Restoring blog-life balance

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Last week I published a post on how I was struggling with my blog-life balance (you can read that post here: Do I need more blog-life balance?). I was 6 weeks into this new blog and feeling a little overwhelmed. I love writing and starting this blog is one of the best things I have done. However, I had completely underestimated how much time blogging takes! When I started this venture, I knew that I would need to find time to write posts but I really hadn’t given much thought to the other blogging activities that take up so much time, like commenting, promoting posts, discovering new blogs to read, finding my way around social media and unfamiliar blogging tools. Hootsuite, Crowdfire and even Twitter were completely new to me. As a result, by the end of my the first 6 weeks I was already feeling a little swamped by blogging. Fitting blogging around work and family life meant that I was spending most of my evenings, and a lot of my weekends, in front of my laptop with not much time for anything else.

So what’s the best thing to do when you feel that blogging is taking over your life (or taking over the little bit of spare time I once had)? Write a blog post about it! And I’m really glad I did. It turns out finding blog-life balance is something many bloggers suffer with. The comments and messages I’ve received since writing that post highlighted that I wasn’t alone in my plight. Not that I really thought I was the only one struggling with this, but it was comforting to hear from other bloggers that were going through this too and from others who have struggled with finding balance in the past but have now found ways to get the balance back.

From the feedback I received, it seems that blog-life balance does get easier with experience to some degree as bloggers find ways to manage and prioritise blogging activities (though some more experienced bloggers also mentioned they suffer with this challenge too). It’s easy for us newbie bloggers to get drawn into the excitement of joining the blogging world and starting our new blogging journey. That was certainly the case for me. I became a little obsessed with my WordPress stats, reading tips on how to increase reader engagement and in learning all about this new, unfamiliar world of a personal blog. Maybe it was a case of information overload, or the realisation that writing content is only one part of blogging (and from what I was reading, a small part of blogging), but I started questioning whether this is something I really wanted to do. With a career and a young family, could I commit to this blog? Then I gave myself a shake, took a step back and tried to remember why I started this blog in the first place.

There were two main reasons why I wanted to blog. Firstly, to allow me to do more writing. I write as part of my job, but I wanted a project where I could be a little more creative and write from a personal perspective. I wanted to experiment with my writing and really focus on finding my own voice and writing style. Secondly, I wanted to log my journey to finding a healthier, calmer and more balanced life, and hopefully share tips and experiences with others through my blog. In the craziness of those first few blogging weeks, I had lost sight of those goals. If I was going to continue on my blogging mission, then I needed to ground myself and be realistic about what I was trying to achieve. I don’t have the time to create a stream of daily posts, and I’ve barely looked at my Facebook page in the last couple of weeks. But does that really matter? The important thing is that I’m enjoying the blogging experience.

So armed with this realisation, and the tips I had been given by other bloggers, I have an action plan to try to restore my blog-life balance:

  • I’ll stop obsessing about the numbers and concentrate on the reasons I started this blog
  • I’m going to focus on learning – about health, fitness and finding my own balance as well as learning more about the blogging world
  • I`m going to be realistic about the number of posts I can write – 2 or 3 posts a week is manageable so that will be my goal for now
  • I’ll plan my blogging activities but will also accept that life has a habit of throwing things up that can disrupt those plans (and will try not to stress if that happens!)
  • I`m going to accept that there may be times that I have to step back from the blog or miss a link up if other priorities raise their head
  • And importantly, I’m going to write when I want to write and because I have something I want to write about. After all, there’s no point doing this if writing becomes a chore.

So that’s the plan. I have no doubt that I’ll have to keep reminding myself of these but I really want to continue blogging and for it to have a positive impact, so I have to remember to keep balanced in every part of my life, including blogging.

Is blog-life balance a challenge for you? What do you do to maintain balance when it comes to blogging? I’d love to hear your experiences and tips!

Running in Lavender
My Random Musings
Baby Brain Memoirs
The Twinkle Diaries

43 thoughts on “Restoring blog-life balance

  1. I’ve had my current blog since January and I can relate to so much of this. I’ve tried not to stress so much and just focus on writing what I want. If it fits in with linkys or promotion, great, if it doesn’t at least I enjoyed writing it πŸ™‚

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  2. I do think it’s so important to remember (and this applies to everything, work, home, writing, social activities etc etc) that just because technology allows instant messaging, doesn’t mean we have to stop what we’re doing to read and/or reply straight away. The expectation that we are all constantly available to deal with whatever query or comment lands in the inbox or on the phone is unrealistic and unfair and, as a society, we need to say “actually, no or at least not right now”.

    A good illustration for me (and apologies if I’ve already told you this) is the realisation that when I started my professional life (over 15 years ago!!) there was a set routine. I’d arrive at work probably knowing that there were a few things that I needed to get on with during the day. Once at my desk, the post would land and you would deal with it. Once that post was dealt with you were free to get on with your planned tasks (subject to any phone calls but they – certainly in my line of work – weren’t that intrusive). There might be the occasional item arriving in the second post (remember that?) but it was rare and again it was one thing that could be dealt with.

    The advent of e-mail, text and instant messaging has completely changed all that. Now people will e-mail you constantly throughout the day. There is no set “dealing with correspondence” time and if we are to avoid re-arranging our tasks continually we have to set those periods for ourselves and stick to them (something I’m rubbish at). Surely the same applies to anything on social media/blogs etc?

    And finally – before this turns into a blog post by itself! – I’d also say (perhaps controversially) that it’s fine NOT to reply or to acknowledge something. If you want to thank people for support, particular responses etc you can do a group response rather than replying to every single one. And sometimes that’s okay and should be permitted – even when you’re in those early “set-up” days.

    here endeth the lesson! πŸ™‚

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    • That’s so true Alex. I’ve started planning time for commenting on blogs and checking I with social media. I felt a bit twitchy about it at first but think it’s important for keeping some kind of balance. Hx

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  3. I found that 2 things really helped me with this 1) Schedule posts so that even when you are busy, your posts still go out and b) Spend some time scheduling Tweets to your posts so that your content is still getting “out there” even when you are busy. Good luck! #SundayStars

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  4. A great post and I’m sure relate-able to most of us, certainly me anyway. I love bloging so much, but we have to prioritise. I still feel like I don’t post enough, but that’s only in comparison to other bloggers. My life is busy and I don;t have the time to post 5 or 6 times a week, so my 1 or 2 posts a week will have to do for me. And most importantly, I still love it.
    Amanda. #sundaystars.

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    • Thanks Laura. That’s so true. Blogging has been a bit adhoc during the school holidays so I’m hoping to get into more of a balanced routine when the children are back at school. Fingers crossed! Hx

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  5. Yup! It does take over – I have just had a week or so off to try and focus on some other things, but then I look at my crappy stats and it makes me sad 😦 I had unexpectedly high traffic a few weeks ago, and now wordpress has upped the bar on my graph, so anything less than 100 page views looks like a pretty small amount. This has stressed me out too!
    I probably need to start scheduling on twitter, but I don;t really get how it all works…
    xAlice
    #babybrainmondays

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  6. Great post, and something I really needed to read today. I’m loving blogging so far, but it’s taking over my life! I could definitely do with being more organised and to stop stressing about not managing to publish a blog post every day. And I’ll try to forget about stats (haha, I don’t see that happening!).

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    • I’ve accepted now that I won’t be able to post every day. Especially over the summer hols. It’s hard not to think about stats – I’m trying but it’s really difficult! Good luck with finding your balance πŸ™‚ Hx

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  7. Excellent post. It’s easy to get focused on the numbers and the rankings and forget why you decided to do this in the first place … Good luck with restoring balance in your life!

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  8. I completely agree, I’m less than 2 months in and living it… But sometimes, like you feel I should be doing more, tweeting more, writing more, commenting more… It could be endless. Like you say, I think scheduling will help massively. It’s something I need to sort too, but I comment, to let you know I completely relate to everything you’ve said x
    #twinklytuesday

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  9. Sounds like a good plan to me. I stopped worrying about stats for a while and was much happier, I have started to check them again though so I know I need to nip that in the bud.
    I hope you manage to find the balance that works for you.
    Becky-LittleOandme

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  10. It’s REALLY hard to get that balance!! I have a business, have toddler twins as well as my blog and there are just not enough hours in the day at the moment!!! Time is a rare commodity that’s for sure. I need to learn how to try and find a balance β€” I feel like a hamster on a wheel most of the time!! πŸ˜‰ Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday β€” hope to see you again next week! x

    Caro | http://www.thetwinklediaries.co.uk

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    • Wow, you do have your hands full! It sounds like blog-life balance is a rare thing. I hope I learn to find the balance too. Thanks for hosting. Will be there next week :-):Hx

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  11. I’m struggling with this too! I LOVE blogging and learning about it, but struggle with information overload. I haven’t found the balance yet, but I’m trying. Promoting takes such a lot of time. I think I need to set a timer for commenting, social media, etc. I can get sucked in

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  12. Totally agree with you I have been writting my blog for a little over a year now and I go through stages some times I’m on top of it all feeling great and others I have emails and work coming out my ears its tough to get that balance sometimes it’s good your thinking about it early on though. Great idea’s and best of luck with it πŸ™‚ Thanks for linking up to #sundaystars x

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  13. That’s reqlly interesting.. I’m doing mine to improve my writing and the main purpose is to share information and experience. I really don’t understand the whole promoting bit? Any one please feel free to help me.. I obviously want more people to see and find my blog useful and/or interesting but how do you actually do that? I’ve got a twitter, Instagram and Facebook page but only got a handful of actual people who have signed up.. Help!

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