5 tips to swap social media burnout for fuel

Jul 28, 2015

This is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send your blog post to us here.

Do you spend your day coming up with scintillating social media copy and content for your clients and then find you have no energy or inspiration left when it comes to working for yourself?

Do you notice, after a day braining the blazes out of an assignment, that you feel drained and dull?

That’s social media drain: The constant buzz. The demand for content, and voracious appetite the next best thing.

If you write for a living or if you freelance with any form of content that has to fly out into the twitter-sphere, you're set for one equation: all out, none in.

The only answer to that math is a sum of empty.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re confronted with writer’s block when you finally get down to your own work.

1. Apply the same strategies you use for client work

You’ve got a successful toolbox already in your hands. Sometimes communicating on behalf of yourself or your passions can feel mighty vulnerable, but all you have to do is remind yourself that you got this.

You'll flourish, and ultimately, your productivity will too. But remember, it's not about the product, it's about the process.

2. Let go of your idea of success

Social media has a way of inveigling you to start imagining fame and fortune. So many people do get famous via their online personalities. But don’t get caught up in making that your end game.

View it as an avenue into conversation, an avenue for connection, an avenue and outlet for creativity. Fame and fortune will drain you every time.

3. Take the quips, wisdoms, wise-cracks, and little gems of insight, and give them to yourself.

What? Yes. Carry a little notepad. Make it solid and physical. When you think up a spark, write it to yourself first. Promote yourself first. Give yourself your own quotes, in your voice.

You’ll have enough left for your clients, I promise.

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4. Allocate time to listen to your own values, your voice, your head

Turn off everything. Take a 30 minute or hour walk if you can. Do something pointless, but enjoyably creative.

Your voice needs to be louder and stronger than the roar of social media. If you only listen to the world of other content, you'll lose the lungs for your work.

5. Assess the ratio of time spent speaking in client "brand" or "voice" to the time spent just writing or speaking with your own voice

If it's 80/20 in favor of the brand, or the ad, turn it around.

I tried slam-poetry for a while; when I couldn't go slam some poetry, I took walks and sang.

Weird? Irrelevant. It made room for me in my life and authenticity and gave me back some perspective on my work as well.

You need meaning in your life to engage and create meaning. But the bottom-line is: You need a life.

When media buzz become omnipresent, we lose all sense of connection. By using the 5 strategies above, I turned my worst drain around, and funneled my resources back into the tank and re-fueled.

CJ writes, travels, & recovers wonder on a regular basis. With Get It Writ, she teaches small businesses branding & concrete community engagement. When she isn't teaching the ropes of social media storytelling to clients, she fences or teaches herself something new. Right now, it's Welsh & coding.