Original Content Only: Four Lessons I Learned from Burnout

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A little over a year ago, I noticed my newsletter was losing readers fast. I wanted to find out why and do better. So I took a survey. The number one reason people weren't liking my newsletter at the time was  they felt they were getting information that was already on the blog or social media. They wanted original content. This led me to radically change my newsletter as well as examine all my social media outlets.

I made the switch. I created original content for Instagram, Facebook, and my newsletter. My blog suffered and became little used (even though it is one of my favorite outlets). I spent time creating fun graphics for Instagram, spent more time making my newsletter original, and creating unique Facebook posts. 

It worked. People were loving it and engaged. 

And I burned out. 

I wasn't prepared to make that radical change. I quickly became exhausted trying to learn what people wanted in each space and creating that kind of content. I wanted to give my readers what they wanted. I really did, but within two months, I had gone silent across all my social media accounts because I had burned out. 

I learned some valuable lessons that I wanted to share with you. 

No matter what I'm doing as a creative, I need to make sure I never lose sight of my passion. This may be basic, but I was spending so much time creating content for social media, that I lost writing. Yes, there are still days (like today) I spend most of my time on blog posts and social media content creation. But I want to make sure that I'm spending more time on the reason for those posts - my writing. 

One of the things that caused my burnout was my inability to make cute little videos that are so popular right now.  I learned that while it's good to try new things, it's also okay to admit it's not for me. I will never be a TikTok star or make viral Instagram Reels. I'm just not good in front of a camera. I'm a writer, not a performer. That's okay. Trying to be something I wasn't burned me out quickly. I want to keep learning new skills and new ways to connect with my readers. However, I don't have to do things I'm bad at.

I'm very big on pushing myself to work when I don't feel like it. I have to be. If I didn't, I would write one day a week, edit a chapter once a month, and make zero progress. But sometimes, I push myself at the wrong times. I've learned that just as important as pushing myself to keep creating is using my creative rhythms to the best advantage. This means that on days like today, I write blog posts and create social media content because I was inspired to do so. The rest of this week, I'm working on editing and writing.

From my readers, I learned I needed to make original content for each outlet. But just as important, I learned the content I create always needs to be what I'm passionate about. I'll never be passionate about creating short videos for entertainment purposes. I don't even watch much of that kind of content. I'm passionate about writing, books, my family, and mentoring young women. I need to keep focused on those things.

What are some lessons you've learned from times of creative burnout?

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