Wednesday, November 2, 2011

How do you juggle blogging and life?

Hi everyone! This is Tahleen, one member of the very busy Broke and Bookish team. I don't know about any of you, but lately I'm finding it hard to find time and the energy to continue blogging at the rate I've been doing previously. I really love this community, and I love being a part of such an awesome team, but man, is it challenging!

The reasons I'm so busy are as follows: wedding planning (seven month countdown starting today), house hunting, school, part-time work, finding the time to spend with family and friends. It's a lot to deal with, and I'm trying my best to find time for everything.

Now don't get me wrong. I don't plan on quitting, but I do wonder how so many of us in the blogging world are able to fit in all the time to read and review and create discussions. How do you all do it?

I know that I fit in reading time by listening to audiobooks, which are a godsend, really. I love having a story to occupy my time on the road, and I do spend a lot of time on the road, what with visiting my fiance a half-hour away and commuting to Boston for school twice a week, plus all the little trips I take for errands, visits, activities, etc.

I also read e-books on my nook when I go to the gym. There is a handy little ledge on which it sits perfectly. I've read at least three books since I've rejoined my gym in August, which might not sound like a lot, but I'm only reading for 30-45 minutes at a time there after all.

As for the reviews, well, that's where I lose my steam. It's hard for me to sit down and write them now, since I feel like I'm always going somewhere or doing something else that is more pressing. I have read far more books this year than have written reviews. My problem is finding the motivation to write them, and taking the time to do it.

What are your tricks, tips or trials when it comes to finding a place for reading and blogging in your life?

19 comments :

  1. My number one rule: if you don't have time to blog for awhile, DON'T. This has gotten me through many guilty feelings and I've really just conditioned myself to not freak out about it if I can't blog. This doesn't bring the income and I'm not getting graded on it, so it becomes easy to prioritize when faced with that :)

    Also, AUDIOBOOKS! I can't agree enough. I've just recently been introduced to the world of audiobooks and even if it's just an extra 2 or 3 books read per month, that is still significant. Plus, reading while driving? You can't lose.

    I write reviews at work, honestly. That's the ONLY place I write them. I write them when I'm bored and would rather do something as tedious as reviews rather than do work-related tasks, haha! I also read at work during downtime.

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  2. I've been having this problem too although it hasn't been life getting in the way, just a mild case of burnout. So I took a break so I didn't end up hating reading.

    I'd say just cut back a bit and post less. Also when it comes to reviews, write shorter ones. And if you have a huge chunk of free time, write up a bunch of posts and then schedule them to be posted throughout the week so you don't have to blog every day, maybe just on weekends, for example.

    And of course take time off if you need it to avoid burnout. Remember why you read: because you love it, and then just do what you love, no matter what! :)

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  3. I read this post and smiled, because I so agree! I too am finding myself loosing steam in the blogging realm, what with all the real life things that are coming up.

    Definitely don't feel bad if you have to take a break! I used to freak out if I missed a post during the week. We have to remember that first and foremost we do this out of love for books :). After all, we don't get paid! So if you need to take some time for yourself, do it!

    As for reviews, I just sit down and write them really quick right after I finish a book. Stream of consciousness. Then later, when I post it, I read through and make small changes. It's helped me!

    Oh and congratulations on your upcoming wedding!

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  4. I have not been blogging very long, but I struggle with the same inability to balance my normal life with my blogging life. I just remind myself that my blog is something I do for me, so if I don't have the time to do it, I don't. I don't have a blogging schedule because it is not something I want or a deadline or is meant to stress me out. It is most enjoyable to me to blog when I have something to say. I also have to remind myself that my blogs do not have to be epic revelations; they can be short, sweet, and to the point if that is all I have to say about a book.

    Congratulations on all of your upcoming changes! If it is any consolation, I was exactly where you are last year - I started a new job, got married, and my husband and I bought a house - whew! But I am on the other side, and it is worth it! Good luck!

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  5. I couldn't live without scheduled posts! And memes and a schedule of what I post on what days helps tremendously as well.

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  6. I'm having the same problem. And this isn't the first time I've come across this problem. I want my book review blog to become something some what important, and to have readers reading my reviews, etc. But I feel like when I go through this "dry" slumps, or when life gets in the way, etc. I'm afraid I will lose the interest of any readers I have made. So it worries me when I don't post for a little while. I wish I could find a happy medium! So, I'm in the same position as you are!

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  7. I have been just enjoying reading and don't have too many reviews to do. Also with kids and holidays..I am busy ..so I will do what I can do and blog too. Life happens and books will always be there.

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  8. I've been thinking the same things lately. And I have a HUGE backlog of books for review but I decided to take time to finally try NaNoWriMo (something I've wanted to do for a while) and to read books that I want to read (ones that have been on my shelf for a while whether they are review books or not). I generally read in order of received, but this month it's what I want, when I want.

    I'm also not accepting any more self pubs for a bit, because that is what I have a backlog on. *sigh* and I want to get caught up before accepting more books.

    Oh and wedding planning... I'm there too 11 months countdown. Good luck juggling everything - you have WAY more going on than I do so don't feel bad about blogging taking a back burner... it is just for fun right? When it stops being fun, then what's the point? :)

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  9. I have this problem too and have been wondering the same thing for a long time. The conclusion I've come to? It seems to be a very common theme in the blogging world.

    I don't know if that says something about us bloggers or just society in general, always being busy! Always being busy to the point of not fitting things in!

    I've been getting others to blog on http://bookishardour.com, taking more of an editorial/administration role because I plan on going back to my novel-in-progress and at the moment most of my writing time is being taken up by blogging time.

    I could probably do with more contributors, but for the moment it's helped ease some strain. And if I find myself having a free day with some time (talk about rare), I can schedule a lot of the memes so there's always content, including a review from someone else, each week (except in November now NaNoWriMo is on).

    The guilt is the biggest problem, but I don't understand why so many of us develop a guilt problem. It's not like people are relying on us to have content, it's not going to change the world, and it's our own lives so we have to do what we have to do.

    Congratulations on getting married and good luck with the wedding plans!

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  10. Oops, I stuffed up my link! Sorry to anyone who clicks it, it won't take you anywhere... That's what the link is meant to look like though so I was half way there.

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  11. It is tough to balance a life filled with family, work and fun with the passion for blogging.

    My family thinks I am always blogging but I feel blogging is the last thing I get done on my long to-do list.

    More time in the day is the solution.

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  12. I fear I may have this problem soon! I will be starting the wedding planning process soon while working full time and studying for a test and trying to maintain some social life. I fear the blogging might be what has to give!

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  13. I agree with everybody else here. I have the same problem, since I commute in to Boston for work 5 days a week. I try to read on the train, but since it leaves at 7:07 am, I usually end up falling asleep! Audiobooks are the best for when I do cooking and cleaning, or walking to and from the train station.

    I'm going to try to start scheduling posts farther in the future so that every once in a while I'll have a break. It's a nice dream, but I'm not sure if I'll be able to keep it up or not.

    Good luck! Just remember why you're doing this, and your love for reading.

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  14. Audiobooks help!

    I run a book review site, a wedding website, freelance full-time, dance tango, and am planning a wedding (keeping it small due to lack of time!).

    I find that getting up early, going to bed late, and drinking plenty of coffee helps. I'm going to have to start turning down review copies, though, as I'm starting to become a bit overwhelmed. I also only make myself review things I've specifically requested--anything unsolicited is only a "maybe" review.

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  15. I read every chance I get. When I leave the house, I put my current read in my purse. I read in the car when waiting for the kids to get out of school. I read when I take the kids to an indoor play place - or even an outdoor park. I read during soccer practices. I don't miss an opportunity.

    As for blogging, that's trickier. I do a lot of it when they're at school and/or sleeping. Or when the hubby's home and able to keep them busy/occupied.

    It's a delicate balance.

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  16. I came across your post upon Twitter. You don't know me, and that's ok because it's how we make friends in the book community right? We get to know other bloggers by visiting their blogs and through e-mail.

    I was asked by some of my friends, who don't read books at all and don't blog about books, well, obviously. One of my friends asked me how do I find the time to blog about books. Well, I work full-time (7 days a week), read one book a week, and blog every night. And I still have enough time to comment on other blogs and discuss about books. First, I didn't blog at all. I read lots of books though, that's all I do during my free time. Then I started blogging on September 2011, which I thought it's awesome to join the book community. I LOVe it and will blog forever even I don't have much time. Blog has become part of my family. You know, it is my passion! And I enjoy doing it! I do listen to Audiobook, and find it is better because I have one less book to worry about. I'm behind on all my reviews, so I'm planning to catch up by writing one per week.

    I don't hang out with my friends and since I live with my parents, so I don't have to spend more time with them. For me, that narrows down a lot. Plus I have free time at work, so I read and sometimes work on my blog. Then I work on my blog at night and stay up late blogging. Sometimes I think blogging takes up most of my time, but I still enjoy doing it. One thing I think it's cool is I can write all my blog posts on my phone and save them for editing later. I save lots of time that way, so when I get home, I just edit all my posts on my computer. Then I spend at least two days to visit other blogs (I try to visit all the YA blogs) and comment on them. Then I spend three days to read one book. I don't have much new and exciting posts on my blog, but I take lots of time to write and edit each blog (I'm very picky about the format and layouts, and I also make sure to pay closer attention to my grammas). But I'll be posting more exciting stuff on my blog soon. I'm planning on it this month.

    Sorry for the long post. I rambled too much.

    Sam

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  17. Hi everyone! Thanks for all your comments and all your congrats! And congratulations to all of you who are engaged/just got married/are embarking on exciting life changes.

    And thank you for your response to this. It makes me feel better that I'm not alone! :)

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  18. Oh, you're definitely not alone. I started blogging (or more accurately, started a blog) in January. I only have like six posts.
    I've been working on making the time to sit down and write. It's not so much as finding time to read for me as it is a case of finding time to write the reviews. I've been working on it these past couple of weeks, reading how other bloggers do it, how they accomplish their bookish goals. I plan to start by writing a book review a week and writing extra posts for times when life gets too hectic. We'll see.
    I hope you find the time and energy to finish everything on your plate nowadays! :)

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  19. Excellent discussion, and you are definitely not alone! I find myself running out of steam as well, and have started blogging on the weekends as I just don't seem to have the time during the week.

    I read my nook during lunch and whenever I'm on the exercise bike, and always have it with me when I run errands or have appointments. Every little bit of reading time helps!

    Scheduling posts in advance really helps too, as no way could I write them during the week.

    My challenge now is catching up on writing my backlog of reviews. I've cut down on accepting review requests as I have way too many books in my TBR piles as it is.

    Funny how so many of us are on the guilt train!

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