Sunday 6 September 2020

Nerd Church - I Scaled Back on Blogging In August. Have I Learned Anything?

I don’t know why I need to keep learning the same lessons in order to actually, y’know, learn them, but…

I do? I guess?

Good habits are much easier to break than bad habits, dearest nerdlets! 

'I Scaled Back on Blogging in August. Have I Learned Anything?' displayed on a laptop screen

So anyway, let’s back up and rewind and all that jazz -

In August, I decided to scale back to about one post a week, instead of my regular 3 or 4 per week. I also took a break from my regular series – Comics Wrap-Up, Friday Fics Fix, Nerd Church.

This was so that I could have chance to do some goddamn blog admin for once, and try to get a handle on my socials, make something that at least vaguely resembles an actual posting schedule, make a plan for updating old posts, etc. etc. 

Because I have a tendency of putting so much on my metaphorical plate at any one time, that I end up not being able to balance everything, and rushing to write posts the night before I need to post them.

I wanted to... uh... stop doing that? (Lol.)

(And no, I did not get all of that done this month. More than I thought I would though, tbh.)

I mean… even when I scaled sh** back, I still kept posting.

...Because I can’t seem to stop myself from being productive, even though I know that one of the most productive things I can do is rest. #Catch22MyDears

But in fairness to myself, I did seriously scale back on what I blogged in August, in order to give me a chance to:

a) take a breather, and 

b) get a head-start which will hopefully mean I don’t have to work as hard in the coming months. (Famous last words – but whatcha gonna do?) 


Captain Barbossa from Pirates of the Caribbean (Geoffrey Rush,) fighting off Davey Jones' damned crew in the rain: I'm a little busy at the moment!
Via Giphy

Sometimes I look at all the stuff I do and think: why the f**k do you think you’re not working hard enough?!

(Yes, I convince myself regularly that I’m not doing enough. Really.)

I currently work for myself, run Dora Reads (which I totally count as job #2, not least because I’m now able to earn some extra cash through this blog! Woo!) and am writing a novel.

(And yeah, I know, I know – ‘writing a novel’ is one of those things that people say when they wanna sound smart, and productive, even though they’re not.

And I’m not gonna guarantee that this thing will ever actually be finished, but I am writing it.

You can check out my ‘The Writer Diaries’ sub-series if you want to keep up with my semi-regular self-doubts and existential crises.) 

So, yeah between 1 and 3 jobs, depending how you’re counting it.

(What? Millennials are lazy? You could’ve f**king fooled me!)

And it turns out – there are only so many hours in the goddamn day. (Who writes these rules? I mean, really!)

That means that it’s super-super-easy to get behind on all the sh** you wanna do.

And I don’t tend to like to take things off my regular ‘to-do’ list. I’m more of an ‘add more and hope for the best’ kinda gal! 

Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey (no, I have no idea who her character is): What is a weekend?
Via Giphy

But sometimes? You need to work smarter, rather than harder, in order to avoid burning out and/or damaging your mental and physical health.

Check me out with my healthy attitudes! Strange for me, I know. 

I’ve also found that I can switch-up the way that I blog – so I can batch some stuff, and there doesn’t have to be a pressure on myself to get the thing done immediately so that I can post it the next day.

(Way too many of my posts are thrown-together the night before they go live. I’d love to do, y’know, less of that.)

I can also just jot some ideas down – almost like an outline, only probably less organised – and build on that, instead of having to make the ‘finished product’ immediately. 

I also took this opportunity to change up what I’m doing with social media. 

All of the blogging advice you read in the history of everything ever is likely to tell you the same thing: as a blogger, you need to use social media.

How much social media you use, which platforms, etc., is all up for debate. And if anyone tells you they have a universal rule for social media success? They’re talking sh**. 

Because you have to tailor your social media-ness with what works best for you.

Not only for your blog, but for your mental health, and the time constraints you have, and probably some other stuff that I haven’t heard of. 

The other thing is that social media? Doesn’t stay the same.

I know, I know – you just get the hang of one method of socials and then… it’s somehow not working any more?

That’s on account of social media platforms – and, in fact, your audience – are constantly changing what they want to give priority to. Except for cats. They always want cats. (Cats ftw!)

So I tend to get to the point where I have to put in more and more effort on social media to get the same results – and that’s when I know it’s time to change things.

And if I don’t (usually because I don’t have the time or mental capacity to figure out how I need to change things,) I just end up with zero energy and a bad case of the burn-outs.

Nothing is worth harming your mental health, dearest nerdlets. (I know, easier said than done.) 

Bart Simpson writing 'Must Retweet' on the wall in ketchup
Via Giphy

So, that’s the time to change what I’m doing. Usually so that I’m spending less time on social media, and the time that I do spend is (hopefully) effective.

Unfortunately, I can’t give you specific advice. There are awesome people like Rachel @ Bad Redhead Media who can give you the universal truths of Twitter etc., but that ain’t my job.

By the time I work out what the best advice to tell you would be – sharing your Pinterest pins on Twitter, or using quotes from your blogpost in your tweets, for example – they’ll probably be out-of-date. 

Or maybe they wouldn’t have worked for you anyway.

Everyone is different, we all have different content, personalities, online presences, etc.

So you gotta do what works for you in terms of how you organise your blogpost writing, blog admin, scheduling, social media-ing, and all that sort of stuff. 

But, basically – breaks are good sometimes, ok? 

As is changing your methods when you feel like you need to mix stuff up.

Your mental health comes first. 

I realise that these are things that a lot of people actually know. But, like I said, I seem to have to repeat this sort of lesson over and over and over again.

Oh well, it’ll stick eventually, I’m sure!

Are these the sorts of lessons you have to learn over and over?
Or do you somehow have your life together? (Teach me!)
Talk to me! 😅💬

You can follow me on Twitter @CeeDoraReads, on Pinterest, and on Dora Reads @ BlogLovin. For more ways to support me, check out the Support Me page

Previous attempts to teach myself similar lessons:

Sharing and commenting is precious and beautiful! 💖


  1. I relate so much to when you said: "too many of my posts are thrown together the night before they go live." I think this just indicates that we are all human. As much as we would love to have blogging our only job, we still have got lives outside of blogging! It's good that you took a break, Cee. You are so active in the blogging community that sometimes you need to take time to look back and reflect.

    1. Thanks Em! :)

      I really want to be rushing less though - and hopefully I can make that happen!

  2. I’ve also cut back on blogging over the years. I now spend less time on posts and more time on promotion. Is it actually helpful to share Pinterest pins on Twitter? I’ve seen people do it, but I’ve never actually clicked on someone’s Twitter/Pinterest pin.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. *Rubs little hands together*

      OK, so I go with the strategy of one scheduled tweet every 5 or so hours. Other people do more, other people do less. But I listen to Rachel @ Bad Redhead Media, cos she knows her sh**, and I agree with her that it stops your account appearing as inactive, but also gives you scope to live-tweet without spamming your followers.

      Since I've been doing it, I've def. noticed a consistent improvement in my traffic.

      Now, to schedule that many tweets, you need content to tweet - and if you get too repetitive then people will get bored and unfollow/see you as spam. So tweeting my pins (in moderation,) is, I've found, a great way to add variety and images when I'm scheduling tweets, without me actually having to put more effort in. Plus, they *do* get clicks and engagement (according to my analytics,) - which, while it's nothing earth-shattering, does add up! :)

  3. Ugh YESSSSS I am constantly having to relearn the lesson that my worth is not defined by my productivity, and also the lesson that if I plan a lot of things for myself, I then have to actually do all those things. It's the worst! Don't enjoy! Why can't there just be infinite hours in the day?

    1. Goddamn rules of physics! They're just an illusion anyway! (Lol.) ;)


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