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Monday, June 14, 2010

Guest Post - Balance (I Just Wanna Sit Here and Read)

Balance. This post is about the balance between book blogging and life. My goals as a book blogger involve much more than just reading and reviewing. I wish to create great content posts, participate in many events (guest posting, author interviews, giveaways, challenges, etc), and network. In addition to creating a great blog, I have to read the books that I receive. So let’s add that to the pile. And then there is money to be made to pay my electric bill to keep my blog afloat. Then there is my family, my amazingly patient family who deals with my book obsession. And then there is downtime. Everyone needs time to just do something for him or her and not worry about deadlines. So let’s recap, book blog, networking, job, family, and fun, all squeezed into 24-hours each day. Hmm, I think we need to discuss some ideas of how to balance.


Much of what I will cover is just my personal way of doing things. I tend to be an obsessive organizer and planner; so if what I do doesn’t work for you, don’t worry about it. Create a strategy that works for you. But I truly believe organization is key in balancing different aspects of your life so that you know what to expect and can also stay ahead if you find yourself in a rut.


Book blogging. Since BEA I have been receiving books non-stop. This is every readers dream, but when it comes down to it, the situation is extremely daunting. A tactic that I thought up while looking at the book pile is organizing my books by release date. A mistake I felt I made in the past was posting reviews months before the book release. This gave the book some great hype at first but then it died down before the book was released.


For each book I get, I have an index card that I place in the book (makes a great bookmark too!)

Received from: If I received the book from a tour, friend, publisher, etc.

Release Date: I put this in the upper corner so I can easily find it.

Contact Info: The contact who sent the book, and if I need to email them my review, or if I need to contact them for interview, etc.

Date Book Received: This is helpful when making my to-do list because in my review policy I state the time frame I need to complete a request. I want to make sure that I stick to that.

Notes on book: While I am reading, I like to make notes. I am not one of those who writes in margins so I prefer to have this space available to keep my thoughts for later when I sit down and write the review.


Now that I have all my books organized, I need to make my calendar for each month. I write when the book is going to be released so now I have an idea on when I need to read/review by to get those posts up about a week before or the week of release.


I have a visual! In my case it is extremely helpful to “see” my schedule. Then I group my books on my shelf according to month. You see how this can be less scary then the giant random pile from before.


Another thing I like to add to my calendar is when I do meme’s. I know I will have a post for that day. For meme’s like “On My Wishlist” (hosted by Book Chick City: http://www.bookchickcity.com/ ) I can do these ahead of time and schedule them to post on Saturday’s.


Then I basically fill in the rest of the calendar. I really like to have at least one post a day, I understand that things can get in the way or you might be out of ideas, and that is fine. But to keep readers coming back, try to have interesting posts at least once a week.


Here is an example calendar that shows a month in advance for posting:


Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday



1

Book A Release

2

Guest Post

3

Post Book A Review

4

Post Book B Review

5

Meme Post

6

Meme Post

5

Meme Post

8

Book B Release

9

Guest Post

10

Author Interview

11

Feature Post

12

Meme Post

13

Meme Post

14

Meme Post

15

Book C Release

16

Post Book C Review

17

Author Interview

18

Feature Post

19

Meme Post

20

Meme Post

21

Meme Post

22

Book D Release

23

Feature Post

24

Post Book C Review

25

Feature Post

26

Meme Post

27

Meme Post

28

Meme Post

29

Book E Release

30

Post Book E Review





Reading. I think this is the simplest part of the whole process. In life there is a lot of waiting. Waiting in line at the bank, waiting at the doctor’s office, etc. These are the perfect times to pick up a book and read a few pages. I usually read on my lunch break at work, and even while doing cardio at the gym (please do at your own risk, I have a great sense of balance J ). Reading is also a great relaxer, try it before bed, I guarantee you will feel more relaxed and possibly get a better night’s sleep, dreaming of perfect, fictional men… Another thing you can do to add more reading into your balanced day is getting your hands on some audio books. For those less balanced at the gym or outside getting exercise you just have to hook up your iPod and you are off! And even while driving around town or to work this is a safe way of reading on the go!


Life. Being involved with book blogging can definitely change your life in many ways. To keep the changes positive, do not neglect your life outside of books! I work full-time and am in the process of buying a house and starting a family. I also play sports and keep active. The demand for my time can be overwhelming. My family and health always come first, so I take the same route as book blogging and schedule my time. I set aside about two to three hours a night on my blog (reading, reviewing, tweeting, etc.) and the rest of the time is down-time with my family. The weekends can be better and worse simultaneously. I have 48 hours of free blogging time! But again I need to look at the events of that weekend (parties, vacations, etc.). I add all my events to the same calendar so before the month even begins I am ready to blog and have a life!


I hope you enjoyed taking a look into how I balance my life and book blogging. And thanks to Kristen for having me!


Kate from I Just Wanna Sit Here and Read!

http://www.sithereandread.com


Wow, Kate you've really got it together! I'm lucky if I remember where I put a book I'm reading.. no joke. Although, I definitely always have a book in my bag with me for those just-in-case moments where I can sneak a few pages in. :-D I will definitely aim to one day have a schedule like Kate. One day..


Anyways, thanks for stopping by Kate and I hope I'm not the only one who learned something from your awesome post!

31 comments:

  1. Wow, there's some fantastic ideas in that - I really love the notecard idea and think I will start implementing that when I get home from vacation!

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  2. Great post and thanks for all the little helpfull tips.

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  3. Notecards are becoming more and more necessary as I get older. I don't know that I have the discipline to actually keep hard copy note cards, but some sort of digital database would be nice. Thanks for the ideas!

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  4. That is an awesome idea! I really like that! And for ebooks, you could create a spreadsheet with the same information. Thank you!!

    Now, if I could just figure out how to write a good review :D

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  5. I have an award for you over at http://theshelf2010.blogspot.com/

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  6. I am definitely bookmarking this post as for me, this is much needed advice!

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  7. Great advice! My blog is mostly just my own personal reviews, but I could definitely be more organized.

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  8. The note card is a great idea! I am glad you got some things figured out. And I agree with posting books before the release date opposed to months in advance. There are people who have already posted reviews for books that don't come out until August or September. I won't remember the reviews by then.

    Great ideas and I am glad you are getting organized. I always feel so much better after I organize something.

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  9. What a great post. Thanks for letting us know how you balance life & blogging. I'm still not sure where you get all the time, but if you organize yourself enough then it's there, I'm sure.

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  10. This was an extremely helpful post. Thank you so much! I'm going to have to try the notecards.

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  11. Those are so great ideas for keeping organized. I think I may have to try something like that. I'm already starting to forget when things come out/where I got them from lol. :) Thanks for the post. :)

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  12. Great posts, thanks! I tweeted it.

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  13. I love the note card idea and will try using that here! Thanks for sharing your tips with us!

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  14. Great guest post. It's funny because I was going to ask YOU if I could see your spreadsheet you mentioned in another post. I love seeing how people organize things. Anyway you could show us your spreadsheets? :)

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  15. Thanks so much for sharing. Some great ideas that I'll put to use - especially the notecard thing - so simple and effective. Great post!

    And I'd love to see the spreadsheets too!

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  16. I things the lazy way.. I tear the front of the package with who sent it to me and write all the junk on that. Then stick it on specific shelves. It's a mess LOL

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  17. Specifically I'd like to see your weekly checklist in Google docs (which I just discovered). It's neat to see how people who are organized do things. I'm a "wanna be."

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  18. Great guest post! It's definitely hard to fit everything into our busy lives!

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  19. This is an awesome post. It is definitely very helpful.

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  20. whoa, now that is what I call Organized (note the captial O).
    I am always amazed at people who have so well together. Never have been that way and I am way to old to start now. Great post.

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  21. Kate and organization seem to go hand in hand.
    Those are seemingly easy ways to stay on top of everything.
    Very well done post.

    Seahn

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  22. Wow! I didn't think my organization would inspire so many. I am flattered! Thanks for all the kind words. :)

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  23. I keep a calender just for the blog so I can keep track of when I have something posted/scheduled and when I want to post an interviewe or whatever. I like the index card idea for when you get a book. That's cool.

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  24. Wonderful post! I love the way she organises things and her way of keeping track of books.

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  25. I also have a systematic ledger to list all of my books.i did it manually to track them ;p

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  26. Thanks for the awesome guest post. You have one heck of a schedule and its so well organized. Thanks for the tips.

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  27. Those cards are an ingenius idea! Being relatively new to book blogging, it had never occurred to me to make notes. Huh. I'll have to try this out! :)

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  28. This is such a great post!!! Thanks for sharing those ideas!

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  29. Really great post! I started a calendar a while ago and never finished it... perhaps I should get back to that :)

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