Lovin' los libros

A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Discussion: Finding the Balance

By 7:44 AM

Finding the Balance
I have been meaning to write this post for quite some time now, but never quite found the time. (HAH. That's amusing considering the nature of this post.) Now that my daily schedule has become even more insane, I am really struggling to find balance.
I work a full-time job. I have a dog I have to take care of and walk. I am now working out at the gym daily. Some days I have to cook. Sometimes I have to clean. I also need plenty of sleep because I deal with high schoolers on a daily basis.
Those are the mundane day to day things. As for the more fun things, there's reading, commenting, blogging, interacting via social media. And then there are times when you just need to go out and be among other human beings. Grocery shop. Meet a friend for lunch. Go to an event. Eat out.
I'm sure you can see my dilemma.
I. Am. Stressed.
When I get overwhelmed, I tend to shut down. Instead of motivating me to work harder and faster, I throw in the towel. What? I have 5 books to read and review? Yeah, Imma sit here and watch tv. Oh, I haven't done my commenting in days? I'm going to sit here and stare at Twitter and talk to people.
I know it hasn't helped that I've been in a bit of a funk lately. So that makes all these things even more difficult to do.
But GUYS. I LOVE reading. I LOVE blogging. I LOVE reading and commenting on other blogs. I LOVE interacting with you guys on a daily basis! I just need to figure out a way to balance it all, because right now it's not working for me. I don't like feeling like a bad blogger because I haven't had the energy to get everything done.
Tonya helped big time with my blogging. She plans out her blog posts for the week on the weekend. That has saved me ALOT of time at night so I can read and comment. I know some bloggers choose a day to comment and go on a commenting spree. I like that idea but too many blogs to read at one time is a little overwhelming to me.
Here's where you all come in! I'd love to hear your thoughts about how YOU ALL find a balance with all of these things. I know a lot of you have jobs or are full-time students so you're probably not in that different of a situation.

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  1. This is something that I've been struggling with as well. It's hard to have a "full time life" and be a full time blogger as well. I never thought there'd be SO much to blogging, but there is. And it gets stressful whenever I fall behind. At the moment, my goal is to read 7 blogs a day, plus visit the blogs that comment who have visited me recently but I don't have on my "blog roll". I used to do commenting sprees, but that really overwhelmed me and took HOURS. I also try to review the book within one day of reading it. I'm determined not to let my "to review" schedule get behind one or two books. I used to be behind by 7 or 8 and that was awful. I'm also committed to do mini reviews whenever I need to - usually for books that aren't ARCs, but I've done a few of those as well (like for adult romances).

    Hope that helps! I've been thinking about posting something similar to my blog.. sharing my process and all that. I think it's something we all can feel ya on. :)

  2. I totally understand all of this, can relate, and am right there with you!!! I do the same thing when I have to read and am overwhelmed, episodes of Arrow anyone??? To maintain a balance, I have cut way back on my arc's I'm requesting, putting everything on the calendar right away to make sure I am not doubling up. I also try to leave cushion for reads I want to read just because I want to read them. Kids, dog, man, cooking, cleaning, working out, sinus issues... I have a loose schedule I try to keep for myself. But it's a lot sometimes, I pull back, don't share as much, retreat into a bubble. Ebb and flow I guess. I guess I try to find balance by not giving up on trying to find balance and accept that sometimes will be stressful and I'll have to say no. No is a great word. Not always easy but sometimes necessary. I don't work outside the home either so sometimes I think I should be better at balance, but I'm not. Errands, appointments, the dog, the house, bills, my day is full!

    Hang in there! It will be okay. :-)

  3. Finding a balance is so damn hard! I think it is something every single blogger struggles with. For me, I do all of my posts on the weekend (like Tonya) and then schedule them to post on their own. There are some exceptions like cover reveals and stuff like that but those don't normally take too much time so it works. I also do the majority of my reading over the weekend and just a bit during the week. And for reviews, I save them. I post two a week (three if I am feeling ambitious) and then the others I hold on to so I have stuff for when I get a bit behind and what not. Or I hold the review until it is closer to the books release date if I read it early. As for commenting.. well I return comments every couple of days or so whenever I have a day that isn't stupid busy. As for the blogs I visit daily, I usually do them in the morning as I ease my way into working and it has become a habit for me. I typically don't do much commenting over the weekends and use that time to recharge. All of this has helped me to find some what of a balance. Of course there are times where I am looking at my review schedule and wonder what I was thinking, but that is the life of a blogger who gets excited by books too easily. Also (and we have discussed this) I have learned to let go a bit more. I've stopped forcing myself through books that are not working for me just because I accepted it for review. The fact is, not every book is going to work for every person and if I can tell that about a book I move on to the next book on the list. It keeps me from stressing over reading and reviewing a book I am hating and it keeps the reading going quicker because I don't get stuck on a book that I'm not enjoying.

    Love this post Jessica!

  4. If you figure out the secret to this, let me know!

  5. I'm going to answer this from my author perspective and not a blogger, is that okay? Okay! :-)

    I have a full-time job. I write two books a year. I'm very active on social media (Hey, hi, Danielle & Gretchen, LOL!) and I'm married and have a child.

    We're all juggling, all the time, at whatever stage/place you are in life. For me, I utilize my lunch hour at work to write. I also block out a few hours every Saturday morning that is mine to write. Workouts are done in the evenings. Lunch is prepped the night before. But I think the key thing is FOCUS ON WHAT BRINGS YOU JOY. Are you signing up for too many blog tours? Taking too many ARCS? Following too many blogs and trying to keep up with comments? Here's what I would do. Limit your tours and ARCs to books that really speak to you. Visit your friend's blogs when you see a topic that speaks to you and then comment. Know that even if you aren't active as much as you like for a day on instagram or Twitter your FRIENDS WILL STILL LOVE YOU. Oh, and if that means leaving stuff on the kitchen table one night or laundry in the basket while you have a glass of wine with a friend? You've made the right choice. JOY. Focus on the JOY.

    For me, that means writing two books a year. I know some authors can work under more pressure and crank out more but you know what? I write for JOY. So two books a year it is. My workouts are non-negotiable. So if that means there's stuff that needs to be filed sitting on the kitchen table, it will sit until the weekend when I can get to it. I think with organization, a little cutting back, and focus on what makes you happy, you'll get there.


  6. I hear you, I struggle all the time with this. I have to schedule and do as much as I can at the weekend as I rarely get large chunks of free time during the week. I do make time to comment and check my bloglovin feed for a little bit every second day or so as I like to just work on scheduling at the weekend. And if I get burn out, I just pull back for a bit, it's not the end of the world and it refreshes me. I also rarely do blog tours or promos as I prefer to work to my own schedule and that way I don't have to worry about letting anyone down. I carry a journal and write down blog ideas as they come to me and brainstorm there too whenever I'm at a loose end somewhere. And I try to write reviews (or notes at a minimum) during my lunch breaks in work, a few days a week and that feels like another thing less I have to do at the weekend. No matter what way you juggle, it's a never ending crazy amount of work but 80% of the time I love it and wouldn't have it any other way.

  7. I completely know what you mean when you say that when you get overwhelmed, you shut down. I do the exact same thing! Last year, I was working two jobs and during busy season, my blog basically took a dive. It wasn't that I stopped loving blogging, there just wasn't enough time and energy in the day to do all the things, so a lot of hobbies took a hit. My reading and social life suffered as well,but that happens to all of us I think. What saved me was when I finally did get a bit of time to read and blog, I scheduled a bunch of posts in advance, that way I didn't have to stress about it every damn day. My review ratio wasn't great but at least I didn't disappear entirely. In any case, I hope things calm down for you a bit and that your able to find a balance :) Good luck!!^^ xx

    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

  8. Yep, very much like that... whenever I feel overwhelmed my productivity goes out of the window and I usually just end up watching shows or reading and then the pending reviews to write pile on...
    I'm gonna be putting the blog on hiatus for the month of May and maybe a bit of June too, because I'm gonna be on the process of moving to my new place and I don't want to add any more stress worrying about posting while I am working and cleaning and setting up furniture and the like!

  9. I went through this phase when I had just started college 3 years ago when I really couldn't handle it anymore. I felt so pressured to read everything and I felt absolutely guilty when I couldn't post a review one day. It ate at me and it left my reading experience miserable as well. Eventually, I decided that I needed a break from it all and it helped a LOT.

    I'm a much more relaxed blogger these days as you may know. I don't rely on schedules and you know what? That makes me really happy and reading productivity is so much higher! I even post at least 4 times a week now. My thing is to usually read during the week and take short notes while reading and then write a bunch of reviews to post the following week on the weekend. There are also times I tend to go for mini reviews because they don't take as much time to write. I also take at least a weekly break 3 times during the year from blogging. It's very effective and I usually use that week to catch up on reviews.

    Anyways, everyone has their own pacing and you need to find yours through trial and error. But honestly, don't stress about anything. Sure you may have lots of review books to read, but read them at your pace and review them at your convenience.

    At the end of the day, blogging is a hobby! Don't make it a chore and don't let it stress you out. Good luck with everything, Jess and I hope you find your balance! <3

  10. Ah! The eternal struggle of being a blogger. I've written at least one post similar to this in the last few months. It's easy to get overwhelmed and get bogged down. (Or maybe we should start calling it "blogged down.") I started off this year deciding NOT to put as much pressure on myself as I used to. If I had maintained the pace I was going last year, I was going to lose my mind and pull the plug on the whole thing. And honestly, I enjoy this community, reading and blogging too much to not do it any longer. But something had to change. One of the decisions I made was to do fewer "promo" posts. When I was looking at blog stats, they were often the least visited posts and, quite frankly, took far longer to format and schedule than I thought they were worth. Only doing cover reveals and release posts for beloved authors has helped me soooooo much. Maybe this is the wrong attitude to have, but ... I also realized that the world wasn't going to end if I didn't get that ARC reviewed before the book released. I'm still going to read it (or give it a go!) and I'm still going to review it. But, it just might be a week after it was released. It might be longer than that. But all publicity is good publicity, right? If anything, I find that it means I'm not running reviews for the same books EVERYONE ELSE IS as the same time. Spread out the love and all that. (Unless it's a tour or something seriously deadline intensive, of course.) I've also started signing up for fewer review tours. I couldn't handle the pressure. I felt like I never had the time to read "me" books or tackle backlists. I'm far too moody of a reader for that. I've been pickier about the books I select or request. I've actually removed myself from some lists so I'm not tempted by even more books. I also spend a good portion of Saturday or Sunday scheduling posts for the upcoming week to take the pressure off of me during the week. By the time I've worked a full day, worked out, showered, made dinner and cleaned up, the last thing I want to do is try to focus to write a review. I don't feel as much pressure as I used to and it's a really welcome change.

    I wish you luck figuring out what helps you most! It's so easy to get overwhelmed and start to resent the hobby. No one wants that! <3

  11. Honestly, (and I think I will be one of unpopular opinion) I think the pressures to be "the best blogger ever" inadvertently comes from the expectations from the community. And I think for a lot of us - that pressure turns to stress because we realize we can't DO ALL the things, ya know? (I'll leave it here because I don't want to ramble off topic)

    We've talked and length about how I balance everything out - but things change all the time. I think the best thing to do is pace yourself. If you get comment crazed then pick 10-20 or whatever number, to visit a day. Read a post while cooking and then jot notes down if you have thoughts.. Drafting posts during the weekend (YES) helps me a lot. I don't know if you write your review right after you read, but try taking notes or highlighting instead and take a break. I cram a lot into a few days so I am able to take time and enjoy my books and be active on social media.

    Just change things up each week until you find what works best for YOU.

  12. Finding a balance is so needed and so hard to do. I started my blog 4 years ago when I was in law school full time and now I have graduated and I work as a first year associate full time (ha! more than full time) I am also the only person running my blog.

    I just had to accept that I would not be able to get absolutely everything I want in a day done. I can't visit every blog, comment, promote my posts, reply to every comment on my blog and work and cook and do all the stuff I need to do, plus read and relax and live. So I have do do different tasks on different days.

    I actually have a whole week long event planned for my blog in June called Blogging on a time crunch. And I am going to talk about all the time saving times and apps and things that I use to automate my process and what balance I use that works for me currently. I'm super excited about it because it was the hardest thing for me to try and make work. But like you I love my blog so much that I don't want to give it up.

    Great post!

    Michelle @ Book Briefs


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