Alright, I know what you guys are thinking with this header. Why is Summer going to talk about how she spends less time blogging, etc, when really she’s terrible at taking hiatuses? I admit I’m not the best prototype when it comes to sticking with decisions such as taking breaks when I say I will. So the title is a tad ironic. However, even so, I have noticed (and you guys may have as well) that I have significantly reduced a lot of my time in the blogosphere, which is pretty much a “blogging vacation” for me.
All of my posts this year in 2016 have been scheduled and I haven’t been around the blogosphere to see them go live (even my latest Top Ten Tuesday post which may have sounded considerably spontaneous but it, too, was scheduled). I also no longer feel obligated to blog hop; I comment when I want to or have true input. I don’t reply to comments in a timely fashion (or even at all it looks like-don’t worry, I’ll eventually get on the unanswered ones during winter break in December at the latest).
And, most importantly, I find it a relief that I don’t feel guilty about any of these things anymore.
Since the moment Xingsings reached a humble following (and probably when I got my first ARC), my blog started to feel like it was going somewhere. And then I started to feel like my blog became an extension of me-but more in the sense that it became a pastime I couldn’t see myself giving up. However, blogging itself is not the only attribute that defines me and therefore it shouldn’t consume so much of my time that would be considered uncomfortable or unhealthy. (You guys don’t want to know how long I spent typing up posts and reviews in the past. Some were relatively easy and fast, but others… like Top Ten Tuesday were a struggle.)
My time away from the blogosphere these past few months have made me reflect on where Xingsings is and where I want it to go. I feel the most secure and happiest with my blog (well aside from not being able to interact with everyone anymore as I wished to) at where it is now and how much I’ve achieved than ever before even if there are less views, likes, or comments as a result to my inconsistent posting and activity.
It really feels great and liberating to finally put this in words. But anyhow, back to the main purpose of the discussion. After reading Marie’s lovely and thought provoking post about blogging and time, it made me feel inspired on discussing how I stay away from the blogosphere to focus and reconnect with real life. And, without further ado, here’s the short list!
I log out of everything WordPress related
This is perhaps the biggest one for me. Mainly because I don’t autosave usernames/passwords on my electronic devices (I don’t know why but doing so kind of scares me because what if I lost my phone or someone else had access to my computer?), and it requires effort to log in each time I want to check my blog. And usually my laziness side dominates over my curiosity.
I fangirl about books through other means/platforms
I’m not sure if any of you have noticed but I’m more active on Instagram than ever now. (Like, I even started using Instagram story (or whatever it’s called) just because I find that it’s fun and a fantastic way to get to know bloggers outside their bookish activities.) And now that I’m taking photos (which really doesn’t even take much time since I’m a total amateur and just use my phone honestly) and posting them, I feel like the blogger in me is satisfied. Also, using other social media outside of my blog still allows me to satiate my need to gush and discuss books. Though, I suppose you can argue that the bookstagram community would be an extension of the blogosphere… And I guess it is. But using Insta still staves me from my temptation of checking stats or writing a blog post for Xingsings.
I actually use my time to read more than I write reviews
Okay, perhaps this is a con to some of you. And I do admit at times the fact my draft queue is growing faster than I ever thought it could (I say this because I’m relatively a slow reader) does stress me out a little. But I don’t know, a part of me is also low-key satisfied. Deep down, I’ve always found it a bit hypocritical to brand myself a book blogger if I I didn’t read. By no means am I throwing shade at other bloggers if they don’t read fast, take reading hiatuses, or rarely review books. But you guys know what I mean, right? Personally, I enjoy reading blogs that have other content aside from only memes. Book reviews (as well as discussions and other features too, of course) are the creative and insightful side of bloggers and their voices should be showcased. Also, book reviews is such an integral part of what makes a book blogger in my opinion.
I remind myself that above all this is a hobby and not a job
I often mention on my blog about staying committed to blogging. I say that with the idea of continuing to post but not feeling constrained or forced to. Meaning I should post when I want to and not because I haven’t posted in a long time. Sure, there is an obligation if you’re a book blogger that requests, reads, and reviews ARCs, but aside from that there are no deadlines to posting. Sure, it may be weird if you post a Top Ten Tuesday post on a Friday, but no one is going to judge you aside from yourself maybe. Remember, it’s likely that you’re putting the stress on yourself; and you are your harshest critic. Growing up with an extreme perfectionist of a dad has instilled a similar quality in me, but I try to remind myself those two things everyday.
Needless to say, and perhaps the most obvious: I just stay busy outside my online life
I’m not going to elaborate too much with this section since it is pretty self explanatory-especially with the amount I seem to talk about school, haha. So yeah. I have other responsibilities and enjoyments such as school, work, extracurriculars, reconnecting with longtime friends, excelling at being a bum (aka watch movies and listen to K-pop), etc.
I’m not promoting hiatuses as a bad or good thing (it all depends on the individual!) or saying that you have no life if you are extremely active in the blogosphere, but as a ’90s kid that relies on internet and my laptop too much than I care to admit, I want you guys to consider how much time you put into this time consuming but wonderful, worthwhile hobby and how you feel about that. I mean, giving this some thought has definitely opened my eyes to how much time I used to dedicate for blogging in the past. I have no regrets and I don’t think I wasted time, but I certainly was at some point obsessed or stressed because of this hobby (and at the least guilty if I wasn’t online). Also, these aren’t tips but just rather points that have contributed to helping with my personal break from blogging these past few months.
So take this post as however you will, really. To be honest, it was super late when the idea of this discuss conjured up in my mind. I hope I didn’t spout out a complete mess of words, and that maybe some of this will spark some conversation with you guys.
HOW MUCH TIME A WEEK DO YOU DESIGNATE TO BLOGGING OR INTERACTING WITHIN THE BLOGOSPHERE?
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THAT TIME DISTRIBUTION? PLANS ON DECREASING/MAINTAINING/INCREASING?
And I’ll do my best to reply to the comments in this post as soon as I can after this is published. So feel free to bring forth your thoughts on this topic to the table if you don’t mind and have the time. Have a good weekend, and thanks for tuning in! ^.^