When Life Gets Busy…

busyFor the next couple of months, you won’t see as many posts on this blog. I have two months to complete the research on my thesis and write my paper. It’s an interesting topic – I’m studying how a family literacy program in DC helps parents to support their children’s educational development. A mouthful, right? February is the most stressful month for me, because I’m spending a lot of my time in the school talking to parents and teachers (time I also need to be at work). Online research and writing papers isn’t hard for me, but working with real people is much more challenging!

If all goes well I write my paper in March, submit for review in April, and graduate in May.  And that’s not counting my full-time job.  The challenge has been taking the time off from blogging. When I sit down at my computer I think about the blogs I want to read, the reviews I should write, and I’d much rather work on those things. I’m reading good books and not talking about them, which is frustrating.

When you get really busy, how does it impact your blog? Do you read less? Post less? Write mini-reviews? Spend less time on blog activities like challenges and read-alongs?

For me, I read just as much when life gets busy, although maybe I read lighter books. Reading is like breathing to me… and I would be a lot MORE stressed if I couldn’t escape in a book. But the blogging suffers. I made a few promises to myself in January, and I find I have to keep reminding myself of them.

For the next few months,

1) I will not feel guilty about posting less. People take time off from their blogs all the time, and the world doesn’t end. In fact it’s more likely if I don’t take the time off I’ll just burn out.

2) I will read for fun. I won’t read books for challenges or read-alongs or diversity or literary merit unless it’s a book I really want to read. You might think that sounds obvious but it’s not. I always feel like there are books I SHOULD be reading, and often I’m glad I pushed myself. But not right now.

3) I will write mini-reviews. Honestly, I find it hard to write short reviews, because you can’t do justice to a good book that way, but I’d rather post something than nothing.

4) I will prioritize reviewing the books I’ve committed to reading (review requests and galleys) and I will not take on any new review requests until May (unless it’s a book I really want to read).

Bloggers, what do you do when life gets really busy and your attention should be somewhere else? Does the blog pull at you like mine does, or is it easy to step away?

Readers, thanks for staying with me for the next few months.

Note: You can find more posts about blogging at Feed Your Fiction Addiction.

  15 comments for “When Life Gets Busy…

  1. February 13, 2016 at 10:16 am

    Best of luck with your thesis! And it’s always hard to step away from a blog that you’re committed to (and enjoy!) but sometimes life calls!

  2. February 13, 2016 at 10:54 am

    Good luck writing your thesis! I had to take a small break from blogging recently as well due to my studies and will do so again in April. That doesn’t mean I get a little down about not being able to write reviews or work on other cool things on here. Keeping the right balance is such a challenge!

    • February 13, 2016 at 10:56 am

      *doesn’t mean I don’t get a little down ^^

  3. February 14, 2016 at 12:17 am

    Like you I dont stop reading when I’m super busy with work but I just don’t have the energy to write reviews. Good that you have taken the decision to pull back a little from the blog while you focus on the thesis. That’s the real priority isn’t it. Your readers will still be around when you are ready to return.

    • February 20, 2016 at 3:12 pm

      It’s good to have the encouragement to step back a bit. I want to be blogging, but I need to focus on other things. You’re right, it will be there in a few months (in truth, my readers wouldn’t really notice the absence much, but I feel it).

      • February 21, 2016 at 1:49 pm

        its all about priorities isn’t it

  4. February 15, 2016 at 8:56 am

    I just blogged about posting frequency last week 🙂 But yeah, you definitely have to fit blogging into your schedule in a way that compliments it and doesn’t stress you out. If real life is busy, then blogging has to go on the back burner. It’s a hobby and nor job 🙂 I actually just took a few days off due to a death in the family, and it was nice not having to stress out about trying to put posts together, and being able to focus on what was important for that time.
    Great post!

    • February 20, 2016 at 3:11 pm

      I’m sorry to hear about the death in your family! The trouble for me is that when I’m not posting, I’m still thinking about what I’d like to be writing about, so it’s not really less stressful. I’d rather be blogging than writing a paper, it just has to be done!

  5. February 15, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    When I get too busy for my blog, I look back at reviews and interviews I posted from a few years ago, clean them up/update them, and republish them. I read a lot in the summer, but make sure I’m still scheduling about a review per week. I don’t do my reviews more frequently just because I have more time to read, otherwise, I have no blog material for when I am more busy. I never post short reviews of “fluff” posts because I believe it drives away readers. People who follow blogs will wait for new posts, but they don’t want their time wasted. There are several bloggers who have stopped blogging as frequently, and instead of thinking “screw them,” I write to ask how they are.

    • February 20, 2016 at 3:08 pm

      You make a great point about not posting “fluff” and I’ll keep that in mind! Quality is so much better than quantity. That’s why I struggle with mini-reviews — although I think a short review can be done well, if you make the effort. But it shouldn’t just be something I dashed off. I like your idea of revisiting old posts.

      • February 20, 2016 at 6:55 pm

        I tend to unfollow blogs that post a bunch of fluff, but when a blogger only occasionally posts a strong review, I look forward to that moment.

        One caution I just learned about reposting old stuff: if you simply update the posting date (which I did) then the old links to the post won’t work anymore because the dates are in the URL. So if someone has shared a URL elsewhere and you change the posting date, it won’t work anymore. Might be better to copy and paste your post into a new blog post to avoid losing old links!

  6. February 17, 2016 at 11:14 am

    You do you, girl! I totally understand the difficulties or working full time AND being in school… I had at least one breakdown a semester and panic attacks more often that I probably should have. Your thesis sounds interesting, and I hope it all goes well!

    • February 20, 2016 at 3:22 pm

      Thanks for the support! I can handle writing a paper but the hands-on part of this study has been challenging. I’m making good progress though.

  7. February 19, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    I think you’re making the best decision you possibly could – sometimes you just need to let certain things go and prioritize. It’s hard to do, but it’s definitely better in the long run!

  8. February 21, 2016 at 9:34 am

    Good luck with your thesis! I think this is definitely a good decision, I hated the guilt I had about not posting when I was writing my thesis.

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