Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Blogging wrecked...

Blogging wrecked my home life. I kid. I kid.

I don't want anyone saying those words. If you don't love blogging, don't do it. Those around you will notice that you only blog to promote something and that isn't always helpful. Being entertaining is key or being informative is another route that is beneficial. This week I'll be both (I promise).

When I started blogging last January (2010) I spent SO MANY hours blogging, commenting, following, it was insane. I was addicted. I was also home alone while my husband worked overnights.

It was feasible then. That is no longer the case.

Now I have line edits. New ideas. More followers. A husband at night. Reading to catch up on. And the usual day job.

Those of you writing as your day job. I am both jealous and happy for you. I know many of us dream of that day. The same goes for you though, blogging is still hard to maintain because the writing is the key at that point.

Balance is hard. Some of us may never obtain the balance we need, but we will certainly give it one hell of a fight. So... here's a day in the life of Jen.

5 am - Out of bed.
6 am - Showered, eaten breakfast, off to work.
6:30 am - Blogging.
7 am to 4 pm - Day job. (I have two breaks to which I answer emails and blog)
4:30 pm - Dinner.
5-7 pm - Eat, blog, read, write (I have to take my pick for the evening).
7-9 pm - Snuggle with hubby.

Being the life of a writer isn't easy but would you change it for anything? I know blogging isn't required to be a successful writer but without I wouldn't have any of the connections I've made over the past year and my life truly wouldn't be the same.

How do you cope with blogging? What do you give up? What does your day look like?

66 comments:

Talli Roland said...

Love this post, Jen!

To blog, I've given up most of my free-time in the evenings. Sometimes Mr TR has to physically close my lap-top! :)

But you're so right - without blogging, I wouldn't have made such brilliant connections (including you) and I wouldn't have discovered such a wonderfully supportive community.

Len Lambert said...

Hi Jen. Can't blog everyday due to home life and being a full time mom. I do love blogging and of course my writing. My blogging time is very erratic because I cannot stick to a certain schedule, unless I've got a deadline and I promised a book review or announce a book launch of a fellow writer. I agree it's not always easy but like you, I love the blogging and on-line writing community. I've made wonderful connections and very good friends - I wouldn't trade it for the world.

salarsenッ said...

Blogging is definitely time consuming. I schedule myself to blog on the days I post, being M-T-F. I try and hit most blogs early in the morning, but that's not always the case. With four kids, there always seems to be someone who has a dentist appointment or something at school I must attend. Sighs...will I ever perfect this balancing act??

Thomasina said...

What a wonderful post! My daily schedule really depends on how the Fibromyalgia is affecting me. When I get my quiet time at night, I have to decide if I'm going to blog or read. Balance is the key, and I have to remember that all the time seeing that I attend college online.

Amy Saia said...

I think you're doing great—especially with a day job. I mean, that's pretty amazing Jen.

For me, it can be a struggle devoting my thoughts to whatever I'm reading or commenting on. If the kids are near, I just can't concentrate. But, like you said, no complaining. It's a blessing to be a mom and I wouldn't have it any other way (Spring Break this week! Help!)

Becky Taylor said...

This reminds me, I was going to start planning my days instead of just reacting to the strange series of events that usually fall over me.

Note to self--write down your schedule.

PS to self--stick to the schedule.

Tracy said...

So very true!! In some social circles they say pimpin' ain't easy . . . in ours it's the blogging that's trying at times.

I had to learn it was okay to cut back to posting just 3 days a week. Giving me more time in between to get around to and comment back on blogs I was missing before. I had to learn I can't visit everyone, every day. But I make sure I genuinely read and give a worthwhile response to those I do get around to. Because, like you said, it's about making connections with people that can help you now and in the future...not to mention, they're damn good people!

Amie Kaufman said...

I've definitely given up some time in the evenings for blogging, but it's been more than worth it to become a part of this community. I find that since the task has grown, I've had to become far more organised--not usually my strong suit, but it turns out that if I want it enough, I can manage it!

Christine said...

I had to cut back on my blog posts. Someone suggested I add back my third day with just a mash up of stuff, but I haven't started. I blog 2x a week for my personal blog, 1x per month for a group blog, and 1x a month for a chapter blog. I often do a "retro" blog for the chapter's blog cause I just don't have time. I have a theme for the group blog which helps. I visit other blogs on my blog days and check them out. Two things helped me: scheduling the blog and making a schedule. I check emails and do the blog after my writing day is finished.

Great post!

Suzie F. said...

You're so right, Jen. I've had to cut back on blogging too. I sneak 15 minutes in before work, a little time in the afternoon in between taxi-ing kids, and sometimes a half hour at night if I'm not writing.

It's all a balancing act.

Hannah Kincade said...

So once 9 o'clock hits do you shove hubby away from you? :P

I have a few select blogs that I hit daily, either on my commute or at work. Then I have 3 breaks at work so I visit a few more and reply to comments. I save the night blogging for Monday, Wednesday and friday. I catch up what I can on Sunday and do most of my blog writing then. The Man is in school right now so I only see him twice a week, if that. It gives me plenty of time to write and read.

Claire Goverts said...

Wonderful post. As great as blogging it, does need to be balanced out with everything. Your schedule is impressive especially making time for both hubby and blogging/writing in the evening.

Trisha Leaver said...

I too have a few blog that I hit regularly, then I try and hit all the ones that have commented on mine. Sometimes blogging comes easy to me, other times I spent hours trying to think of a post topic. Some of my blogging friends have schedules -- they post M/W/F, even have themes for those days. Maybe I will give that a try.

Sheila Siler said...

Oh the challenges! On a "normal" day I get up at 5am(ish) and get started. After checking email, Facebook and my blog, I try to write on my book or any other writing projects I have. At 6am I get my daughter up for school. I'm all mom until about 8am when I've gotten each of my three kids out the door. Then I have a bit of time until I have to go to work at 10am. Fortunately I have Mondays off and try to get a lot of blogging done then (scheduled publish is my best friend!). I also blog at night while my husband is studying (he's taking a class). However, he has recently said I need a laptop so I have more mobility for when inspiration hits - so that's the next move. It is a challenge - fortunately my family knows how much I love it and they work with me.

Amie B said...

you know how i blogged yesterday about why i write? and what i give up when my plate is full? well....blogging is one of those things that i take off my list when my life is just crazy. i miss it when i'm gone, but the other things are just much more pressing.

Summer Ross said...

Jen- its wonderful you make cuddle time! My days are much crazier but that's okay- usually I give up some reading time to blog. I do most my blogging stuff in the morning and then when I take breaks from school I go back to blogging a bit, then back to homework. Depending on the day will depend on what I give up- but it is an addiction :)

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Blogging is like therapy for me. I used to be really daunted by it, but now, blogging is my break from my fiction writing. (Best done with coffee and chocolate cake!) :D

Karen Lange said...

I love blogging and all the great friends (like you) I've met, but it is hard to keep up with. My writing is the thing that suffers most, and I need to figure out how to balance things out. Was just talking to another blogger friend about this. We didn't come up with any remarkable answers though. Will let you know if we do!

LTM said...

my day is wrecked as well... and now I've signed up for a blogfest!

but like you, I'm about to start another stretch of "home alone" time... *sign* ((hugs))

Christine Danek said...

Good schedule. I limit myself to post 3xs a week and catch up on commenting when I can. Like right now. I try to that in the morning, but with kiddos, there is not a whole lot of me time. So when I do get free time I try and write because that comes first. Blogging has to take a back seat. I do love blogging, I've met some incredible people which have changed my life.
I have to be real.
Have a great day!

Beth said...

For me, writing and my husband take priority over everything else. I blog usually Mon-Wed-Fri, but if I'm having a bad week, I might miss a post. My followers never seem to mind and my blog started as a writing exercise so for me this works.
bethfred.com

Candyland said...

I'm with you. I've had to take a big step back and re-evaluate what's most important. That means less blogging, but you know, it's ok.

Carolyn V said...

The balancing act is truly hard! I jotted down my schedule a few weeks ago and found out that I was over scheduled for time (only about 14 hours or so). But I love to write, so I'll keep juggling!

Carrie said...

Great post. I have a hard time finding balance. I work at night so I use my days to write, blog, clean my house, socialize, run errands, whatever. I really try not to blog at work cause it is work and all. I've been setting a daily goal for my current revision and I've been meeting that goal which means I reward myself with blogging.

Nicole Zoltack said...

Balance can be sooo hard to find! I recently started a new job as an editor for an epublisher so now it's even harder to find time for my own writing, let alone blogging. I make sure to spend at least a half hour a day visiting blogs and commenting. I love the blogging community too much to stop.

csdaley said...

I went through this whole thing where I decided I would blog everyday no matter what. It went two years. I just recently gave it up. I still blog a lot but found that blogging was taking away from writing (novel) and reading time. Something had to give.

Now I just blog when something strikes me as blog worthy (or I am updating novel progress).

Colene Murphy said...

Seems like you have found a veeeeeery good balance! Including the hubby in on your routine? Perfection!

Teenage Bride said...

a lot of people have been posting about this lately.

I love blogging but it does take a lot of time, just like anything else i find that if I schedule it and stick to that schedule... then the rewards outweigh any sacrifice

Michelle Merrill said...

I blog with kids in my lap. It takes a little time away from them...and sometimes I give up writing at night to blog a little more. It's definitely a balancing act, but I've made some great friends and wouldn't give it up. :)

Ellie said...

A post I can really identify with!

My day:
7am - 8am shower and breakfast
8am - 9am housework
9am - 11am blogging/emails/writing
11am - 12.30pm more housework/lunch
12.30pm - 8pm work
8.30pm - 10pm time with other half
10pm check blog/emails, then read.

melissa said...

Ugh. I totally hear you on the 'no time' thing. I do a lot of my blogging/answering comments/etc on the weekend.

Anyway, my day looks like this:
6am: wake up, shower, breakfast
7:30am: leave for work
8pm: get home from work, cook dinner
9pm: [free time!] - use to blog/read/clean/write/catch up on TV/talk to husband/pet cats/exercise
11 pm: sleep

Jessica Bell said...

Ah, honey, I hear ya. I used to watch a lot of TV when I didn't blog. Now I hardly EVER watch it unless S is out at a gig for the night. That's when I pop on Bones, or something.I think I've basically given up my free time. All my free time is spent either blogging, or critiquing others' work. I read in bed at night before I sleep. It's the only time I fit it in. But it's not really a sacrifice. I prefer it over hours of free time. I used to LOVE just have the opp. to twiddle my thumbs, but, nope, not anymore :o)

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

Ah yes, here's a post we can all relate to! Blogging is very time consuming, and I've had to set boundaries for myself so that the rest of my life receives the attention it needs. I didn't realize you work! Holy $h!t, Jen, my hat's off to you!! You really stay on top of your blog and write a LOT. You're my new hero!

E. Elle said...

I've always admired your dedication to the blogging world. I try my best to keep up with everything but I must admit, blogging does slide sometimes in favor of other things. I hope that I am able to entertain and inspire and encourage when I do find the opportunity to post, though.

Jess said...

I usually post in the morning by 7:00, and then slip in computer time whenever I can throughout the day. I try for balance by only posting twice a week--that helps me :)

Bethany Elizabeth said...

I'm still trying to figure out my schedule, it's a little crazy. I'm trying to get to the point where I post three days a week on schedule, but even that is hard. Still, no one said it was easy, right? So we do it anyways. :D

Myne Whitman said...

There's no routine to my blogging, I blog all the time, lol. Almost serious. Writing is my day job and with blogging, keeps me going.

Erin Kane Spock said...

I love blogging. I write blogs as the inspiration strikes and try to schedule a post every 3 days. I dedicate the first part of my writing time (like now) to following other blogs.
I love it. I feel connected to other writers and it can be both inspiring and a great resource.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm fortunate I can sometimes blog from work, but other times, time writing or with my wife slides a bit.

Christina Lee said...

It's as simple as breathing for me now :-) Just kidding-- but it is a habit and I've learned how to do short and sweet (and white space)with the best of them (I think...maybe), but you get the idea!

alexia said...

I love blogging, and I definitely don't get to spend as much time as I want on it. I work 40 hours a week and must entertain my little dude until 8 or 9. After his bedtime I might blog more, but I also have to consider writing my book and not ignoring my husband. It is tough to fit it all in!

Sondrae Bennett said...

I love to blog and often feel like I don't spend as much time as I should on it. But like you said, if you love something, you find some way to fit it in.

Tracey Neithercott said...

It's definitely easy to get sucked in. Sometimes I feel bad if I can't comment on blogs. (I don't go online over the weekend, but during crazy weeks I might not read other people's blogs for a few days.) The thing is, I do love to blog and wouldn't have met any of the wonderful people in this community of writers had it not been for blogging and tweeting.

But I agree with you: People shouldn't blog as an obligation. Readers can always tell when that's the case.

Michael Di Gesu said...

I wouldn't have grown as much as I have if I didn't blog. I learn something wonderful each day.

Mainly it is my time to meet and enjoy time with fellow writes on the same quest as I am. It is a wonderful to have company on the road to success, because their success is mine and vise versa.

Of course, i spend too much time blogging, but I enjoy it so!

Michael

Robert Guthrie said...

I only blog a few times a week. I try not to let it get in the way of writing.

jenniferprobst said...

I love blogging but it's a job. I have learned so much from other blogs it is the new best thing - besides twitter! - out there. Blogging is a form of showing your personal writing voice and telling the truth. Readers are so savvy - if you are blogging just to sell something - they will know. Blog because you want to share something of yourself with the world and sales will come from people who love your writing. Love your blog.

jenniferprobst said...

I love blogging but it's a job. I have learned so much from other blogs it is the new best thing - besides twitter! - out there. Blogging is a form of showing your personal writing voice and telling the truth. Readers are so savvy - if you are blogging just to sell something - they will know. Blog because you want to share something of yourself with the world and sales will come from people who love your writing. Love your blog.

Jen Chandler said...

So very true. I love blogging, but I find myself having to give it up from time to time in favor of other parts of life.

Balance is key, and finding that balance is such a challenge. But you're right: as long as we put up the fight, we'll succeed!

I can't imagine not blogging! Even as sporadic as I've been in the blogverse the past month, I always learn so much and have met so many fabulous people!

Danyelle said...

*hugs*

Blogging definitely happens in what free time I have. I do have to make time for it, but it's something that if I get to, great. If not, well, some things are more important. :D

Kimberly Franklin said...

Blogging lately hasn't been on my top priority. I've kind of given up trying to fit it in and have taken a break to fit everything eles in. Hopefully, very soon, some of the stuff on my plate will clear and I can get back on schedule. But like you said, writing is the most important thing, and lately, I haven't even had time for that! EEKKK! Hope you're doing good!!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I get up at 5 am to blog (or write/read on my non-blogging days). I stop at 7:30 am to get my kids up for school, and continue again until 9 am (I'm a slow commenter). I have to catch up on the blogs that visit me during the day after 8 pm. Annoys my husband (especially last night with all the news going on in Japan) because he can't use the computer. ;)


It's a lot of work, but I wouldn't do it if I didn't enjoy it.

Lynda R Young said...

awesome post. I feel the pain even though writing is my day job. I still don't have time for a whole bunch of things and I don't have as many followers as you. I'm impressed by how much you do manage to get done.

Holly Ruggiero said...

Argh! Yes. I was addicted to blogging too (I still am, who am I kidding.) I am trying to cut back as I’m not getting enough done. Now, I have to make tough choices. I don’t comment on everything I read.

Jennifer Hillier said...

Great post, Jen. Blogging was definitely consuming almost all my free time last year (when I had two blogs) and I got really burned out. To find a balance that worked for me, I had to give up one blog and scale back my other blog quite a bit. I'm better now - this is working for me. I have to more time to write, and more importantly, more time to spend with family (and nothing should ever come before that, I think).

Rachel Searles said...

Blogging usually eats up my mornings...and my writing time, which is something I'm still struggling with. Need balance.

Nicki Elson said...

Oops, I see I'm interrupting snuggle time. ;) You are much more organized than me. My schedule's more like this: Alarm goes of at 6am. Hit snooze; repeat an unspecified number of times. Eventually get up. Not really sure what happens after that.

Anyhow, I did join the A to Z challenge---pushed over the edge by you. I'm writing up an article for a local e-paper about it and was wondering...may I please use a quote from you from your post yesterday (w/ a link to your blog)?

Jemi Fraser said...

My board doesn't allow us to access personal sites/emails at school so I don't get that chance. Although I'm usually jam packed busy all day so I don't know if I'd have a chance to do it anyway :)

Balance is tough - I'm still striving :)

The Words Crafter said...

I've cut back on my posts, and my visits. I visit everyone at least once on the weekends. And through the week, it's as much as I can when I can.

I also (mostly) keep posts short. Occasionally, I stick a long one in there, like this past weekend.

I'm having to 'budget' everything! If you learn the secret to balancing, let me know!!!

Have a fantastic week :)

Meredith said...

I've started just blogging and commenting at night, because I'm usually too tired to do much writing then anyway. You're right--it can be a huge time commitment!

Lynn said...

It is a tough balance! Some weeks are better than others, but I know I spend more time blogging than writing, which is a concern of mine. I wish I needed less sleep!

Charmaine Clancy said...

I keep a notebook and jot down ideas for blogpost, save links into draft posts and that seems to make my blogging experience quicker. The biggest problem I have is all the wonderful blogs I want to visit!

Ghenet said...

Like you I have to balance working full time, writing/blogging and spending time with my husband. I write a post about this on my blog recently. I schedule time for everything each week and stick to it. I also carry a notebook with me so I can jot things down while at work or on the go (blog post ideas, notes about my WIP, etc). It's a lot to balance but very rewarding!

Donea Lee said...

Great post, Jen!! Thankfully, I do love blogging and all the great blogging friends I've made! Still trying to find the perfect balance, but I think I do all right. :)

Laura Howard said...

I'm so envious that you have the scheduling thing down! I guess that comes from a year of doing it right? I've been blogging for just a month and while I love it, I feel like I'm always sneaking it in here and there in my crazy life. I guess that can be said for everything I do including my regular novel writing. In time I'll work it out!

Jennifer Shirk said...

I definitely need more hours in the day!!
I do love blogging and reading blogs--probably more than any other social media because I feel much more of a connection with people.
I used to blog 5 days a week, but I had to cut down on blogging once I joined other social media sites. So far it's been a good balance.

Deniz Bevan said...

"I have to take my pick for the evening" - yes, me too, and that's why I always feel guilty when it's the writing that loses out. Wish I could work part time at least...