My head hurts. It always hurts. I’m stressed out and sick and sick of worrying. But they just want more. Always more. Always demanding new content. I am pressured to throw more and more into the grinding internet machine, to keep tossing in more work, more content, more words on more pages, more tweets, more Facebook posts, more and more. I haven’t been tossing in anything recently, because I’m out of stuff to toss. Every idea comes with its own set of flags: what will people think about this? What will they say? Will they throw hate at me, or laugh at me, or refuse to take me seriously? Is this trendy? Is it searchable? SEO optimized? Will it bring me the clicks?
And I’m out of stuff that fills that ever growing list of criteria. I’m out. Done. Finished. The internet has run me into the ground. My head hurts, and all I can feel is the burnout.
Okay. Sob story over. Real talk.
Creating content takes time. And work. And more time. And stress and more stress. We, the Internet, myself included in some cases, just want more. We don’t see what happens behind the scenes, how fast the burnout hits you in the brain, how fast you can become sick and tired of the rat race. It is a constant battle to keep afloat, to get content and get that content out there, to get people to notice, and to care. And I’m losing that battle.
I love to write. Don’t get me wrong. I love a nice writing session when I can just sit down and write my heart out for an hour or so and get my story on the page. This is not that kind of writing. This is publicity, PR, clicks, follows, whatever. I used to enjoy writing stuff for my blog, back when I had ideas and I wasn’t scared of clicking that ‘publish’ button. Back when the burnout hadn’t filled my brain and dragged me down. After that initial wave of enjoyment passed, I began writing for the search trends and the SEO; aggressively publishing that 30 day drawing challenge that happened back in September. At first, it was fun. At first, I was seeing those clicks and visitors and stats I wanted to see. I felt good. And then it just dropped off. And I got the burnout in my brain and I was sick and tired of doing those stupid drawings every day, but I kept going because I thought maybe those stats would come back if I just kept on trying.
Of course they didn’t. By that time, people were tired of me, probably, tired of all my amateur drawings filling up their inboxes or feeds every day. I tried to feed the internet machine, but it wasn’t hungry for that anymore. It must have something new.
New. New. New. That is the cry of the internet machine. That is the cry of the burnout as it eats your brain and all your ideas, and tires you out before you even sit down at the computer to write. I tried feeding the internet machine, and it didn’t work. So I stopped. And that didn’t work either, because unless you’ve got a team of people churning out more and more every day, you’re doomed.
Social media hasn’t consumed my time. What’s consumed my time is worrying about that social media. ‘Your 58 followers haven’t heard from you in a while,’ proclaims a notification on my Facebook feed, ‘Write a new post!’ But I have nothing to say. And the internet machine goes on asking and asking for something new, but I don’t have anything to give. I am losing the battle. I can’t stop worrying that I’m not optimizing my time or my social media accounts for those elusive ‘best results’; more followers, more likes, more people who will (maybe???) buy my book. And the internet machine keeps on eating and eating and eating, and I keep worrying and worrying.
And I’m stuck.
Again. Always. Stuck in that awful place, stuck in the burnout, with no more ideas to give.