Writing

Discussion Post: Is Blogging a Time Suck?

Do I waste too much time working on and marketing my blog, or do I just suck at managing my time?

This is a question arising frequently for me over the past several weeks. There are a handful of articles that imply that blogging can be a “time suck,” particularly when it comes to the social media and marketing aspect of it. Of course, if you want to be a blogger or a writer, social media is crucial. There’s no other way to gain followers or get to know other writers and bloggers. But where should the line be drawn, and how much time should you spend on these aspects of your website?

Since I started blogging, I’ve noticed a remarkable increase in my self-control when it comes to actually sitting my butt down and writing. Instead of picking up the pen sporadically, whenever the impulse strikes, I’ve begun writing posts at the same intervals each week. The dedication and consistency of it has been a shock to me, but it’s something that I’m proud of. It’s something I feel could be translated to writing outside of blog posts, if I had the time to pursue such a thing.

But there’s the problem, Setting aside all of this time for blogging has taken a significant chunk out of the time I’m able to spend actually writing fiction. In my perfect world, I’d be able to do both, read a lot, spend time with my loved ones, and dedicate 2+ hours to the gym daily. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a world with quite so much flexibility. Having a full-time job, and blogging as a sort of part-time one, leaves little time for much else. Add in sleep, adult responsibilities, and trying to give the people I like attention once in a while, and I’m spent.

Possibly, this is an easy problem to fix. Just stop blogging, or cut it down to once a week, and start banging out stories on the keyboard. But I’ve come to love blogging as a hobby, and it’s a pursuit I’m genuinely passionate about. Plus, there are people out there doing it all: the writing, the blogging, the reading. It’s astonishing to see how productive a handful of the members of this community are.

It’s also possible that I sleep too much, waste too much downtime, and stall my writing because a novel is an overwhelming project. After doing all of that, it’s easy to turn around and blame the 20 other things I have to do, instead of owning up to the fact that I’m the problem. After all, time on the clock has mysteriously disappeared on multiple occasions – leaving behind nothing to account for it. Maybe if I was more on top of my time, I’d be able to keep up.

So I’d like to pose a question to all you writers and bloggers out there. Do you set limits on how much time you spend on your blog weekly? And if not, what practices do you have in place to ensure that you’re able to spend enough time on all of your interests? I’d love to hear other bloggers’ thoughts on this, and I’d be even happier to gather some tips.

6 thoughts on “Discussion Post: Is Blogging a Time Suck?”

  1. I feel like this is a super relevant post, especially considering that we’re in the middle of NaNoWriMo. I know I end up spending an hour or two every day writing blog posts and reading & commenting on other blogs. I have my social media accounts set up so posting on one leads to a cross post on all the others, so I don’t waste a lot of time there. And my phone alerts me if someone posts on something or replies to a Tweet or comment or whatever.

    Knowing how I am with fiction word counts, I try to schedule 30 minutes to an hour every day to write. And as I also do book reviews on my blog, I try to squeeze in and hour or so of reading time every day.

    But it can be a struggle to fit it all in. I spend roughly 20 hours each weekend socializing with friends (typically we’re playing D&D), so it is hard. I typically post on my blog about 5 times a week, but I feel one or two posts would be fine if you need to free up time for other things. For most of us blogging is a hobby that we treat like an unpaid job. And the pressure to keep posting or to be active or to reach more followers can lead to blogging burnout. Thankfully most of us also understand it when someone needs to reduce the number of posts each week or just take a little vacation from it all.

    Basically I try to create a schedule so I can get as much done as possible so I can have some free time for fun. Right now for example, I’ve already written up and scheduled my next few blog posts so that I can spend my weekend enjoying time with my boyfriend and our friends. Thankfully I can also say that I have a boyfriend who fully supports my book blogging and will find something else to do if I need a little time to read or write or whatever. I’m very lucky in that regard.

    …I have no idea if any of my rambling helps you or not, but just know that you certainly are not alone when it comes to trying to find a balance in your work/life scheduling.

    1. It helps! It’s also nice to know that it isn’t just me. Honestly, I gave up on NaNo this year because there just isn’t time for that kind of writing to happen right now.

      It sounds like you’re doing really good with your schedule though! Scheduling time for fiction writing and actually sticking to it is probably my biggest problem and best bet to actually fix it. I feel like it’s so easy to get sucked into other people’s blogs and interacting with bloggers on social media. If I set aside time for all three things a week, I should be good.

      Reading and blogging are the last things I want to cut down on right now, though those might be the words of an already burned out blogger haha. Thankfully, my boyfriend understands too and generally lets me sit on the computer on weekend mornings and get stuff done. It really does help so much to get posts done in advance.

      Thanks again for the advice! And the camaraderie!

  2. Really fantastic post (love discussions) i feel like you made a lot of great arguments here that i can totally relate to.

    Personally, i dont have a specific schedule set aside for blogging. It’s really whenever i have downtime. I could write one post in the middle of the week or sit down on a saturday and bang out 6 posts, make the featured images and schedule them all in for the next week. So this seems to be working for me quite well and i always have 3-4 posts going out on a weekly basis. I know most people make a schedule or set aside time every night, but in doing that you’re not going to know how you feel that day. And i seriously need to be in the proper mood to write or else it just comes out like putty.

    I realise this is definitely my own way of doing things but i think you just need to find whats right for you and remember you’re doing this for fun! Don’t ever let the pressure of putting out posts at regular intervals take away the reason you’re doing it in the first place. It’s not supposed to be another task, you’re supposed to enjoy it.

    1. Thank you! πŸ™‚

      I totally agree! I think I need to sit down and bang out posts the same time every week because the routine keeps me consistent. But that’s just my way of doing things. That’s all creative endeavors are – trial and error haha. Find out what works for you and stick with it.

      I 100% agree though – if you aren’t enjoying it, you need to slow down and re-evaluate. Great point!

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