Friday, May 27, 2011

A Blogging Life

It's been a fun BEA week even though I've been at home.  I can't imagine trying to be away from the end of the school year to be able to be in New York for this week, but maybe some day I'll be able to attend the Expo.  I love seeing all the pictures and videos of the fun people are having.  I'm excited for another year of new books.

Today's Armchair BEA topic is what are your tips for balancing life and blogging.  Talk about a tough question.  I was there was an easy, straight-forward answer...but I don't think there is.  Thinking back to my post on Monday about how I find ways to squeeze in reading by listening to audiobooks, I guess that's the same way it is when it comes to blogging.

I've been blogging for a year now and when I first started it was the end of the school year, then it was the summer, and then I was on maternity leave.  That was a completely different story from blogging since I have been back to work with two kiddos at home.  I haven't officially gotten back into a rhythm, but I'm hoping I can get back on track now that summer is almost here.

Reflecting on what was working for me when I really did feel like I was in a rhythm has helped me realize what I need to do to be able to better manage blogging in the future.  Here are my top 3 tips for happy blogging!
Tip #1 - Sticky Notes Are Your Friend
If you're a book blogger, then you have to be reading first (I know, duh), but I've realized that if I keep a pack of sticky notes or a notepad close to me when I'm reading it helps to jot down my ideas and feelings as I'm reading so I can refer back to them when I'm ready to review the book or write a post.  There are so many times when I have a great revelation and then forget it.  There's nothing more frustrating then sitting down to write a review and feeling stuck on what to write about.  If I take little notes to remind myself of what I want to blog about it makes writing so much easier.

Tip #2 - Calendars are Cool
I knew when I started my blog that I wanted to be consistent about posting.  I wanted to post regularly so that people are finding new things on my blog.  I started to blog to share my ideas with others and to hear what others have to say about my ideas.  I love books and I love to share what I've read.  The whole idea about blogging is to be putting new reviews out there so people will come back to see what's  new.  I created a calendar just for my reviews and set myself up with a goal for how many posts a week and how often.  I've kind of settled into a routine...and maybe I should switch it up here and there, but it works for me to have an idea in my head of how many reviews I want to post a week and what memes I want to participate in.  As a blog reader, it's not fun for me to go to a blog and see that 5 things have been posted in a day so I try to find a middle-ground.  I love my calendar to keep track of posts I'm planning and any interviews or reviews I'm scheduled to do.  Organization makes me happy.  Happy is good.

Tip #3 - Time Is On Your Side
Time may not be on your side...I feel like sometimes it's against me as it races past but I try to pretend time is my friend.  Here's how!  I look at my weekly schedule and find time to sneak in my blogging.  I try to carve out little chunks of time when I can sit and blog.  Right now I'm sitting in my beloved Starbucks after work but before a retirement party.  I'm way to far away from home to go home and get back so I snuck in here to get this post done.  For me, it's easiest to get into the mode of blogging and get stuff done rather than do little, teeny, tiny snippets here and there.  I can get a lot done in an hour.  If I've got my little, sticky notes and an idea of what I want to accomplish (according to my calendar) then I can sit and do work!  Gotta love it.

So those are my little tricks.  I'd love to hear everyone else's little tricks.  I'm always open to new ideas.  It's good to share and brainstorm.  Whatcha got for me???  Thanks for checking out how I balance my blogging life!

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