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Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Time Factor

Note: This is part repost from August and part new thoughts added in. I have to admit that I could spend all day blogging. But I don't. Aside from the kids taking over the computer regularly, I have other things I have to do. I follow over 100 blogs. If I were to read and comment on every single one of them, assuming it took five minutes for each, that would take more than 500 minutes. That's over 8 hours, and it doesn't include writing my own posts or responding to comments on my posts. Would I love to be able to read and comment on every blog? Absolutely. Is that possible? Absolutely not. Thankfully, not everyone posts every day. That helps. But I also have my priorities. The most important thing (aside from my family) is writing. If I spend too much time blogging, I lose out on valuable creative time. You know those people we've been talking about who know all about networking for writers? (You know who I'm talking about.) Well, they all agree that the unpublished writer should spend most of their time writing. That's not to say they shouldn't do some social networking like blogging, but their efforts should be focused primarily on writing. I take this advice to heart. Several people have asked me recently how I manage my blogging time. So, I thought I'd post about it. I spend an hour in the morning blogging, a half-hour in the afternoon, and another half-hour or so in the evening. It's two hours out of my day, but I consider it time well spent. The rest of my day is devoted to my family and my writing. This is the only way I know how to handle it. No one should allow blogging to overwhelm them, so we each need to find a way that works for us and go with it. What about you? How do you manage your blog time?

44 comments:

Kristi Faith said...

That is a lot of blogs to follow! :) I get up before the kids most mornings and do my blogging and reading whatever posts may be up already. I check periodically throughout the day, especially if I'm in a slump.

I do agree that sometimes we get 'hooked' into the social aspect of the blogosphere/network sites (FB is horrible with all the distracting apps) I save those for absolutely last and often don't check it for a few days at a time.

Right now, I have spent more time blogging and reading than writing in my novel. I need to step away from it for awhile and I'm trying to exercise some creative freedom right now. Blogging is a great outlet and lets my mind roam.....hmm, I smell a new blog post coming already. LOL :) Sorry for the super long comment...but thanks for getting my wheels turning and reminding me to get back to work. :)

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Hey, Susan!

It was good to read how another person does it!

Right now I spend about an hour in the morning, then random bits of time throughout the day. This is a recent change--before I spent several hours in the morning in one big chunk--and it really drained me. So far it's working. We'll see if this has to change again when life gets more hectic. :0)

Happy blogging!

MattDel said...

I do my novel writing/blogging at my desk at work, so I tend to write an entry at midmorning and then spend maybe an hour or so of my shift looking through the various blogs I follow.

But you're right ... it is helpful that not everyone posts every day. Otherwise things would just get crazy.

Rebecca L Sutton said...

I can so relate. I was just thinking about how focused I was when I wrote my first novel. I wrote thousands of words a day. Hmm, I realize this was because I wasn't blogging yet! Like you I find great value in taking the time to blog and connect. Of course I wish I could comment more but there just isn't enough time in the day!

I check blogs/twitter/FB/email in the morning for about thirty minutes, then a couple quick checks through the day and then at night. This is made even more difficult since I started a fansite with my sister so I have the forum and twitter for that too...but it's all good stuff so I can't complain.

Great post!

Corey Schwartz said...

Yeah, my routine is similar. But sometimes I just need a break and skip a day or two entirely!

Tamika: said...

Susan this post has helped me tremendously! I have become addicted to blogging! Yikes!

I am the one blogging for nearly eight hours a day. Big no-no. Most of the chunk of time is spent in the morning, commenting on all the blogs that I follow- which is about a hundred. Then I toggle back and forth throughout my workday. Another big no-no.

Most of writing is in the evenings. I am a night person, so this works well for me. After the family is settled, fed, and in the bed.

I definitely need to organize by blogging. It helps me to try and remember the days that people post, which thankfully is not always everyday.

Happy writing!

Anita Saxena said...

I usually blog while I eat or when I'm at work or when I've just accomplished a good bit of writing and need a break. Before I start blogging I look at the clock and I'm like you have until this time and after that you're DONE.

Natalie said...

The past few weeks I've mostly blogged in the morning before my kids are awake. But sometimes I'll check back in the afternoon too. I need to balance it better. I think come November I'm going to cut back and just blog once or twice a week.

Leah Rubin said...

It is a challenge. We all have responsibilities, and we're always looking for the right balance of the things we do. Some days I'm more in tune with my priorities than others...

L. T. Host said...

I need to balance better, that's for sure. I just get so into reading and commenting and etc. that I lose track of time.

Also, I do a bit in the morning when I come in to work because it's slow. Then again after I've done everything I can for the moment and am waiting on something, or on a break. Rinse and repeat.

It's becoming a bad habit :)

Paul Greci said...

I put my writing first. Before I found representation I spent most of my non-writing- time reading agent/author/editor blogs. Recently I started by own blog, Northwriter, and it's fun. I'm from Alaska so I've put a northern twist to it. I can see how it could become addicting both posting, and reading all the great blogs. Getting Northwriter started required many hours. Now, I'm posting once a week and remain committed to putting my writing first. However, the list of blogs I want to follow continues to grow. My YA novel, Placement, will be out on submission soon, but I need to keep working on my other novels. I guess how much time I spend blogging remains to be seen. I'll do my best to substitute my former querying time for blogging time.

Stephanie L. McGee said...

Great post. As far as managing my blogging time, I try to write up as many posts in advance as I can and have them all scheduled. It frees up so much time to just spend an hour once a week putting together a bunch of future posts.

As far as reading goes, there are blogs I read daily, then there are blogs I've sorted into folders for days of the week. I get caught up on them on a weekly basis. Usually they get read right before I go to bed at night. I try to leave my day as open as possible for various other things.

Strange Fiction said...

I've been on a break between writing and revising so my blogging time has been random. When I get back to working seriously, I'll have to become more structured again. I like to check in on the blogs periodically--it's a nice break.

Tara said...

I also follow over 100 blogs, and like you, wish I could read each one every post. I currently strive to leave 20 different comments a day. It varies based on time, but this gives me a chance to focus on my writing.

Carolyn V. said...

I've been wondering the same thing! Yay, you read my mind! I don't follow 100 blogs yet, but I still am having a hard time following what I have. I've wondered if I should quit blogging because I need writing time, but then there is the whole network thing.

Thanks for the post, I'm going to read all the comments and take some advice from them!

Sharla said...

I usually read blogs from work, in the late morning to afternoon, after I've done my morning inventories at work. I don't post every day, but when I do, I try to do it early so it gets read. Sometimes I write in the morning before work, but mostly it's at night after housework, supper, homework, dance class, church...whatever else...is done. And then I fight the TV! LOL

K. M. Walton said...

Now that I'm essentially trapped in my house with this injury I have obscene amounts of time to blog. However, when I'm working I typically jumped on twice a week.

When work kicks back in on the 26th I'm going to miss the daily blogosphere :(

strugglingwriter said...

I spend too much time surfing and blogging and not enough time writing. That's why I do my writing on paper.

MG Higgins said...

On the days that I work I try to get as much blogging done as I can during lunch or "down" times. When I try to limit myself to an hour in the morning, then another hour in the evening. It is very time consuming! I don't know how people with Facebook and a blog and Twitter do it all.

Roni @ FictionGroupie said...

I still struggle with this. And right now, I'm not even actively working on a WIP. Just balancing blogging, reading blogs, doing critiques, and taking care of a two year old is a lot. I probably need to work out a more organized schedule.

Beth said...

I spend about two hours blogging/reading blogs as well, so that made me feel better! It's totally addicting for me, so if I don't discipline myself I'll NEVER finish my MS :) Thanks for the reminder!

staceyjwarner said...

It is addicting...I probably spend way too much time writing my blogs. I spend about a hour and half reading and commenting.

I don't manage it well but I have faith that it will settle into a rythm.

Dominique said...

100 blogs?!? Jimminy crickets, that's a lot.

I only let myself go on Blogger twice a day. That's the rule and I'm sticking to it. Otherwise, nothing would ever get done, and that would be bad.

Girl in My Own World said...

It is hard to manage, I am still trying to find a way to manage it all. As of late, I read blogs at work on breaks and what not. I write when I can which is not nearly enough. I used to want to blog all of the time and I still do, but I have found that it is okay to keep a sweet idea for one of my books as oppossed to the blog and that writing my novels and wanting to cultivate screenplays is really what is more important. It is a hard toss especially when you have followers and follow and all of that good stuff, but I just try and manage. :o)

Rae said...

I find myself getting deeper and deeper in blog mire. It is so time consuming. I have to limit myself or I would be reading and commenting for hours. Good thing I am retired. I am missing my book reading time though by reading so many blogs. Deciding which blogs to follow and comment on is a difficult task. There are too many good ones to choose from.

Ron Smith said...

I really like this post. I'm trying to be more consistent about blogging. I do most of the blog-related stuff when I have down-time at work. (I'm a writer at an ad agency.)

I spend more time on other people's blogs than my own. I guess I have a hard time coming up with things to blog about.

I want it to be of interest to people, so I think hard about what I will post. But, as I said, I'm trying to be more consistent.

My crit group also had a group blog and I try to post there too, or cross-post.

Melanie's Randomness said...

Excellent point!! I follow alot of blogs too. I read my blogs during my work day when I get a minute of free time. I unfortunately do miss some. Some of my follwed blogs don't post everyday so it's a real load off. People that do post everyday I try to read the posts, & if they are long I'll try to come back later.

The pale observer said...

Hi Susan - you really could go overboard if you didn't limit the time - I fully agree.

I try to read and comment on other blogs for an hour or two in the evenings and really I find the time to write posts whenever I'm inspired.

It's also easy to spend all the time reading other blogs, and procrastinating on writing if you let it slip too! I've been trying to avoid that...

Anissa said...

I'm supposed to be cleaning right now. Yet here I am, sneaking in a little blog time. It's hard!

Lily Robinson said...

I'm finally getting a handle on it. The week of no home access helped a bunch. I didn't want to spend that much time at the library. I formed good habits that came home with me!

Angie Muresan said...

I try to be on the internet only an hour a day. Otherwise it gets the best of me and kids and hubby get grumpy. I go to bed early and wake up in the morning at 4 to write. By 7:30 when they wake up, I'm ready for a break. I blog mostly in the mornings, but on some days when I'm struck by inspiration, I write and write and don't blog at all.

melane said...

I'm new to blogging, but I'm finding that it is very addictive. I need to set a schedule.

Sherry Dale Rogers said...

I blog in the morning and before bed. On the weekend I decide on what I might be posting and schedule my post so as not to get over-loaded. It seems to work, although I did go through a period when I had no time for anything blogging wise and I am afraid my blog suffered, poor blog.

Patti said...

I try to set only a certain amount of time. I also use it as a motivational tool. If I write 500 words then I can go look at the blogs.

~Ellie Kings~ said...

Blogging can be so addictive! So funny that you posted this today, cause I've been thinking about it since yesterday. I have to step away from the computer and take care of things that I've been procrastinating to do. Thanks Susan!

La Fleur said...

I spend little time blogging. In fact, this is the most that I have blogged ever. It is fun, but like you said, time consuming. I hit my fav's, scout out some new blogs, update my own (if I have anything to say) and that's it. It's back to work or off for home.

Tabitha Bird said...

I love blogging. My writing needs me to be blogging. I am using it for practice. And I have met some amazing people. So I find time to fit it in.
But there is balance in everything hey.

Robyn Campbell said...

Hey Susan, I spend about the same amount of time as you.

However when I first began, I was blogging all day long. It got out of control--big time. So I had to step back and make some readjustments. But I love doing it. Having a conversation with you makes my day. :)

Danyelle said...

Blogging is hard. Like you, I could spend all day chatting with my friends. :) I've had to cut back majorly since school's started, and it's been hard because I love it. But like you said, family and personal writing must come first. Even though I don't comment as much as I'd like, I snatch moments here and there where I read posts as a lurker. :D

Lori said...

Blogging does become overwhelming. I spend a lot of time on it and still I am not at all productive, like many others, like you. We have to try to keep it sane.

Lesley said...

Between blogging and facebook, I may never have a real life again. It does get overwhelming sometimes. I could blog hop for hours!

Regina Milton said...

Thanks for sharing how you manage it. I have been trying to fit it all in at once but it has been overwhelming. I think I'm going to adopt the afternoon and evening bit.

To be honest (about to reveal the nerd in me) I have a spreadsheet that details the days of the week and the blogs I want to visit. It helps me stay organized.

Margo said...

You sound very level headed about blogging. I've been trying out a few different approaches. I would love to get so I can write 2 or 3 posts only one day a week - I have found I'm not the greatest at shifting my focus around - Yes, that's me admitting that I can't multi-task :)

Swapna Raghu Sanand said...

Thanks for sharing how you manage your time. I think you are very methodical and of course, 100 is a big number! To be honest, I am not so methodical but I try and devote at least half an hour every day on commenting on other blogs and I work on my blog over the weekend about three hours each day.