I had a fellow blogger friend tell me on Twitter the other day how impressed they were with my ability to maintain a great blog while going to college and working. It was slightly humorous to me, because just last week I was freaking out about not having anything to post and wondering when I would get my reading done or my commenting done or my posting done or my homework done, pretty much in that order >_< Blogging is hard work and when you throw the responsibilities of blogging on top of the rest of your life it can make everything a lot harder. I'm in my final year of college so everything at this point is incredibly important, but I'm finally getting the hang of dealing with the work load that college offers while still having my own fun.
How I deal with school.
Over the years I've become a lot more organized with my homework and assignments which has enabled me to get things done without stressing over them. At the beginning of the semester I take all my syllabi, my wall calendar, and my planner and I write down ALL of my assignments for the next 4 months. I color code them too. At this point you're probably going, "Woah, Anna, that is just too much planning and organization to even think about before school actually starts." And, before I started doing it, I would have thought so too! But the thing is, it makes life so much easier. After I'm done filling in my calendars and planners I move on to that month's assignments. For all essays, exams, midterms, and presentations I write out their due date, assignment, and class on a sticky note and put them up on my desk. This way, every time I sit at my desk I can see that in two weeks I have an essay due in a certain class. Things like that. This doesn't mean I do anything in advance, however. Also, over the weekend I try to get most of the upcoming week's reading and such done so I don't have to worry about it during the week.
How I maintain my blog.
Here's the thing, I don't let my blog dictate what I do. Yes, I try to keep up with blog tours, reviews, memes, and things like that, but if something gets in my way I don't stress over it to the point where I'm running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I try to do things in advance, but sometimes life gets in the way and you just have to deal with it. I don't have class until noon every day so I try to wake up around 8am and that gives me about 2 hours of interruption free blogging time. So, yes, I schedule in my blogging time as well. This is the time I comment, plan, post, etc. The more things I can schedule ahead of time the better.
How I keep from getting burnt out.
As many times as I've wanted to quit it all and throw the blog out the window, I can't. My blog is my baby. I've worked hard to get where I am in the blogging world and I can't just throw it all away. I love my blogging friends, and the opportunities I've been given because of blogging have been amazing. But every now and then I still get stressed out about blogging. It's not my number one priority in life and it shouldn't be. I need to keep up with school, maintain my real life friendships, and keep myself working. But, sometimes life gets stressful and I need to put everything on the back burner, so these are some of the things I occupy myself with when I'm getting to stressed:
- Watch TV: Since we have a DVR in my house I record a million things throughout the week. When I'm feeling stressed I just plop myself down on the couch with a bowl of popcorn and turn on The Office or Doctor Who.
- Go for a walk: Whether I'm by myself or with a friend, walking around my neighborhood has always been a great de-stresser for me. If I have a big essay due I'll usually try to figure things out in my head while I'm walking and the combo between fresh air and exercise gets my brain working over time.
- Spend time with friends: It's important to remember that we have friends. Like, I'm not even kidding. I'm always so busy with work and school that most of my free time gets spent with my boyfriend (if I have any free time). It's important to remember that there are other people who are there for us and it's always great to get someone else's perspective on something that's going on in your life.
- Read a book: I know what you're thinking. You're like, "Anna, I am trying to get AWAY from the stresses of blogging!" But I don't mean a book you plan on reviewing. I mean a book you want to read just for you. I think my brain works in different ways depending on what I'm planning on doing with each book. If it's a review book I'm constantly trying to figure out what I liked and what I didn't. If it's for school I'm trying to analyze every sentence and every theme in order to interpret the messages beneath the surface. But if I'm picking up a book just for me I don't feel those pressures. I can just read and enjoy.
- Play some video games!: This one is somewhat older and newer for me. I used to be a huge gamer, but college sort of destroyed all my gaming fun, so I've started to unpack my dusty Game Boy and PSP and get in the groove of gaming again. I love playing video games and they're a great way to sort of pass the time while having fun and giving your brain and your body a break. If you don't have a gaming system there are a lot of great ways you can still play! Android phones have an app called GBC A.D. that lets you download .ROM files onto your phone and use it like a Game Boy Color. Also, Big Fish Games has a ton of games you can download free trials for and play for like an hour on your computer. I used to spend HOURS playing these.
Give yourself a break.
Just remember that you blog for you and if you start to get burnt out on it, take a break. If I'm swamped with school work or I just don't feel like doing anything then I just won't post. I'll take a week off. Everything will still be there when I get back. Sometimes a week off from blogging will help you realize how important it really is to you. Or maybe you'll realize you've burnt yourself out on blogging and you'll decide it's time to call it quits. Either way, stepping away from that responsibility can be an eye opener. Just don't take it so seriously. It's not the end of the world if you can't read a book before release. I have a shelf of books that are already out and I've yet to read and review. Do I care? Of course. But there's nothing I can do about it. I'm doing my best with what I've got and that's all I can do.
What are some ways you maintain your blog with your busy schedule?
Do you like these discussion posts? If so, ask your own questions! I'll answer anything and everything to the best of my ability!