In which I suck at blogging

I don’t think it comes as that great a surprise to anyone that follows this blog that it’s been in a quiet state for the past few months. I had the best intentions at the beginning of the year to balance the blog with the new job, but somehow at the end of the work day I’ve used up all my enthusiasm for things that require brainpower. I want nothing more than surf tumblr and check my TiVo queue. Ah, sweet laziness, I wallow in thee.

Some of this is that I have to focus on the new job and I should be using my grey matter for that, but some of it is just getting into a funk from not posting for a while. Things were better: after BEA and the BEA Blogger Con, I got some of the enthusiasm back, and I was posting again and visiting blogs I like.

Then this summer I was put in a leadership role at work. On one hand: Kick-ass opportunity. On the other hand: I am figuring out the work-life balance all over again now that my role changed. There are so many more meetings, so many more decisions, so much more email, so much more responsibility. And I’m new at this. Sometimes at the end of my day I just think, “I am exhausted!” but I think once I adjust I will find the balance again. I swear, I see land in the horizon! It’s just not something that happens overnight.

I haven’t read that much this year.ย  Reviews are taking me longer to write than they used to. I feel bad about that. I’m still working on it. I’m pretty stubborn. I like this space of mine online. I am keeping at it. Consider this post a declaration: “I’m still here.”

So if you have any lovely tips on work-life-blog balance, I would love to hear them. ๐Ÿ™‚ I KNOW I’m not the only one who has had to deal with adjusting to a new job, and I wonder what other people do to get blogging in. Work on the blog super-duper early in the morning? Super late at night? Write up a ton of posts in the weekend and schedule them for weekdays? Write partial posts on your smartphone? I need to learn the ways.

22 thoughts on “In which I suck at blogging

  1. Aw, you don’t suck at blogging! I’d like to think it’s just a season or something. I think I’m in the same boat. I haven’t really blogged as much as I used to since late last year, mostly because I’m busy with book club stuff and work and life in general. I still like reviewing books, but I just don’t feel like I should hurry to blog about them. However, sometimes I don’t hurry at all, and now I feel like I don’t want to review them anymore!

    I don’t feel like quitting blogging, though. I think I just need to change some things. Like, maybe a new blog name, new way of reviewing. Things like that give me motivation to blog more. We’ll get our groove back, I’m sure of it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thank you. Yes, I’m glad I’m not the only one in this boat. I think I have good reasons ( need to be a responsible adult etc), but I feel I can do better. Right now it feels like the biggest issue is time because I’m 100+% spent on work. I just need to be at that point where I’m not still learning how to do things and then I can plan my days better. But yeah: you get busy and then it becomes a pattern of putting off blogging and then it’s slump time.

      I feel like I need to find enthusiastic people and have their energy wash over me. If ONLY there was a way to leech off high energy people. I need.

  2. Love this post because I can totally relate. I had a tough time finding the right work-life-blog balance when I moved to Singapore last year (Iโ€™ve been here more than a year!) To be honest, I would love to be more active on the blogosphere but Iโ€™m okay with the pace that I have now. My advice is to NOT pressure yourself to do anything blog-related when youโ€™re tired. What worked for me was to start features that got me excited about blogging (like Chasing Dreams) and to participate in memes that are fun (like Top Ten Tuesday). Also, I only read books that Iโ€™m really interested in and only reviewed the ones that I felt like reviewing. I also downloaded the WordPress app on my phone and Iโ€™ve used it a couple of times. Lately, when Iโ€™m not busy at work, I try to sneak in some blog stuff like typing up ideas on Notepad or Word and then emailing it to myself. Or sneakily commenting on posts like Iโ€™m doing now. ๐Ÿ˜› It makes me happy that youโ€™re not planning to give up on your blog, Iโ€™m sure youโ€™ll find a pace that would work for you sooner or later.

    • It takes a while to find the balance, right? So much to learn and do when you are new at a job. Then later you are so out of the habit of blogging that you put it off and then that makes it even harder to get back.
      Hee, I love that you are sneak-commenting. ๐Ÿ™‚ Yes, I need to think of posts that get me excited about posting.

      • I feel like it took me almost a year or so to adjust to the new job but a huge factor in that is also adjusting in a new country. I never stopped reading while I was in transition (in fact, reading helped me in feeling settled) but I did slow down on reviewing and blogging. Haha I’m sneak-commenting again! Hey, what am I supposed to do when I don’t have enough tasks to keep me busy?

        I think your new header and blog name was a step in the right direction, in terms of making you more enthusiastic about the blog. Having a new look encouraged me to pay more attention to my blog.

        • I didn’t stop reading but reading really sl-oo-we-d. I think my husband has read more than me this year!
          Anyway, everyone commenting is making me feel better about it. Life transitions affecting everything is totally normal it seems. It happens! I didn’t even mention it but other things have happened like my husband quit and started a new job and his sleep and waking schedule affects mine, etc.

          I need to post about the header!

          • Yes, post about the header! It’s so pretty.

            Oh your husband started a new job, that’s another major life transition right there. It’s normal for blogging to slow down when something big happens in real life. Of course, we need to step back while adjusting. I’m glad you feel better. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Well as you know I’ve been feeling the exact same way! I’m so sorry Janice. *hugs* My slump started with me applying for grad school and starting another part time job that I can do from home at night, when the kids are in bed, plus other real life stresses. As a working/blogging mom, most everything’s done (including some chores, errands, tv-watching, surfing, reading, spending time with the hubby, etc.) when the kids are sleeping, so super early in the morning or late at night are the only times I can blog. Since I’m not a morning person this means super late. But sometimes if I burned through a lot of brain cells that day, I have to unwind for the first hour or so before I can even think of starting to write a book review. The I want at least a two hour block of time to get started. Naturally, most days I’d rather read, or veg and watch TV, so I understand. I wish I had better advice! It’s all about being able to adapt to lifestyle changes – find the new norm and be happy with that. (No guilt allowed because there is enough of that in RL.) For me at the moment, that is writing a review every other week or so. I’d prefer to write one a week (even if there are no other blog posts written), but I need fun posts too or I think I would be tempted to stop blogging completely. Good luck! I’m glad you’re stubborn and not giving up yet. I know exactly how you feel.

    • Everything you are saying about how your day fills up sounds like my life. Work takes most of the day (from 7:30 to 6pm or more – some days go till 10 or 11), then I have like this little bit of free time and I feel like doing NOTHING but get ready to SLEEP. Or. I will be done early (5pm?) and then feel like I earned getting to unwind for at least and hour like you say, but then dinner and spending time with the husband and catching up on tv will use up the hours until it’s 10 and I’m like: eh, I’m too tired to work on the blog! But I feel like once I am used to the patterns and the job itself I should be able to manage my time better. I think a big part of it is not knowing how long a task will take since I’ve not done it before, or not often. And not being able to plan mentally pulls the whole day out of orbit, if that makes sense.

  4. You are not a failure at blogging. Having all that responsibility and still managing this blog is a lot on your plate! So give yourself a pat on the back for chugging along as you have. I haven’t held down a full time job yet but I imagine that the best way to have a handle on your blog and your life irl is to schedule things as well as not beating yourself up if you don’t write a review or more each week. Like Holly said, no guilt is allowed!! This is your space so do whatever you want and feel comfortable with.

    • *hugs*. Thanks. Well, I haven’t been feeling terribly guilty, but I have been feeling lazy as hell, hah. ๐Ÿ˜€
      I think my best bet is trying to do more working on posts on weekends and schedule them for weekdays. This is true. I need to be better about doing this.

  5. My biggest advice is to take it day by day and make room gradually to write. Observing when I’m least busiest helped me. I could find a place when the day when I might be least interrupted. Last year, I lived under a horrible landlord and it wasn’t until we moved into a new place last month that things have just started to get back on track. Getting a notepad (I’m not tech savvy!) with me also works jot down ideas when I’m on my way to school or running errands. Finding a natural pace has helped me the most; if you force yourself to blog, you’ll dread it more! Hope this helped!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • That sucks about the horrible landlord. What were they like? This is reminding me of one years ago, when I rented a the basement of a house with my sister. There was no privacy, they kept coming downstairs and then they would judge how we were taking care of place. Example: as I was moving out the grandmother of the family who owned the place stood over us as we were cleaning the kitchen and just yelled at us. We’re on our knees, scrubbing out the stove and she’s just going ON about how we had dirtied the place and we better clean it. I was raised to be respectful, and I felt like she wanted us to yell back so she could yell more, so I just didn’t say anything, but we weren’t slobs. It was regular use and she was just… wow, verbally abusive and completely out of line. I’m glad I am not a poor student anymore.

      OK, back on topic. Thanks for all the tips. I’m sort of feeling better that so many people are having this “real life messing with their blog mojo” experience, so thanks for commenting to share that too. I am tech savvy about somethings but not others, but I like notebooks, and I have one, I just need to figure out how to use it more. I used it a while ago and found it helpful in writing out reviews, but it would interrupt my reading to jot things down. I have to find the right balance there, but a notebook is good. The natural pace is what I want. You have given me things to think about.

      • Hi, Janicu!
        That is so terrible to have lived like that! I’m happy you’re out of that place!
        We’ve had a string of horrible landlords. One of them who we lived with for five years was threatening to evict us all the time, broke the pool in the backyard and used our electricity to “clean” it. The latest situation we got out of, we moved into a house to rent in a new community and the landlord forclosed on the place a week after we moved in. For the next year they abused us all the time with calls, emails, forcing us to send the rent earlier and earlier every month. We still live in the same community but thankfully with the best landlords we’ve ever had. EVER. Life goes its on course, and you’ll find a way back to reviewing more. ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. Oh geez. I have no tried and true method for any of it. I go where the whims dictate unfortunately. And that does mean for sporadic posting these days. But like you, I like my space a whole lot. No giving up without a fight.

    I check your space every day girl. New posts no matter when or how few a far between always make me happy.

    • Yeah. Sporadic is my method currently too, but I’m not alone apparently. On twitter I got some tips about just making sure I just blog on a regular schedule. Trying to work UP to that one. I think I would like to post a couple of times a week. That’s my goal.

      Aw, you make me feel good. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Had meant to reply to this the day you posted it and look what happened! My brain got away from me. A frequent happening lately. Anyway! I’ll echo all those who’ve said no! down with the guilt! and take blogging as you will and post when you can. Perhaps it would help to not worry about writing full-blown reviews? I’ve been feeling better about reviewing – and have been doing a bit more of it lately – because I approach it with the mindset that, hey, if the review/post is short, so be it. I hit the major points – be it one or two or more – and that’s that. If I have nothing else to say, the review’s going up as is. Doing so has taken some of the stress off.

    • Well I feel more lazy than guilty, but it’s true, the guilt is there a bit.
      I hear you about changing my mindset–that sounds logical, but I don’t know about NOT doing full-blown reviews. I think I have a really hard time with casual reviews now. It’s weird. I think it’s linked with not feeling really good at conveying my feelings about something into words. That blocks me I think. I labor more because I worry I’m not clear enough. I don’t know, maybe I can think of some way to relax the compulsion to take writing reviews so seriously.

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