Flourless chocolate cakeI recently celebrated my four-year anniversary of blogging.

During that time, real life became extremely busy and blogging got put on the back burner.

Honestly, the transition back to the blog hasn’t been easy.

In fact, with so much on my plate, I’m not motivated to write.

Today’s Lesson

I thought of sharing what four years of blogging has taught me, but most of what I’ve learned has been published in earlier posts.

I thought of publishing a post I have in my drafts, but the words to complete one, escape me.

I thought of reposting an old lesson, but found none that moved me.

Instead I’ll ask you what you do when you lack motivation to post to your blog.

Today’s Assignment

When life interferes with blogging or you lose your motivation to post, what do you do?

Stick to a regular posting schedule? Stop posting? Or other?

Care to share?

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  1. John HoffNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara. Yeah I’ve been in the same boat as you. If you remember, we even started blogging around the same time.

    I think you need to find where your heart is. If you still like having a blog, perhaps start inviting more guest posting. In fact, many times what you need to do once you’ve built your brand up is to “get off your blog” and start working on projects.

    It’s hard, though. There are great tips out there on working through ruts, but it’s still hard.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi John,

      It’s good to see you.

      What you said is true. When we do have our brand built up. getting off the blog helps so we can work on those other projects. It’s tough to do both, so like you suggested, having guest posters would take some of the weight off.

  2. Generally I try to post once a week, regardless of what happens in my life. I do take a 2-week break from blogging twice a year – on winter break and in the summer.
    Check out Vered | Social Media Consultant’s awesome post.Being a Mom- Love the Kids- Hate the JobMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Vered,

      I admire your dedication and ability to stick to a set schedule. Ideally that works best and having regular readers helps to hold us accountable.

  3. I’m posting less frequently as well, lately. I am happy to read whenever anyone I follow posts. I think it’s difficult for readers to keep up with too-frequent posts anyway. Quality instead of quantity. Good to see you, Barbara! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Check out Betsy Wuebker’s awesome post.Revisiting the CloudMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Betsy,

      I hear you. It does come down to quality. And like you said, if we bombard our readers with too much material, they’re less apt to read.

  4. Hi Dear Barbara! Happy four years to you. You have been an amazing friend and teacher to so many, and I am ever grateful to you.

    When I lack motivation to post on my blog, I’ll go back in drafts, often find a poem I’d started. Or I’ll go see a movie, those can inspire. Get a change of place and pace, new perspectives. Lately I’ve been getting out with my camera and take photos of things I like, usually once I upload them I am inspired to write something. Like the “Iris” poem, I posted earlier this week.

    I agree with Betsy — quality over quantity. Sometimes getting out and reading friends posts can be a nice break from actual posting, and can trigger writing.

    xoxo
    Check out Jannie Funster’s awesome post.Flash 55 โ€” They Say Give Away What You Love Mostโ€ฆMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Jannie,

      I like your idea of getting away from the blog and doing something different. Often that’s all it takes to ignite inspiration for a post. And reading what others are publishing is a huge help. as well.

  5. Jo WakeNo Gravatar says:

    I blog every day but Sunday, but I guess it depends what one blogs about. I talk about anything which comes to mind and that could include news of the day, snippets of personal information, food I have eaten or cooked, books I have read or am reading at the moment. Whatever takes my fancy. I always include a recipe which could come from anywhere. I have been blogging since Oct. 2007 and I really enjoy doing so.
    Check out Jo Wake’s awesome post.THE Dress- Hair Cutting- Car RepairsMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jo,

      Blogging six days a week is a huge commitment. Congratulations for sticking to that schedule.

      That’s smart to blog “freely” and not be concerned with a specific niche. It not only makes for a blog that can appeal to the masses, but may make finding topics to blog about easier, too.

  6. Evelyn LimNo Gravatar says:

    When I lack the motivation to write, I’d just take a break. If it turns out to be days, then I’d know that it’s time that I take a longer retreat. However, because I now allocate time to take breaks in a week, I don’t find myself frequently losing motivation.

    I find that having breaks is very necessary because it helps me become grounded. In that grounding, I become more in touch with the “here and now” and have the clarity and perspective to experience certain messages and lessons. These make excellent content material for my future posts ๐Ÿ™‚
    Check out Evelyn Lim’s awesome post.Self Love Series Take A Self Love QuizMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Evelyn,

      That’s true. Breaks away from blogging do help to keep us grounded, plus helps to keep a foot in the real world, too. Like you, I find it’s those moments away from the blog which become the best lessons to share on the blog.

  7. Bob FosterNo Gravatar says:

    I think that when a blogger stops enjoying what they are doing, it is probably a sign that it is time for a hiatus. This may be especially true when our “other” life makes huge demands on our time.

    I too had a number of life demands (including a cross-country move) draw me away from blogging, and I put my blog on hold last November. I am only now becoming excited to get back at it, and I’m scheduling my first new post for next week.

    When a blogger blogs for income it may be a different story, but when blogging for money is not the main purpose, I think it helps the creative process to renew during some time off.

    I suppose the alternative is to use guest authors, but that means there is still some involvement by the blog owner. So, that is usually not a satisfactory solution. For me, nothing works as well as some time away from the demands of regular posting.

    Good luck with whatever decision you make Barbara.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Bob,

      Your comment reminded me of how blogs will wait for us. Even though we may lose some readers, if we decide to take a hiatus, a blog is easy to come back to.

      Welcome back to blogging. I see you have your new post up. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Hi Barbara.

    Nice to “see” you ๐Ÿ™‚ I just happened to check my reader tonight, to see if you were about… and I was pleasantly surprised to see you’ve posted again after your break.

    I’m in the same boat, funny you should ask. I’ve not posted since March 15th! The longest stretch in almost 3 years. I’ve promised certain grammar-related topics to my readers, but things have been very busy in the last few weeks. Plus, I’ve not been feeling very motivated to write, or do much reading for that matter.

    Sometimes you just have to surrender, you know. I never thought this would be my situation…. I don’t have any drafts saved up and I don’t want to publish a post just for the sake of publishing. You know, sometimes life calls you in other directions and you just need to go with it.

    Congrats on your 4-year anniversary, Barbara. That is a milestone. You should be proud. Your blog is a wonderful resource. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Check out Davina Haisell’s awesome post.Writer on the SpotMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Davina,

      That’s true, isn’t it? When things are going smoothly on the blog and we’re full of inspiration, we can’t imagine a time when we wouldn’t feel the same. But dry spells hit and life happens and before we know it, the blog has moved down the list of our priorities.

      I like your idea of surrendering. I find when I worry too much about not publishing, I become even more frustrated and the words don’t flow.

  9. Alien GhostNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    Congratulations in the 4th year anniversary!

    My guess is that it could be a normal situation to loose motivation in keeping a blog, after all it seems pretty common that blogs are sort of abandoned after a couple of years, and I suppose getting to that point of decision really show us the reason why many people stop blogging after a while.

    I agree with Betsy above: โ€œQuality instead of quantityโ€, so it seems appropriate to space posting in order to keep quality. Personally I am in a similar situation right now, not knowing what to write about, and feeling what I write is not good enough for posting.

    Maybe some time off from blogging, as suggested above by other people, would make the trick. Iโ€™m sure, even if several months go by, people will be back to your blog as soon as you post something newโ€ฆI know I will! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Raul
    Check out Alien Ghost’s awesome post.Casiotone nostalgia- or the way we learn Guest postMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Raul,

      You’re right. Many blogs simply die. Some sooner than others.

      I agree. Taking time away from the blog does help us gain a new perspective. For some it may mean their blogging journey comes to an end, whereas for others, it’s a time for reflection and renewal. I fall into the latter category knowing there’s a lot more blogging lessons left in me. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Chase MarchNo Gravatar says:

    Congratulations on four successful years of blogging.

    Life has gotten quite busy for me lately and I had to decide to stop reading as much as I normally do.

    I think you have an amazing resource here for bloggers everywhere. I have seen your passion and hard work that you have done to build a great community here. It would be a shame for you to quit.

    Here’s an idea, announce that you are taking a spring rejuvenation break. Invite guest bloggers to submit posts. If you ask, you will probably get three of four of them. You could post these once a week and keep the blog going on that reduced schedule.

    You could also do a “Best of” post. I do one at the start of every month and look back at the best posts from the same month of the previous year.

    I hope these ideas help.

    All the best!
    Check out Chase March’s awesome post.Know Your History- Women of the 1970sMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Chase,

      I love all of your ideas.

      I don’t see myself quitting blogging as I do enjoy it so much. What I did find was life threw so much on my plate, I had to set blogging to the side, deal with that which came my way, and not worry if my blogging schedule was off.

      And what I do like about what came out of this are the comments you all have shared and how you deal with your blogs when life happens or time is short. For new bloggers this is a great lesson of what can happen, and for seasoned bloggers it’s nice to know we’ve all been there.

  11. sharboriNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara, congratulations for completing four years of blogging. WOW, that must have been quite a journey. I will look forward to your posts on your learning.

    as for today’s assignment, I guess unless one really, really love blogging, the companions and friends found in the cyberspace and above all, has absolute commitment to blog, it can be very difficult to keep blogging when faced with other pressures of life.

    I for one, went off for three months in the recent past. I am back now but have lost some companions on the way – still looking for them, while making some new ones.

    regards

    Sharbori
    Check out sharbori’s awesome post.Guest Speaks โ€“ Support Hazare at Own Peril by Ashok MalhotraMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Sharbori,

      You’ve raised a good point. When we take breaks away from blogging we do risk losing readers. That said, I think taking care of what’s happening in the real world is more important than “the numbers”.

      It’s good to see you’re back to blogging. I hope your break was just what you needed. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Ms. BeckyNo Gravatar says:

    Oh, I hear you Barbara. I’ve been almost silent these past few weeks. I’m lacking motivation and inspiration. when that happens it’s time to set things aside and be still. at least, that’s what I do. forcing something out when it wants to stay inside, or when there really isn’t anything there, is not authentic and doesn’t feel good. I think it best to put a “notice of hiatus” on the blog and just go with that. congratulations on your 4-year anniversary. that’s awesome! have a great weekend Barbara.
    Check out Ms. Becky’s awesome post.shadow shot sundayMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Ms. Becky,

      I hear you. If we try to force words or write posts which take more work than they should, we do lose our authenticity. Like you said, it’s best to take a break and not come back until we’re ready.

  13. Happy blog-aversary, Barbara. Your experience and seasoning is precious for me. I take a walk or just let the days pass when I don’t know what to blog. It’s not a pressure point because I trust that when the time and topic is right, it will be very clear for me.
    Check out Amy@ Soul Dipper’s awesome post.Meditation is the KeyMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Amy,

      I like how you put that, “I trust that when the time and topic is right, it will be very clear for me.” That’s true. Your words remind me of “to everything there is a season…” ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Normally I try to schedule my posting way ahead. There are some days where you have inspiration to write while there are also some other days where you may have some more difficulties.
    During hard times I just go back to my drafts and in this way I always have something to write.
    Check out Timmy@Marketing Tools’s awesome post.3 easy tips that will increase your website trafficMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Timmy,

      That is a great idea; to have drafts or posts to fall back on. My problem was, I had drafts but no motivation to finish them. Your comment is a good reminder for me to finish some of those drafts and have them ready in the event I lose motivation again.

  15. Keith DavisNo Gravatar says:

    Hi B
    I don’t do anything.
    Just go with the flow.
    When the enthusiasm comes back, that’s the time to jump back in.

    Noticed John Hoff’s comment above – perhaps invite a few guest bloggers – take the pressure off you.

    Just on a personal note – John Hoff helped me with the technical skills when I started blogging and you… taught me how to be polite and go about your blogging in a civilised manner.
    You and John were my first blogging chums.

    Keith
    Check out Keith Davis’s awesome post.Keep it short- keep it sharpMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Keith,

      I feel honored to be one of your first blogging chums along with John. He’s a great guy.

      I thought of not doing anything and not even publishing this post, but I also thought what I was going through could be a good lesson for others to learn from. And after reading the comments, I see how other bloggers can pick and choose what would work best for them based on what you all have shared. I love when that happens.

      P.S. My enthusiasm is coming back. 8)

  16. You asked, “When life interferes with blogging or you lose your motivation to post, what do you do?”

    As long as it isn’t a major life crisis, I cook.

    Cooking relieves my mind and brings me peace. Doing the methodical tasks of measuring, cutting, slicing, mixing and then washing the mess up, helps to lift my spirits. When I feel happier, I blog better and my mind is free to become creative again.

    I know cooking isn’t for everyone, but doing something else creative works just as well.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Redhead Riter,

      I hear you. I also love to cook and like you said, the cooking and clean up process can be quite therapeutic. And if we’re lucky, we have also created a great dish in the process.

      Now you have me thinking…is cooking vs blogging like left vs right brain activities? I’m thinking maybe….

  17. I had a blog for a number of years and I’d try to write daily, but it takes a lot of time and effort and when life gets busy, it becomes increasingly difficult to write. It’s best to tell yourself “I’ll write weekly” and give yourself some room, otherwise you’ll feel guilty at the gaps and it will seem like more of a hassle to continue.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Trevor,

      You’re right. Blogging does take a lot of time and effort and trying to balance real life and blogging can become extremely difficult. I like your idea of setting a realistic schedule as it will accommodate for unexpected life events.

  18. J.D. MeierNo Gravatar says:

    Four years is quite the journey — congrats!

    If I don’t feel like blogging, I don’t.

    When Bruce Lee had an off day, he didn’t train — he said it worked against him to practice when he’s not up to par.

    I think if you do something when you don’t enjoy it, you take away the magic. I think the key is one of two things … either find the magic and write from that place, or start writing and the magic follows.

    When I don’t feel like blogging, it’s all about “state.” I have to find the place of growth, greatness, and sharing. One way I always get back to that state is I remind myself how short life is, how many things people have to figure out to be effective in this world, and I challenge myself to share something that will help people have a better day or lead a better life.

    But I always embrace my downtime because that is the key to my uptime. And in today’s world, I’m a fan of the sustainable path and inspired action.
    Check out J.D. Meier’s awesome post.Accountability Is Something We Do to OurselvesMy Profile

  19. J.D. MeierNo Gravatar says:

    I should add, one of the tricks a lot of people use is listening to their favorite songs … it creates the right “state.”

    Also, Steven Pressfield writes how resistance is the enemy to writing in his book “The War of Art.” He says the what experienced writers know is that it’s about showing up and working through the resistance. It’s a great read (and very short chapters.)
    Check out J.D. Meier’s awesome post.Accountability Is Something We Do to OurselvesMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you J.D.,

      That’s so true. When we stop to think about what we know and how it can help others, it motivates us to continue to move forward.

      I like the idea of listening to favorite songs. It’s amazing how just listening to different types of music can change our mood.

      P.S. Thank you for the heads up on “The War of Art” – sounds like a great and quick read.

  20. Happy blog-aversary, Barbara.
    I would stop posting when I lose my motivation to post, maybe I’m lazy. lol

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you SQL,

      I don’t think you’re lazy. Without motivation it would be evident in our work, therefore it’s probably best to take a break and wait for our motivation to reappear.

  21. Hi Barbara,
    What I beautiful site you have. I love your design!! I stumbled upon your blog when I searched for reviews of CommentLuv on Google. I’m glad I found you because you have a wealth of information for a newbie blogger like myself. I look forward to looking through some of your older posts soon.
    Remember that when you do write/blog; it’s something that will always be there for future reference . One of the things I love most about blogging is never knowing who or how many will be influenced by what I have written. That is sometimes motivation when I feel like giving up.
    Thanks for the great posts!
    Janet @ KY Klips Blog
    Check out Janet @ KY Klips’s awesome post.J-Just Say No Money Saving A-ZMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Janet,

      You’ve raised a good point. When we think about how our words can help others (even if they don’t comment), that can be the motivation we need to move forward.

      Enjoy digging through my blog. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

  22. RichardNo Gravatar says:

    I think it’s better to take a short break away from the blog when life gets in the way, or I don’t feel like blogging. I think the blog will still be there when I get back, but I definitely don’t want life to pass me by.

    If I take a break, I’ll come back to the blog refreshed and ready to write. If I try to force myself to write, I think my quality will suffer.
    Check out Richard’s awesome post.Seth Godin Explains Why you need a Tribe- A Look at TriberrMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Richard,

      Yes. Our blogs will be there when we come back, but most times, ife won’t wait.

      And I agree. If we don’t feel like writing, quality suffers.

  23. hi, just checked out your blog and believe me its good. Well Barbara I will agree with some commentators that you should have little break to get motivated for writing.
    Check out Kashif@Sample Letters’s awesome post.Character Reference Letter ExamplesMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Kashif,

      Yes. Taking a blogging break does help to get the motivation to blog back. Plus we often come back to the blog with a better perspective.

  24. Hi;
    It’s hard. I tend to stop posting when things get too busy – which is the the correct thing to do to keep readers. I like why Seth Godin posts – his posts are frequent but short. I find that I read his posts because they’re short, and I’m sure it’s easier for him to keep writing them as well. I tend to write posts that are long, but I need to remind myself that when I get an email or rss that’s a long blog post, I’ll usually skip it with intentions to come back and read it later – and never do.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Fred,

      That’s a good point. A lot of readers prefer shorter posts, so if we’re in the situation where we don’t feel up to writing a long post, a short one may do the trick.

  25. susanNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara! Happy 4 yr. anniversary! Yes, life really does get busy at times and I just went a whole week without even getting on the computer – VERY odd for me indeed, but hey it’s getting to be nice out and I’m OUT, not in. You know me, I blog way ahead of time but I didn’t even get on to reply to comments so that is how my blogging “suffers”.

    I hope all that is keeping you away from this blog is wonderful, happy and adventurous stuff you are crazy about! ๐Ÿ™‚
    hugs
    suZen

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you SuZen,

      I know what you’re saying. When the weather gets nice, it’s a shame to be stuck behind a computer, missing out on what’s happening in the real world. Although a blog can “suffer” for lack of attention, real life should be a priority.

      ((hugs)) to you, too.

  26. JanaNo Gravatar says:

    Congrats on keeping it up for 4 years! I’ve been blogging since ’08 and it really does burn you out. I always like to reread a few motivation books I’ve got lying around. Audio books are great too to get me reinvigorated. Surprisingly vacations don’t work because nothing inside you changes, you simply dread coming back.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Jana,

      Yes. Blogging can burn a person out, but like you said, reading motivational books can help. I know what you’re saying about vacations – they always seem too short. ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. HilaryNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara .. congratulations on 4 years – I’ve so enjoyed my two year journey with you .. it was about this time of year I found you!

    Recently I’ve been overwhelmed with ideas – that’s my challenge and I just can’t quite put them together. When I’m free of other things it won’t be do difficult.

    I’ve been enjoying the A – Z challenge .. and meeting some new friends .. but I’ll revert to my normal way of blogging in the future – it’s what people seem to like. Just try and be a little more regular with it ..or drop the odd short one in!

    Glad to hear your enthusiasm is returning .. with a big welcome back hug .. Hilary
    Check out Hilary’s awesome post.J is for Jellyfish โ€“ thatโ€™s what J is for My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Hilary,

      That can be overwhelming, too – having too many ideas. It’s like we don’t know what to do with them all, but yet we want to share what we’ve learned.

      Enjoy your blogging journey Hilary. I’m guessing we’ll be seeing you around blogosphere for many more years to come. ๐Ÿ™‚

      ((hugs)) to you and your Mum.

  28. Hi Barbara,

    Congratulations on this anniversary)) Do wish to witness a huge party here next year! I am very glad to have discovered your blog ๐Ÿ™‚

    What really motivates me to continue blogging is watching Google Analytics ๐Ÿ™‚ Every new blogpost written with SEO in mind brings more visitors. And that is indeed inspiring!

    Tina

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Tina,

      I’m with you. When I hit five years blogging, that will be a huge milestone, well worth celebrating.

      I like your idea of watching your stats for motivation. It’s like validation that others are reading and we’re not just talking to an invisible audience.

  29. NabilNo Gravatar says:

    Hey, Barbara! What’s up?

    Just thought I’d let you know what I do whenever I lose my motivation to blogging. It’s rather easy — really.

    I listen to music and play some games. And maybe watch a movie.

    Once I’m done with that — I’m usually filled up with energy and write a few blog posts at once.

    Or, if I’m really sad and just can’t write something — I take a walk ๐Ÿ™‚

    /Nabil, a reader from Sweden.
    Check out Nabil’s awesome post.Kvinnligt hรฅravfall- informationโ€ฆMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Nabil,

      You’ve raised a good point. When we lack motivation or inspiration to publish, it’s often best to step away from the blog and do something entirely different. Sometimes we’re too close to the blog to see the possibilities. ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. Sinea PiesNo Gravatar says:

    First, happy anniversary! My first anniversary is sometime this summer. When I lose my enthusiasm for blog posts, I comment on others or write an article for some of the other venues that I have my hands in (HubPages, Ehow and a local Parent/Family magazine are other outlets)… or I just take a day off. Go organize a drawer, give the dog an extra walk, visit a friend. Change of scenery. It doesn’t take long before I’m ready to get going again.

    TIP: if your office space is cluttering up, put on some music and clean it up. You’ll feel so much better if your surroundings are neat and clean.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Sinea,

      I like your idea about having a neat and clean office. I agree. When our surroundings are tidy, we feel like a weight has lifted and that often lifts our mood, too.

  31. SteveNo Gravatar says:

    Wishing you a very happy anniversary and all the best for your future….
    May you share your experience and expertise for all many years to come….

  32. JustineNo Gravatar says:

    Honestly, there are so many times when I feel so tired of blogging โ€“like Iโ€™m losing interest on it and deciding to do something else active and not just merely typing and facing my laptop. Well, during times like that, I stop writing and do what I want. I have observed by doing that, I get to miss blogging and suddenly Iโ€™ll get my interest and drive back. Too bad that there was one time that I wasnโ€™t able to update my blog for one week. But, I decided to avoid this already and try to fight the feeling of losing interest with blogging. Congratulations for your 4th year in blogging! Thanks for this post!

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Justine,

      What you do is what worked for me. I quite worrying about not posting and concentrated on living life. Soon I found myself saying “that would make a good topic for a blog post” and before I knew it, the joy came back.

  33. Congratulations on making it four years! Few bloggers make it to their first anniversary so making a four year run of it is really quite an achievement.

    In terms of battling the dreaded writers block (or blogk, right?)..that’s a tough one, especially when you have a lot on your plate. I personally find that my inspiration for writing often comes from taking time away from my work to relax and just daydream. Take a walk, take a bath, take a nap, have snack, listen to a record…just relax and let your mind wander. Try not to think about work or obligations…just free associate in your mind for a while. I think just the act of relaxing and daydreaming can be refreshing and can lead you down inspirational paths you might not have considered if you tried to force something onto the page (or the screen).

    -Kyle

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Finally Fast,

      You’re right. When we try to force something onto the screen, we can end up with writers’ blogk. (BTW: I have a blog by the same name. ๐Ÿ™‚ ) (still under construction)

      Like you said, when we step away from the blog and relax, that’s often all we need to get our motivation back, and inspiration often blooms from the break, as well.

  34. Happy anniversary, Barbara! That’s quite a lot of blogging to do in four years. =)

    It’s actually rather serendipitous you posted about this just now; all week I’ve been debating what to tell my own blog readers. Life has gotten so much in the way that at night I sometimes have panic attacks from the stress. That’s how bad it is, and I haven’t found time to do something as extra-curricular and fun as blogging on my own blog.

    But what to tel my writers? How much do I tell them? Do I just come clean and pour my heart out there to them? Do I just say, “Hey, I’m kinda busy, but I’ll be back later.” How transparent do I really want to be, if I want to tell them anything?

    I’m not yet sure.

    Delena

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Delena,

      That’s a tough one; deciding how much we want to share with our readers when we need to take a break away from our blog. Sometimes less is more. Just a simple “I’ll be on hiatus” is enough. If you know when you’ll be back on the blog you could share that, however if you’re unsure, I’d suggest your readers subscribe to your blog and then they’ll see when you have a new post up.

      In the meantime, enjoy your break.

  35. I know that my biggest problem is keeping my blog updated. I find that it’s hard to sit and dedicate enough time to write more than a few notes. I do try and let my pictures do make talking for me though. I guess it’s a little easier when it’s not the busy season. Then again I don’t have a lot to post during that time either.
    Check out Chi@Charleston Wedding Photographer’s awesome post.Amber Bridal Portrait Middleton PlantationMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Chi,

      They do say, “a picture is worth a thousand words”, so sharing photographs could be a great way of keeping your blog updated, but not require a lot on your part.

  36. When I’m busy or not motivated or just overwhelmed, I just don’t blog. I’ve considered closing my blog on more than one occasion but I always seem to come back to it. Never posting as often as I used to, but every once in a while I have something to say. What amazes me is how many comments you still have even if you are quiet for a while. You have quite the following! Every time I take a break I have to try to rebuild the commentors and frankly, that is where I really don’t feel I want to spend a lot of my time.
    Check out Debbie @ Three Weddings’s awesome post.Sewing NewsMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Debbie,

      I know you’ve mentioned wanting to quit blogging in the past, but I’m happy to see you haven’t. Blogs can be a great outlet for us even if we don’t post often. Although we may lose readers if we don’t post regularly, at least the blog is there when we have something we feel is worth sharing.

  37. JoyNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,
    Happy four years!
    If life is too busy for me to write a post..that is a significant sign to me to re-evaluate my busyness, and I do not write ahead, so if my heart is not in it I use a guest post or take an unscheduled break. I believe that my creations absorb the energy they were created with, so I create from a space of abundance, joy, peace..if I cannot access that space to write, I do the work to process through the space, then continue creating. Your following is strong, when you take a break, they will all be here..:)
    Check out Joy’s awesome post.Passion Series- 10 Posts to Ignite Your Spark!My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Joy,

      I can truly identify with what you said; how we need to create from a space of abundance, joy and peace. And how we need to work through the space to creativity. I know I felt like I had to empty “my plate” and start over; prioritizing, deleting, and accessing what was needed on “my plate” and what I need to do to get myself closer to my goals.

      It can be a timely process, but one well worth doing.

  38. LiamNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I find that I have spurts of inspiration… and dry spells! When I do have a creative spurt, I do lots of writing, break it up and schedule the posts to be published in the future. That normally covers me pretty much for when I don’t feel like writing, and takes the pressure off.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Liam,

      That’s the smart way to do it; to write a lot during those creative spells so we have something to fall back on when the dry spells hit.

  39. PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

    I have been spending so much time job hunting that I have to keep pushing a bit on the writing part – of course, sitting in waiting rooms and in between announcements of jobs to apply for – I read – everything. Since I don’t talk about books I do not enjoy reading ( well I have made 2 exceptions) I just have to keep reading until I find I want to inspire folks to pick up the book.

    I always thought I wanted to write a book – I did not know fiction or non-fiction and then I realized that I was writing kind of a book of days on my blog and that was inspiring to me. I still think blogging is changing, and I do find that some folks post way too often – I just don’t want to go there and read.

    I think you have done a remarkable job at 4 years of blogging – Hip Hip Hurray for your great lessons….but I certainly do know that “just don’t feel like it feeling”
    That feeling is right in my face about gardening this year and spring cleaning. I certainly do not want to bake another loaf of GF bread; after 35 years at it my last loaves came out in pieces.

    I think the secret is to have something new to look forward too..something that sets the wheels in motion and lets the next part of life flow. You are in the bridge part of a transition: something is ending and the new path is not revealed?

    I think too it is part of the stress of our lives right now….there was a lot of hope in the 2008 election cycle and having our public figures constantly telling us we are not worth it – only our money – is very wearing on each and every one of us. There is too much NO in the air for hope and it takes more and more effort to find the joy.

    Your readers will be there for you – do what you need to do
    best wishes and good thoughts sent your way.
    Check out Patricia’s awesome post.Poser- My Life in Twenty-Three Yoga Poses Claire DedererMy Profile

    • A book of days. I really like that idea! And you know, there are quite a few online publishers who will help to turn your blog into a book, if you want to go that route.

      Delena
      Check out Delena Silverfox’s awesome post.epc BelfastMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Patricia,

      I hear you. When life gets in the way of blogging, it’s hard to get inspired, especially if our time is needed elsewhere. Being pulled in several directions for any length of time can not only wear on us, but can also diminish “the flame”.

      I agree. Finding something new to look forward to can set our wheels in motion and can also send us down a new path. How exciting….

  40. SaraNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara,

    Congratulations on your four-year anniversary:~)

    I understand about when you really want to put something up, but nothing seems right. It’s like finally getting a reservation to that really special restaurant and then discovering there’s nothing on the menu you want to eat:~)

    Regarding your questions, it depends how strongly I’ve lost my motivation. For example, if something major has happened in my life, I may choose not to post.

    Most of the time, however, I will keep posting. Sometimes the routine of blogging can be comforting.

    The other issue is when the cupboard is bare. That’s a tougher one. I always loved the blogger who put up the empty page. The name isn’t coming to me, but I’ve definitely been tempted to do the same:~)

    Have a great day!
    Check out Sara’s awesome post.Story Photo- Five SensesMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Sara,

      That’s true. Having a routine can be comforting, plus give us a “purpose”, so to speak.

      That was Chase March who put up the blank page when he got writer’s blogk. Like you, I loved it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  41. First of all congrats for competing 4 years of blogging. Thats a long time indeed!!! This is my first visit to your blog and m really impressed with the way you have managed this blog: its design, your writing style and interaction with readers, all things are awesome.
    Also, I would like to share my views about this article. You have really pointed out a nice point. I have just came back from a leave of around 8 months. No doubt, things have changed to some extent and some of my companions lost. Restarting things with new spirit.
    Check out Rajesh Chaukwale’s awesome post.25 must have Free Software Programs for WindowsMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Rajesh,

      I wish you well on your re-emergence to the blogosphere. Granted, when we leave for a long period of time we may lose some of our readers, but if we come back with a new spirit, like you are, I’m guessing it won’t be long before your numbers are better than before.

  42. […] am not alone; yesterday I read Blogging Without a Blogโ€™s recent post and the great blog teacher is not inspired to writeย  now either.ย  I speculated in my […]

  43. I am a rookie compared to you, coming up to 2 years on the 28th of May ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I find it useful to schedule some posts, but just do one or two a week. Then when you get round to writing something you can post straight away!

    It depends on your style and how often you write… I am not sure you need to schedule posts personally.
    Check out Christopher Roberts’s awesome post.A Weekend in DorsetMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Christopher,

      Two years is awesome. Congratulations!

      I’m with you. Ideally we’d have several posts ready to publish for those down times, but what I find is I end up using those posts in my normal schedule, which leaves the well dry. ๐Ÿ™

  44. Got a question, how do you do your homepage? First post shows fully then the rest are just excerpts?

    I am looking to do something similar on Technology Bloggers ๐Ÿ™‚

    All help really appreciated!
    Christopher
    Check out Christopher Roberts’s awesome post.AboutMeMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Christopher,

      The plugin I use for that is “homepage excerpts” by Daily Blog Tips”. Once you upload and activate the plugin, just go to the options page and set your preferences. Let me know if you have any problems with it.

  45. AndkonNo Gravatar says:

    Lack of motivation, sometimes when problems are on the front page of your life… Bad news! Things that I do when in the state of being not motivated is I eat.. I don’t know why but it really relieves my hunger of pursuing things into action when my tummy is full! haha! Also, I love to cook that’s why it relaxes my mind while cooking and eat, this is the best time to write when your mind feel fresh and stomach is full.
    Check out Andkon’s awesome post.Aetheron RPGMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Andkon,

      I love your idea – Cook, eat and then write. Since I enjoy cooking, that should be an easy one. As long as I don’t make too many fattening things. ๐Ÿ™‚

  46. John MakNo Gravatar says:

    Hello Barbara. I really like your website. The reason I am here it’s because I am searching for posts that will motivate me to write something fresh and different on my blog. Engaging with other bloggers and websites, networking and sharing is something that can make your blog even better. What I would suggest is to find “the reason” you blog. Is it taking you anywhere? What’s really important? A blog without a goal or without a purpose is like walking blindly.
    Check out John Mak’s awesome post.How to Protect your iMac With the AppleCare PlanMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you John,

      What you said is SO true. We do need to know what the purpose of our blog is, otherwise we can easily end up unmotivated and lacking direction.

  47. beans bagNo Gravatar says:

    seriously there are great tips out there on working ruts,during times like that, we seriously stop writing and do what we want. we have observed by doing that, weโ€™ll get my interest and drive back.wait for our motivation to reappear.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Beans Bag,

      Yes. If we stop writing and step away from the blog, that’s often just what we need to gain new motivation.

  48. Bloggers burn themselves by writting too much .We should take breaks,but we should make blogging a hobby
    Check out Nipon Bharali’s awesome post.Importance of Mental Health among YouthMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Nipon,

      True. Some bloggers can burn themselves out by writing too much and like you said, taking breaks helps.

  49. congratulations for your four years of blogging.. it’s really a great achivement. keep on writing
    Check out kavita @ Bollywood Lyrics’s awesome post.Lyrics of Sarphira Sa Hai Dil Song – Love U Mr KalakaarMy Profile

  50. Shivam GargNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,
    Congrats for your 4 years in blogging.Its been a long journey i feel.

    Whenever i feel low,i just try to prioritize the things in my life.Maybe by deferring the blog post to a later time But after 2-3 days that motivation comes from within.My passion about sharing my ideas,my vision and of others drives me to do so.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Shivam,

      Yes, it’s been a long journey, but a fun one. ๐Ÿ™‚

      I know what you’re saying. It’s important for us to prioritize things in our lives. With blogging being a hobby for most of us, it’s often low on the list. And yes, when we have a passion for sharing ideas, motivation can come back quickly.

  51. jennyNo Gravatar says:

    I have just started blogging myself, so I don’t have any real advice for you except to say that I hope you don’t stop. New kids like me have so much to learn from those like you. Really, I just want to cheer you on.
    Check out jenny’s awesome post.Thirty-One Gifts Recruiting FreezeMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Jenny,

      How exciting. You’re new to blogging. I hope you get as much pleasure and enjoyment out of it as I do. It can be an awesome experience.

      Happy Blogging! ๐Ÿ™‚

  52. SebastianNo Gravatar says:

    I would just post as much as you can. I wouldn’t follow any kind of routine or anything because life is busy so you get caught up in real life and sometimes blogging gets left behind and I just don’t have enough time to continue doing anything else that day.

    Sometimes with my blog I can post date a lot of my blog entries so when I have a lot of free time I just post date several posts and just have them post on it’s own for a while that might be an idea?

    Congrats on 4 years though that’s a nice long time! Pretty soon you’ll be celebrating 5 years!
    Check out Sebastian’s awesome post.Fix iTunes With Rinse iTunes Cleaner by RealNetworksMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Sebastian,

      I know what you’re saying. In some aspects a routine or blogging schedule can be good since it keeps us accountable, but on the other hand, like you said, it might be better to post when we have time.

      That’s where balance comes into play.

  53. I sometimes, take a break from posting when I can’t think of what to write and then spend more time exploring the blogosphere. I have discovered amazing blogs doing that.
    Sometimes I post photographs, or share videos – which otherwise there is no time for doing.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Indian Homemaker,

      I like the idea of using photos or videos when we don’t have a lot of time to post. The publishing process wouldn’t take long, but yet our blog would be updated. I might have to try that.

  54. BarneyNo Gravatar says:

    If life interrupts your blog posting then I think you should stop writing for a while…blogs are always there every morning. Because life issues are more important…this is what I think…cheers

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Barney,

      I agree. Life is more important than a blog post, and like you said, our blog will wait.

  55. Though I would have liked to stick to a strict schedule for blogging, I never do so because there are other things in life that are more important for me including family time and regular work. My post frequency is reduced drastically now but I do blog whenever I get extra time.

    Btw Barbara, congratulations on completing four years of your blogging. I just completed three years with DollarShower though my web publishing activities have crossed several years – I don’t know when it all started lol
    Check out Ajith Edassery’s awesome post.Does your Blog have any Viral Content at allMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Ajith,

      It’s great to see you. I knew you had blogged for quite some time. Congrats on three years.

      I hear you. When life happens we certainly don’t want to miss out on it. Although having a posting schedule can help, being tied to one could be detrimental to our motivation and inspiration.

  56. that’s indeed a good question – that I mostly ask myself.

    I don’t really have a regular posting schedule, as I mostly focus on writing in-depth blog posts. But when I’m not motivated, I just seek for other inspirations that can help me conceptualize my next project post (yeah, I consider most of my posts as projects).
    Check out Lauren Bennett’s awesome post.Ways to Make Money OnlineMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Lauren,

      That’s a great way to look at blog posts; as projects. Not only would that help to motivate us to do good research, but would make us feel our post “has a purpose”. Good idea!

  57. DaveNo Gravatar says:

    Hi,
    I have felt this way many times. For me, I need a spark, to get that spark I have to go do something different such as checking out an art museum, going to the gym, swimming in a river or taking a brisk walk on a trail. If I can just try to take 1 hour or so out of my “daily routine” things get back on track. I guess not having a concrete routine is the “routine” that works for me.

    Thank you for your post!
    Check out Dave’s awesome post.FinallyFast Commercial – original 1 minute spotMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Dave,

      Sparks are great and I like the ideas you shared for getting that spark back. The great outdoors can be a superb inspiration maker, especially if we’re surrounded by nature.

  58. AsadNo Gravatar says:

    To me if you have have set a schedule for blog posting then one must force himself for it. This is because if you give procrastination or laziness one inch it may try to take a yard. It will soon become an excuse for you and you will hide behind it. Good post and a good survey to. Cheers Barbara

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Asad,

      I’m happy you brought that up. Procrastination can feed itself and if we’re not careful, that which started out to be a short break could result in the end of our blog.

      • AsadNo Gravatar says:

        Yep I agree Barbara, I said it because it actually happened with me couple of months before. I thought that I should take a break for a week. But when I started again, I couldn’t adjust myself.
        I think there’s a lazy person hidden in us who is just waiting for any lose moment. I agree with Howler that we should start making short posts of say 100-150 words, than no posts at all. Thanks and cheers

  59. howlerNo Gravatar says:

    when everyday stuff interfered the writing I started to write shorter posts and reduced writing time to 10-15 mins daily so I could write a new article for 3-4 days. it worked, the challenge to do it day in and day out

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Howler,

      True. If we can teach ourselves to write shorter posts, we may end up reducing the amount of time we spend on the blog.

      I don’t know about you, but “sometimes” those short posts are harder to write than the longer ones. ๐Ÿ™

  60. AndreasNo Gravatar says:

    What i would do if i get stuck blogging, take a break, maybe only for a couple of days, maybe more, but take a break, use the time to think about my life, what is going on in my life at the moment, and to think deeply about it, then i alway seem to find inspiration to blog again ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Andreas,

      Yes. Taking a break away from our blogs is a great way to not only evaluate where we are in life, but as you said, the break can inspire us, as well.

  61. MikeNo Gravatar says:

    I have always found it hard to get motivated again when I take even a few days off from writing. Its getting back into the swing that is the hardest.
    Check out Mike’s awesome post.Playing Backdoor DrawsMy Profile

  62. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Mike,

    I know what you’re saying. When we get into the routine of writing on a daily/weekly basis and then we get away from it, it can be hard to get back at it, especially if real life adds more to our plate. ๐Ÿ™

  63. Barbara first of all congrats on completing your 4 year anniversary as Internet Marketer.

    Success of blogger and their longevity really depends on various rewarding factor. For me blogging is all about way to earn extra money by providing valuable information that my visitors are looking for. For others motivational factor could be seeing there blog on first page of search engine and getting thousands of visitors. And some prefers positive comments and reviews of their blogs by visitors.

    Various factors motivates us, but I would certainly stop blogging once I find myself in a position where I’m not earning enough from my blog to pay my bills.
    Check out John @ Niche Reaper Review’s awesome post.Niche Reaper ReviewMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you John,

      You’re right. We all have different motivations that keep us blogging. Although I don’t make my living by blogging, I do get tons of enjoyment from meeting other bloggers and sharing what I learn along the way.

      By the sounds of it, you do very well with your blog(s).

  64. Hi Barbara, I have been blogging since i was in my late teens, i remember starting a blogspot blog around 7 or 8 years ago. One thing i feel really bad about is giving up on blogs over time. I know people grow and change, but i have had so many different blogs over the years.

    I definitely feel like i have wasted or missed an opportunity by not following through when things get busy. I just look back and think, wow i could have created something amazing over this time.
    Check out Bingo Babe Jenny’s awesome post.Chris Moyles Likes Playing BingoMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jenny,

      WOW! You’ve blogged for a long time. I know what you’re saying about how we change. Some topics no longer bring us joy, thus it’s hard to continue to write about them.

      Yes. When we look back we can see how things may be different if we had followed through. But I think that hold true for life too, and not just blogs.

  65. Hi,

    Congratulations again and happy birthday for your great blog!

    Now to answer your question:

    When life interferes with blogging or you lose your motivation to post, what do you do?

    – Well, the answer is ‘follow a schedule’. If you start following a strict schedule, *now* is time to work until *xy* o’clock, *now* is time to rest, *now* is time to hang out with friends. You must also work organized and when you get bored, change the work, but never stop working, almost never.

    Thanks for sharing,

    Best regards!

    George
    Check out George Williams’s awesome post.Tractors PowerMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you George,

      I agree. Ideally if we follow a schedule, we’re more apt to stay on course. In fact, I find by following an online posting schedule, I feel more accountable.

      What I find for me is life often gets in the way and since blogging isn’t my full-time job, sometimes it gets put on the back burner. ๐Ÿ™

  66. D GolfNo Gravatar says:

    Happy Anniversary! I really don’t see how you can follow a schedule though. I hate schedules and get most of my inspiration during the unscheduled break times.
    Every time I think about making a schedule, I go lie down on the couch until it passes.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you D Golf,

      You’re funny. ๐Ÿ™‚ I think it’s an individual decision. For some, the only way to get a blog post written is to schedule it, whereas for others, they’re more comfortable posting when the inspiration hits.

  67. Rajib KumarNo Gravatar says:

    Eye Barbara, congratulations for completing four years of blogging. I would stop posting when I lose my motivation to post.
    Check out Rajib Kumar’s awesome post.How To Add Google 1 Button To Blogger And WordPressMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Rajib,

      I know what you’re saying, If we’re not motivated to post, it’s hard to do so.