Sunday, March 31, 2013

On the Topic Of...Finding a Balance

For many of us book bloggers, blogging isn't our main occupation, it's a hobby. A hobby that takes up a lot of our time, but a hobby all the same. For my part, I'm finishing up my last year of my undergraduate degree, I work two jobs and I read and review books. So if you want my opinion, it's all one big balancing act.

The whole time I've been blogging, I've been a university student. When I first started my blog, it was summer, I didn't have a job and was reading. Blogging just became a way to pass time, give me something to do with my days other than just lying around reading. Since I had nothing else on my plate at the time, I didn't realize just how much of my time blogging would be taking up once I started school again. That first year things weren't so bad since all I really did was go to school, read and blog. But then the second year, I started working while going to school. And now in this third year of blogging, I've been going to school and working two jobs. And as much as I love all those things, at times it's been hard to balance it all.

There are times when all I want to do is read and blog when really I should be focusing on my school work. At other times, once I've gotten through all my school work I want nothing more than to just sit on my couch and do nothing, but I hear my blog calling out to me because it's been neglected. I'm not going to lie, there are times when I just had to neglect my blog because I couldn't even think about forcing my brain to do more work. But through it all, I've somehow found a way to keep up with school, work and my blog. the key thing is to sort of find a balance between all the different things going on in my life. 

But through it all I have found ways to keep on top of it all…or more or less on top of it all depending on how just busy I am. For me, it came down to what my priorities were. As much as I love blogging, my main priorities are school and work. And from that point on things just kind of fell into place. Blogging is something I'll do when I have time and I learned to stop worrying whenever I went a few days without posting any new content. As for reading, there's no better time than before bed to read a few chapters to wind down after a long day. You just have to find a way to make it all work together. And as soon as something feels forced, that's when you have to take a step back and re-evaluate. That's what I did. And now I've been blogging for almost 3 years.

So what are some of the ways you've found that work to balance blogging and all your other commitments? I know what works for me, but I'd love to hear some suggestions!

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  1. Hmmm.. I don't have any suggestions, but I'm an undergraduate, too. It's my second year and I have still 1 and 1/4 to go and I have only one job aside from school (dear god, how do you keep up with two jobs AND school AND a blog? You have my full respect, Emilie!) and yes, sometimes I do feel the pressure of posting at least 5 days a week and two reviews per week, but if I don't, my blogging friends understand and it's cool. I think I'm my worst enemy in the sense that no one expects me to post so much but myself and I feel kind of disappointed in myself if I don't. But just as you said, I must put things into perspective and for me, too, school and work come before blogging. It's great that there are audiobooks out there! I listen to them when I ride to school/work/home on my iPod and then I can still do some "reading" even if I'm not at home + I read some stuff on my phone when I don't bother to bring a physical book with me. I like those options. Other than that, I don't have any kind of advice for me nor you. You've done a wonderful job though:-)

  2. The only way I can balance for myself is to schedule posts ahead of time. Usually a few at a time so I can have some days off. I like what Book Nerd Canada is doing. She is taking a month off blogging so she can schedule about a month of posts. It's hard how much pressure we put on ourselves isn't it? Blogging should be fun, especially when it's a hobby. But it's nice to know we did our best and so I completely do this myself. Great topic!

  3. Scheduling posts ahead works for us too. Even if it's just preparing the static part of the post. Putting pictures in and labels and times. I also write up long-hand notes at work for my reviews, that way I at least have a starting point. I'll be away for almost 3 weeks in May, and I'm already scheduling posts to cover my whole vacation. We'll still have to take a few days off though, but we won't be completely quiet. I think we all just do what we can, when we can, and that's the best we can hope for.

  4. As others have written, I've started scheduling posts in advance to avoid total silence for too long :) When I was an high school student I didn't do it, but I had more free time than now (I'm studying at University).
    Anyway, the most important thing is that I know that I have priorities, and I know that, even if I do love blogging, sometimes it has to shift back and leave space to some other, more important commitment. There's nothing wrong about it :)

  5. For me, the hardest thing is making time to read in the first place! If I'm able to read, I'm generally able to post. But I'm not a fast reader and if I get really busy in "real life," like when I recently moved, I have pretty much nothing to post about, so I took a break. I like keeping up with my blog, but sometimes life gets in the way and I just have to be OK with that :)


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