Thursday, June 7, 2012

Armchair BEA: Balancing Life and Blogging

So, I really don't have much of a story about my writing going beyond the blog. I kind of keep that closed here. I've had a couple chances to review for other sites, but I decided not to go there - this is a passion of mine and I didn't want to be confined to certain books and deadlines. The other option for today was to talk about an aspect of the blog or life that is separate for books. And, my life is pretty much books. BUT outside the blog - I do go to school. Lately, the balance of school and blogging has come up quite a bit, so I thought I would talk about the way I work out that balance.

This is actually as much of a post for myself as it is to help others in my position. Fall semester I was taking grad courses and teaching college composition and research writing for the first time. And blogging. And occasionally I actually hung out with my friends. I never consciously thought about how I was balancing all these things. I just did.

Now I'm thinking about it again. I took a semester off and now I'm back into the swing of things. I've begun (kind of) working again on my thesis and the reading list (which consists of knowing a 10 works of literature - including Beowulf, Moll Flanders, and Invisible Man to name a few - inside and out). Plus, I will also be attending the University of Denver Publishing Institute this summer and I have a lot of work to do before I get there. So trying now to figure out how I'm going to balance between my Master's, the publishing work, working at the bookstore, and trying to keep up on the blog - my head is spinning a bit. And I NEED to figure out a plan- because other wise I'll find myself drowning.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The first thing I'm going to do is SET DEADLINES. I've never had to set my own deadlines - I've always been at the mercy of professor or university deadlines. Now I have to start scheduling when I need to have certain parts of my work done. This is my first plan of action - to print out an empty calendar and write down when I need things done.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And the second piece of advice I'd give myself is DON'T PROCRASTINATE. But honestly, this isn't realistic for me. I've gotten slightly better at this, but only slightly. I am a procrastinator and such habits are ingrained deeply. So here's my plan to fix this. When I set those deadlines. I'm going to set them a day or two earlier than they need to be set. If it's written down I'm likely to adhere by it. So if I shoot for a couple days earlier, then I should get things done on time.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

When it comes to the blog - I WILL READ ONLY WHAT I REALLY WANT TO READ. Only the books that seem really worth it to me will be getting any time. With this much work, reading will go back to being relief between my homework - rather than the focus of my time. I'm not going to waste those precious moments on something that's not worth it. If a book isn't working out for me, I won't be afraid to stop reading it.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I'm going to TAKE THINGS DAY BY DAY. I'm going to start out trying to keep up posting every day on the blog. I've got posts scheduled ahead of time and I should be good for awhile. But if it's ever getting to be too much, I'll adjust to what I can handle.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I think that's the best thing you can do whenever you're trying to figure out a balance - just remember that you can always ADJUST. Just before you go into it, make sure you HAVE YOUR PRIORITIES STRAIGHTENED OUT. Know what you can cut back on if it isn't working. Know what you absolutely must need to focus on.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Honestly, it was helpful to myself just to write down what I needed to figure out to get started. I hope this helps some of you out there too, if you're trying to balance blogging with life. And I hope I didn't get too off topic for what we were supposed to post about today.

14 comments:

  1. I feel you on the procrastination thing! IT IS A TERRIBLE HABIT OF MINE. I think setting a deadline earlier is an excellent idea! I'm also with you on the reading only what you want thing. I struggle with a lot of books thinking, "Well maybe it will get better?!" but it rarely ever does. There really isn't a point in reading a book that I want to chuck across the room or falling asleep on so. I like your plan!

    ReplyDelete
  2. That sounds like good advice. I'm big on getting a large chunk of work done day by day. Reach several small daily goals and suddenly it isn't a big problem anymore.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Small, daily goals is a good piece of advice as well!

      Delete
  3. Wow, love your tips! Sadly, I am bad at every one of them - expect only reading what I want to read. Guess I'll need to work on the others!

    ReplyDelete
  4. That's exactly what I need to do when it comes to myself! I think it's great you mention those things; it's always good with some good advice--even for yourself. ;)

    My Beyond the Blog post!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow! You are going to be so busy, but it sounds like a lot of fun! Good Luck!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow! Best of luck with everything!

    Amanda

    ReplyDelete
  7. That's a very good list! Last year I wrote a post a day and you bet I had to make a schedule! Now I'm taking it easier.

    I forget what I read quite quickly so if I procrastinate then there is no review to be written- all will have gone from my memory. Still, it happens that books go unreviewed. Most of the time, I review within 2 days or so - out of necessity.

    Good luck with all the plans - having your blog on the back burner would probably be a good idea over the summer (and beyond).

    ReplyDelete
  8. I am the worst procrastinator. LOL You have a great list and seem to know exactly what you have to do to stay on track so I wish you lots of luck! :)

    My Beyond the Blog post

    ReplyDelete
  9. Sounds to me like you have some EXCELLENT rules! Great job.

    ReplyDelete
  10. You're right, when we aren't following established guidelines (school, work) it's important to set our own (and also follow them!). a lot of bloggers seem to have a regular schedule - Monday is x, Weds is y... I think that helps too. If you have time, write out a bunch of x's and schedule the posts. I've tried to be more organized that way. It depends on what you want out of your blog. You sound like you have a lot going on, so prioritizing is super important!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a great idea. I like to be ahead as much as possible and organization definitely helps that. And at the same time scheduling ahead helps me feel more organized haha. I think that probably only made sense in my head....

      Delete
  11. Great job!! I also need to have guidelines!! It needs to have a good schedule!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I am totally a procrastinator, too. I think setting deadlines is a great idea (for you and for me!). Schedules do wonders, right? Thanks for the great post!

    ReplyDelete

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Armchair BEA: Balancing Life and Blogging

So, I really don't have much of a story about my writing going beyond the blog. I kind of keep that closed here. I've had a couple chances to review for other sites, but I decided not to go there - this is a passion of mine and I didn't want to be confined to certain books and deadlines. The other option for today was to talk about an aspect of the blog or life that is separate for books. And, my life is pretty much books. BUT outside the blog - I do go to school. Lately, the balance of school and blogging has come up quite a bit, so I thought I would talk about the way I work out that balance.

This is actually as much of a post for myself as it is to help others in my position. Fall semester I was taking grad courses and teaching college composition and research writing for the first time. And blogging. And occasionally I actually hung out with my friends. I never consciously thought about how I was balancing all these things. I just did.

Now I'm thinking about it again. I took a semester off and now I'm back into the swing of things. I've begun (kind of) working again on my thesis and the reading list (which consists of knowing a 10 works of literature - including Beowulf, Moll Flanders, and Invisible Man to name a few - inside and out). Plus, I will also be attending the University of Denver Publishing Institute this summer and I have a lot of work to do before I get there. So trying now to figure out how I'm going to balance between my Master's, the publishing work, working at the bookstore, and trying to keep up on the blog - my head is spinning a bit. And I NEED to figure out a plan- because other wise I'll find myself drowning.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The first thing I'm going to do is SET DEADLINES. I've never had to set my own deadlines - I've always been at the mercy of professor or university deadlines. Now I have to start scheduling when I need to have certain parts of my work done. This is my first plan of action - to print out an empty calendar and write down when I need things done.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And the second piece of advice I'd give myself is DON'T PROCRASTINATE. But honestly, this isn't realistic for me. I've gotten slightly better at this, but only slightly. I am a procrastinator and such habits are ingrained deeply. So here's my plan to fix this. When I set those deadlines. I'm going to set them a day or two earlier than they need to be set. If it's written down I'm likely to adhere by it. So if I shoot for a couple days earlier, then I should get things done on time.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

When it comes to the blog - I WILL READ ONLY WHAT I REALLY WANT TO READ. Only the books that seem really worth it to me will be getting any time. With this much work, reading will go back to being relief between my homework - rather than the focus of my time. I'm not going to waste those precious moments on something that's not worth it. If a book isn't working out for me, I won't be afraid to stop reading it.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I'm going to TAKE THINGS DAY BY DAY. I'm going to start out trying to keep up posting every day on the blog. I've got posts scheduled ahead of time and I should be good for awhile. But if it's ever getting to be too much, I'll adjust to what I can handle.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I think that's the best thing you can do whenever you're trying to figure out a balance - just remember that you can always ADJUST. Just before you go into it, make sure you HAVE YOUR PRIORITIES STRAIGHTENED OUT. Know what you can cut back on if it isn't working. Know what you absolutely must need to focus on.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Honestly, it was helpful to myself just to write down what I needed to figure out to get started. I hope this helps some of you out there too, if you're trying to balance blogging with life. And I hope I didn't get too off topic for what we were supposed to post about today.

14 comments:

  1. I feel you on the procrastination thing! IT IS A TERRIBLE HABIT OF MINE. I think setting a deadline earlier is an excellent idea! I'm also with you on the reading only what you want thing. I struggle with a lot of books thinking, "Well maybe it will get better?!" but it rarely ever does. There really isn't a point in reading a book that I want to chuck across the room or falling asleep on so. I like your plan!

    ReplyDelete
  2. That sounds like good advice. I'm big on getting a large chunk of work done day by day. Reach several small daily goals and suddenly it isn't a big problem anymore.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Small, daily goals is a good piece of advice as well!

      Delete
  3. Wow, love your tips! Sadly, I am bad at every one of them - expect only reading what I want to read. Guess I'll need to work on the others!

    ReplyDelete
  4. That's exactly what I need to do when it comes to myself! I think it's great you mention those things; it's always good with some good advice--even for yourself. ;)

    My Beyond the Blog post!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow! You are going to be so busy, but it sounds like a lot of fun! Good Luck!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow! Best of luck with everything!

    Amanda

    ReplyDelete
  7. That's a very good list! Last year I wrote a post a day and you bet I had to make a schedule! Now I'm taking it easier.

    I forget what I read quite quickly so if I procrastinate then there is no review to be written- all will have gone from my memory. Still, it happens that books go unreviewed. Most of the time, I review within 2 days or so - out of necessity.

    Good luck with all the plans - having your blog on the back burner would probably be a good idea over the summer (and beyond).

    ReplyDelete
  8. I am the worst procrastinator. LOL You have a great list and seem to know exactly what you have to do to stay on track so I wish you lots of luck! :)

    My Beyond the Blog post

    ReplyDelete
  9. Sounds to me like you have some EXCELLENT rules! Great job.

    ReplyDelete
  10. You're right, when we aren't following established guidelines (school, work) it's important to set our own (and also follow them!). a lot of bloggers seem to have a regular schedule - Monday is x, Weds is y... I think that helps too. If you have time, write out a bunch of x's and schedule the posts. I've tried to be more organized that way. It depends on what you want out of your blog. You sound like you have a lot going on, so prioritizing is super important!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a great idea. I like to be ahead as much as possible and organization definitely helps that. And at the same time scheduling ahead helps me feel more organized haha. I think that probably only made sense in my head....

      Delete
  11. Great job!! I also need to have guidelines!! It needs to have a good schedule!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I am totally a procrastinator, too. I think setting deadlines is a great idea (for you and for me!). Schedules do wonders, right? Thanks for the great post!

    ReplyDelete