Blurred Lines

Sometimes I feel like there are very blurred lines between my life and blogging. Meaning, it’s really hard to separate all things blogging as they seem to bleed into every hour of my life very easily. I have to consciously UNPLUG from blogging because I don’t think the book blogger hat comes off unless I physically make it. There seems to not be a designated “blogging time” for me and then I’m done. There’s always something I could be working on with the blog. Comments I could be replying to. Emails to respond to. Blogs I could be reading. Conversations I could be having. Posts I could be writing to get ahead. Always something I could be doing. In addition to the books I could be reading. And I’ve REALLY noticed it lately as I’ve stepped back and taken inventory of my life.

I don’t know if it’s just a me thing? My own inability to make some boundaries? But I feel like I’m always “on the clock”, which isn’t awful because I love doing it, but as I’ve talked about I feel really unbalanced sometimes. I’m good about unplugging on the weekend and going to do other things not related to blogging (and I won’t say NO to other things because of blogging stuff) but I find most of my free time IS spent doing this. It’s the automatic thing when I come home and have free time. Fire up the laptop and work on something. Or when I am “unplugged” I’m never NOT checking Twitter or Instagram or reading a comment if an email comes through. Dear god I check it the moment I wake up and before I go to bed. It’s become an addiction.

There’s no separation between “life” and “thing I like to do” and I cannot honestly tell if that’s a good or a bad thing because 1) I love doing this and it does bring me a sense of fulfillment in aspects of my life and 2) I am a person who, when passionate about something, puts my whole self into it. Maybe it’s just part of having a thing that you love so much? I don’t know.

What got me thinking about all this? I was contemplating doing “Summer Hours” on the blog. In the past 4 years I’ve noticed that traffic and comments and general activity tends to go down in the summer. I, also with the rest of the world, seem to get busier in the summer. Why not post a bit less for myself and others? Why not actively spend less time on the blog as a PLAN? It seems to happen ANYWAYS because I look outside and can’t bear to be inside but why not be proactive about it?

I’m not the sort of person who feels compelled to post all the time. I have my general plan I shoot for and works for me (5x a week) but if I don’t feel like it or don’t have time…I don’t do it. I mean, I barely posted for the months leading up to my wedding. When I don’t feel like doing things blog related I DON’T and I honestly feel no stress in that decision. So it’s not a matter of feeling like I have to.

It’s just like blogging has become this extra appendage so to speak and it’s so embedded in my daily routine it’s second nature. It makes me realize, when I think about doing something like Summer Hours,  just how MUCH time I spend on all this without even realizing it. It scares me if I were to even try to calculate it out. I still haven’t decided if I’m going to do the whole Summer Hours thing or not but I’m still thinking on it because there’s a lot to consider!

I don’t think I have a point to all my rambling except for the fact I just really was curious how it is for you guys. Do you feel this way? How do you separate it? Is it hard for you to turn blogger mode off (aside from the obvious when you go do other things?) And if you aren’t a blogger, do you have anything in your life that you feel similarly about?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

About Jamie

Jamie is a 28 year old married lady who is in denial that she's actually that old. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating gelato, listening to music with oversized headphones and teaching her niece how to be as awesome as she is.

Comments

  1. Me too! Seriously, it’s so difficult for me to switch off from blogging. When I think about it, the amount of time I spend on blogging is INSANE! I’ve thought about it, I’ve tried to cut back, and yet, just like you, whenever I have a spare minute there I am drafting reviews, responding to comments or emails. Argh! I’ve had a think about this lately – generally my traffic declines in summer too so I’ve decided to take the month of August off from blogging – a complete, clean break. You know it won’t happen – I’ll still be replying to emails, checking in on twitter etc, but that is my plan of action!

  2. You’re definitely not alone. It’s really hard to separate one bit from another, because in ways blogging has given so much to me (and, I assume, you) as a person. I mean, the extra confidence, the friendships, the ability to have a passion and have it embraced by others? It’s hard not to let it become a huge part of your life when it provides so much good. And then the more you do it, the more you get into it, the more you realize just how BIG it is. And it’s like, in order to really be a part of it you almost do feel this need to be everywhere and anywhere and all up in it. I want to support my old blog friends and my new blogs friends, oh but what about this Booktube, and hey Bookstagram is so much fun and it just adds and adds and adds and suddenly it’s everywhere! And on one hand you don’t really notice or care because it’s so much fun and you love books but on the other hand it’s like WHAT ABOUT EVERYTHING ELSE?
    Wow, I’m getting really rambly with this.
    I guess I’m just saying I definitely understand. I think you do an amazing job keeping up as much as you do, and you can keep doing whatever feels right. If that means a summer break so you can go soak up the rays, go for it! You know you have a great following who will always support you no matter what. :)

  3. I can totally relate! For me, book blogging just seems like a part of my life lately, like something that sort of defines who I am as a person. Books are my passion & I feel like that’s just a big part of me and as much as I want to, I can’t switch it off!

  4. Great post, Jamie! I definitely feel like I am constantly “on the clock” and even my husband notices it. He jokes about how I’m always “working”. The first thing I do in the morning is check my blog emails and twitter. Then I archive my review of the day, reply to comments, try to cross-post to Goodreads, etc. I then try and read at least a few other blog posts and comment all before I go to work. Then when I’m at work and I have spare time (which isn’t very often), I log onto Bloglovin’ and read through my feed (like I’m doing right now…employee of the year over here.) Then when I get home, I immediately turn on the computer, reply to comments that rolled in through the day, read some more blog posts, write posts/reviews, browse the internet for different things I can do to make my blog better, read, etc. So yeah. I have a hard time separating my real life from my blogging life. But I love it. So I won’t apologize for it. Like you, I never say no to doing other things because of my blog and I definitely feel like I still am pretty social and participate in “real life” enough. I do zumba twice a week and am always out and about on the weekends. But blogging is a part of who I am now. A part that I love and wouldn’t trade for anything. My husband understands and accepts it (and he even reads my posts from time to time). We are lucky because he loves to play video games so often times I will read/blog while he plays games right next to each other on the couch. For us, it’s a win-win because we are still hanging out, but we each get to do the things we love. And then on the weekends we always do some fun stuff just for us. I think it is a balance, but I also think that if it’s a part of who you are and if you are passionate about it and love doing it, then you should do it as much as you want, as long as you aren’t neglecting other aspects of your life. :)

  5. I definitely feel this way 100%. I absolutely love blogging, but there are times when it’s ALL I can think about. The first thing I do when I wake up is hop on my computer. The last thing I do before heading to bed? Check my e-mail, give one last look at a blog (maybe I missed something in the 30 minutes I wasn’t paying attention!). Even when I’m out and out I think of ways to incorporate it into a post (take pictures for my weekly recap, etc).

    That’s not to say I ignore the rest of my life – I certainly don’t & I make plenty of time for friends, family, Me Time – but I’m never without a book or my phone. If I’m waiting in line at Starbucks, chances are I’ll check in to see what’s going on on twitter.

    I’ve tried to do the majority of my blog things (scheduling posts, replying to comments) on my days off. That way, throughout the week I’m able to quickly go through the blogs I follow. Like you, if I don’t feel like posting, I don’t stress out over it. Some weeks I only have a single post and I’m okay with that.

    I love the idea of summer hours! :)

  6. I don’t have a good marker between “blogging” and “life” either. . . but it’s not a marker I necessarily want. There are some things I want to compartmentalize in my life–like keeping work on one side, personal stuff on the other, etc. But for the things I LIKE to do? It’s all part of my life–hanging out with people I love, trying new things, blogging, reading, writing–if I choose to do it, I don’t feel I necessarily NEED a lot of ways to keep them separate. I just fit things in where I can and do whatever appeals to me in the moment. Sometimes that means one week is really blog-heavy and sometimes that means I don’t really blog at all(though I typically schedule ahead, so I still have post going live–but I leave off replying to comments or behind the scenes stuff for another week). Sometimes that means I read a book a day for a week and sometimes that means I spend so much time with other people I don’t touch a single book. Maybe at some point I’ll feel the need for clearer boundaries, but for right now it’s working for me.

  7. Blogging is definitely always on my mind. That said, I guess it helps that I don’t post as often as you do – my goal is 2x a week, which is low, but it also means that I’m not totally married to my blog. I love it, and I wish I could do more (and sometimes I do), but I have to put boundaries on myself because my job and my husband and my family come first. I know I’m lucky to have a steady job that challenges me, so I usually schedule my tweets and posts for those times. I do most of my blogging on weekday nights, and then I never really do much on the weekends except for answer some tweets and read.

    I think it’s easier to unplug for me because blogging is something that, weirdly, in my life, no one really understands. Most people think that blogging is a hobby – in reality, it’s more like a second job for me, and it takes up a ton of time and mental thought. But I don’t end up talking about blogging that much to anyone but my blogger friends – it’s like, my alter-ego, and I kind of like it that way. It’s a bit isolating, because my real-life friends don’t get it, but at the same time, it makes it really refreshing for me to be with my real-life friends. So when I’m with them, I’m really with them, and I’m in the moment.

  8. As a baby blogger, I am just starting to get a taste of what you’re talking about. I STILL haven’t sat down on worked on a “blogging schedule” but I think I am going to have to do that soon. I already get anxious when I fall behind on Twitter and I’m usually writing up a post the night before it will get posted. So I always feel like I am trying to catch-up. I’m in the same mind frame as you though, in that I don’t want blogging to take over my life and I absolutely put my “real life” first. So if that means missing a few tweets or not commenting enough, so be it.

    I absolutely LOVE the blogging community and am so thrilled and honored to be a small part of it. I just know that someday soon I’m going to have to really focus on creating a schedule so I can keep some balance between my daily life and blog life…oh and my full-time corporate job! LOL!

  9. I feel the same way, but I really love it because I consider it almost therapeutic for me, which makes me sound really weird. Ha. But since Mike got that job a couple of weeks ago and I was COMPLETELY unplugged from my computer for three weeks – NO KIDDING, my computer was actually dusty – I didn’t realize how blurry the lines were. The thing is, though, that while the lines are blurry, and while I was unplugged, I was TOO UNPLUGGED for my liking and I found myself CRAVING that time in my life in a big and bad way. So now that I have this big event supposedly starting in July, I actually started it early because I was missing it so bad. And I’ve put packing and moving a little further back on the priorities list.

    But not too far!

    Oh my, that sounds awful.

    If I’m not sane, though, the world that is my house is in absolute chaos. I need to blur those lines back up a little bit.

    I go through all of that to say that YES IT IS TOTALLY UNDERSTANDABLE, and I love your rambles. And MAN OH MAN, I’ve missed blogging. xo

  10. My blog is nowhere near as popular as yours or has anywhere near the amount of traffic… but I definitely run into this. Everything in your life ends up with you questioning how you can incorporate it into the blog. I love the idea of summer hours and just trying to disconnect for a bit each day. If you’re not careful, you end up living your life for the blog… and in the process… you stop living your life. And that life is what makes for a wonderful blog!

    Have a happy summer and get some rest, lady! :)

  11. I think my blogger hat has become one with my head. I’m not a very social or active person to begin with, but when something does come up and I have to leave the house I’m always worrying that I’m going to get behind on something blog related, or I won’t get enough reading time in when whatever “real world” thing is over. I really noticed this last week when I went out of town to hang out with my two besties! I kept wondering what time my mom would come get me, so I could figure out if I had time to make a dent in my current read, or if I’d be able to catch up on comments and my reader! It was sad.

  12. I am terrible with sticking to blogging. I get busy and forget all about it for so long that I just end up deleting the little bit of blogging I did. I did just start another one, but it has pictures of my dog, too. Maybe that will make me stick with it.

  13. I can’t read your title without thinking of BEA and our daily alarm lolllllll.

    This aside, I feel like I strike a pretty decent balance. Like, I might check twitter for a few minutes during business hours, but otherwise am too busy to care. Same with instagram.

    As for actual blogging, in the morning I schedule tweets on hootsuite and I look at my stats and some comments. Throughout the day I check email, and I usually intend to respond to comments and email when I get home, but I don’t. I also intend to read other blogs when I get home, but I don’t. I actually manage to stay kind of unplugged after work. Like, yeah, I might be reading my book, but I rarely write posts or check twitter or do any of that stuff after work. For me, the weekend is when everything blogging related happens. That’s when I write all my reviews and visit blogs and maybe if I like whatever memes are happening, participate in those. For me, it’s a nice balance on the one hand, because it’s just two days per week, maybe three with a blog focus. On the other hand, it leaves zero break, because five days a week I am focused on my actual job and then the other two, I am focused on blogging as a secondary job.

    Also, I am scheduled like a month in advance for reviews and such, so like, if I take a day off or decide that during the weekend I don’t want to write reviews or do posts, then I don’t beat myself up over it. For me, that’s the true measure of balance – where you feel okay to take time off and realize that it’s going to be okay to not touch WP-admin for one day.

  14. I actually posted today about taking days off from blogging every week, so I can definitely understand what you mean.

    Blogging is always at the forefront of my brain. Like you said, when I wake up in the morning, I check to see if I have comments, to see if my posted actually was published, that it was sent out on twitter. When I’m off doing non-blog related things, I am always thinking, okay, I need to make time to read, to comment, to check out other blogs.

    Honestly, this doesn’t bother me. I’ve not felt burned out at all in blogging, and blogging has given so much back to me. I love it, even though I’m not a particular successful blog. My life schedule is pretty manageable at the moment, so I never feel extremely overwhelmed on a regular basis. But also, my blog is not big, so my responsibilities are much smaller, I’m sure, than yours.

  15. I have definitely started to feel this way more so lately. It’s always something running through my mind (on top of the 20483597092142 other things I have on my mind). I’d really like to get on a schedule where I feel like I have some down time or more time to go do something that doesn’t involve the internet and so on. One thing that I realized while being out of the country the past two weeks…..I didn’t have my face glued to a screen! It was refreshing to take a step back. I think I’ll try and make it a more frequent thing. Maybe a day during the week I don’t even both to turn my laptop on.

  16. I don’t think it is hard for me to separate them out. I have a job and a demanding boyfriend that I don’t get to see enough so I like to take time away. I schedule posts out for a long time so I can sometimes just not pay attention to the blog for a week or two. I feel I actually want to be a better blogger and blog more instead of less now that I’m done with college classes.

  17. Some weeks I’m better than others; sometimes I can schedule a bunch of posts and sort of coast for the week, but other times I’m on my computer a few hours at night trying to catch up with everything. My horrible habit that I’ve found this summer is that I’ll read a comment on my phone, but then completely forget to reply when I get onto my laptop! So sometimes I leave comments for a day or two before I reply, and commenting on other blogs takes time as well.

    Summer hours sound nice though! I thought I’d be less busy, but it’s just been so crazy that I only read one or two books a week now, whereas I was reading 3-5 in the other months.

  18. This is an issue for me because I think blogging can take as much time as you let it between writing, replying and visiting other blogs. That’s not counting reading which I’ve always done quite a bit of but now focus on a little bit more. I’ve been playing around with setting hours and it’s nice to know I’m not the only one!

  19. I definitely know what you mean. I’m always working on the book blog in some way. If I get a few minutes here and there, I do something blog related. I also run a personal blog, so it feels like that one is always on my mind. Ooh this important thing happened, I need to remember to blog about it. So yea, I get you, the lines between our lives and blogging are very blurry.

  20. “Or when I am “unplugged” I’m never NOT checking Twitter or Instagram or reading a comment if an email comes through. Dear god I check it the moment I wake up and before I go to bed. It’s become an addiction.”

    ^ THIS EXPLAINS ME TO A T. I’m so relieved I’m not the only one, ha ha!

  21. Oh yes, I have the same thing. It’s not a problem for me at the moment, since I have enough time to be this busy with my blog, but I have to be realistic; I will get busier and I will need to make a schedule for my time. I’ve also noticed that in the summer everyone is less active in the blogosphere, so it will be a good time to start looking at my blogging time. I’m not planning to spend all my free time on my blog like now, because I want to do thing this summer. It’s like I’m thinking about it 24/7 and if I’m not blogging I do something that has to do with it (like Twitter/Instagram)

    So I know exactly what you mean!

  22. Really great post today. When I started blogging earlier this year it consumed me and I posted 7 days a week, sometimes with multiple daily posts. However, I’ve since cut back as it started interfering with ‘real life’ stuff and I had to prioritize. I’m a mom and wife first, blogger second (and housekeeper distant third, snort). I now post 3 days a week and it’s working out much better. I also have started getting up an hour earlier (at 6am), and the morning is my blogging time. By 7:30-8ish I’m done, except for a few checks throughout the day to respond to comments. Things are going much smoother now over here :)

  23. I’m the same way Jamie! I swear blogging is starting to take over my life, but I do love it! I too have to force myself to just step away from the blog here and there. I have started this new thing where if I take a vacation or have a special day planned or what not that I will not blog during that time and just enjoy what is going on around me. Even that can be hard, but so far so good. I love blogging, but I feel like I’m always trying to read, write posts, think of new posts, write reviews, participate in a few memes if I like the topic that week, etc. Summer Hours actually sound like a great idea. Maybe if I did that too then I could focus more on reading and spending time with friends, family, and my husband this summer. We shall see. At least I never do feel pressured to blog if I don’t want to as well. Okay, sorry for the rambling comment. I love how honest you are on your blog. Good luck and happy reading!

  24. Since I don’t have a lot of friend and family time (except for recently with wedding planning… which is also something I’d like to do more often!), I have to “unplug” when I hang out with Shane. We need to spend OUR time together and dedicate focus to each other. Every other part of the day, blogging is flooding my day-to-day life and I don’t really mind that. I love seeing comments or likes on Instagram or sharing pictures or talking on Twitter. My blogging friends have become my best friends IRL so we text each other all day and naturally we talk about blogging things too. That part I don’t mind in the least! I enjoy blogging and books so much that they ARE a part of my life and lines are definitely blurred… But I also need to find times to scale back and remember that things like wedding planning should come first (hence why I have so many blog posts to finish up right now haha!)

Comment Policy:

Thank you so much for reaching out to me via comment. Seriously, it makes my day. I appreciate and read EVERY SINGLE comment. I do try real hard to reply to comments but I'm not able to do so daily and sometimes I get very behind because...well..life. You know how it goes sometimes! If I haven't replied back to you, feel free to tweet me so we can chat further as sometimes that is easier for me to get to when I'm on the go!

Speak Your Mind

*