DFA Link Rally: The Ketchup Post

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While taking the summer off, I missed more than a few DFA Link Rally posts – hence ketchup… get it?

Summer off?  Yeah, that’s pretty much what happened.

I stopped writing regular DFA posts for two reasons:

  1. I burned myself out by working too hard, fast, and furious.
  2. Summer in Michigan only lasts a few months.

Writer burn out

It happens.  I have been publishing free content on DFA since January of 2009, while also working full-time.  This is doable as long as you don’t overdo it… which I guess I did.  Live and learn.  The good news is, my batteries are recharged and I am itching to get back at it.

My strategy for avoiding burnout is simply to pace myself better – I’d rather be a moon than a shooting star.  I plan to write more efficiently and only when it’s feasible, rather than inefficiently and all-the-time.  I’m confident it will work well.

Summer in Michigan

What makes summers in Michigan so sweet?  Winters in Michigan – no joke.  Not only do I need that sweet warm weather to recharge my Vitamin D cells… my wife is also on vacation all summer, making it doubly hard to find time to write during the short warm season.  She started work this past week, which is also when the writing bug bit hard… convincing me to get back on the horse.

This is not me making excuses, it is me letting you know what happened and where I’ve been.  I know you lost sleep over it.  You did right?

Enough of that stuff, onto the Link Rally.

Link rally for this week

Neal Frankle brings several solid articles, as always:

Jeff @ Sustainablelifeblog is entertaining as usual:

  • Save Money, Save the Environment
  • When To Go It Alone
  • A Break Up Letter

Ryan has entries for citizens and soldiers alike:

And the rest:

There you have it folks – hope these links are a blessing to readers and writers alike.

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1 Paul Williams

Hey, Matt! Glad to hear you’ll be back at it. I was just wondering…what’s your strategy/definition for efficient writing? I feel like mine is probably inefficient. It seems like I struggle to write what I want even when I have a good idea and outline already. I don’t know if it’s my perfectionism (a constant battle) or something else, but it is not easy for me to keep on writing all the time. I feel like it drains me, but it seems like so many others can just bang out an article in no time. Maybe I’m not cut out to be a writer?

Hope you enjoyed your summer, and I’m looking forward to reading more great stuff from you!

2 Matt Jabs

Hey Paul, trust me… you’re not alone. Myself and many others have felt the exact same way and yes, I do believe it has a lot to do with attempted perfectionism. I suppose a good piece of advice is to stop taking ourselves so seriously. It is important to try and write with more humor… in a way that makes us feel good, and flows, instead of stifling ourselves with visions of perfect posts. Make a commitment to spend a specific amount of time on each post, and don’t go over, just hit the limit and publish what you have. Also, don’t be afraid to go a day here and there without posting, the world will still turn. It’s not that you’re not cut out to be a writer, it just means that you have to keep practicing. 🙂 Hope this helps.

3 Matt Jabs

I should also add… by writing efficiently I mostly mean to set that specific amount of time, then minimize distractions and crank out your post in a way that gets your point across. Don’t concern yourself so much with how many words it is, if you feel you have made your point, just publish it.

Spend a lot of time on certain posts, but don’t attempt to do them all in one night, just grow them slowly over a few weeks, writing here and there. That is my plan for affiliate and/or revenue generating posts, which brings up another good point… there is no need to attempt to generate revenue with every post. Designate your revenue posts and spend a lot of time on those, then fill the gaps with posts that flow more and express your opinions.

4 Paul Williams

Great advice, Matt! I’ll try to focus in more and use a time limit if I can. I think my problem is more with wanting to make a comprehensive guide to a topic than necessarily generating revenue with every post. (Though I need to focus more on those types as well!) I’m beginning to see that series and ebooks are the best way to comprehensively cover something.

Thanks for the help!

5 Peter

I’d also add that sometimes you just need to publish – even when you don’t feel like a post is 100% how you want it, because it can still find and help a reader who is looking for the answers you’re providing. I’m a bit of a perfectionist sometimes in my writing as well, and I’m probably not 100% happy with most of the posts I’ve written. I’ll usually give myself an hour or two to complete a post, I get it to a point where i’m reasonably happy with it, and publish. If I waited til i was happy with a post I think i’d have about 4 posts live on the site – not counting guest posts. 🙂

6 Mike Piper

Excited to have you writing again. 🙂

7 Matt Jabs

Thanks Mike, glad to be back.

8 Jason @ One Money Design

Thanks for the link, Matt. Looking forward to your upcoming posts!

9 Money Smarts Blog

Welcome back buddy!

I totally agree about the burnout. I have to restrict myself so that it doesn’t happen to me.

It’s one thing if you are a full time blogger and need to crank up production to make the rent – but for the rest of us 9-5ers who are blogging on the side – we need to pace ourselves.

10 Carol@inthetrenches

Thanks for having me in the round up, Matt. Happy that you had the opportunity to have the summer off. Isn’t that what financial freedom is really all about?

My issue about writing is definately editing. (I’m sure others notice that too). the message is the number 1 priority to me and know that a good editor would improve the delivery. Joe from Personal Finance By The Book once did a touch up on one of the guest posts I had written. The difference was like a woman with or without make-up. Same person but enhanced. No wonder why so many writers take time to thank their editors, it’s a wonderful talent!

Looking forward to your new posts!

11 Aunt Jenny

Glad to have you back Matt and thanks for explaining stuff. I was a bit concerned about you and hoping for the best. It’s very easy to get burned out, even with something that is enjoyable. Sometimes you just have to step back from it for a while and regroup.

Glad you got a chance to enjoy Michigan! I’m from Illinois and my hubs and I were just out in the Traverse City/Elk Rapids area about 3 weeks ago visiting with some friends and had one of our best trips ever!

Take care,

12 Jenna

Thanks for the awesome list of blog posts. Glad to hear you had a good summer.

13 Tracy

Getting back on the horse since summer has ended. I understand where you are coming from. Blogging can be very time consuming and take a lot out of you.

14 MD

I put some pictures on the side of a milk carton and it looks like we found you! Good to have you back. Hopefully this means that you’ll be around for 3am blogging chats again lol!

Hey, if students can get the summer off, why can’t you?

I was burnt out this summer myself too. That mixed in with the fact that I as living alone made it nearly impossible to focus on my blogging. My best piece of advice is to incorporate guest posts into your blog. It allows your readers to have more questions answered that are out of your reach, and it gives you breathing space.

15 online survey response rates

Spot on Ellen, I couldnt have said it better.

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