Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Little Refocusing in Attempt to Find that Work/Life/Bloggy Balance

I could totally spend 40 or more hours a week reading, blogging, and visiting other blogs. However, I have a full time job, a rambunctious toddler, and oh yeah, a husband whom I've neglected a bit since I've been blogging.

I'm the type of person who craves structure, so I have been attempting to review a specific type of book each weekday. For example, Mondays were nonfiction book days, Tuesdays were baby and toddler book days, etc., etc. For a little while, it worked, but over the past few weeks, I've found my structure to be personally stifling and a bit stressful. I'd see a picture book I'd like and have to wait until Wednesday to talk about it, or I wouldn't have a Young Adult or Middle Grade book to review on Thursdays, and I'd feel guilty about it. I also lost a bit of enthusiasm for blogging, which I think may have been a bit evident in my reviews. Add that stress to working all day, coming home and taking care of a child, and finding a bit of time for the ol hubby, and I'm downright pooped.

So, I'm going to try something new here that goes against my brain's desire for structure--I'm not going to have a structure! I feel liberated just saying that. So, what can you expect from me? Still lots of book reviews and recommendations, but I don't want to cage myself in by saying what I'm going to review each day. I probably won't have a review every day, but I'm committed to blogging regularly. I ultimately hope this will result in livelier, more energetic writing, reduce a bit of stress in my life, and help me refocus my energy a bit.

Have any of you had this issue? Any tips for dealing with it?


  1. I'd say always make your own blog and reading your priority--then focus on other blogs you want to visit. It's impossible to read them all!

    As for a schedule, forget it and just review what you have. I'm reading other blogs too and I'm not going to notice whether or not you're following your "It's Thursday--am I reviewing YA lit today?" schedule.

    But I do enjoy whatever reviews you do have!

  2. Jill, I've seen a lot of other bloggers, myself included, go through this issue. I call it (and I don't remember for sure who coined this term - several of us were going through it at the same time last year) "blog focus angst." The important thing is to try to relax, and blog to please yourself. If you're happy and excited with what you're doing, I think that comes across, and people enjoy visiting. If you feel like you're grinding things out because you have to meet some schedule, this will come across, too.

    I really struggled earlier this year because I set this goal to send a weekly newsletter, and I wanted every issue to have 3 reviews, plus a literacy round-up, plus a kidlitosphere round-up, plus something else fun. And I actually kept that up for a couple of months. But then I moved, and had a bunch of trips, and my schedule completely fell apart. And I kept apologizing for these newsletters that didn't have as much in them as I wanted, etc. But here's the thing - people weren't sitting on the edge of their seats waiting for me to provide content according to this schedule that I had set for myself. I'm not sure anyone would have noticed, if I hadn't been pointing out my own shortcomings. As Rebecca said, we all read lots of blogs, so no one really notices if a particular blog is meeting some sort of schedule.

    So, I say relax, and try to go with the flow, and see what happens. That's my two cents, anyway.

  3. Jen is right--go with the flow. I started blogging every single day at dkMommy Spot, and I just couldn't keep up. Same thing, blogging angst or whatever you called it. For me, what works best to keep my attention is what I call "riding the wave". The blog has a mind of its own, and opportunities present themselves. Sometimes the opportunities are things I just can't pass up. (Got that happening soon for both my blogs!) That sure keeps the enthusiasm going! Beyond that, I try and blog every other day, and if I get to every day, great. If not, then that means I'm chasing a two-year-old.

    You've got a fantastic blog going! We all appreciate what you do, so just ride the wave, baby!

  4. Rebecca, Jen, and Diane,
    Thank all of you so much for your advice and words of wisdom. I will definitely "ride the wave," and be sure to follow my heart instead of my brain's need for order. Funny how your heart and brain conflict, huh?