Summer Says: How I Reduced the Time I Spend in the Blogosphere

how-i-reduced-the-time-i-spend-in-the-blogosphere

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.


DISCUSSION TIME!

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! ^.^

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35 thoughts on “Summer Says: How I Reduced the Time I Spend in the Blogosphere

  1. Robert Doyle says:

    Your plan makes sense on many levels. I don’t follow it personally because for me, WordPress is my last lifeline on many levels to reasoned and rational conversation among supportive people. Which means I have cut down my other social media time drastically. I post way less personal stuff on FB than ever before. Mainly just promo stuff for my pages. WordPress on the other hand I don’t limit. I have it open on my work computer all day long, snatching a few moments here and there to read/catch up on posts and respond to comments. Probably less so on the weekends, but I’ll glance once or twice a day on my phone just to keep up with my favorite bloggers. So for me it is about where I want it to be because it is the right kind of interaction for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      You’re so right, it’s all about finding the right balance for you. I used to really struggled with keeping up with my blog (posting content and replying to comments) all the while commenting and interacting with other bloggers; I think I got carried away some point and blog hopping sort of became more of an obligation than enjoyment. So cutting back was a benefit for me. :3 But I can definitely see what you mean for you and Soundtrack of a Photo! ^.^

      Also, it’s really interesting that you use Facebook that way. I know a lot of book bloggers who also have a FB page to help further publicize their work… I’ve considered creating one but I never got around to actually doing it. I’m so inactive on my personal FB as it is anyway. XD

      And thank you for the comment, Robert! I hope that you’re doing well (I love seeing your photos on my Insta feed by the way)!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nerdybirdy @ Daydreaming Books says:

    Yeah, blogging does take up a lot of time but keeping a schedule has helped me a lot. Though sometimes it’s still a struggle because it’s so time-consuming, but I’m sticking through because I enjoy writing reviews. But yeah I think I am going to try and spend a little less time on blogging as well.
    Great post Summer!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      I know that you stay so busy as well; it’s amazing you can keep up with your scheduled blog tours stop, Poulami! But I totally agree, writing reviews (and maybe my Summing It Up posts) are my favorite part of the blogging process, too. And aww, well do whatever is best for you! We will all continue to support you even if that does mean blogging less. Thanks so much! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Richard says:

    A refreshingly honest post! I’m glad you’ve found a method of blogging which suits you, everyone is different, I feel that newer bloggers will be more active to gain the follower base, while experienced bloggers will be more refined in what they blog/comment etc.

    I’ve just followed you on instagram! Mine is thehumposhow 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Thank you, Richard! 🙂 That’s a great point to be made! You’re so right, each individual is different, and often times they’re seeking a different outcome or goal with their blogs. I certainly was more active in the blogosphere when I first began to blog because I wanted to meet more people and (not going to lie) increase the traffic on my blog. Plus, I was still in my “honeymoon phase” with blogging and completely animated over my newfound hobby. XD

      Like

  4. Mybookfile says:

    Great post!

    It is very easy to relate to (90’s kids have to stick together and stuff). You’re so right on a couple of points, the guilt at first when not being that active, the having to connect to the world offline, and yes it is a hobby and not a job. I remember that I had a chat with someone some time ago, and she told me that she read 4 books a week. I was absolutely baffled because I’ve been unable to read a book a week for the last 3/4 months or so, it even takes me a months to finish one sometimes. Then she mentioned that she simply didn’t spend that much time online, watching series, connecting with the online world etc. Really, I don’t even want to think about how much time I spend online (I’ll probably get depressed or something when i do :’)). Personally, I don’t think that I should really spend that much more time on the bloggosphere than I already do at this point, but I should spend less time online (there goes my procrastination medium) and should spend more time really doing what I set out to do. On the plus side, I do tend to schedule once in a blue moon! At least that’s progress, right?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Thank you, Cindy!

      /fist bump/ Yay, for being a fellow 90’s kid.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It makes me so relieved to hear that I’m not the only one that felt like the blogosphere (and the internet) took over my life. I just have so many hobbies that are related to the web as well, haha. And it’s such an easy outlet of procrastination for me, too. I mean, I could be working on a paper or studying a powerpoint and a click away is Safari. XD

      And that’s great that you sometimes schedule posts! I only started doing that consistently in 2016, but I love it. I also like the uniformity that method brings. (For some reason, I only like publishing posts at 12:00 or 13:00 EST, haha.)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Marie @ drizzleandhurricanebooks says:

    This is such an amazing post, and I feel honoured that you quoted my little blog post in all of this. Thank you, Summer! ❤
    I think it’s so great that you came to that point where you are actually satisfied of the time you spend on your blog. There’s so much guilt, at times, for not being able to post, for not being able to get a Top Ten Tuesday in time, or things like that. There are so many books to be read as well. Blogging is an extension of myself as well, and I couldn’t imagine myself without this. Right now I’m not to the point where I am satified or not stressed out about all of this, but I hope I will. Reducing time to feel better, and to enjoy the whole adventure better, definitely is a good idea. I want to do that, but… I guess someday I’ll be able to haha. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Hehe, you’re very welcome, Marie. Thanks for always inspiring me as you do. And thanks so much; that truly means a lot! ❤

      I think we’ve discussed blogging insecurities on several occasions, and I’m glad that we could bond over our similar anxieties. In 2016, I felt very happy with where my blog went even if the traffic was less than my first year of blogging in 2015. And I so agree with you! Being a blogger is a small part of my identity and I can’t imagine giving it up anytime soon.

      I can totally understand that. You do you, of course! Everyone has a different way of balancing their time. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Fadwa (Word Wonders) says:

    This was such a brilliant post to read, Summer! 😀
    I’m actually at the same point in my blogging life as you are right now. Minus the not feeling guilty -that, I’m still working on.
    Your post really made me realize that it really IS okay to be a little absent. Between being at the hospital half the day, having classes the other half, reading, seeing my friends, I really don’t have as much time as I did last year (before I started working as part of my education) to be around the blogosphere at least an hour a day (double or triple that most of the time to be honest).
    Now all my posts are scheduled as well which means I forget to promote them all the time which means my stats go down and I used to beat myself up over that, but now I made my peace with it, because my sanity comes first haha. And also because I don’t want to burn out and give it up altogether, I love blogging too much to let that happen! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Ah, thank you so much, Fadwa! :’)

      It makes me feel relieved that I wasn’t the only one feeling that way. And I so understand the struggle of juggling school, work, extracurriculars and a personal life. /sending you infinite strength to conquer your goals/

      “…I used to beat myself up over that, but now I made my peace with it, because my sanity comes first…” Amen to that! I’m in total agreement with your philosophy; our health and wellbeing comes first above all.

      I feel the same way. I’ve already gotten this far and have grown to love blogging so much. I can’t see myself ever giving this hobby up anytime soon (even with the other myriad of commitments in my life). ❤

      Like

  7. SERIESous Book Reviews says:

    I don’t dedicate any set amount of time to blogging. I kinda just do it when I feel like it; usually when I’m watching a reality TV show. Same with blog hopping. So in that respect, I’ve never felt much stress.

    All of my posts are scheduled almost a month or two in advance because I don’t want to post something new everyday. I’ve started participating in blog tours this year so making sure those books are read for that particular day has added some stress. It didn’t take me long to realize I can only handle one or two of those a month and I’ve adjusted accordingly 😉

    I’ve been blogging for three years and I made the jump to self-hosting in February this year. When I did that, I felt a little more pressure to blog because I was actually paying to have my blog. But it didn’t change my blogging habits too much once the site and its design were live.

    I did a 6-month reflection on my self-hosting experience and I’m not entirely convinced that I want to stay self-hosted. I’m going to be starting my career next spring so I don’t know how much time I can dedicate to blogging let alone reading. So while I will have a job to pay for the hosting, I think I might want to spend that money on books instead. I really haven’t decided yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      I don’t think I’ll ever forget that one time where you scheduled (a lot of) posts several months in advance, so I can see how that works. 😉

      And I like that you’ve been able to gauge your limit on blog tours. I’ve only participated in a handful. They’re fun but the stress of the deadlines is too much for me, personally. 1-2 sounds like a good, healthy balance though.

      Again, congratulations, on the upgrade to self-hosting, Lauren! I don’t feel ready for that just yet, but thanks for sharing that honest confession. I never thought about how paying for my own site would give me a greater incentive to blog constantly or if not more often.

      Good luck with discerning if you want to continue going self-hosted in 2017. Either way, I’ll support your decision. And, maybe, if you have the time, I’d love to read a post of your experiences on going self-hosted if you haven’t already created one. No pressure, of course. ^.^

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Lais says:

    This was such a good post to read, Summer. I’m surprised by how the timing was perfect!
    For this entire week, I’ve been studying hard. My previous tests weren’t good – they weren’t awful either, but I’m a nerd and I can only accept good grades, hahah -, so I really wanted to make myself proud this time.
    However, as I studied, I also thought about my blog and how I wasn’t dedicating myself enough for it. I felt weird because I said, at the beginning of the month, that things would be different, but I was very busy with offline stuff.
    Now, I realize that blogging should be a hobby, and of course, you should dedicate a healthy amount of time for it.
    I hope to remember your words everytime I feel the same way in the future!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Why thank you, Lais! I’m happy to hear that. ^.^

      I’m sorry that you haven’t been doing as well as you’d like academically, but mad props to you for recognizing that you may need to study harder. It takes incredible willpower to be that motivated.

      Absolutely! I think blogging is one of the best hobbies, but like most if you spend to much time and it gets in the way of your life it’s no longer a healthy outlet. Adjustments need to be made. I’m happy that you’ve recognized that a balance is important.

      Good luck with all your endeavors, Lais! 🙂

      Like

  9. Liam @ Hey Ashers! says:

    Thank you so much for sharing all this! I needed this post in my life, and feel a lot better about myself as a bookblogger after reading it. Three cheers for not letting your blog rule your life!

    I’ve started paying more attention to non-blog outlets for booksquees, too, including recently signing up on Instagram. Can’t wait to stare at all your gorgeous photos! =D

    One of the hardest things during my long hiatus was the reading guilt. The reason I watched so many K-dramas was my soul-crushing belief that I could not read a book without reviewing it afterward–and as a result I went almost two months without touching a book. When I finally let go of that belief (with GREAT RELUCTANCE, let me tell you), I immediately started devouring books again, and it felt AMAZING. I’ve missed the feeling of reading without any responsibility to review the book afterward.

    You’re going to be my role model as I try to figure out how much time to devote to the blog stuff. =)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Ah, thanks so much for reading, Liam! Right! Leading a balanced life is good for one’s soul. ^.^

      And oh my goodness, that entire paragraph about how you felt guilty about not reviewing a book upon finishing it was pretty much the story of my life. I don’t know why I set an unsaid rule for myself that I had to review every single title I read… Maybe it’s because I’m an avid Goodreads user (the kind that updates her shelves religiously whenever she buys a new book or finishes another), and I liked seeing my # of reviews getting closer to my # of ratings on my profile. But you’re right, setting aside these rules and allowing ourselves the freedom of doing whatever we feel like is so, so much better!

      Speaking of your hiatus, what shows/dramas were you able to squeeze in? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Liam @ Hey Ashers! says:

        Here’s hoping our reading and reviewing habits in 2017 are less stress- and guilt-inducing! We can do it!

        Oh, man, I sampled a lot of things, but only really enjoyed a few: “Let’s Fight, Ghost,” “Another Oh Hae Young,” and . . . oh wait, my DramaFever history page doesn’t go back farther than that. Mostly I was watching romantic comedy things that were higher on the silliness scale than I was in the mood for. (My major disappointment was Doctor Crush; it didn’t live up to its first few episodes, in my opinion. Shakes a fist.)

        Like

  10. Jeann @ Happy Indulgence says:

    Summer this post is so important and I’m glad that you are seeing the light when it comes to the time it takes to blog (and finding a balance there!). It’s so important because I find it can be all consuming, especially blog hopping and commenting and constantly scheduling posts all the time. Since I discovered scheduled posts and I got my co-bloggers I’ve been taking it a lot easier on myself and enjoying it a lot more too. Lovely post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Thank you so much, Jeann! I am as well. New and experienced bloggers seem to reach blogger burnout at some point in their journey, and I know it’s unpleasant. And yes, you’re lucky to have Aila and Jenna with you at Happy Indulgence. You three work so well together. 🙂

      Like

  11. leathehatless says:

    Honestly since now I post when I have something important to share instead of trying to post just because I am forced to. Posts become easier and more enjoyable to make. 🙂

    I usually check the blog everyday for something new but gmail is my buddy. I have a bunch of notifications that help me stay in touch with everyone is posting.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Lois says:

    For me it’s all about balance. I remember when I first started blogging I would spend hours upon hours on wordpress writing up posts and blog hopping and it was exhausting. Like you said, blogging is a hobby not a job and the important thing is to enjoy it and the moment you don’t take a step back and take a break because blogging shouldn’t be stressful.

    The good thing about this community is that people are very understandable of the fact that we all have lives outside of the blogosphere and other priorities that need seeing to and with the multitudes of social media platforms you can easily branch out and use them to stay in touch with the community.

    At the end of the day I try to find a balance. I love blogging and I love writing reviews but sometimes I just want to read for the sake of reading and things in my own life that take up time as well. I contribute when I can and that fluctuates but I’m okay with that. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      It seems like most of us bloggers go through stages. When I first started my blog I struggled with the commitment of publishing posts consistently. (Before Xingsings I actually had two other blogs, both using Blogger, that failed because I would always forget and not update them.) And, of course, I also reached a honeymoon period where I was on WordPress all the time. Anyway, I do agree with you that balance is the ultimate key to leading a healthy blogging routine.

      Ah yes! The best aspect of blogging is certainly the understanding, supportive community. ❤

      “I contribute when I can and that fluctuates but I’m okay with that.” Amen, I couldn’t have worded that better! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Eve @ Twist in the Taile says:

    Ah this is so great! I’m actually thinking about taking a bit of time out from blogging to queue things up and focus on other stuff like writing/school/music… Because whilst I ADORE blogging and the community, I don’t want it to stress me out. As you said it’s really just putting pressure on yourself!
    I don’t schedule my posts super far in advance, but recently I have been trying to write them over the weekend rather on a weekday since I’m always more tired then. (Or in holidays.) And I like to dedicate a bit of time from my day to other stuff reading. nods Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Thanks so much, Eve! I’m glad that you can recognize when you need to take a step back from blogging. “Because whilst I ADORE blogging and the community, I don’t want it to stress me out.” Exactly, perfectly said!

      I’m the same way as well. I actually schedule all my posts but usually only within the month that I drafted it. (I’m too afraid that I’ll forget about them otherwise, haha.) And that’s great, it sounds like you have a good system going. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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