The Blogging Wall

Have you ever felt like you are in a rut?

You know how it goes: same old grind, nothing new to blog about, lack of inspiration.

Hit the wall.

Photo credit: Magdalena Gmur (Creative Commons)

Like a marathoner hitting a wall at 20 miles, I crashed into my wall a little over 100 posts.

I’ve been feeling a need for a new way of thinking and a refreshed perspective.

And then it happened.

In what seemed to be perfect timing, I was able to chat about this very thing with my buddy Michael.

You know what he said? “Get away. Don’t tell anybody; just take a break.”

Then I realized my wife had been hinting at the same thing.

I didn’t post on Wednesday or Friday. And coincidentally, I had vacation days scheduled off from work Thursday and Friday.

I was able to use that time to simply be refreshed — through rest, family, and some quiet thinking.

The next step.

When blogging becomes a chore or simply part of my “to-do” list, I want to take an honest gut-check and re-evaluate my motivations behind it all.

So, I spent some time doing that.

While not as dramatic like a phoenix out of the ashes, I am re-emerging from a quiet vacation feeling refreshed!


How do you handle burnout?
What do you do to get ‘refreshed’? 

43 Responses to “The Blogging Wall”

  1. Arny October 17, 2011 at 9:51 am #

    I know how you feel Dustin…

    But like I said on friday on your comment…

    We have had a drought…

    and last sunday…it rained and flooded!!!

    Your Flood is coming…

    • Arny October 17, 2011 at 10:55 am #

      Try doing some themes Dustin…i can’t recall you ever doing any…

      right now I got a series going every wednesday (the analogy of the ring) last month I did the lessons from a jedi…and next month I”m going to have my audience vote on the topic for wednesdays….i also do the thought for weekend….every friday…

      have a structure really really helps!

      play around with ideas!

      • Dustin October 17, 2011 at 4:09 pm #

        thx for the ideas!

      • Luther Wesley October 18, 2011 at 10:09 am #

        That is excellent advice….and some that I took to heart a few months ago.

    • Dustin October 17, 2011 at 4:10 pm #

      i like that, arny — may be experiencing a drought, but a flood is coming!

  2. Moe October 17, 2011 at 10:08 am #

    Yeah, I’ve been there. In fact, after Catalyst, you would think I’ll be more motivated and have more content. I was in a rut (plus, I had bronchitis while in ATL – I almost passed out after that bloggers meetup, well, after we hit a place to get grub and got to hotel at 3am – yeah, rest and liquids were the Dr’s orders and they were ignored). I don’t know how I made it, but I did. And when I got back, I was a mess. Exhausted (I think I slept 8 hours the 3 days I was in ATL) and I didn’t post for a few days.

    Sometimes when you hit that wall, you just gotta sit down and look at it. Until something comes up. Sometimes walking away for a while is a good thing.

    • Dustin October 17, 2011 at 4:13 pm #

      wow, didn’t know you were running on fumes while here… appreciate you hanging out! i’ve learned stepping away is a good thing at times as well.

  3. Joseph October 17, 2011 at 10:41 am #

    I sleep for 12 hours straight, that’s how I refresh. Also, when I hit a wall I try to refocus my thinking. I try to simplify things. In blogging it’s easy to feel like you have to write a blazing 500-700 word post every time. Sometimes the 87 word posts are just as powerful.

    • Dustin October 17, 2011 at 4:11 pm #

      less is more at times- i feel you. and, joseph- get those 12 hr sleeps in now because once Liam is here it’s all over! :)

  4. Michael Perkins October 17, 2011 at 10:58 am #

    I’m so glad to hear that man.

  5. Tony J. Alicea October 17, 2011 at 12:01 pm #

    I feel the same way after being away for almost 2 weeks. I might actually take another week off. So much is going on and I can’t fully be present if I’m too busy trying to make my life into a blog post.

    • Dustin October 17, 2011 at 8:57 pm #

      Yikes, what you said resonates with me – so often I try to fit my life (or at least my day) into 250 words… doesn’t always fit so nicely like that. :)

  6. kristinherdy October 17, 2011 at 12:08 pm #

    I took a looooong break, and came back and MessiahMom didn’t fit anymore. It was almost as if I lost too much weight or gained some or had a baby… so, I gave birth to Messy Paradise, and now, I feel more comfortable again.

    Isn’t it weird the way that happens. Thankful for rest, recharge and new “clothes.”

    • Dustin October 17, 2011 at 8:58 pm #

      and I think you hit a homerun with messy paradise. as a father with crazy kids, i love reading your stories…

  7. Jason Vana October 17, 2011 at 12:56 pm #

    I’ve had a few times of the past year where I hit the “blogging wall,” especially when I was posting every day. When I hit those walls, I do like you did – and take some time off. it amazes me how just a few days away with no need to write or post links on FB and Twitter or reply to comments really refreshes me and gives me more ideas of what to post about. I tend to come back from that time with a ton of blog post ideas.

    • Dustin October 17, 2011 at 9:01 pm #

      i’m not at the point where i can do it everyday… life is just to busy right now and sometimes 3x a week seems much. i commend you for that; there is a measure of discipline indeed…

      • Jason Vana October 17, 2011 at 9:14 pm #

        Well, I blog in 3 locations: my main blog, the Ignite blog, and my marketing blog, so I have a wider range to pull from. I stopped posting on my main blog every day about a few months ago. I’ve noticed I hit that wall a lot less, because I have more topics to write on.

  8. Cindy Holman October 17, 2011 at 1:45 pm #

    Being in a new season and also being self-employed works great – because I do not become burned out like I used to when kids were small or when we were on a demanding church staff position. So I’m in a different situation and I write because it GIVES me energy and does NOT drain me – or feel like a chore. However, I’ve heard more than one of my blogging buddies complain that it does become like a chore with all the other things pressing in on them. I guess the best advice – other than “get away to refuel” would be this: Don’t write when you don’t have anything to say – just to post another article. Write because you DO have something relevant that you’re feeling needs to be said. The rest will take care of itself.

    • Dustin October 17, 2011 at 9:02 pm #

      thats great advice, cindy. better the content be true and honest, than something that is just published for the sake of being published.

  9. Jason October 17, 2011 at 2:00 pm #

    I’m glad you’re back and refreshed dude. :)

  10. jenn October 17, 2011 at 2:22 pm #

    When it comes to burnout on my blog, I usually just stop blogging for awhile. I’m kind of sporadic with my blog anyway.

    When it comes to burnout in general, if possible I take a long nap. I’m on fall break today and that’s exactly what I did. Usually when I’m feeling burnt out, I haven’t had much sleep, so the nap was just what I needed.

    • Dustin October 17, 2011 at 9:04 pm #

      its amazing how much ‘rest’ refreshes you (go figure, huh?). :)

  11. Keri October 17, 2011 at 2:52 pm #

    I’ve hit a wall numerous times on my blog, and, well in my life. :) What always recharges and refreshes me is getting out of my comfort zone. My real life friend Ang has an awesome frugal blog that I guest post on once a month. Because it’s a completely different subject area and because her blog is AMAZINGLY SUCCESSFUL {we’re talking Jon Acuff successful here}, it is a great challenge for me-forces me to bring my A game and think with a totally different part of my brain. I find that getting my creative juices flowing in different ways can help me get out of the rut. In life, I find that spending time with people who inspire me can help with that, too. It’s easy to just hang out with people who are at my same stage in life, who I consider my peers, or even those who are struggling in the same ways. What shakes me out of that is being around those who have seen the other side, who are more mature, who can lift me up and say, “You will get through this.” I hope this helps, Dustin. Yours is one of the few blogs I read with regularity. I’ll always come back, even if you take a huge hiatus. :)

    • Dustin October 17, 2011 at 9:06 pm #

      thanks, I appreciate the kind words. surrounding ourselves with people like that is so important (for encouragement, advice, inspiration, etc)…. and I like what you said about writing about “out of the box” stuff – gets the ol’ noggin thinking differently!

  12. JG October 17, 2011 at 4:17 pm #

    I hit the same wall a few weeks ago. I went almost two weeks without a new post. In the past if I had even missed a day I would feel frustrated but this time I just didnt’ care too much. I enjoyed my two weeks off. I had a chance to collect my thoughts, figure out what I wanted to say on the site, and start over again. Very refreshing. And in the down time God always gives new ideas!

    • Dustin October 17, 2011 at 9:00 pm #

      good to hear john. its refreshing reading that! :)

  13. Rob October 17, 2011 at 8:46 pm #

    Unplugging and getting away. I need a break now.

  14. jbussell October 17, 2011 at 9:07 pm #

    Man, I fight this a lot. As a non-creative type, I struggle to write on good days. I often find that just stepping away for a while helps me. The problem for me while away, is trying to remember or write down the ideas that I think of while on my “break.”

    • Dustin October 18, 2011 at 2:25 pm #

      ‘non-creative type’….actually have been thinking about that lately. stay tuned for tomorrow :)

  15. seekingpastor October 17, 2011 at 9:31 pm #

    I re-evaluate why I do what I do. If my reasons aren’t what they should be–I stop. And start again when my motives are in-line.

    • Dustin October 18, 2011 at 2:25 pm #

      motives… so true. thanks for the comment, matt

  16. Jon October 17, 2011 at 9:55 pm #

    Well…I’ve been doing just this…so I know what you mean. Just focusing on my walk, but I’ll be soon. :)

    • Dustin October 18, 2011 at 2:26 pm #

      nothing like some good time away! :)

  17. chris vonada October 18, 2011 at 6:34 am #

    yep, I think many bloggers feel they have to post something or they’ll loose momentum. Sometimes it’s better to not just throw something up and wait for the big wood to show up. I pray about it every day and if I don’t feel inspired I joyfully move on to God’s next assignment :)

    Love your blog Dustin!

    • Dustin October 18, 2011 at 2:26 pm #

      thanks for the encouragement, chris!

  18. Luther Wesley October 18, 2011 at 10:04 am #

    Well what do ya know….what I considered a throw away post of Friday ( because I was behind at work and had been preparing the first half of the week for teaching Wednesday night ) actually fit right in where you were at in your week.

    Actually I am always inspired, engaging, energtic, and full of new and creative ideas….NOT!!!! We all need a couple days off every now and then….Jesus HIMSELF went away to seek solitude.

    Just remember that there are those out there who enjoy your writing and are blessed by the unique perspective God has given you.

    • Dustin October 18, 2011 at 2:27 pm #

      funny how things seem to fit so perfectly. when i read that, that was exactly where i was at the moment… thanks for your words, luther.

  19. ThatGuyKC October 21, 2011 at 7:54 pm #

    I took a step back over the summer after finishing my MBA and it was great. I’m getting back in the swing of things and posting daily, but I might back off again in order to devote time to other creative endeavors.

    • Dustin October 25, 2011 at 11:41 am #

      Stepping back to do more. Cool man.


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