Friday, September 16, 2011

Featured Follower Friday: How to Maintain A Life/Blog Balance! by Vivienne

I'm thrilled to be able to give a warm welcome to Vivienne from Serendipity reviews here on Escape In A Book today. Vivienne is here to give us her advice on how we can maintain a balance between blogging, reading, family, other hobbies etc..

How to Maintain A Life/Blog Balance!

I was over the moon when Mari asked me to write a guest post, so that her readers could get to know each other better and she suggested that I write a post about how I manage my time in between blogging, reading, writing and managing a family. I began to laugh hysterically, as half the time I really don’t manage at all. I think I am often a reactive person rather than a proactive person; I skip from one major diversion to another. I have my good days where I keep religiously to the list in my Page A Day diary and fly through my tasks, leaving half an hour to catch up on my reading. Then other days, (which seem more often than not) I barely achieve three tasks on my list and begin pulling my hair out through stress and begin throwing a rather childlike tantrum.

Photo by: iotdfi
Monday’s are normally my best day. I am refreshed after a weekend of chilling out with the family and I have avoided the gym via too many excuses. I have normally eaten my way through a giant bar of Cadbury’s Milk, which completely defeats the object of going to the gym in the first place. I can’t help but envisage myself as a hamster going round and round on one of those wheels and achieving absolutely zilch. Anyway, as I was saying on Monday I am Super Organised Mum. I clean the house whilst the kids are still wiping the sleep from their eyes. I endure 45 of a grim spinning class which can cause walking to become a physically impossible challenge. Then I get home, get showered, catch up on the blogs and dive straight into writing a week’s worth of blog posts. Yes, you read that right! I write seven to eight posts all in advance, so I know exactly what is going on with my blog and so I can devote the rest of the week to writing my first ever Young Adult novel.

Yes, I am one of those bloggers who is desperate to see her name on a book! I am extremely slow at writing though and I may hit the YA market after collecting my first pension.

Why am I slow at writing, I hear you ask?

Because, I procrastinate!

I check blogs, I set up extra blog posts for a rainy day, I update Goodreads and then I settle down into a serious Tweeting session. Twitter is the bane of my life and will be the reason I will never get published. I spend far too much time chatting about nothing on Twitter. Luckily many people enjoy reading my nothingness, so I won’t moan, but I do need to learn to step away from the Internet on a regular basis.

I have a really bad habit and I know I should break it. I don’t always reply to comments on my blog and I know that is just terrible behaviour. I don’t know why I don’t do it, as I love to get comments on my blog. I think I never know where to reply. Should I answer comments on my blog post, which drags people back to my blog for a second time, or should I email them? If someone asks me a direct question, I will contact them on Twitter, email them or answer on their own blog post, that way I know they will be read. If anyone has any suggestions on how to solve this problem, please email me. Also apologies to anyone I haven’t replied to, I do value your comments.

Photo: seanj
I know a lot of writers like to write late into the evenings, but I can’t do that. My evenings are when I read. As soon as all my chores are done, such as making dinner, ironing, sorting out lunch boxes, listening to my children both talk to me at once and walking the dog, I then sit down with a good book or two. I have this nasty habit of reading two books at once. I can’t help myself and I have to swap them around throughout the evening. I know it is a terrible habit, but there are just so many good books out there to read. I try to stay up as late as possible to read and I have been known to swig a Red Bull at around 10pm, just so I can stay awake to finish a book. However, tiredness often gets the better of me around 11pm and I normally fall asleep with the light still on and the book still in my hands.

So when considering a life/blog balance, I am quite convinced that I don’t have one. I think it depends on my mood on the day. Some days I won’t even turn on the computer, other days I am checking my stats, answering comments and writing furiously. I play it by ear.

My advice to any new bloggers is probably not to get into the habit of writing a post every day, as it is extremely difficult to break. Write three or four posts a week and check other blogs on those days. The other days, live life and enjoy it or do as I do and read a book.

To visit Vivienne's blog just click on the header above.

I loved reading how you manage your time, Vivienne, and I have to say that I think you're advice to new bloggers was excellent.

Oh, and procrastinate is word that I wish didn't apply to me, like we all do I imagine, but alas it does(and that in big fat letters as well).

Would you like to be featured on a Friday? Learn how by reading this post. Want to read earlier FFF posts? Just click the label below.



  1. Huh, you just wrote about my life! Even though, I'm not perfect on Mondays either, but on Sundays I always think that I will be...

  2. Heksa - great minds think alike. I wish I felt like that on a Sunday.

    Thanks for having me on here today Mari. It was a real pleasure.

  3. You are right, writing a post every day is a tough one. I keep saying I'm going to get organised but I never get there. I think your balance sounds not to bad. Great minds since we both we with Blog/life balance for a guest post xx

  4. I do procrastinate...a lot ;)
    And I should not even talk about writing, my stuff has been untouched for like 1 year now.

    I do hope you finish the book one day :)

  5. Very good post! When I make my homework on the computer, I always go on the Internet and forget about making it. So, so bad. :) But that's life. :)

    Good luck with the book!

  6. I don't write 7 days of posts in one day but right after I finish a book, I write up my review. That way the book is still fresh in my mind.
    Book Sniffers Anonymous

  7. Not a bad idea - writing eight posts at once. I couldn't do that. I get the urge and then I blog about it. For me it's best to just let loose on the page when something is bugging me.
    -Mac Campbell


Thank you for sharing your thoughts =)