Saturday, May 22, 2010

Staying Steady on the Balance Beam

Oh my goodness! When I started working on this blog, I was so excited and eager to get writing posts right away and developing all sorts of fun ideas to write about. I pushed life away and focused nearly 100% on my writing. I mean, sure, I did my other things but blogging took precedence

Then I realized I was slacking on work and school. Nothing extreme, but I was definitely losing focus on things that are a priority in life. My assignments were getting in late (actually, that might not be because of this. My statistics class was lame and the teacher was awful!), I wasn’t putting as much zeal into my work, and all that was on my mind was ‘What should I write next?’

If you know a little bit about me, I am very much a black and white thinker. All or nothing. There is no middle ground for me. This type of thinking pattern is very destructive for me, mainly in the form that I cannot appear to balance out activities I enjoy very well. When I realized I had to get back to my other priorities, all of a sudden I felt exhausted to think about blogging by the end of the day. My goal was to write a post every day, and constantly follow all the blogs I’ve been starting to follow.

Alright, within a matter of days, I realize that is obviously a daunting task.

There is a balance between keeping a blog and still living life. Unless one is actually making an income on their blog (which I am pretty sure there are not many), we have to realize that life does come first. Blogging is a fun hobby, for sure! But getting too heavily involved in any hobby can be unhealthy. A lot of the blogs I follow consist of authors that go to school, have a family, and have a career (if not a mix of any two or all three!). I can’t help but crack a smile when I see them talk about setting goals of getting their butt off the computer and getting other work done!

I pretty much live on my computer. This was already pre-blogging. I guess I do have the excuse of actually attending school online which means between 10-20 hours a week of time is committed to reading textbooks, writing papers and powerpoints, and participating in daily discussion questions. Besides school, Facebook and instant messenger are always one click away. I easily have three or four hour conversations with friends over chat. I skype with my boyfriend frequently. I have iTunes on in the background every now and then. I also play some video games, like World of Warcraft (used to) and Dream of Mirror Online. I read CNN and followed about 25 blogs and CaringBridge pages. I also Googled random topics that I found interesting and could read for hours. Wikipedia was both my best friend and my worst enemy.

On top of all that craziness, now I have made the commitment to write about things that are important. Some people can throw together blog posts quickly, but I approach things differently by thinking of topics and ideas ahead of time. I spent a lot of time concocting in my head how I want a blog post to appear. I have a growing list of blog topics that I plan to write about. I also have about four other half finished blog entries that I am churning out slowly.

As for the rest of my life, I’ve gotten quite lazy. Going outside on my own will has almost become a chore. I let chores go unfinished around the house, only to the dismay of my father who yells about how I’m not doing my part around the house. Besides spending time with my boyfriend, I haven’t been seeing many friends and spending time with them.

I obviously need to get a better handle on how to manage my computer time from cleaning, friend, work, outside, and sleeping time. I have been keeping a calendar for a while (thank you BJ!) and most of that is filled with work times and some other events that are going on. What I need to do weekly is set up time that I am devoting to doing all my ‘other’ online activities. I have tried going the other way around by planning times to honor my other commitments, but it only frustrates me because then I do not feel like I have much flexibility at all. In reality, I do have a lot of time to spare. It’s easier for me to put in ‘Ok, this Monday from 6pm to 9pm I am going to read my blogs, write any posts, veg out on Facebook and instant messenger, and whatever other junk I have subjected myself to obsess over’.

Ok, so I’m not going to churn out a blog post daily. I won’t be able to follow every single post to every single blog I follow (trust me, I’d like to, but I’d go mad since I follow currently about 40+ blogs). It’s very tempting, yes, but I have to keep myself happy, healthy, and depression free. I don’t want to feel exhausted if it’s 11pm at night after a busy day of papers and work to feel compelled to write something. There’s always a better and more appropriate time.

It’s all a delicate balancing act.

Now I just have to figure out how to make this work for me.

How do you guys balance blogging and life? I always appreciate comments and suggestions!



  1. Im struggling with the same problem! It feels like the internet is taking over my life. lol. If you figure out a solution soon I would love to know it!

  2. Tell me about it!!! So with you in this... I follow close to 100 blogs and sometimes becomes so difficult to read them all.... i became an addict somewhere in the middle of the blogging world... and yes my life was affected bad... from tomorrow i a starting to work and now i feel atleast i will have something better to focus on.. though i am missing the blogging and reading session.... i have to sort out a balance myself... If i come up with something i'll let you know :-)

  3. I know what you mean!! I'm only following about 25-30 blogs right now and I still can't keep up with them all. I think it is a lot harder to follow the ones who post everyday so you might be better off only posting a couple times a week. I've noticed a couple people who update theirs two or three times a day, and theirs are almost impossible to follow. Anyway, once the "novelty" of blogging wears off I think you'll be okay. I was the same way when I first started mine and now I'm down to logging on once or twice a week to update, and then once or twice a week to read the blogs I follow. This works for me, but I also don't do Facebook or IM so I don't know how it would pan out for you. Good luck, I hope you get it all figured out!!

  4. hmmm, gotta say I get it :) I try to limit myself to an hour a day. Sometimes I hit that and sometimes I go over. I can't follow all the people I would love to, so I probably loose readers that way, but that is life. I have to do what I can. I have so many other things to juggle. I started my project but usually only post others letters, so no time there. I was also asked to blog the "help me grow" non-profit but plan on haveing several "posters" for that. I usually blog in the a.m. before kids wake up, during nap time, or late at night. Sometimes I am out of balance, sometimes in.

    I would say think about what you want to blog but not take so long to do it..? I know that takes practice too especially with all the homework time you have. Blogging is like anything else, it's not a bad thing but there might be better things at the time.
    Good is a daily balancing act!

  5. Blogging - to me - is cathartic. I use it when I need to calm down from the day and purge my emotions for the world to see. That's the special thing about blogging - its 100 percent about YOU. Do what YOU want! If you are too tired to blog at the end of the day - fine! I doubt any of your followers are going to smite you for it. I understand the need to blog frequently, as I too look at my blog every day and get a twinge of guilt if I don't have anything to write about. But I forget about it and move on. My life always comes before blogging. I really have no choice in the matter. So whenever you are feeling overwhelmed, take a deep breath, and realize that you can get to us later. We will always be here for you :)