I'm repeating things. I have two blogs, one for college football season and one for parenting, and I've realized that I have trouble doing both sometimes.

    I probably should cut to one, but which one. I may have to give up football, as my younger son will be playing this fall and many of the games are on Saturday.

    My parenting blog is more popular, but it is attached to a local magazine.

    My football blog is less popular, except in September when my visits go through the roof. However, it's in my name.

    Would it be possible to move the readers of my parenting blog to the blog with my name and then do my parenting stories there?

    What to do? What to do? What to do?

    Sometimes, I think groups like the Seekers have it right. You can produce a quality blog, but keep your postig schedule to a minimum to focus on writing. (I don't know how you do three posts a week. You're amazing.)

  39. Hello my name is T. Anne and I'm a blogaholic! Seriously I need help. I do like your advice on steeping back but already I'm not as good as I need to be. I could do better. Much better. But I do value my sleep and health and children not necessarily in that order. ;)

  40. I came into blogging with the belief that if I scheduled myself time to write every night, and then be accountable enough to post it to a blog, I would be improving as a writer.

    While I believe that has happened in some ways, I've been feeling the need to shift gears. To blog less and actually "write" more and develop my full-length novel and quit toying around with blogging so much.

    I know what I need to do, now I just need to do it!

  41. Perspective makes a big difference for me. If I tell myself I *have* to get so many posts done during the week, or *have* to make the rounds of all my favourite blogs, it turns into a burden. But I like blogging; I see it as part of my overall writing experience. I try to set a specific amount of time for it, give or take a half hour, then I move on to whatever else I need to do. If I don't get to read every blog every day, or if I'm lacking a post or two of my own some weeks, the world won't stop turning. (At least, I don't think it will. It hasn't yet.)

  42. YOU are a wise woman. Blogging is fun and rewarding but may I mention time consuming and exhausting? I am taking a little break myself.

  43. How did you get so wise?
    Perfect. If you don't want to post, don't. If you do, go right ahead.

    I need to remember that.

    Thanks for the reminder.
    I will take it to heart.

    Happy Weekend!

  44. Great tips. I def agree about quality vs. quantity. I only have time to post and comment twice a week or so and even that is hard to manage sometimes.

  45. It happened to me this last month or so. I felt so bogged down with it all, I felt I was failing as a writer. Then I read posts similar to this one, and realised it is not set in stone to blog as an author.
    I set up Igoogle and listed the blogs I enjoy visiting in alphabet listings. I work my way through them when new posts appear. This has doubled my writing time, I still feel 'connected' and my ms has benefited.
    I have cut down on posting daily as well and I will take a break soon.
    Happy Scribbling

  46. Thanks for this post, Jody. I'm debating starting a blog of my own. As an aspiring writer, I want to "break in" and network with other writers. I started a Twitter account for exactly that purpose. I haven't started a blog yet, simply because I don't know if I have anything original to say. I also don't want to take the small amount of writing time I have away from my book, and commit some of it to blogging. Is it important-slash-necessary to have a blog to attract an agent these days?

  47. I enjoy your posts.Newcomer to blogging and twitter so I have been looking back in your archives also.Good stuff.Thank You for the advice.I am juggling so many things right but read that blogging is the way to build followers and connect with others so I don't really feeled blogged out just yet,BUT I can see how it is taking time away from other projects right now.(I just need to get into a routine--alot times and days to certain projects.)Good article--good advice in case I get "blogged" down. Kay

  48. I couldn't agree more. Lately I've not had much to say and have been participating in 2 blogs. One takes less time. But my writing has been pushed to the back burner and that I can't have. I've thought about just taking a break from the blogs and I think I will. Don't know for how long, but at least until I get this story where I want it to be and I can't do it reading and commenting on blogs. Wait, that is what I am doing now. Ooops, see ya later :).

  49. Kara: I don't think that it's necessary to have a blog to attract an agent. Not at all. A fellow Bethany House author, Karen Witemeyer doesn't have a blog and she landed an agent and book deal without one. Her first book is releasing in June.

    A well-crafted and saleable story is really all that matters. If you have a blog, an agent/editor might come take a peek at you to find out more about you. But it's the story itself that clinches the deal.

    That's not to say a blog isn't beneficial, because I truly believe there are lots of benefits to blogging. But as I said in the post, it won't make or break an author.

  50. I've slowed down lately to once or twice a week. My SUBLIMINAL MONDAY posts take a lot of time to compose, so I use that as the reason I'm not blogging more frequently. That and getting my book ready for submission!

  51. Great tips. I def agree about quality vs. quantity. I only have time to post and comment twice a week or so and even that is hard to manage sometimes.
    work at home in india

  52. Hi Jody!
    So sorry I haven't been by lately. But I have been struggling with this very issue!
    I enjoy blogging. I enjoy the friendships I've made and I love reading the perspectives of other gifted writers. However, and today is a perfect example, when I read even a fraction of the blogs I follow, I spend ALL DAY doing so!
    I'm blessed to be at a job that allows the time to write as much as I want as long as I answer the phone when it rings. But blogging can, and has, wheedled it's way into my days. Case in point: I've been reading blogs all day today. Five hours worth. Yikes! How did that happen!!
    I'm working on shifting priorities and not feeling guilty about it. It's tough because I've made some marvelous friendships out there. However, if I don't work on my stories, how will they ever get written?

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom.
    Happy St. Patrick's day,

  53. HI Jody,
    Just discovered your blog. Its great and very thought provoking. I aim to post once a week and a good quality post (I hope) Yes it cuts into my writing time but I balance that with the fact that I am writing in a slightly different medium...non fiction as opposed to children's fiction.
    It makes my brain stretch as I research for each blog post and I have learned a huge amount about social media in public over the last two years...
    Thankyou for the timely posts...

    New Zealand


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