the chatty habitat

Bookending Winter, Motivation Slump, Hiatus? // The Chatty Habitat

It’s been over two months since my last chatty post and I missed doing this.

I keep wanting to but I push it off because there isn’t anything interesting to talk about and there are better blog posts to share. I’m forcing myself to sit down and write this post today.

Beware: this post is probably going to be a rant where I simply type my thoughts and don’t proofread. Editing chatty and personal posts don’t feel right so I’m just going to hit publish at the end.

As always, get a snack or beverage of your choice and let’s catch up!

dipping tea bag gif

Before starting with my free-flowing thoughts and updates, I have an exciting announcement!

I’m one of the hosts in Bookending Winter 2020!

Bookending Winter logo

Bookending Winter is a blogging event hosted by Clo and Sam bringing bloggers together. Throughout December, hosts will put up prompts to help which bloggers can take inspiration from for their own blog posts. The main part is to blog with a winter/cozy/holidays theme and get involved with the community a little more.

This is explained much better in the announcement post, so check do it out!

I will be hosting the prompts from December 10th to December 13th. They are:

  • 10th Dec – Fantasy Winter Retreat Tag
  • 11th Dec – Winter Playlist
  • 12th Dec – Bookish Rant & Rave Tag
  • 13th Dec – Positive 2020 Reflections

Explanations and the entire prompts list with other hosts is in the announcement post.

If you want to participate in Bookending Winter, the (very simple) rules and form is in the same announcement post. It’s going to be really fun and I hope to see y’all be a part of this event as well!

Okay, now onto ~feelings~.

tea gif

I feel myself going into a blogging slump. Slowly, slowly, my motivation to blog is dwindling.

This has been a really good year for me, in terms of blogging. Mostly staying home helped me spend more time on my blog and I made full use of it. Until September, there were consistently three blog posts a week. After that, I planned to slow down, but still mostly posted thrice a week.

They were all good posts too. Ones I’m proud of, and multiple posts were ones that took me a long time to write.

My blogging steam is sputtering now, and I’m unsure of what to do. I could take a break but I actually have some plans for December posts which I really want to do. End of year posts are my favourite, too! Not writing them would make me sad.

If I’m being honest, my motivation to do anything creative has been going down. Last month, I was on a high and started a YouTube channel. I even took up digital art. I had planned on dedicating even more time to them this month. That didn’t happen.

This month saw me struggle with creativity. I blogged less, I did not work on my YouTube channel at all, and I did not pick up my drawing tablet even once. November was supposed to see me take my new hobbies further and instead saw me do nothing.

cat sad sigh GIF

I hate this. I HATE being unproductive. I run on productivity highs and not being able to get things done by pouring myself into creative efforts is upsetting me. I’m trying to play it off and convince myself that I’m taking an impromptu break but… it’s not. I want to blog and shoot videos and draw. But I’m not able to.

It took me FOUR days to actually start this blog post. During that time, I opened the editor and closed it multiple times because the words just did not seem to flow. Having this activity of solace rendered useless has truly stumped me.

I don’t know who to talk to about this and vent, but also I don’t know if I actually want to talk at all. My motivation to be creative is one thing and my motivation to be social is another. Both are connected through a thin bridge, and somehow both sides are going down.

Over the past few weeks, I was actually able to meet my friends on multiple occasions. We’re still being very cautious and taking precautions, but we just needed to meet and lighten up. I really looked forward to each of these hangouts as well.

What surprised me was how exhausting most of these meets were. I met with close friends and also not close friends. Both exhausted me. By the time I got home from every meetup in the last month, my energy was drained and I didn’t want to open my mouth and say another word for the rest of the day. I didn’t want to text, I didn’t want to have any contact with anyone because it seemed to only suck my energy out.

shaking head gif

Hangouts with my friends used to be effortless, and now they’re exhausting. This feels like a betrayal. It has taken me years to get comfortable with my friends to the point that I didn’t need to prepare myself to be social every time. They were people whom I didn’t have to pretend with or actually spend energy on. I could be myself with them and it was fine. The first time I met my friends in October, it was really nice and actually made me happy. Every meeting after that exhausted me.

It’s not even that something happened between my friends and I. Everything was mostly okay. My brain just decided to stop being comfortable around all my friends. Granted, they were all group meetings where I was not close to everyone present, but it still surprised me because I had actually made a ton of progress in 2019. It feels like I’m taking steps back.

I have also noticed that the people I used to effortlessly spend time with now trigger the “put on a face” mode in my head, which causes me to spend energy to be consciously social and which, in turn, exhausts me. I don’t know what is happening, and I hate it.

By “consciously social”, I mean putting extra energy into coming up with responses and making myself a part of the conversation. Pushing myself to actually talk to the people around me. It became better in 2019 and before lockdown, I was doing really good. Now… I don’t seem to.

My creative motivation and my social comfort both went down at the same time, and I feel like they are related somehow but I don’t know how. Previously, they used to be separate. Even if I had an exhausting day, I could lose myself in blogging or drawing. And vice versa. I’m not able to do that anymore.

Over the last week, I also slowed down on texting. I see messages and reply to them later. I don’t want to start conversations. It’s as if the energy that would be spent on a new conversation is spent just by thinking about it. There’s only one person I’m semi-actively texting right now and even that is delayed. The thought of picking up my phone and talking to people repels now.

It’s translated into all forms of communication. I visit blogs and keep up new posts but I barely comment. My replies and texts on Instagram and Twitter are totally down.

Rapunzel picking up books gif

The only thing I seem to still do the same is read. My reading, at least, has not left me yet. I’m actually getting into audiobooks more now that I text and do everything else less. When I pick up my phone, it is more to start an audiobook than with the intention of texting anyone.

I also had grand plans for my reading this month with reading challenges and readathons. Yeah.. that did not happen. I’m just reading whatever I want to right now. I feel like if I try to force myself to read books according to challenges and readathons, I’ll lose this too. No, thank you.

If I had to point out one positive thing from November, it would be journalling. I set a goal to journal every day in November, and I kept up with it. Journalling is another relaxing activity and it had been several months since I journalled at all. This goal was to bring back the habit.

By “journal”, I didn’t mean write down thoughts every day. Some days I don’t have to much to say. My goal was to just write something—whether it is quotes, my thoughts, a list of books I’m currently reading, or even just stickers on the page. Making pretty spreads also count, because I spend time on my bullet journal. That was the whole point.

On the days that I actually thoughts to unload, it feels very cathartic. On other days, it feel fun because I let myself doodle and make a mess of the pages. I tried printing pink things and making a scrapbook-y page. I doodled quotes here and there without the goal of making it look pretty.

Flipping through the pages of this month makes me happy. It is the ONLY thing that I consistently kept up with and served it’s purpose.

journalling GIF

Until this blog post, I hadn’t spoken a word about my declining motivation to anyone. Not my closest friends, not my online friends, and definitely not on social media. I only wrote about it in my bullet journal once.

Because the decline wasn’t fast, I didn’t think it would last. I hoped that by not talking about it, it will go back to normal. That, any day now, I will want to blog with passion and text friends with silly things. It’s been almost a month now and this method is not working.

Time for a new plan.

okay, so what's the plan? GIF

1. I talk about it.

Which I’m doing, in this post. And I may text a friend about it? Not sure. But this is me acknowledging that my motivation is going down. This also lowers expectations. Since I put it out there, I won’t push myself to make everything seem normal. It’s not.

Even as I write this, I feel better. Removing expectations that I put on myself is so relieving. I wanted to explore all these all hobbies together somehow and make it work. I can’t, not right now.

2. Keep up with commitments.

On the list of things I hate the most: not following through with commitments. Be it me or anyone else.

Bookending Winter is, thankfully, the only commitment I signed up for in December so it shouldn’t be hard. Especially since I already have the basic idea down in notes. All I have to do is just write the prompt announcements.

(I’m really excited to see others try my prompts, not going to lie. Hopefully people do. *fingers crossed*)

3. Plan nothing else.

While I want to plan end of year content, it’ll just be me putting more expectations on myself. I should chill.

So, other than Bookending Winter posts, my posts will be random and unplanned. If I feel like blogging, I’ll do it. If I don’t, you may not see another post from me for weeks. Who knows. This may or may not turn into an impromptu hiatus.

No planning other creative activities either. I’ll just roll with moods as they come.

4. Less commenting on other blogs.

This is already happening. I don’t know if anyone has noticed it? I’m barely commenting because the thought of writing a comment exhausts me just like the thought of sending a text.

I still enjoy reading blogs, so I will keep up with posts, but I probably won’t comment. This is a broadcast to the blogs I follow and frequent: you will see me like your posts and not comment as usual. It’s not that I don’t like your content but I just don’t want to think and write a word if I don’t have to.

accessories divider

And.. that’s it for today. As I started this post, I meant for it to be less ranty and more of updates. But once I started writing, it just went in a completely different direction and I don’t want to edit this post to change anything. I’ll let it be.

How have you been, truly? How are you doing? Do you have any tips for improving my overall motivation?

Do comment your thoughts. I’ll read immediately and while I may get back to you a little later than usual, I will respond 🙂 Thanks for understanding and sticking with me throughout this post and also through this blog 💜

20 thoughts on “Bookending Winter, Motivation Slump, Hiatus? // The Chatty Habitat”

  1. I hate being unproductive too, but I have learned sometimes when slumps hit me hard, it’s my body’s way of yelling at me to partake in self-care and to disconnect. I did that with my most recent reading/writing slump and it helped me realise that it was time to retire one blog and solely focus on another (one was for anime content, which I retired because I outgrew the blog space and the second one is my book blog, which is helping me with pursuits IRL) and to also maybe try and take more risks with other creative ventures. It really helped me feel rejuvenated. But that whole time I was relaxing, I struggled. I love staying super busy (I am a workaholic haha), and it was so challenging to train my brain to let go and unwind.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s the same with me. I’m a workaholic too. To the point that relaxing was just hobby work i.e. blog work. My friends often comment on how much I do. I think this slump is my body finally having enough after getting through 2020. It’s going to be challenging for me to unwind as well, but I shall try 😊

      Like

  2. I feel seen in this post Sumedha *hugs you* For me it doesn’t matter if I’m meeting with close friends or not, i know I’ll be socially drained afterwards because being social drains my batteries. Regardless of who I’m with, that doesn’t mean I don’t have fun or enjoy myself but due to me being an introvert and empath I often feel my energy getting drained…every day. It can be frustrating, constantly feeling rundown and even more so if you’d made progress to be able to not be affected by it.

    I also hate not being productive, so I’m slowly changing what I view as productive, self care is productive. Spending time with books is productive. In a world where social media lets us see how productive and seemingly put together everyone else’s lives appear to be, it’s easy to want to not take any breaks, any rest. Cause there’s no time? I’ve learned that being still can often be just what you need, by this I mean just follow where your thoughts take you, if you’re not feeling like blogging or talking to anyone, read or watch TV/YouTube.

    I also relate to the commenting less, it’s why I wait to hop to certain posts when I have more energy to give out to comments. Otherwise I’m just staring at the “leave a comment” box wondering what words are. I’ve struggled with motivation this year, I struggle stepping back from my blog too but at the end of the day, there’s no point blogging with no energy cause then you’ll fall into burnout >.> which is no fun, tips I have is to consume content when you’re up to it. I consume a lot of content (mostly YouTube) even when I’m lacking motivation, this helps me replenish my creativity well, whilst also giving me a bit of motivation to focus on something.

    As for Bookending Winter…if you’re really struggling all you gotta do is come find Sam or I and we’ll figure something out ❤ End of year posts are always fun, if you really wanna do them you could always set up the draft now and slowly chip away at it throughout the weeks. It's what I do with several of my posts, it's easier to have something half started than be staring at a blank document.

    Anyway ily, take care of yourself and I'm always here if you wanna chat in DMs or anything, we'll all still be here when your motivation returns…and it will. You may just have to give yourself time ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for this comment, Clo 💜 In the last couple years I actually transitioned from introvert to ambivert slowly which is what I’m calling progress where I did not feel as drained around certain people. I still do but the scale lessened with a few friends, and now the scale is back up, which is annoying me 😅

      I agree that the meaning of productiveness is linked to “output” only rather than “input” or “maintenance” also. (Look at me, relating life to tech terms because of my degree 😂) I really struggle with what I see as productiveness. Today j actively worked on not being productive but just doing what I want to. That led me to playing League of Legends for the first time in several months, and it felt so good! It’s not “productive” in my book but the fact that I enjoyed it should make it so. It’ll take me time to change my definition to a healthier one.

      I get what you mean consume content to replenish but it totally depends on the type of content. I.. don’t enjoy YouTube unless I’m actually up for it. Bingeing shows is fine, though, so I might try that if my eyes are not too strained. I’m a software engineer so I already spend wayy too much time staring at a screen. Need to find alternatives for winding down.

      My plan for Bookending Winter is to chip at the posts slowly. I have the entire ideas and main headings etc. down in my bullet journal so I just have to put it together in the editor. I’ll be working on them slowly from tomorrow, so I should be fine for them.

      Ily too, thanks for the reassurance and support 💜

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Being in produce sucks but sometimes it okay to let yourself sit ack and relax because you need it! I’ve not been a follower of your blog for a long time but in the past few months since I’ve been following you, I’ve seen you do so much, post so amazing creative posts and work so hard and it damn inspiring and amazing! So please don’t be hard on yourself for not being productive because sometimes the best thing you can do to help yourself is by doing nothing and if you ever need to talk I’m here 😊🤗

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This year has been a STRUGGLE! I think at this point we have to lean into how we feel and not fight it. Don’t feel bad about doing less—or especially commenting less. I’m in the same boat. What’s most important is taking care of ourselves. But I do love Bookending Winter! This will be my second year to participate. I hope December is good to you! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. *sends virtual hugs* this year has been terrible!! not being productive sucks, and i hate when that happens to me!! don’t worry about reading a certain number of books, or interacting with people when you don’t feel like it, or even commenting on others posts, because your mental health should always be a priority, and you should always be enjoying doing the things you love!! i hope december treats you better 🥺❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the hugs and reassurance 🥺💜 now that I’m properly taking a step back from blogging (it’s been over a week with no new post for the first time in over a year!), I’m feeling much better and more relaxed. That being said, I do have many plans for January so let’s see haha.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Yaaar … 💜💜 It’s good that you talked about it here, I hope this sucky feeling goes away soon but as you have it now just take a nice long break and just do what you want …
    I’m on a good break with just reading and laughing on my mind to help me keep sane 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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