I worked on this post over several days, in my leisure time…something that will make sense by the end of this post 🙂
I have had a busy week, with Jack and then a lot of work to catch up with. But I really wanted to work on a post in response to the questions from Dr Tanya, the creator of Salted Caramel, who has asked some more great questions about blogging. Take a look at Dr Tanya’s original post below:
Cost of Blogging — Questions
Does it infringe upon your leisure time?
Erm…well, I wouldn’t say “infringe”.
Generally, I would use my leisure time to socialize with friends. One of the reasons I wanted to be back in London is the social life outside of work. I have many dear friends here in London. Of course, recently a special someone has snapped up most of my leisure time.
When I am back in the little nest on my own, and have finished my house-work etc, I can choose how to relax before it’s time to go to sleep. There isn’t much on television I would enjoy, so normally I would turn on my lap-top and check my e-mails and write to family and friends, or phone someone I wanted to chat with.
I often use time in the evening to read other posts from other bloggers. But I have found there are so many posts there, I can’t get through them if I only check my WP Reader once a day. So I also check my Reader in the morning when I am eating breakfast and drinking coffee, and also when I am having a lunch break.
Writing posts is a whole different matter. Two days a week, I only work in the afternoon, So I usually am at home in the morning doing housework. So after I have done what I need to do, I sit down and write posts – numerous posts. During those two mornings I will write several shorter posts and work on longer posts (like award posts, or parts of my Annabelle Riley story). I then schedule those posts to be published at other times. Occasionally I find myself with other leisure time at other times in the week and can type up a short post.
Because I have such a huge catalogue of content in the e-mails I have sent to friends and family, it speeds things up massively that I can copy and paste and then edit my post to make it suitable for blogging. It speeds up writing enormously.
Worse still, does it distract you from your work/studies?
Nope. Work, both unpaid and paid, is more important than blogging. I have been trained that work is work. You give work your best.
I work around forty – fifty hours a week on average, although my hours vary…some work for money, to pay my rent etc and some work on a voluntary basis in connection with the charities I work with. All the work I do receives my full attention. I don’t use phones or laptops for any personal use (with the exception of when I am cooking – it is nice to listen to music when I am cooking, and when things are in the oven, I might be able to do other things, such as reading posts on WordPress).
Is it taking a toll on your personal relationships?
My family and friends are very important to me. I spend time with them, or communicating with them, frequently and regularly. Often it is the e-mails I have sent to family and friends that form the basis for posts I publish on CRUSHED CARAMEL.
Blogging is something I do when I am on my own. The reading I do before bedtime. The writing I do those two mornings when I wouldn’t be out socialising.
Has your health suffered?
Since I received head injuries (when I was the victim of a crime some years ago) I have not been able to spend my leisure time the same way as I used to.
In the past I played basketball, went to a boot-camp, ran at least three times a week (one eight mile run and two four mile runs) and I did a huge amount of socialising. I was travelling all over London and beyond to parties and live music events. I was going away almost every weekend to stay with friends, and trying to squeeze in lots of hiking and cycling and anything active and outdoorsy – climbing trees, wild swimming, sports days – I loved anything energetic.
I miss that lifestyle. Having to rest could easily drive me crazy. I need things to keep my mind busy.
But I am not able to do what I used to. I still have a healthy social life. I like to make sure I spend two or three evenings (or other times) out with friends (or indoors with friends). But I need more rest than I used to. I have crazy headaches at times, and I also have black-outs and difficulties breathing at times.
So, I needed restful things to do in my leisure time. My life-long habit is writing letters and e-mails. I have a lot of material in my e-mail accounts that I can adapt to posts for my blog. I also have been writing a book for my little niece. Blogging is something I can do while I am resting. I have found it very enjoyable.
Have you gained weight?
Since I stopped doing all the sport I used to I have gained some weight. But that is not due to blogging.
I have gained some weight because since I was attacked, I have not been able to maintain the level of activity I did before. That’s because of the head injuries I received. The problem I have had is my brain not always telling my heart to beat faster. I am fine with walking, and swimming. But when I tried running (I used to love running!), I kept blacking out.
Do you ever get writer’s block?
The challenges to my writing are not so much ideas, it is more the effect of headaches. When I wake up my head is a brute! It can take me a while to be able to function properly. But the wonderful combination of ibuprofen and coffee normally aid my writing capabilities.
Well…some mornings I might not necessarily have any fresh ideas. But my drafts folder has posts that I have previously started when I had an idea but not time to develop it. So if I am ever short of ideas, it’s great to just peruse my drafts folder and pick something to work on.
Have you ever suffered from blog related stress or blogger burn out?
Hardly any. I accept that there is a limit to how much time I have (as do we all). Blogging should be enjoyable. If I cannot get through every single post that appears in my WP Reader…so be it. I hope I will live to read more another day!
We all have different circumstances and situations. We all juggle different responsibilities and obligations. Blogging should be something recreational (unless you are making a business out of it, or secretly trying to take over the world). So if it ever feels like a burden, maybe it is time to make a slight adjustment or be more reasonable about your limitations.
I respect all bloggers are doing what they want, what they can, what they enjoy. I would hope they are prioritising on spending time with family, friends, their work and their health. I would not want anyone to suffer because of losing balance. I especially look out for the posts that appear from bloggers who publish infrequently. It’s always quite exciting to see their posts. I think I make more effort to comment as well on their posts to encourage them.
I try to read almost everything from the bloggers I follow, because I appreciate their support. But it is clearly something I just would not enjoy at all, I might skip it. As with any other area of entertainment, I am selective. My mind is not a sewer. I won’t let just anything flow through it!
Blogging should be fun! Don’t let it be stressful! To keep it fun, never forget what really matters in life! Family, friends, work, your health!! Your life should be many shades of wonderful…and if you have some spare time, sit down write a gorgeous post and share it with us! Forget about your worries and strife over blogging – look after the bear necessities and enjoy! Have fun!!!