Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Thinking... (UPDATED)

Wow. I went to ThisMom's blog because I heard she was taking a break from blogging and I wanted to see for myself what it takes to get someone to that point. And her words could have been mine, albeit hers are far more elegant.

I have devoted countless hours to blogging and while I have enjoyed it beyond measure, I too, feel like I've fallen down a rabbit hole sometimes. Part of it is because I can't STOP reading your blogs and part of it stems from my desire to not suck at things (while still maintaining my title as a total underachiever, of course). I'll never be the next Dooce or Suburban Bliss, nor do I aspire to that, but being recognized as a blogger worth reading every day is nice. None of us can deny that it feels good. But while I love the community and the daily laughs, I'm so behind in my responsibilities and in the past four months, my life has become far more disorganized and chaotic because frankly, I'd rather be here with you guys than doing all that other boring shit like working, folding laundry or thinking about dinner.

But...living and dying by the comments I get or wondering why I just dropped 20 points in one day on BlogTopsites is starting to feel a bit like the hamster wheel. I'm going and going but getting nowhere thinking about that stuff and it feels a bit ridiculous sometimes, especially when I have real-life things that need my attention far more.

What I'd really like is if you all lived here and we were all neighbors, sharing fun and good times while raising our kids (or pets!) instead of being in this place called cyberspace. I have lamented over and over about how I can't find any cool, fun women where I live so you all have filled a serious void in my life, however, I have to wonder if I'm overdosing a bit here.

I have to be on my computer a lot because of the work I do. It's sooo easy to just pop open my browser "for just a minute" and see what's up and read a few blogs. Before you know it, an hour or two has passed. I feel like I'm letting real life suffer sometimes because of it.

Do any of you feel conflicted about the amount of time you spend reading blogs and/or writing for your blog?

Does anyone have any ideas on how to ease-off without having withdrawals or losing all my reader friends?

I don't want to give it up completely. I just designed a new site, dammit! But something has got to give so help a sister out and tell me how to get my freaking life back and still keep blogging.

Thanks :-)

UPDATE: In regard to comments I received...

God. You all have made me feel SO much better. I didn't know that anyone else was having this same issue with blogging. I'm here thinking I'm a total freakshow.

Every single one of you has contributed something of major value here and given me a lot to consider.

I'm going to try to implement time limits, as well as using Bloglines more. I'm also going to stop pressuring myself to "do it all" and try to keep all of this in perspective.

That said, I hope you all will not take it personally if I don't drop by your blogs 436 times a day like I usually do. Maybe a few times a day or every other day will have to do. I'll just have to live with that feeling that I'm missing out on something, which is REALLLLLLY hard for me.

Also, I may not respond to your comments as often as I usually do. Just know I have read and appreciated them, as always.

And finally, I do plan to keep posting fairly regularly so don't forget about me!!!!

Thanks again to all of you for your kindness and again, I wish ya'll were my neighbors. I'd bake each of you a cake :-)

20 Comments:

  • I limit my time. It is only during my "free time" that I post, read and comment. At times I have felt like it is a job, rather than a "hobby" and other times I can't imagine being a mom without it.
    I would really hate to see you have to take a break! I hope others have better suggestions!
    chelle

    By Anonymous chelle, at 3/09/2006 02:05:00 AM  

  • Well, I don't have an answer for you but I can say for me, I have been dedicating WAY TOO much time lately to reading blogs ... and I just figure it'll taper off after a while. I may be wrong, but I'm not gonna worry about it, and I would honestly "disagree" with you when you say you're not any further ahead in your real life - if you're getting intellectual or emotional satisfaction out of it, then you are further ahead. Just IMO.

    By Blogger MrsFortune, at 3/09/2006 08:07:00 AM  

  • I'm the worst person to ask, but I've been trying to limit it to mornings (which she is awake then), naps, and bedtime ~ I guess it would help if I had a life as well...

    By Anonymous Kristen, at 3/09/2006 08:32:00 AM  

  • Please, don't do it! You have your fans!

    By Anonymous rhonda, at 3/09/2006 08:34:00 AM  

  • Chelle & Kristen: Thanks, you guys. I appreciate your candor.

    Mrs. Fortune: You're right. I have gotten a lot of good things from blogging so it's definitely not wasted time in that sense. I think I should have said "I'm falling behind" rather than "no further ahead". I edited it to make that distinction. Thanks for pointing that out :-)

    Rhonda: Thanks for saying that :-)

    By Blogger IzzyMom, at 3/09/2006 10:03:00 AM  

  • I can't exactly offer advice either, but I have been known to be frequently sucked into the blogger black hole, but I try to time myself. And since I will typically not pay ANY attention to the clock, I set a timer for myself...yea, dorky, but when it goes off at least I know I have to get up and do my other real life stuff...

    But, then again, it is easy some days to ignore the timer, or forget to set it...blogs are like crack, my friend, and even when you aren't blogging you are thinking about your next fix somewhere in the back of your mind.

    (and once again I prove I am no help to anyone on serious topics...lol)

    By Blogger Emily, at 3/09/2006 10:39:00 AM  

  • It's been tough to balance it all out for me as well. I try to blog only when bored at work, or in the evenings, or if Cordy is playing quietly by herself.

    But, I also have to get my work done, and find time to spend with the husband as well, so it is difficult. Not sure of any advice to offer - maybe schedule blogging time and limit yourself to it?

    By Blogger Christina, at 3/09/2006 12:43:00 PM  

  • I wish I could figure this one out myself. It would be so much easier if we were all neighbors! As it is, I have very few "real life" friends who I feel understand me as well as my blog friends do.
    But you are right, it is so easy to get sucked into blogging and more blogging. I can't stop.

    So, no. I have no advice. But I understand and sympathize. Because I'm in exactly the same boat.

    By Blogger Piece of Work, at 3/09/2006 05:12:00 PM  

  • We should start a new 12 step program, BA. Hi, my name is Sarah, and I (oh this is so hard) blog.

    It helps a tiny bit that my comments go to a yahoo account, not my work account, but that in reality only helped until I decided I need to check my yahoo account at least 3x a day. And then I have to check my favorite blogs, and...

    Yeah, I have no advice. Good luck with that.

    By Blogger Sarah Louise, at 3/09/2006 05:33:00 PM  

  • I absolutely have to be careful. It is so easy to get sucked in. That is why I slipped way down in rankings and have less page views. I am not able to devote as much time to surfing other people's blogs and comment. I try to post every other day, but sometimes even that is a struggle. I have about 10 blogs I read everyday when I check my email...and so many others I love but can only visit on occasion.
    I used to get all stressed if I don't keep up thinking the few people who do read my blog will stop...or get all sad if I slipped in rankings....then I realized..WTF? Is that really something to worry about? Really?
    So you know, Izzy, if you cut back, I'll still come to read. :) I'm loyal. Do what you need to do. Online friends are awesome, but real life can kick your ass.

    By Blogger Mama! Mama! (Mel), at 3/09/2006 05:44:00 PM  

  • Since I got "caught" at work - I only check at night. It is Hard though.

    I just hope everyone knows that I will wander through and that I blove them anyway - even if I am a little late to the party.

    By Blogger Dawn, at 3/09/2006 07:24:00 PM  

  • I'm limiting my time online as well. It's hard, because there's so many great blogs.

    I have to say that Bloglines has helped me only because I don't get distracted by people's wonderful sidebar content.

    Also, I quit Blog Explosion. Talk about a dark hole.

    And, most importantly, I stopped blogging everyday. I was putting so much pressure on myself that I was starting to feel ridiculous. I realized that what I liked about blogging is the excuse to write, so now I blog when I feel like it, and am working on other writing projects.

    By Anonymous reluctant housewife, at 3/09/2006 09:09:00 PM  

  • It's me, isn't it? I start coming around and you start thinking about writing less.

    All kidding aside, I really like your site. Good luck in whatever decision you make. Try BlogLines like reluctant housewife said.

    By Blogger Chag, at 3/09/2006 09:32:00 PM  

  • Tell it, sister. I have been trying to figure how to cut down, myself. But instead I keep FINDING more and more blogs I want to read...It is worth a good couple hours a day and the worst part is my work has blogs blocked, so even though I have a lot of down time at work, I can only read blogs at home.

    You are as good as Dooce or Suburban Bliss. You may not have the huge readership they have, but in your own way you are equally wonderful. So there.

    By Blogger SUEB0B, at 3/09/2006 11:50:00 PM  

  • Sue! Stop it. You're going to make me cry :-)

    By Blogger IzzyMom, at 3/10/2006 12:11:00 AM  

  • Wow, I feel the same way lately! Plus, (this is humiliating to admit), I just found out I lost that freaking local blog contest to a blog mascot fashioned out of a Skoal can. Kinda sucked the will to blog right outta me.

    But don't stop blogging; I always look forward to reading your new posts! :)

    By Blogger Jess Riley, at 3/10/2006 12:18:00 AM  

  • Is there something in the air? Or in the water? I'm glad to hear that so many people feel the same way.

    I completely related to the "living and dying by the comments" line. As someone who is new to getting comments on her's(since I only share my blog with people I don't know) I've found my moods lately influenced by the comments on my blog. How sad is that?!

    Thanks for this post!

    By Blogger Mrs. Chicky, at 3/10/2006 09:29:00 AM  

  • I just made my way over to your blog and found this and it couldn't have been more timely. With our latest endeavor I am feeling much more pressed for time and I'm finding that my blog is suffering because of it - and then I feel stupid for thinking that my blog is "suffering".

    I try and fit it all in when the kids are in school, but there are so many good blog reads out there!

    Glad I made my way over here!

    By Blogger Lisa, at 3/10/2006 12:24:00 PM  

  • It truly is an addiction and it's strange how easy it becomes something different from what it started as. I started a blog to write about the funny turns my life takes and it morphed into this obsession. I've aldready thought of quitting and I only started about a month ago! But then, I remember, it's just a place to write and it is only what I make of it. I am putting the pressure on myself, not the blog putting pressure on me.

    By Blogger kfk, at 3/10/2006 10:14:00 PM  

  • Gosh, I swore I commented on this before. Sorry to come so late in the game.

    I have a hard time sometimes ignoring the stats and not worrying about the comments. I've gone through phases where I turned off the stat counter just so I wouldn't obsess about people coming to read and then not leaving comments.

    But I've decided that as long as I enjoy certain aspects of blogging -- the writing which serves as an emotional release, the really great comments that I get (which might not be dozens in number, but are very insightful and encouraging) -- I'll keep it up. If I ever feel like I'm struggling with writing and running out of things to say, i will reevaluate.

    I do feel conflicted about how many blogs I read (and the time it takes to read/comment), but I really think that I learn so much and get a lot out of the connections I've made via the blog world. I do wish we could all be in-person neighbors, but I love that we have this big, ever-changing virtual community of friends.

    By Anonymous Nancy, at 3/11/2006 03:42:00 PM  

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