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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Avoiding Burnout as a WAHM

Burnout is something I've rarely experienced -- over the past few years as a work at home mom, I've always had more motivation, inspiration and creativity than I had time to write. The only trouble for me was finding the time to get everything done that I hoped to accomplish in a given day.

Motivation was always easy to come by -- most of the time, we really needed my income to help make ends meet. So even when I found writing eHow articles tedious, seeing my daily earnings increase every week was enough reason for me to keep at it. This success inspired me to write my ebook guide, which has also been more successful than I had imagined, and I was rewarded by my readers' feedback.

Over the past couple months' I've experienced something different -- only slightly less time for writing, but much less motivation for writing, especially content articles, even on topics I previously enjoyed.

More enjoyable writing projects, such as my niche sites and blogs, haven't been immune to my little "burnout" interlude. It's been a month since I posted on this blog -- and for that I apologize! I am blessed to have so many faithful readers, and I really appreciate your comments on my previous post about the death of my aunt -- thank you.

I think my burnout was triggered by my decision to enter a contest for Demand Studios writers, in which the top writer wins a MacBook computer. On top of my other projects, I started writing several DS revenue share articles each day, on their titles, including topics that needed excessive research. I wasn't enjoying the writing process, and since I honestly don't need a new computer right now, the motivation didn't keep me going long.

After taking a break for a couple weeks (and boy do I love residual income, the money keeps coming in even when I'm not working!) I am back on top of my game, catching up with blogs, creating a new niche site, and outlining my next ebook. I'm thankful that I'm my own boss -- I might have been fired otherwise. I'm only half joking.

My plan for avoiding burnout in the future:
  • Have a variety of projects going at the same time. If one is causing stress, put it on the back burner (groan) for a few days, but keep going with the rest.
  • Write several blog posts in advance for each blog so in times of creative-less stupor, keeping the blog current is a cinch.
  • Stay inspired by making new goals when you've reached current ones. I met my original income goal some time ago, and knowing that I'm not at my ideal income yet is a good reminder for what I'm working to accomplish.
  • Get out and have fun. Sometimes as work at home moms, we're so busy with work, house, kids and spouses to have a date night or solo afternoon on the town. Do it at least a couple times a month -- it's so important.

Have you experienced burnout? How did you get over it?

Burnout photo by Henry S.

1 comment:

Darla said...

Great article, and it speaks volumes to me. This last month our income dropped 1K. To say that we are drowning in a pile of bills is an understatement.

This month i started another writing project and the pay is okay but still really low. To keep the pay ok and hopefully move it up, I have stepped up the plan and am burning the midnite, 3Am and 6am oils!

Working nonstop is a quick way to experience the burn out you are talking about. I am giving it two more weeks then will have to look for another resource.

Thanks for your great perspective. I wish my husband would blog too... but he says he is not much of a blogger Adsense is allergic to me so time will tell.

please edit anyway you see fit. nice to see you :)
Darla