burn baby burn (friendly friday: blogger's burnout)

Last week, when returning a comment to Veshoevious of Taxonomy of My Wardrobe, my attention was drawn to a post she did called 'Friendly Friday: Copying.' Intrigued, I applied and was accepted into the group.

Today's questions are on Blogger Burnout. I'm illustrating it with shots all taken with my husband, Mr. Dot, during a walk in Hampstead Heath last sunday.

Thank you to Katy at Modly Chic for making me feel welcome on this, my first week, and to Veshoevious for doing the post that got me there. If you want to join, just ask Katy.

1. How many hours a week do you spend blogging? Has that number changed since you started blogging?

I'm trying to calculate and it's scaring me: if time 'spent blogging' includes street shooting, fashion weeks, press events, photo editing/adjusting colour balance/dodging and burning.. replying to bloggers' comments which means getting lost for hours in other people's blogs.. PLANS with 'blog friends', sending them and doing posts on THEIR shots.. I'd say more time than I spend sleeping or time I spend with my husband. Not to mention the time I spend thinking about what I'll post and the actual posting process... I'd guess 40 hours in a 7 day week.
That number hasn't changed: I keep thinking it will be less time but these days, it's actually more, with the socialising and what I call 'admin' factor.

2. There is always more you can do, write, read, comment on... how do you limit your time spent on these tasks?

I don't! Hence the burnout! (See above.)

3. Have you experienced Blogger burnout yet?
Oh yes.

How have you dealt with that?

At times, I've posted about it. Sometimes.. it's like with breaking up with a boyfriend, have you ever secretly broken up with a boyfriend as in when they leave that morning you swear in your head you're broken up but by that night you're with him again? Or you are broken up, have a fling, realise a day or two later where your heart is, and he doesn't even know you've broken up. It's sometimes like that.

With regards streetstyle shooting: for example. I saw this girl (and in the top shot) just as I was thinking that I haven't been doing enough going up to strangers and posing them in the middle of the shot (vs the type in the rest of this post: just shooting them documentary style). I asked her and she said she was doing something similar, as a school project (hence the camera).

If you've been here before you might remember me ranting for a while. I'm not yet burnt out on blogging, but rather, lately at the process of going up to a stranger, doing my whole blah blah blah pitch. PLUS in the time since I started (Feb 2009) so many more people are doing 'street style' blogs that it's not feeling new or interesting to me - as much.

(I'm also - and this is going to sound terrible but I'm going to say it - I'm now at a point where the people I actually know, the friends and people I know at fashion week - sorry, but they're starting to be more stylish then the strangers on the street!)

I also then correspond with the subject, send them photos.. all this takes up a lot of time.

That said, I can't help it: all my life, even as a child, I've noticed what people are wearing, where trends are going - it's part of my soul and I could no sooner switch it off than to lose my interest in art, music, food, films.. LOVE - and while I shot so much else that day that I, personally, find fascinating - like this robin that we spent so long with we almost took him home as a pet for the cat - I do find that, when the situation arises, I'll shoot strangers' style. And that is probably the longest run on sentence I've done to date.

My particular burnout isn't necessarily blogger's burnout: it's more specific. Street Style Blogger's Burnout, perhaps. But you lovely people have made it clear to me, publicly and privately, that you connect with what I'm doing. Which is why the burnout seems to pass. So far. And the support of the 'blogging community', as I find my way and my blog evolves... it's extraordinary. Just when I think 'this is a waste of time' I get an eloquent email, like I did last night, from Julie Collier, a displaced Australian from Sydney, living in Manchester, and I know why I'm doing this. The love far overshadows the pain in the ass-ness.

Which is why, despite the burnout, so far, I still ultimately end up posting.

4. This time of the year is always a lot busier than any other time. Will your blogging change as a result?

If you mean the Christmas season, that isn't the reason for my blogging habits changing. It's more that when it's cold, I can't 'street style' shoot in the same way.

My blog has already changed in the past 20 months of its little Blog Life: I started out only doing street style, and lately because of everything else (see above) my posts are increasingly not street style. Hence using these shots to illustrate this post. I'm still looking to report on what people are wearing, but because the weather is colder, 'street shooting' is more about cold weather gear - to get people's 'styles' it's more often inside - for example, at a party or press event.

5. Could you forsee a moment in which you are not blogging anymore?

Of course.

How would you you identify that it's time to walk away?

Excellent question. I haven't a clue. It's like with breaking up with a boyfriend: it's such a hard call. In my case, Reader, I married him.


Shopgirl said...

Welcome to Friend Fridays!!!

Right off, I LOVE that robin!!! My mum and dad always used to put a robin on top of our Christmas tree and they always make me think of Christmas - just gorgeous that shot - made me smile :)

Great answers too!

Pearl Westwood said...

Great post Jill, I feel the same, but I guess it goes for everything in life, you need to mix it up a bit. Some days I really can't be bothered getting dressed, dragging some one outdside to take an outfit photo, some days I wear the same thing as the day before so I mix up the blog with posts on other things, its a natural evolution.
Cant wait to see my first robin!! x

Pearl Westwood said...

p.s if you have any friends or readers in the US I have a giveaway on the blog today but the prize can only be sent to US xx

San said...

Really cool post. And so true, once one starts with blogging and being "serious" about it, you devote more and more time to it. But sometimes I also have days where I couldn't care less about blogging or other peoples blogs.

Thanks for your congratulations and yes, I do enjoy my home. Some impressions you'll find in my hat blog.

KT said...

Welcome to your first FBFF! Glad to have you on board and your responses to the questions and the pictures are great! - Katy


Hi there...I enjoyed reading your answers. Welcome to Friend Friday!

I agree..."The love far overshadows the pain in the ass-ness."

♥ V
twitter: @gritandglamour

Editor said...

It was nice to read this post- I feel sometimes like I just can't post anything on my blog because I have no energy suddenly to put it together, and then I feel bad about it. Other times I can sit down and make 3 or 4 nice posts without batting an eye. I guess this is blogger burnout.

Adorngirl said...

blogging is easily the most tiring thing you can do, and even as I am typing this my kids are bugging my to open their bananas for them.

you do it coz you love it, and that's the way to go sometimes when I really can't be bothered I whip up a post real quick, and then regret it as to me it looks so drab, and slapdash, so when I get in those can't be bothered moods I don't bother it can wait til the next day.

now I really have to get back to my coursework, and cooking the dinner this blogging community of commenting and so forth is distracting. xx

Matthew Spade said...

interesting post indeed, i have felt it but i have had to try forget about it(uni has got in the way since september but luckily enough lots of my follwers have stuck with me, so that feels nice to think people still want to come back to my blog)

the robin shot is a delight! super zoom action going on.

TM said...

Welcome to Friend Friday! I love that you incorporated photos into your answers. It makes it much more interesting.

Leah said...

Have you always focused on your blog as your job? What about when you first started blogging, when did you make the time to photograph street style?
I want to do that so bad, but working a full-time job makes it very difficult.
Any advice would be valued.
xo L

the Citizen Rosebud said...

YOU and friend friday: a match made in heaven. Well sort of.

I do feel blogger burnout. Not so much the posting but the time consumed by the articles that surround it. The good and the bad side are the same: the relationships to blogging. Right now my head is spinning from sooo many projects that the reason for blogging has changed as well. But I won't leave it. Just break and come back.

You have long ago transitioned from streetstyle blogger into something else...not a catagory at all, just sort of a personal extension of you and how you take in the stylish world. While I still enjoy your shoots, your shots, it's really the prose and the ideas you move around that make me an avid follower, and fan, and friend. xo. Bella Q

Sarah Garfield said...

The photos of me aren't "Street Style" they are "just a coat"! LOL x

Chris "The Traffic Blogger" said...

Writers block and blogger burn out are really one in the same to me. If you lack the passion to finish a post because you are burned out then you probably also have a slight case of writer's block.

Here are my 5 steps to dealing with writer's block, starting with #1:

Don't Take That Break!


Veshoevius said...

I love the robin! We set up a birdfeeder and the garden which prompted on to make a nest in the ivy on our fence.
Great to read your first Friend Friday post - quite a pertinent one for you right? "Reader I married him" LOL! 40 hours in a seven day week is more than most people spend at their jobs!!

ediot said...

such great shots! thanks for sharing
hope you're having a good weekend
take care


Style Odyssey said...

What a great post, Jill. I think all dedicated bloggers get burnout from time to time- whether it's either a hobby, professional, or somewhere in between. It's harder to keep motivated when it doesn't directly yield monetary rewards.

I love your photo of the little bird! Also nice to see you wearing that fab leopard print coat.

I have had such a busy week, very behind on emails...I owe you a reply! If work's slow, I can get caught up this weekend.


Fayoona said...

i love love love the last line of this, "In my case Reader, I married him".
That could be the last line in a film, it is genius. Just like your photos.
x fi

Amber said...

I have had blogger burn out for ages. I love the picture of the robin. at first i was all: that's not a robin...that's a...i don't know what, but it isn't a robin that's for sure. hmph. i was wrong. I live in the U.S. and our version of the robin is a little different...it's our state bird (michigan) but the euro version is quite a cute little guy. ;)