15 Ways To Avoid Blogger Burnout - Pinch of Yum
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15 Ways To Avoid Blogger Burnout

15 Ways to Avoid Blogger Burnout over a sunset photo.

Six months. That’s how long it’s been since I left my first dream job as a fourth grade teacher to pursue my second dream job of being a full-time food blogger, spending my days working on that one little hobby food blog that I started almost five years ago when I had no idea that blogging was even a real thing.

LIFE why you be so crazy?

As you might have picked up on, I’ve really loved blogging and setting my own schedule and working on projects that I value and that I can get lost in for hours. I can’t say it enough – I am just so thankful for this weirdly awesome “job” that is basically me working on things I love (OH HAYYY CHOCOLATE) all day every day.

The flip side of that is pretty predictable – I’ve also really, really missed teaching. And my teaching people. No matter how much I love my yoga pants and baking gingerbread muffins at 11am on a Tuesday, I still frequently get the compulsion to drive back over to school and just hang out on the playground with the kids. I’m sure I wouldn’t get arrested or anything.

15 Ways to Avoid Blogger Burnout! Here's a list that's helped me avoid blogger burnout, both as a full-time blogger and as a nights-and-weekends blogger. | pinchofyum.com

Blogging has been a weird and completely unexpected journey for me – I started as a part-timer with nothing more than a little heart that loved all things FOOD and now I am a full-time blogger and business owner. Through those almost five years of blogging I’ve had lots of ups and downs. <– understatement of my life.

Last year around this wintery-holiday time, I wrote a soppy post about how tired I was and how much I wanted to live a more restful and peaceful life. I was burned out. To a crispity crisp. Like, charred.

Today, as I look back on that post, I am amazed at how far I’ve come. I’m reading books. Getting outside. Dating my husband. Listening to podcasts. Exercising and sleeping. I have learned a lot in the last four and half years – and in the last year as I’ve attempted to bounce back from a major low point of exhaustion – about developing habits that help keep my mind a healthy little machine, clicking along up there, creating, dreaming, thriving, and freeing me from those nagging Blogging Blues.

If you’re not familiar with the Blogging Blues, they would be the constant self-doubt, the workaholic mentality, the feeling like nothing is ever ever ever enough, the piercing competitive streaks, the fresh anxiety before hitting publish, and the general ickyness that comes focusing on your own work all the time, putting it out there, on the internet, to strangers, day after day. Yeah. That stuff is real.

So here’s a list of fifteen things that have helped me avoid blogger burnout over the last five years, both as a full-time blogger and as a nights-and-weekends blogger. Not surprisingly, these are also things that I see in the bloggers that I respect and admire the most for their ability to stay not only sane but creative and thriving in the big blog world.

Boom! Have at it, you healthy bloggers of the world.

1. Study Inspiring Work Outside  Your Niche.

Stairs down to a lake.

It can be really hard for some types of people (ahem, hi self) to get too super close to work that is similar to theirs. My experience over the last five years has been that when I start shopping around on other food blogs in my internet circle for food, photography, or writing inspiration, I often come away with “inspiration” that is basically just a competitive, discouraged, frustrated self-doubting feeling. It’s NO GOOD. If anything, it’s anti-inspiring because it just makes me feel like I could never be like that person and so I should probably just quit my blog and go live under a rock and eat field grass forever.

I’m being a little tiny bit dramatic. But still a lot real.

For me, I find it best to study work from people that I am disconnected from. That’s not to say that I don’t read and look at and love my other food blog friends’ stuff. Hello, I LOVE THEM, and it’s impossible to just take a passing glance at some of the stuff out there and not be inspired by it. But when I really need to branch out creatively, I am able to get the most true inspiration minus the weird feelings when I study people who are in a different niche or internet sphere.

For example, lately I’ve been trying to get some writing inspiration from books. Like, real, actual books, not about food or blogging or anything even remotely close to what I’m doing. I try to determine what it is I like about the author’s style and then think creatively about how I could transfer those stylistic elements over to what I’m doing with food blogging and food writing.

2. Say No To Almost Everything.

Computer and a blue container of cherries.

Just try it. Say no. Say no again. Say no again and again and again.

When I was just starting with my blog, I said yes to a lot more interviews, barely paid projects, free product reviews, and all that new blogger jazz. That’s sort of okay and I’m glad I did those things at that time. Different seasons require different mindsets.

But if you want to get your most important work done as your blog grows, you will need to start saying no to things that don’t matter or won’t help you get where you’re trying to go.

This is true both in blog life and personal life.

“I’m ravenous, and life looks to me so sparkly and beautiful, waiting to be devoured like a perfect apple. So I say yes, yes to everything, to that meal and that event and that trip and that person. It’s so delicious, and I don’t want to miss out on even one moment of it. And that’s the point: I miss all sorts of sacred and significant moments, because of my frantic insistence that I can do it all.”

Shauna Niequist

I highly recommend this practice which is another brain-child of Shauna’s. Make two lists – one list will be your “Things I Do” list, and on this list you write down things that you have the capacity and the desire to do, both on a business and personal level. And one will be your “Things I Don’t Do” list, where you list out the things that you are deciding to say no to in order to maintain your YES list. Like this –>

THINGS I DO: write three weekly blog posts for POY. develop our businesses and products. weekly date night with Bjork. go to church. spend Sundays with family and friends. learn and practice photography. make the bed every day (why does this make me so happy? it just does.). respond to blog comments. respond to emails. work out.

THINGS I DON’T DO: schedule POY social media. browse Pinterest. paint my nails. make my own chicken stock and/or raise chickens. manage POY’s sponsored content. blow dry my hair every day. deep clean our house. garden.

Say yes sometimes, and say no most of the time. One person can’t do everything.

3. Log Out Of Everything. Do It Now.

Green smoothies with straws in jars.

EMAIL! Alllll the day long. I would never get a blasted thing done if it weren’t for this little hack: I log out of everything. Like, fully log out erase any pre-saved passwords.

I can’t tell you how many times every day I type in www.facebook.com only to be reminded that I need to log in in order to creep on my friends’ lives. DANG. But for whatever reason, that one little extra step of logging in is always enough to stop me.

All bloggers will have to figure out what works for them with email, but I try to limit myself to checking email once a day, and when I check it, I clear it out all the way to the bottom of my inbox. Like, zero. Nothing left. This is so good for my mental health. I have a rule that I am not allowed to read an email and save it in my inbox for later, which is a rule that I might be currently breaking, but something I really do strive for because holding on to those little tasks creates drag that messes with my most efficient workflow.

Reducing my email to zero every day helps me feel less mentally cluttered, and keeping my email logged out all day helps me not to randomly pop in and waste time writing novels to people who really only need a few lines of a response. If I did not keep my email logged out, seriously, a steady stream of email combined with my weird enjoyment of small task completion would be the demise of my blog.

4. Use Text Expander.

Notepads next to a smoothie on a desk.

I might get dramatic on you for a second here, but I would say that one little app called TextExpander changed my internet life.

I can clear out all my emails in 45 minutes each day – and by clear out, I mean actually respond to them with a cohesive, well-written message that I feel good about.

And if I’ve emailed you in the past with tons of typos and errors, now’s not the time to bring that up.

This is all possible with app called TextExpander – it allows you to template some of your most frequently sent emails so you just type in a code word and POP! the email auto-fills with your message which you can then personalize to whatever the situation calls for. More on that and our other favorite sneaky little internet tools on this super helpful post from Bjork!

5. Outsource.


ONE PERSON CANNOT DO EVERYTHING. If you only take one thing away from this word pile, take that. A single person cannot do it all forever.

Keep a notebook by your desk and record any time you spend doing something you don’t like – how long it took you and what you didn’t like about it. After a month or so, look over your notes and see if you can outsource that work to someone.

We recently hired an intern who is taking on some of the social media scheduling for Pinch of Yum, which is such a major relief for my brain. I never liked doing that and now my mind can be free and clear from having to think about that day in and day out – AND I can think about other projects that I would otherwise not have the capacity for. We heart you, Abby!

Obviously, if you’re just starting, you’re probably not in a place where you can pay someone to do some of these tasks for you. We were there for a few years – I get it. Just keep hustling and keep notes about what you will eventually hire someone for when you get to that point.

6. Channel Competition and Jealousy.

Thank you note laying on a keyboard.

Competition and jealousy are mean, icky, and very real in the online life. I recently heard Glennon of Momastery *squeal* speak at the Storyline conference, and she said something that really resonated with me: that competition or jealousy with our online work is often just a feeling of strong admiration in disguise.

Glennon recommended that if you are feeling jealous or competitive about something or someone, write them a note and tell them how much you appreciate their work. Share their post on social media with a nice shout out. Befriend them. I KNOW. Believe me, I know. But doing that crushes the cold, isolating lies (and they are lies) that keep us from bravely and creatively moving forward.

Break that wall down. To know people is to love them, so channel that jealousy into appreciation, admiration, and love. If you want to avoid blogger burnout, you have to have to have to HAVE TO turn those feelings of comparison and jealousy into something positive or they will eat you alive.

This is hard one, but we can do it. I really think we can do it. ♡

7. Get An Office. Outside Your Living Room.

Couches and chairs in a cafe.

You guys, it used to be that Bjork and I were both at home all day. The clock would strike 6pm and we’d be like, sweet, here we are, in the same spot on the couch where we will now watch our nightly TV show. Gag.

We rented an office for Bjork and all the Food Blogger Pro thangs, and as of last month I have a membership at a co-working space, which is a large hipster-like studio office dedicated to work-from-homers who want to get out and work at a real place other than Starbucks. Depending on what you’re blogging about, this may or may not be possible. Like, for me, with cooking, most of my time needs to be at home. But on the days that I am writing or working on a project, the co-working space is a great place for me to go.

And now the clock strikes 6pm and we get to DRIVE HOME to see each other and hang out and have a party involving reruns of the Office and leftover red lentil curry. It’s a treat, friends.

8. Set Strict Rules For Social Media and Comments.

Iphone taking a photo of the sunrise.

For better or worse, I can be really emotionally affected by how people perceive or respond to my blog. I wish I had that toughness factor, but what I have is more like Sensitivity with a capital S. So I set rules for myself when it comes to reading and processing my social media content and blog comments. Here are two of my rules:

Rule #1: I don’t look at likes or pins on a recent blog post, Instagram photo, whatever. Like, I literally cover them with my finger on Instagram every time I log in. I’M WEIRD.  I do this because, uhmm, it’s embarrassing, really embarrassing, but I would always get kind of a tiny bit sad if I didn’t get as many likes or pins as I was hoping on a post. And it would affect how I would feel in my real life. It was so silly and it needed to stop.  Why should I let a number of likes on something affect my real life happiness? For me, the solution was just to stop looking and checking compulsively. I only read blog or Instgram comments now instead of checking likes, and then once in a blue moon I’ll go back and look through older posts to see which ones got the most love – by that point I’m usually detached enough from it that I don’t care how many likes or pins there were. And it has worked! I’m free of the chains of likes. PARTY ON!

Rule #2: I don’t read blog comments in the morning. The unfortunate truth is that even with a flood of positive, friendly comments, one grinchy comment can start me on the downward spiral of the Blogger Blues. So I no longer allow myself to read them in the morning because I find that they will affect how I feel all throughout the day. I only read them at the end of the day when I’m ready to shut down and I am less likely to be affected by the boo-hiss-unfriendly comments.

Bottom line: be selective about what voices you let speak in to your life.

9. Spend Time with People Who Don’t Really Care About Your Blog.

People ice skating.

It’s so nice to have friends who appreciate what you’re doing with your blog. It’s a gift, and you should definitely spend time with those people, too.

But for me, it’s also just so very refreshing to be around people who don’t read my blog and/or couldn’t care less what I posted about today or how many times it was pinned. Maybe they don’t even know what Pinterest is. EVEN BETTER.

Cherish those people and spend time around them – they will refresh your overly-internet-saturated world.

10. Singles, Not Home Runs.

Blueberries in a white bowl over oats.

It’s easy to get stuck in the mindset that every individual thing that you do as a blogger needs to be 200% awesome, absolutely incredible, a knock-it-out-of-the-park home run. And then when you work really hard on something and it’s not really like a home run as much as just, like, a regular post? It can start to feel blah. Depressing.

Is that ridiculous or what?

Home runs are important, but it is not realistic to think that all of your creative works are going to be a home runs. The people I see being successful, being dedicated to doing their best work and also living their best Real Life, are the people who know that some of their work will be home runs and a lot of their work will be singles or doubles. Or maybe even, umm, strike outs.

Free yourself from the mindset that every single thing you do has to be over the fence awesome. Awesome is awesome, but in certain seasons of life, the most awesome thing you can do is just show up and write another post. Again. And again.

Be kind to yourself. Accept and understand the value of singles.

11. Have No-Phone Times.

Sunset over a lake.

We recently set a new rule: no phones in our bedroom.

Bjork and I are notorious for getting in bed and settling in with our phones to read the latest Buzzfeed (hers) and CNN (his) articles until all hours of the night. And, like a truly obsessed blogger, I have been known to wake up and start checking my phone – social media, blog, email – before I even get out of bed. GROSS.

Now, when we start winding down to go to bed, we leave our phones out in the kitchen or living room to charge up for a full days’ work tomorrow. This is not the first time we’ve tried something like this, but it IS the first time we’ve actually successfully implemented some kind of phone boundaries. No phones for a good six, eight, maybe even ten or twelve hours of the day and it’s been awesome. I sleep better and I just feel like less of an addicted phone-loving robot.

I know it’s not huge, but baby steps, people. Tippy toe baby steps.

12. Get a Supporter – Someone Who Really Understands You and Blogging.

Man and woman smiling on a plane.

I am so thankful (hey! Thanksgiving! extra thankful!) that my Personal + Professional Supporter is also my husband. We do this together, so so so together, that he understands my thoughts and experiences and struggles with the blog better than anyone else.

Having a single person — literally just ONE, although more friends = more party — to talk to when things are spinning into that downward spiral is so important to your ability to bounce back. I guess that’s just true in life, right? and it’s especially true for me in blogging. I would have quit four and half years ago if it weren’t for the space and time that Bjork gives me to talk my way out of the Blogging Blues.

Find someone who really understands and can relate in some tiny way or another why it’s frustrating when people scrape your content, or what it feels like to deal with that rude comment, or how challenging Facebook’s news feed changes have been lately.

It is one thing to talk about this stuff, but it’s another thing to talk about it with someone who really understands blogging and understands you.

13. Take One Day Off. Completely Off.

Man standing on a dock by the lake.

Heyyyy creepy/cool picture of Bjork. Mwah.

Starting this year, we’ve been taking Sundays completely off. No work, no blog, nada.

To be totally transparent, I couldn’t and definitely didn’t do this when I was teaching-by-day and blogging-by-nights-and-weekends. There was a distinct period of time (like, years) when I was working every day of the week. There was just no other way during that season of my life — or at least it seemed like there was no other way. I have mixed feelings about that time because the consistent hard work of the early days is what has brought Pinch of Yum to where it is today, but there is also a layer of regret about how much I was working and things that I missed out on because of that.

As I’ve been more intentional about pulling back for ONE day of the week, I’ve become a more peaceful and restful and intentional person and, as a result, a better blogger. The work-all-the-time model is not sustainable in the long run – hence me leaving my teaching job and moving as close as possible to a place of balance.

Work-life balance is, in a lot of ways, a myth for entrepreneurs, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth seeking out. Do your best to constantly be moving closer and closer to that balance.

14. Stick To An Organizational System.

Table with plates of food and a notepad.

And my organizational system is breakfast. Half-kidding.

This year I’ve been using the Day Designer by Whitney English in addition to my very high-tech fancy Google calendar.

I put events into the Google calendar as they come up, and then each week I go to my Day Designer and manually write in the events for the week so that I have them in two places. Then, for each day, I define the three main things that I’m trying to get done and at the end of the day I reflect on one thing I loved or was thankful for from that day. I also take time for a monthly overview each month where I set goals to align with each of my three main values, which I determined at the start of the year with the help of the guides in the planner.

That’s my system. I don’t have a regular daily schedule – I try, but it changes all the time. So at the very least, I find it super helpful to have a reliable organizational and task-management system that will work no matter what kind of crazy the day brings.

Bjork uses a task management app called Things and another one called Clear – there’s a little description of how Clear works in this post.

15. Re-Write The Definition Of Success.

Chocolate chip cookies.

When I’m feeling really bleh about the blog, I often just stop and ask myself: but what are you actually trying to do?

Is it to have the biggest Pinterest following? No.

Is it to have every person in the world love my blog? Nope.

Is it to make the most money ever? Negative.

What I AM trying to do is to do my life / food / photography / blog thing — with great love — right now.

That’s another piece of genius from Shauna – and yes, the other thing I am trying to do is be her prodigy.

And then when I really step back and see the big picture, I go, WOW. I am already doing the thing I am trying to do. I’m already doing it! And suddenly the details that have me all in a tizzy (I’m giving Facebook the stink eye right now) become a lot less important and I’m able to re-align based on my true definition of success.

So what are you actually trying to do?

Peel back the layers and re-define what success actually means to you.

"Have less, do less, be more" text with a sunset photo.

You guys, this post is a beast. I sort of can’t believe I had all those WORDS to say about blogger burnout, but apparently five years of get-up-and-try-again will do that to a person. I would absolutely love to hear from you on this, especially if you have things that have helped you in your own personal battle against the Big B: burnout.

Friends? It’s the start of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Take good care of yourself and your people on these few days together.

And if you still don’t know what you’re bringing to Thanksgiving, we might be the same person. I’ve got you covered with those 10 Last Minute Thanksgiving Side Dishes. Bring on the mashed potatoes and gray-veeee!


Bjork and Lindsay recorded a version of this blog post for the Food Blogger Pro podcast. Listen to the episode below or check it out on iTunes or Google Play Music:

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  1. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Dear Lindsay, I cannot thank you enough for writing this post. As if it is written keeping me in mind. I have a huge blog queue – self imposed – starting from some travel I did some two years back to the little tea joint I stopped yesterday morning for a cup of chai. Everything needn’t be blogged – so every moment needn’t be clicked, noted down. It is easier said than done. I feel that if I am not sharing a good food moment with my readers, I am cheating them out of something. But the fact is that, in trying to be able to do that, I miss out enjoying my own food moments, moments with my kids, moments with my husband.

    I do hope that I try to cure myself… I mean, face it… blogging has given me a lot – it’s connected me to people, it’s gifted me new friends alibi bloggers and it has also made me an Editor of a magazine which is authored by bloggers. But down the line, I have also suffering from a severe Blogger burnout. Will keep you posted on my progress. After pressing the *publish* button for another time, may be?

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Thank you thank you for this post! I really needed it. I’m planning on implementing the whole 1 day a week with no work thing. It’s nice to know that even the BIG bloggers like you feel doubt and jealousy too. Thanks Lindsay!

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Lindsay, I found this post so meaningful. Thank you for sharing all your nuggets of wisdom. Also, I am equally obsessed with Shauna Niequist and love that you are too!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      If she knew how much I liked her, she’d be weirded out. But did I tell you I met her at Storyline? I have a picture with her too 😀

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Lindsay, I loved and needed this post! I can definitely relate to the sad feelings of jealousy and inadequacy when looking at other people’s blogs, and really like the idea of recognizing that as deep appreciation and responding from that positive, supportive angle. I am also very inspired to try your “no phones in the bedroom” rule, because no one wants to wake up to “not enough Instagram likes”.

    I love your recipe posts, but your posts about blogging are almost even more fun to read! Thank you so much for all the supportive and inspiring advice.

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I’m only a hobby-blogger, but even that can feel overwhelming at times. Saving this post to read in those moments. Very insightful!

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Wow- incredibly insightful for beyond just the “blogging world.” Thanks for your wisdom, insight and transparency! I think so many of the factors you mentioned (comparing, time management, etc.) are things we face daily both inside and outside of our careers. Great tips for working and living the best way we can!

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This post is fantastic for two reasons. 1. Thank you for sharing this. It’s nice to know that other bloggers feel this way. Sometimes, I’m crazy motivated and excited by all the opportunities I can think up for my blog, and how there’s another ending list of things I can do to improve it! Other times, I get totally overwhelmed and just want to step away and read a book. I’m working on finding a middle ground, especially since I’m about to go from unemployed and living in South Africa to living in Portland, working 50+ hours a week, planning my wedding, and building a house. Yikes.

    2. I know how long it takes to write these kinds of posts and make them meaningful. This particular one was awesome. Thank you so much for all that you do. I love Pinch of Yum and am glad that you spent those long hours working to make it what it is! It’s fantastic!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Thank you Chelsea! It does take a long time – these take even longer than the cooking/food ones, for some reason, but I always love the deeper connections they allow for so I’m glad to do them! 🙂

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I’m not a blogger, but many/most/all of these things translate to my work as an artist. Burnout and “writer’s” block can be huge deterrents in what I do. Similar to your list, the most helpful things for me are to…
    1. Experience life outside my little world. Other artistic disciplines, nature, cooking (hey, thanks!), something silly like… bowling. Whatever.
    2. Take time off and (here’s the kicker…) DON’T feel guilty about it.
    3. Mostly, I need to step back and realize that it is a Wednesday morning and I am sitting in my pajamas making art and that is my job. WHAT? I’m the luckiest person on Earth! Take this opportunity and go make something!

    Thanks for posting!

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Studying outside of my niche and no phone times are so important. I don’t do either one as well as I could but I am trying to be mindful of them. Thank you for this list, it always helpful to learn that other people feel the same way. Happy Thanksgiving!

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo

    My blog is too young for me to have blogger burnout; instead I am in blogger anxiety stage (which clearly leads to blogger burnout.) I don’t have a stash of posts ready to go for December and I am trying to figure out how to create food for the posts and still make all the food gifts I make for friends, teachers and family each year (can I make it all overlap? I hope some of it can)… and still get prepared for the holidays with a shortened time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I want our life to be meaningful, not rushed or over scheduled.

    I do check for the likes and the shares. I cross my fingers hoping foodgawker etc, accepts my submissions… I look at data from google analytics and wordpress throughout the day and cheer for every new view and smile when fellow bloggers comment…It’s new, so I am loving every bit of it, but I am getting sucked in for sure.

    I definitely see burnout in the distance and your post today is a reminder to get everything back in check, nip the anxiety in the bud, to breathe, live life and focus on the important things. In my corporate days, we would call these our “critical few initiatives.” If we had a laundry list instead, we couldn’t be successful in their execution. Now, in these blogging days, these reminders from you are a gift. Thank you.

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Thank you so much for this post. Two years ago, I quit my job to become a full-time work-at-homer (half blogging income, half graphic design income), and it’s been such a struggle to fight burnout. I NEVER had that issue with my job (mostly because I hated it, and had no interest in devoting tons of time to it), but it’s something I struggle with daily now.

    We’ve implemented two family days per week (like, gasp, a regular weekend!) and one is devoted to non-blog projects—DIY projects, crafting, just stuff for fun! And the other is a day to just get out and have fun—go for a hike, go to the library, etc. It has made me feel so much more refreshed!

  12. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Dear Lindsay, thank you for this beautiful post. I come over here often both to enjoy your yummy recipes and to read about your adventures. I appreciate the high quality content that you are sharing and I can see how much effort there is behind it. Your words are kind and thoughtful and I believe they can help others in any burnout situation. So thumbs up to you: you’re doing a great job!

  13. Pinch of Yum Logo

    SO much all of this. I started a food blog with my mom after I moved to another state so we would have something to work on together from afar, and it became so much burnout for me. Every post had to be a home run; my pictures were never good enough; I’d scope out my favorite foody blogs and know that I’d never be that; etc.

    In hindsight, my mom definitely had the better outlook/balance on the whole thing (this is just a creative outlet for us/share with family and any other hits are just nice/not everything has to be a life-changing new recipe) and I could have stuck with it longer if I’d followed her lead more.

    I’ve read a lot of “how to be a better blogger” posts since then and they all fill me with guilt over my failure to keep it up for only a year, but this post makes me think I could and should give it another shot! Thank you for being a constant source of all kinds of inspiration!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Oh my gosh, you totally should start up again! I mean, if you think you’d like it and feel happy having that as an outlet or space dedicated to sharing and developing your passions. Let me know if you get it started again – I’d love to check it out!

  14. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Lindsay, thank you SO much for sharing this. It’s nice to read and relate to a lot of what you say and realise that I’m not alone in how I feel as well! My blog isn’t that massive, but I want to be the absolute best at everything I do so I am always working, pushing, scheduling, writing, thinking – I feel a little close to burnout right now. There’s been quite a few opportunities for me recently and I really do need to learn to say no to some of them!

    I guess, it’s pretty normal for us to doubt ourselves and suddenly think “Arghhhh nothing I do is good enough” but we need to rethink that – we are good enough, we’re super amazing at what WE do, and we’re all different. I really struggle with comparing myself to other blogger’s sometimes – then I see how many likes something (didn’t) get and then I just feel awful and like I should quit my blog right now.
    I’ve been trying to sit down and think “NO, I shouldn’t compare myself” – there are some GREAT tips in this post and I’ve bookmarked it to come back to!
    I really need to limit checking of my emails to once a day – I can lose hours in my inbox and then I feel like I haven’t really accomplished anything!! Also going to try leaving my phone downstairs as I totally check my Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and emails all before 7:30am and it’s probably not healthy!
    Thanks again for this post, so glad that you have found methods to deal with Blogger Blues – I adore your blog and really appreciate the work you put in, so long may it continue! Hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Thank you Annie! I hope some of these practices will help you feel really good about where you’re going and what you’re doing with your blog. It’s hard, but it’s also an awesome journey. 🙂

  15. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I can’t tell you how much I needed this post right now! I always feel like I need to be doing/commenting/liking/everything MORE because OMG everyone else is!! I need to do what they are doing! Except not, because that just doesn’t work for me. I’ve found that doing my day job during the day and doing blog things during lunch and right after work gives me time to step back and avoid burnout. I’ve also found that cooking from cookbooks gives me a calming peace I miss from just cooking (and not taking pictures, etc. while cooking). LOVE this and love you guys!

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      Good for you Abby! Gotta do what works for you! it’s so easy to feel like everyone and their mom is doing this one thing and so you better jump on the bandwagon, but ultimately, you have to re-define success and decide what things will help you get where you’re going. Thanks for the comment!

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    Without a doubt, this was one of the best, most sincere posts you have ever written. I took away a lot from it and have an even healthier respect for what you do and what you are about. Thanks so much for sharing.

    My wife and I are new food bloggers ourselves. We are where you were when you just started out. Plus, I’m also a PhD student – I.e, I stare at a wall of text all day long wishing that words would write themselves. It can feel pretty overwhelming at times. But also beautifully rewarding. Your post reminded me why I chose to do the things I do – because I LOVE if!

    Thanks for the inspiration and for opening up your life to us. You are where you are now because you DESERVE to be. It’s amazing stuff!


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      Thank you Levan! What a sincere, nice comment. We appreciate all your encouragement! Keep up the good work – sounds like you guys have a LOT going on in your lives, which can be overwhelming but also exciting. So many possibilities!

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    What a great post Lindsay! So many great tips, especially ones about social media. I know I’m so guilty of checking/getting sucked into social media. Still trying to figure out to how juggle all that.

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    This is such a fabulous post! As a “hobby blogger” I still deal with burnout because I’m constantly trying to balance work (see: reading/commenting on blog at work) and blogging.

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    Great post Lindsay, my wife will love this one!

    Now I want Bjork to write a, “15 ways to help your wife avoid blogger burnout” post. 🙂 With the number of husband/wife teams out there these days, I think a lot of us would benefit from hearing some of your thoughts, and especially some of the trials you two have faced together due to PoY, on how to work together to create a successful blog.


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        It would also be really great to have something from Bjork to hand to a non-bloggy/non-tech husband on how they could help us. My hubby listens to me but he has no clue really what I do. He has written me a handful of posts but I’d love to hear some ideas of practical easy ways he could help support me when all of this is just too much for me.

        Running the blog, the house, the kids and freelance. I’m burned out to the core.

        Even just something that told him: just do the laundry without asking or drag her outside for a walk or take her phone away from her.

        Would be a great thing to have (in dude talk) to print off and hand to him.

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          Hahaha – just take the phone away from the girl. and pick up a pizza on the way home. that’s what my advice tip sheet would say! I’ll have to ask Bjork if he has some kind of addendum to contribute to this down the road…

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    Thank you, Lindsay, for a terrific post. I have had my own blog going on six months now and have already felt so much of what you described. It is a difficult balance on so many levels. I often remind myself that my blog is mine – I can make it what I want it to be in the way I want. I can take it at my own pace. What I don’t want to happen is for my love of cooking to be altered.

    I met your husband and you at the Chopped Conference in KC and truly enjoyed your presentation. It was extremely helpful…and fun!

    Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and feelings and I hope you have a great Thanksgiving.

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      Thanks Susie! So great to hear from you! Just please don’t tell anyone about Bjork’s inappropriate question before the presentation. 😮 I couldn’t believe he went there… hahahha!

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    Thanks for taking the time to write and share this post. It totally hits me where I live. Like almost each and every item you mentioned.

    One thing that really struck me was your thoughts on competitiveness / jealousy /comparing your work to others. I am incredibly competitive by nature. I don’t necessarily feel negative towards people I view as competition, more admiration then anything actually (as you noted might be the case). But I want to live up to these people. Make my work equal to theirs. But I never feel I do; instead I tend to belittle my own work. My tactic to turn this around has been to try to look to these people as mentors. Learn from the great things they do. But recognize it takes time to produce something so amazing. Many of the people I admire have been blogging for a few year now. I’ve just squeaked past year one.

    I also love your idea of actually getting to know these people. But my concern is that honestly it feels hard to get to know people online, kind of impersonal maybe? And also I worry these people are very busy and don’t necessarily have the time/inclination to get know me. But maybe that’s more insecurity talking? Worth a try anyway. 🙂

    As for things that keep me forgetting burned out:

    I think studying inspirational work outside your niche is absolutely wonderful advice which if I remember to implement works great for me as well. My background prior to blogging is actually in fine arts; and I am an avid reader of pretty much everything. Going back to these things actually makes me feel inspired in general which means I do better work. I also actually feel like a more well rounded and interesting person who can talk about something other then food. I’m pretty sure I sound obsessive when talking about food at times.

    I also find that cooking things I am not planning on blogging about helps me avoid burnout. I find it’s important for me to remember everything that goes in my mouth doesn’t have to turn into a blog post. Sometimes dinner can just be dinner.

    Also, sometimes when I know something is going to be for a post I put a lot of pressure on myself to have what I’m making turn out just right; and then get really frustrated when it doesn’t. When I get in that mindset it is harder for me to experiment and have fun, so just making something because I want to without intending it for the blog gets me out of that mindset.

    Outsourcing also sounds great, and I’m sure it would be helpful, but I’m definitely not in the stage where I can do so yet. My version: focus on a few things that are important and have the most impact on making my blog grow. Obviously interesting writing, recipes, and improving my photography skills are really important.

    As for social media, I’ve found jumping on each and every bandwagon too be overwhelming and a time suck, so I try really pick and choose. For example, I get a lot of traffic from photos I have submitted to Food Gawker. I think it allows me to connect with people who really share my interests. Pintrest is similar. Facebook though, not so much at this point. So I invest fairly little time in my presence there. Realizing this has seriously helped me to not go insane trying to follow all the marketing/blogging advice out there.

    Last thought, though I could probably write an entire post back to you on this subject, but this is turning into a unwieldy mega comment…

    I find that giving myself ample time to preform any task I need to so; and only doing one thing at a time makes me way happier. I hate feeling rushed and harried. I get grumpy and impatient with people when I am. And I’m sure I’m less focused and productive when my attention is split 15 different ways.

    So as much as possible when I’m with my kids I just pay attention to them (instead of check my phone every 15 seconds). When I write I just write. When I cook, I just cook. (Those activities tend to happen during nap/quiet time so I can actually do one thing at a time.) I am not always perfect about this, but do it as much as possible. I am way happier and less crazy since I started this.

    Anyhow, thanks again for the great post. I love seeing the inner workings with you and pinch of yum! Though we don’t know each other personally, I do think of you kind of as a mentor. Not only do I enjoy reading your blog because it’s lovely, creative, and full of tasty things, I learn so much from it and also the extras you share about those inner workings. It’s great to know someone who does run such an amazing blog still struggles with some of the same things I do. Makes me feel less crazy about it! And btw you really do run an AMAZING blog, that gives the rest of us something to aspire to! Thanks.

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      Wow, Michelle! thank you so much for sharing your perspective on all this. I really really appreciate your encouraging words and authenticity. Thank you!

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        Happy to share (Probably over-share.. I’m a known chatter box!). But as I mentioned this post totally hits me where I live, I can so relate. Thanks again for writing it! Also thanks a ton for taking the time to check out my blog!

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    I’m a pretty new blogger, so I haven’t experienced blogger burnout yet, but I think some of these tips are so helpful to keep in mind, like setting times aside with no phone.
    I also love your tip about logging out of things– I’ve started logging out of Instagram and Facebook, which has helped me check those just once a day instead of mindlessly scrolling through the feeds several times per day.