the blog is back

when sponsored posts and SEO and blog stats turn into bloging burnout Many Sparrows Blog

Blogging is so weird. Like, I am 100 percent certain it is one of the stranger things in my life, and you know that my life is just chock-full of strange things.

Here’s the deal: I’m a writer. Words are in my bones. I started stapling together books and creating “magazines” while most of my friends were playing with Barbies. I was that girl. (Picture Molly, the American Girl, hanging out at the library, rocking cowlicky bangs and ’90s style like whoa.) I wrote and wrote and wrote my little fingers to the bone and that turned into penning columns in the middle school paper and that turned into editing my high school paper and that snowballed into a journalism degree and a career fueled with bylines and colored with blogs.

Writing, I just can’t quit you.

Except I did.

This summer could be called How Kayla Didn’t Get Her Groove Back. It was great season of loving my little people and praying through what God would have in store for our family, but the words just didn’t come. I continued to do my steady stream of freelance writing, but felt uninspired for any personal pursuits. I felt like MEH times a billion and it felt freeing and weird at the same time. Blogging had become more about promotion and page views than an authentic outlet. I found myself getting sick to my stomach wondering if I would offend someone, worrying constantly about how my words came across. This little corner of the Internet was getting sponsorship offers and higher stats than ever before, but I was spending more time hustling than I was writing. And that led to what it always leads to when something you love becomes something you have to do: Burnout.

The thing about burnout is that you’re not suddenly engulfed in flames.

It’s this sneaky slow-burn that creeps into your heart, whispering lies.

Whispering this is pointless. Whispering no one cares. Whispering your voice doesn’t matter, but maybe if you just shouted louder…

And slowly, parts of you start to turn into smoke, turning your passion into an illusion. And all you’re left with is a pile of ashes where that light used live.

As much as it hurts to burn out, those wounds aren’t fatal. And this summer was the time for triage. It was time for binding up the wounds and examining how deep they went. And that led to resting and finding restoration hidden in walks to the park and quiet moments soaking up the real-life goodness around me.

And now, it’s a new season. I’m energized and eager. I’ve reassessed this little space of mine and I’m excited to keep going, and with your help, maybe head in some new directions. I want more connection, less strategy. More truth-telling, less worry. More Kayla, the real Kayla. More of YOU, too. More stories, more humor, more tough stuff, more collaboration, more compassion, more real-life.

And even though I know Sunday afternoons statistically aren’t prime time for blog reading, I’m posting this anyway.

Because this little space isn’t about numbers. I’ve never been a numbers girl.

I’ve always been a word girl. Words are in my bones.

12 thoughts on “the blog is back

  1. So glad to see you back! I’m struggling with burnout a little myself right now, and I think you hit the nail on the head – it’s the problem that comes when something you love turns into something you have to do. I’m trying to get back to my “blogging roots” and write about the things that make me happy, not just the things I think will go over well with an audience! Go you for getting out of the woods!

    1. Thank you for the encouragement, Sara! It’s tough when you know what will bring clicks, but what will bring change? What will bring encouragement? What is the heart behind what we write? All good things to think about. Thank you! xo

  2. I can relate with this! Not with blogging (I’m a new blogger) but with my photography business. I am writing a post now about my journey to starting a business and how it became something I love to something I hated and how I’m getting over it. Thanks for this post!

    1. Oh, that is such a good point. Our passions can get so tricky once there’s business or even just expectation involved. Sometimes it can be so wonderful, and sometimes not so much. I can’t wait to check out that post. Let me know when it goes live! xo

  3. Welcome back, Kayla! Glad to see you 🙂 Many bloggers have been there and I myself somehow managed to (barely) truck through, even while on burn-out. Those little whispers crept up on me too, but I have ignored them time and time again. Sometimes it simply means writing without the numbers. When we focus on those numbers, the promotion, etc… the replies and the community in our own little space can die. It’s something I always struggle with! Thanks for coming back with an authentic spirit.

    1. Thank you so much, Joy! I appreciate your perspective and I”m glad to know that there are others who wrestle with the same things in this weird world of blogging. Trying to hang on to that authentic spirit!

  4. I love these words…so good for the soul. Sometimes rest and re-evaluation are more important than performance and all those numbers! Thanks for sharing your heart…I’m so glad I found your blog!

  5. Glad to see you back Kayla! I’ve gone through this a few times with my blog, just for small periods because I get so caught up in worrying about how many views I have and how many people are reading instead of just doing it because I enjoy it! Thanks for this encouragement and again, glad you’re back! 🙂

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