Balance. I need some.


As you may have noticed, I've been MIA for the past few days. That's largely due to having family in town visiting (yay!) but also because I'm kind of in a reading funk.

I KNOW. I just came back from a damn sabbatical and here I am in the funk again!

I think I start to get in a reading funk when I feel like my other hobbies take a back seat to my reading. It's no secret that I'm all about the video games and board games, but I also like to watch TV series and movies with my husband and I've picked up knitting again. I do like to craft but I haven't done that in foreverrrrr.

I know I'm not the only one who has a handful of hobbies out there that include reading and blogging. So I'm curious - how do you do it?!

How do you find the balance of blog and reading? Of reading and other hobbies? Do you feel like you skew one way or the other? How do you get things back on track?

All of your insight is greatly appreciated and will be selfishly absorbed into my attempts to balance out all of my hobbies!

Lisa is a gamer, crafter, fangirl, mother, wife and unabashed nerd who is pretty ridiculous and it's best you know that up front. When she's not binge watching Netflix or crafting into the wee hours of the night, you can find her spending a lot of her time on Pinterest and Twitter.

24 comments:

  1. I was just thinking about this today, so your post totally resonates with me.

    I think, for me, it works out because I get to do most of my blog work during one LONG session (perhaps a whole afternoon on the weekend) or during my downtime at work. Reading, on the other hand, is something I do to occupy myself on the train, and right before bed. I get to fit in all the other fun things - music, TV, internet - because of that.

    However, I have been SORELY neglecting my wanderlust. Which would probably explain why it's now deciding to rear up and bite me in the butt and make me wish I could just buy a plane ticket to somewhere fun or get in a car and just GO. I need to get out and explore NYC more, just so I don't feel restless.

    Oops. I think I just shared a lot, haha.

    But in general, I think I manage to indulge in most things because I usually have (loosely) set schedules for them all. That's my OCD kicking in!

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    1. I wonder if that would work better for me - doing things in stretches like that.

      I do like organization and I like list making, so I wonder if I could incorporate that like you do with schedules. Thanks for the advice! :)

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  2. I don't have great balance, honestly, but that's also because I've been preoccupied with the job hunt. Aside from reading, I like to exercise, cook, and watch t.v. I try to stick to some kind of a schedule: exercise three times a week, things like that. Otherwise I honestly think I need to settle down a bit before I really find balance.

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    1. I think things are really up in the air for me right now because we have guests in town. So ALL routines are off. It's throwing me for a loop!

      Good luck with that job hunt, Liz!

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  3. I guess I consider reading a hobby and then I feel the need to discuss what I read, so that's where blogging comes into play. I honestly have no idea how I'm able to keep up with work, school, reading, writing + keeping sane while doing all of the above. But then I realize... the reading & writing balances out the stress of school and work. It's something I truly enjoy and make time for because I know it's what I need so that I don't go crazy.

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    1. You make a good point, G. I'm trying to do whatever will make me happy and bring enjoyment at the time.

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  4. I'll be honest, I have no idea what balance is. I don't know how women (and men, I guess) find balance in their lives between work, kids, cooking, husbands, etc. and their hobbies. I think the way I look at blogging/reading is it's a job, just like my regular 9-5 one, but one that I LOVE. I probably let a lot of other things go lax by focusing on it so much, but since I enjoy it, I figure it's okay.

    All that being said, I think I make myself accept that I get burnt out from time to time, so I do things that detox me from getting so burnt out on blogging that I give it up. I watch a movie or favorite TV show. I go play outside with the pets. I do a craft or bake or clean my house. Or even just read a book just for fun, one that isn't going to make it on the blog or that I've already read.

    I don't think anyone truly finds balance, except Gwyneth Paltrow, but what you can do is learn when you're burnt out and what you need to do to recharge yourself. You seem to have a lot of fun hobbies, so I say if doing those make you happy, put down the book, turn off the computer, and go do them! And if you want to blog about how you kicked butt playing Zelda or Scrabble, we'll all love to read that too! :)

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    1. I too need to accept that I get burnt out from time to time! From reading or blogging or gaming or whatever! I need to not be so hard on myself when things take a swing in another direction.

      Thanks for your encouragement! :)

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  5. I'm horrible with balance too. I love to play video games, read, write and I have a few shows I like to keep up with too. And then there's being a full time university student. I'm terrible with the juggling of it all. For me its mostly luck. Like for the first couple months of school there wasn't really anything due so I could focus on getting ahead in the blog. And I had read a lot over the summer which helps. So I had more time to play on the xbox 360. Right now I'm currently without a console so without that being in place I have time to do all the homework that's starting to come due and for reading. It all just kind of balances out in the end if you try and go with the flow. Just do what you feel like doing. :]

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    1. You're keeping it simple and I like that. Do what I feel like doing! Now if I could shake the guilt...

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  6. Lately I've been taking a few nights a week off from reading to give myself time to be lazy on the couch with my husband and watch TV or spend time crafting. I honestly have too many hobbies so I've had to decide what's important. My husband trumps all of them and I don't want him to feel like a book is more important than him. If he's having a day where he just needs to veg out and spend quality time with me, I give him that. I went through a time of feeling like I had to read EVERY SINGLE night and now I'm just like... screw it, I don't have to. I'm doing this for me.

    Also, it helps that we're ahead with our posts. We currently have almost 30 posts scheduled so we don't always have to be on top of our reading game. (We started RBR this way - planned and read for a month and wrote all of those posts and have consistently maintained it throughout the last year. It has been the best thing for when I needed a break.) AND, to be quite honest, having Estelle to run RBR with me is a huge help. I could not go it alone. She keeps me inspired and lets me know it's okay to go through a reading slump.

    I think it's important that you take the time to craft, knit, or play games. You need that. You'll feel so much better when you get back to the book. I think sometimes if I'm not in the mood to read and I force myself, it ends up having a negative effect on the book. Maybe I *would* have enjoyed it more if I'd been at my best instead of grumpy because I was forcing myself to read.

    Last thing, I swear: post when you can, not when you feel you have to. I am so happy to read your posts, whether they be about books or randomness. I just like you and getting to know you through whatever you share. :)

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    1. YES. The husband hobby is really where I need to put him first, forever. Even if I feel like doing something else, I know it's best if we do something together when we have the time.

      You're making me mad jealous with your 30 posts ahead business! I wish I could get ahead like that. Sometimes I can get 2 weeks ahead and I feel all beast about it.

      Thank you for the encouragement! I'm trying to remember not to post just to post but to write when I have something to say.

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  7. Hi! Oh balance, that is the age old question isn't it? Between commuting, working, marriage, cleaning, laundry, reading, writing for 2 blogs... it's a lot. There are also friends to see, families to visit, and I have other hobbies like making cards and watching bad TV. I mean, it's a lot when you really think about it.

    I think no matter what you do have to find time to do OTHER things, because it is those OTHER THINGS that set your blog apart from others. Your hobbies and your experiences outside of the literary world affect how you connect to characters and their worlds and maybe even influence how you move forward with your future or think about your past. Most of my favorite reading blogs (and even any blog) is one that takes what is special about them and you see parts of that in their reviews or fun posts or whatever.

    In the end, you have to do what you have to do. You don't want reading to feel like a chore. You started this blog because you love to read, love to talk to others about reading, and hey, you have thoughts!! Thoughts we all love to hear.

    As far as blogging goes, Magan and I talked extensively about planning before we started because we both know that our jobs and our lives can get busy at any time and we wanted to not feel pressured to read when we maybe didn't want to. Esp. when there is writer's block involved and it's worked great. I'm reading what I want, when I want, and scheduling posts if I feel inspired to do so and nothing is TOO pressing that I feel like I'm freaking out.

    Also, another thing with partnerships, there's a lot of trust and love there and I think that goes a long way. We are honest with our limits, we can pick up the other when one is busy, and we sort of keep each other grounded and help the other to not get wrapped up in stuff that may cause us stress.

    With my other blog, I don't have that as much but I do try to take a laidback (at least laidback approach) to posting on it and in the past few months things have been going really well there even if nothing is as consistant as RBR. It works for me, especially since my blog is more of a Disney lifestyle/memories blog then a news blog (where those people are updating maybe twice a day... there's a lot of news!)

    I'm not sure if any of that makes sense or helps you. But I think in any area of our life, we get burnt out... we realize there isn't enough time to do what we want to do. I hope you find time to do the things you love and check in! It's been great getting to know you and I want to continue doing so.

    xo

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    1. It IS a lot, man! For you especially with your two blog business.

      I need to get back into reading what I want, when I want. I honestly think this will mean saying "no" to ARCs forever for me. And if it means my sanity will be restored, then so be it!

      Oh yes friend, you are making lots of sense and being most helpful. Thank you for your wonderful insight!

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  8. I have to take a break and do my "other" hobbies once in a while. Mainly sewing and other crafts. I find that if I'm not enjoying reading, that's probably why. I need a break and need to focus on something else. I also always cook. That is something that I enjoy, and will look forward to finding recipes and cooking the next meal, even if it keeps me away from reading.

    Don't apologize for taking a couple of days off. Or even more. Surely people won't stop following you for that. Or, if they do, it's OK. It's not all about followers.

    Good luck.

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    1. You're so right, Annette. I shouldn't worry about what people think if I take some time off because darn it, those who really want to hear what I have to say and talk to me about books will wait for me to post. Thank you! :)

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  9. I will plan on getting back to the hobbies that I've sidelined at a later date. It might seem like I'm letting them slide, but I always have every intention of returning to them, and I usually do. Like, a painting I still haven't finished, and put on the back-burner, is now something I can return to because I just finished the 1st draft of my manuscript. Or, when I'm done with all the Metal Gear games I'm obsessing over right now, I'll get back to watching some anime I've yet to watch.

    That's kind of how I do it, other than simply watching new episodes of The Big Bang Theory and Person of Interest when they're both on TV every week.

    Hope you get it all sorted out!

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    1. It sounds like you have a good system, Cathy! I do try to reward myself sometimes too by finishing something and getting to do something else.

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  10. Don't ask me, I'm a horrible blogger. LOL I will have to take notes from the above comments.

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    1. There is some GREAT advice up there! :)

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  11. I totally feel your pain Lisa! I think balance is something that we all struggle with - and I'm not sure there is a magical recipe out there. Each person has to prioritize what is most important to them and let the rest fall into place. For me, reading and blogging have taken a back seat right now because of work life, and I have to tell myself everyday that it's okay for me to not blog all the time. At the same time, reading and blogging are stress relievers to me, so the more I ignore them, the less of an outlet I have. Talk about confusing haha! I think the most important thing is to do the things that make YOU happy - everything else will work itself out :)

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    1. WHY can't there be a magical recipe?!

      Sigh.

      I hope you find a good balance too, my friend!

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  12. It's funny because I ask myself this very same question all too often. When blogging isn't your full-time gig it's hard because then you have to find a balance between your work life, blogging life and personal life. I try not to get too stressed out about it and really make time for what's important. There are the priorities, first and foremost-- like friends and family ALWAYS come first.

    Reading is very cathartic for me so I do it on my lunch breaks, to wind down after a long day and in the car (via audiobook). All in all, it totally depends on my mood but I do try very hard to get out and about when I can. I really don't want blogging to feel like a job. I do it because I love it so if there's ever a point in time where it starts feeling that way, I'm not afraid to take a step back for a few. It's definitely hard but you've gotta do what feels right for you.

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  13. I don't know the meaning of balance! Last year, I was able to read, blog, and do school work+life really well but this year, school has become a top priority. I tend to now blog on Saturday's or Friday nights because those are my relaxing days. I will fit in time whenever it is available and just go with it! I can feel yourain with the reading funk but it usually happens when I see my TBR pile. It's just so much to read and so little time! I tend to pick any book that sounds super good to me and just read that in hopes of getting my reading mojo back. Other times, I just don't read and like Alexa, do something so I don't feel like I'm going to go insane! I watch my favorite TV shows (thanks to our DVR, I can always watch TV during my down time on the weekends!). I hope it all works out for you!

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