Saturday, February 15, 2014

Looking for Blogging Suggestions, PLEASE AND THANK YOU!


It isn't hard to notice that my blog has been silent for a while now. 
Almost non-existent in the way of new posts. 
No new content. Almost at all. 

There are a few reasons for this and I will share a few of them with you all. 
First, I am trying to re-organize my life to accommodate some changes happening around here. I have been trying new things - they've either worked or they haven't - and I have tried other new things. 
It has been trial and error, of sorts.

One of these things - A BIG ONE - is book blogging. 

Y'all I love this blog so much. It means so much to me. It's MY SPACE here in the world to get out my thoughts on what I read and what is going on in the world of books (if I choose to go public with my thoughts) and other bookish things like that. BUT BUT BUT the problem is that with new changes at home in the way of family and stuff like that, IT'S SO HARD to make it all fit. What ends up happening is that MY WANTS, MY NEEDS, THE THINGS THAT ARE IMPORTANT TO MY HAPPINESS and STRESS MANAGEMENT go, well, undone. 

This is not okay with me. 

So I guess the first way that I am looking for suggestions or advice or thoughts from you all, lovely readers, is

HOW DO YOU MANAGE YOUR BLOGGING LIFE? I know some of you are students, some of you are in relationships/marriages without children at this time, some have careers that take up their time - the point is that we are ALL DIFFERENT but that doesn't mean that I can't learn from everyone. So how do you all manage your blogging time? I obviously need to revamp mine a good bit so that I can at least incorporate blogging into my life in some way because it isn't working for me NOT to have it at all. 

I miss it so much. Too much. 
And I miss interacting with my bookish community, my bookish friends. 
I have noticed that if I don't keep up with them, some of them sort of fall away - 
even those that I had previously been able to cultivate and consider close bookish friends. I miss these bookish relationships and want to do what I can to bring them back. 

I want to get involved again. I want to blog regularly again. 
I NEED IT. 

PLEASE HELP ME FIX THIS PROBLEM. 
WHAT WORKS FOR EVERYONE? 
I'd like to hear from everyone - everyone in all phases of life! 
We are all connected, you guys. 
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE leave me comments and suggestions and personal stories of what works for you guys so I can mash them all up and make something that works for me!! I miss you. 

**And never fear, I've never stopped reading. I have plenty of books under my belt to discuss and review and talk about. I just haven't figured out the best way HOW yet.**

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The next thing I want to talk about is this: 

Since I've been a little more than absent from my blog, I've been trying to clean up things here and there, as time permits. Now, granted, time hasn't permitted me in the best of ways because I'm still trying to deal with the above issue of fitting blogging into my life in a way that is good for everyone involved BUT I need SO BADLY to clean up shop around here. So I have spent a little time here and there working on this and that, but overall I can't really see where a gigantic change has been made. I can see small things (YAY! for baby steps) but I want to do more and better. And I know what these things are in my head. 

My other question to you all is this

When you all set out to "clean up" your blog whether it be bloggiesta-style or just on your own, WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF THINGS YOU FOCUS ON? Cross-posting, cleaning Goodreads shelves, etc. I am asking for specific examples, if you don't mind. That would help me a lot! I want to be thrilled with my space here and since I haven't worked on it in terms of maintenance much lately, I feel like I have some stuff to catch up on so it is a place that people come to enjoy not only for the words on the page but the organization of it. (I can be a big girl and admit that I am not the most organized person out there...)

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You guys are really wonderful. And I adore each and every one of you, whether I know you or not. Your opinions are SO VERY VALUABLE to me, so please consider leaving me some suggestions or even some encouragement! It's really hard to get back into the swing of things when you've been off for a while AND it's hard to try new things when you're set in your ways AND it's hard to incorporate something that is so near and dear into your life when it means you may have to sacrifice some to make others happy. So I'm really looking forward to what you all say. 

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!! 

Don't forget you can always talk books with me on Twitter @BookwormAsheley. 
I read like a madwoman even though my blog hasn't reflected it lately. 



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14 comments:

  1. My blogging life has been up and down lately too. I have both my boys in school now so I thought that I would have even MORE time to devote to blogging and writing. But it just hasn't happened. It's not that I don't have more time--technically I do--it's that other things have begun to trump blogging. Real life things. And I think that these ups and downs are just normal--just part of life. I did bring a co-blogger on board this year--Marlene--and she has been WONDERFUL. Not only does she help with posting and reviewing, she's had some great ideas about new things to freshen up the blog--content wise. Right now I am still posting more frequently than she--but I think that'll even out as she gets more accustomed to the whole blogging thing.

    One thing that I have struggled with is visiting other blogs. I just haven't devoted as much time to it as I used to --for lots of different reasons and that is something that I really am trying to work on.

    I wish I could give you more advice on what works for me but most everything I do is just plain old trail and error. And trying not to let it get me down too much. And I still think Twitter is a fantastic way to keep in touch when your blogging is slow:)

    Spring cleaning on the blog! You know when I brought Marlene on board I had to go in and make some changes but overall I haven't really changed a whole lot since the start. Tweaked the look a bit here and there, but that's about it. I've been cool with the look so I haven't desired any big changes--but if you do then I say just keep doing a little at a time until you get to point where you are satisfied:)

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  2. I have missed seeing you on Twitter and reading your blog posts! I think, in the case of offering advice, I might just have to write you an email because it could run long if I go into detail. Just let me know if you'd like that, or you're still clearing it out!

    Short version? I usually set aside 1-2 hours for blog work every week day, taking the weekends off. When I work on blog maintenance, I do the review archives first and go back to reformat old posts. Cross-posting is something I want to make a priority though!

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  3. I only write blog posts on the weekend - rarely do I comment on the weekends - but save that for during the week, when I'm not blogging. I try to schedule some things, when I don't get enough time to blog, I forget about it and read and comment on blogs instead. I'm not tempted to do more than 5 days because that's all I can handle. Some weeks it might be 4 or 3 - then I just try and comment a little bit more.

    Hope that helps.

    Tanya Patrice
    Girlxoxo.com

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  4. I, erm.... Actually blog at work hahaha. SHHHH don't tell them that! it's so bad, but when I have downtime, I try to sneak in some blogging -- either social media, blog maintenance, or writing actual reviews, if time permits. And I realize that's probably not helpful at all! Hm. Well I do read and/or blog while my fiancé does his own projects as well! We spend our time doing separate things in the same space which I kind of love!
    When I need to do blog maintenance, most of it usually consists of updating my pages: Index of reviews, pages of Book and a Beverage Posts, etc etc. I have been cross-posting a bit lately but I usually do that the day that my review posts!

    Hope you find the time you need! It's always hard. I'm running out of time too... It's just so hard to stay balanced and "in the game" so to speak! If I didn't have time at work (which I won't soon because I have to train someone new), it would take away so much of my blogging time. (wow, I sound like a worse and worse employee haha!)

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  5. I hope you will continue to blog. Finding enough time, not only to write and post blogs, but to reply to comments requires a lot of planning. Throw in reading books to blog about and it turns into a full-time job. But you can do it. Looking forward to seeing regular blogs from you.

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  6. It does get a little hectic, I try to carve out some time to write a few entries for scheduling. Plus, I read during activities that don't take all the brain power - like reading while watching the Olympics.
    New follower :)
    ­Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

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  7. Ok. This might be long but I feel like this is one area where I actually can give legitimate advice.

    Throughout my blogging career or whatever you want to call it, figuring out what works for me has been a lot of trial and error. Especially last year. Last year was the busiest year of my life and blogging felt like one big disaster. Not because I didn't have time, but because I had no clue how to fit it in with everything else. I've found what works for me is to set aside a specific amount of time to blogging related things every day. When I was working 9-5 last summer, I would use an hour at night to just work on blogging. Right now since I'm just a student, I take an hour or so in the morning to comment, answer comments, socialize on twitter, etc. I also write a to-do list every day of what blogging things I want to get done so that if I have some free time, I'll actually be productive instead of wasting time online. Basically what I'm saying is that for me making specific times to focus on one thing and not letting other things distract me.

    My blogging maintenance consists of updating my list of reviews page/other pages and updating broken images, etc (I moved back to wordpress.com after a year so that's a very long work in progress). I don't really cross post because I'm lazy and I don't really use any other sites like I do my blog.

    I hope some of this helps and that you're able to figure out what works for you!

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  8. I'm a pretty disorganized blogger. I should have a set amount of time to blog each day, but I don't. I constantly feel torn between reading, commenting on other blogs, and working on my blog.

    I start by cross-posting any new reviews to GoodReads. Then I look at my need-to-review shelf to see what I should review next. If I've posted a lot of reviews I'll write a different type of post, but sometimes if I feel inspired, that goes right out the window.

    I hope this helps. It can be frustrating to try to figure out the best blogging schedule.

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  9. I recently got to a point where I just couldn't keep up. It's a lot to run a blog by yourself. It was becoming a chore and was no longer fun for me. I expressed my frustrations to my friend Jen over at the Starry Eyed Revue. She had her sister as a co blogger but life got in the way and she was unable to post anymore, so she offered for me to join her.

    I know there have been a ton of bloggers joining up and doing the whole co blogging thing. I kind of wrinkled my nose at it when I first saw the fad start. But the more I thought about it, the more it seemed like a good idea. I was still hesitant though because joining up with the wrong person could be a mess. But Jen and I are very similar as far as our personal lives go and our blogging preferences. We've been co blogging for about a month now and it's been amazing.

    I'm freed up to read more. I actually like sitting down to write reviews now and it's been really fun to have someone to share it with. The whole work load of it. One of her goals this year was to catalog her reviews. It's a daunting task, and though we haven't gotten much done on it yet, we have a plan and we will both be able to contribute to it now. We've set up a google calendar that we can both view and everything so organized.

    I know co blogging isn't for everyone, but for me.. it's worked and allowed me to enjoy being a blogger again.

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  10. You're amazing, Asheley! I love how enthusiastic you are about reading and blogging. You really encouraged me to start a blog of my own. THANK YOU. As for balancing everything, well that's a tough one. My kids still nap in the afternoon, or I make them take a quiet time, so I get a little concentrated time in the day. But otherwise it's night when they go to bed or little bits of free time here and there. But all that time has to be used for reading, writing posts, commenting on other blogs etc. etc.(plus paying attention to my husband!!) and I've definitely struggled with how to make it all fit together. I'm stilly trying to figure it out. I've been doing less responding to comments on my blog, because something had to go. Unfortunately. I've also realized that posting every day doesn't work for me, because I just can't respond, visit others that much back, and I feel bad when I get so many comments and can't reciprocate. For me 3-4 times a week is a better fit. But I try not to stress if it's less. However, I do think that consistency is helpful for keeping up traffic, and also for helping me coordinate everything.

    I'm pretty terrible at the spring cleaning stuff. But I need to go back and link up past reviews and do general clean out. I'm better at doing things in big chunks, so I'd probably take a few days and focus on just that, but I haven't done it recently. I love the idea of bloggiesta, but weekends aren't good for me at all for lots of time spent on blog work, so I'd have to do it midweek.

    I'm sorry I don't have a lot of help to offer, but I definitely understand so much that it's hard to manage everything. But if blogging is a stress relief for you, I'm hoping that you're able to get back at it. I say start small as you are and do a little at a time, until you feel like you're in a comfortable rhythm.

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  11. Ahhhhhh, I just typed this long comment and it disappeared. WAHHH.

    Long story/comment short:

    My priorities in order:
    Reading
    Blogging - writing posts
    Commenting

    I miss being able to spend a lot of time during the day on blogging.

    I rarely comment and miss it.

    It's hard to balance so much.

    Cobloggers are awesome.

    That's the sum, just my original comment was way longer.

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  12. Window Live Writer and Google calendar are my best friends when it comes to blogging. Made it easier for me to format a post and stay organized. Hope everything works out well!

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  13. Hi! I'm late answering, I know. I like to have a few extra reviews to keep around so if I'm tired but want to put up content, there's always something available. Next, I love Google Calendar and it's so easy to shuffle things and see what I have to do. The third thing I've been doing is be aware of release dates so I'm not overworking myself and I still have time to read the books I buy. Honestly, I think going on a book buying ban helped me to focus and also I started downloading books from all over the year, not just the month coming up and now I'm totally ahead which is nice.

    Um, I try not to let anything OVERschedule me even if I love Google Calendar and we have a certain system at RBR. Last week I decided just not to post anything on Monday and we don't do our Sunday posts regularly anymore at all. It's just when we have time and something to say.

    I write a lot at home after work/the gym, and when I have a free moment during lunch or at work, I try to scribble some notes or get myself situated. I also read on the way to work, at lunch, and at the gym, and before bed. So it's a lot of time dedicated to reading. But then again, sometimes I just don't have the time to do all of that and it's okay. I think a big part of doing this is just accepting you are going to be very busy and sometimes not. And just making time for it when you can.

    I know you will find what works for you, lady! I do. :)

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  14. Hi! I'm SUPER late on this post, but I just wanted to say that I totally relate as of late. You've gotten some pretty good comments on this already so I don't really have anything else to add except that I FEEL YA! *hugs*

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