Monday, March 22, 2010

What Comes First?

And I don't mean the chicken or the egg. But that would be a great discussion, right? *snarf*

No, today, I want to talk about what comes first for you when you go to put on your hats. We've been having some interesting discussions about commenting and whatnot. So today, I'm interested to find out where blogging falls on your list.

I don't want blogging to consume the time I have to spend on my other writing. I want to have a (mostly) clean house. And clean clothes to wear. And friendships. And relationships with my family. And there's nothing better than going out to dinner. I also work outside the home.

So where does blogging fit into that? How in the world do we find time to blog?

I've been thinking about this for a few days. In fact, tomorrow, I'm going to talk a bit more about how much time you could devote to blogging and the rewards you'd reap. But today, I'm going to say this:

I want to live.

In real life.

With other people.

So that comes first.

Watching Survivor with my DH comes first.
Going to dinner comes first.
Pushing my kids on the swings comes first.
My writing comes first.
Keeping my house in order comes first.

And I will not feel guilty for living before blogging.

What comes first for you? Do you sometimes feel guilty (like I do) if you can't get to every blog on your list? Why do we do that to ourselves?

113 comments:

Piedmont Writer said...

I'm afraid because I live such an insular life blogging does come first. I mean, after Monster Baby. I don't have friends or a DH or an outside job. I have the internet and my writing and that's pretty much it.

I'll admit I am a slob, as my daughter will tell you, I'm a clean slob, not a dirty slob, so if the laundry piles up on the dining room table, so be it. Thank God I have a dishwasher. I don't have people stopping by my place so I don't feel the need to keep it spotless. It's clean, but messy, you know.

I suppose if my internet went away, I'd go through withdrawals for a week but I'd get over it.

I make time for blogs before school and before bed. Time in between is up for grabs. Mostly about the writing.

Suzyhayze said...

I've often felt guilt about the content vs the quantity of my blogging.
I blog for writing and editing practice, but lately, as I get more and more savvy about the publishing industry, I worry I should be blogging more about the process. Like you and the Query Tracker gals.

Or about the craft. Or about....

But instead I blog life stories and visit blogs about all sorts of things. It's a mixed bag. I know if I felt that people depended on me, or my comments, I'd feel WAY more guilty when I took brakes...

Great series of posts!

Bish Denham said...

I write and schedule a lot of my blogs before hand so I can devote time to other things, like writing. Or, like yesterday, doing some serious spring cleaning of our bedroom. Good grief, was it needed!

Scott said...

Blogging is mainly a Monday thru Friday thing, normally on breaks at work (no, they don't care) or at lunch. I try to stay away from the Blogsphere in the evening and on weekends. This seems to work for me.

S

Candyland said...

I watch Young and the Restless before blog.
I play Barbie with my daughter.
I clean up hairballs.
I drink a gallon of coffee.
I read the morning posters's blogs (like this).

ALL before I start mine. I always feel guilty no matter what I'm doing. Like I should be doing something different. Should be writing or playing with 3yo more. Should do laundry or go to the store. But if I do those things, I feel guilty for doing the opposite.

Michelle McLean said...

I feel very guilty because I get to very few blogs. But even trying your method I just can't read all the blogs I'd like to without sitting on the computer all day :) I try to write all my posts for the week over the weekend and I read and comment usually while eating breakfast and lunch. I'm trying to let the guilt go :) I think once both my kids are in school full time, I'll spend more time on it, but for now, I'll focus on them and the house and just do what I can in the writing and networking areas of my life.

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

It's quite easy for me to blog. I work from home, so I just have my dashboard loaded up and minimized while I work. When I want to remove my brain from my job for a moment, I have a look to see if there are any new discussions up. It takes me five minutes to read and comment. At the end of my working hours, which I schedule for myself, I write my own post. If I have a little extra time, I'll write one for the next day too and just save it as a draft. I try not to spend my weekends at my computer, unless my partner is working and I'm writing my novel. If that's the case I do the same thing. If not, the blog can wait till Monday. It hardly takes any time at all, nor does it feel like a burden. If I have plans outside the home, yes I put them first. But finances are tight so those outings have diminished! The majority of my social life is spent online! Wow ... that is sad ... :)

Cheree said...

Ooh, I so understand, but mostly it's because I spend most of my time reading blogs rather than on my own writing (or other things like assignments that are due tomorrow).

Indigo said...

Oh, definitely life comes first. My writing is a close second. I'm of the opinion that life is the very pool from which ideas and the very art I practice are pulled from. In some ways you can't possibly have one without the other.

And yes, my blogging suffers greatly due to the above. I used to feel guilty. In the end I have more of an obligation to myself than I do to anyone else. Blogging tends to be a touchstone, a reminder to keep my feet dipped into a diverse world. (Hugs)Indigo

Kimberly Franklin said...

I always feel guilty for all if those things. And it's silly, I know, but I cant help it. I'm seriously thinking about going on a MWF blog schedule.

I can't wait to read your next Blogging post! Happy Monday!

Tara said...

I'm home all day, so I go back and forth with blog times. I realize that lately it's taking up too much time, though. I follow a huge amount of blogs and started a clean-up yesterday. Basically, if it's a blog that posts every couple months or someone who is not a follower on my blog, they're going to have to go (unless I really love the blog). Just a matter of priorities at this point. Housework, errand running and, more importantly, my writing have fallen behind.

Plus, it's spring. I have an veggie enormous garden that takes up about 10 hours a week. Blogging will be pushed behind that :)

Tara said...

Uh, reverse veggie and enormous. I haven't had my coffee yet ;)

Erinn said...

Real life is CONSTANTLY getting in the way of blogging and writing for me. That and my ADD-- or the internet, the shiny pretty internet. It's a time vampire I tell you.

I was doing a project where I blogged every day (including weekends) on a nice deed I did. It was called Project Nice. I might be a writer but I'm crap at names. Now I have other people posting their good deeds on the blog so the pressure is off of me.

I do find I get SUPER cranky if I don't write and sometimes blogging fills that need.

But my daughter comes first, my hubby comes second, writing is third and cleaning my house falls somewhere around 17209463 of things I need to do.

Christine Fonseca said...

No guilt here - I get to blogs (to read or comment) as I can. Family and faith are always always always first. My health is first (thus the exercise and meditation). Writing is necessary (like) breathing to me...but blogging and social networking - they are important, but second to whatever WiP I am working on.

ps - my verification word = chillyze ... that is just a cool word!

Liza said...

Good timing on this question for me...for a year, this blogging thing was my salvation, my prioroty, and what I used to improve my writing skills...now I need to step beyond the blogging world to some degree, yet I have no desire to leave it behind. The blogs I read teach me and mentor me, and I feel so much gratitude for what posting on my own blog, and reading and commenting on others, have done for me, not to mention the encouragement and support of my readers. So I'm struggling to find the balance where I can continue to blog as well as write in a more serious vein...Oh, yea, and keep the house sort-of clean, the laundry sort-of done, and develop a new business. Sigh. (It's scary what came last on that list.)

Mary McDonald said...

I'm fairly new to blogging, since I've been at it less than I month so I'm not quite sure where it fits in. It's still the shiny new toy I want to play with all the time. However, I will say that when I had a chance to go out Friday with the hubby, I jumped at it and didn't give the blog a thought. lol

Most of your list goes like mine, only for me, substitue Friday Night Lights for Survivor. It's on hiatus right now, so I don't have to feel conflicted. ;-)

As far as the clean house? Ha!Surely you jest. hehe. Actually, my grown sons and hubby are supposed to be doing most of that since they have way more free time than me. I never do laundry. I think I've used our year old washer twice.

Lydia Kang said...

I'm learning about the balance right now. I love going to other blogs to read and support other writers, but it's hard to do! My blogging list on the dashboard helps for me to see what new posts there are. And I've decided to blog thrice weekly--it gives me a goal and I learned the very valuable trick of scheduling blogs ahead of time. For instance, my blog this morning was posted at 1AM, but I wasn't awake then!

Sandra said...

The egg came first, obviously. You didn't specify that it had to be a chicken egg, after all.

As for blogging, yes, life (and my novel writing) has to come first. That's why I don't have a regular blogging schedule, though I'm trying to improve that. It's not hard to keep abreast of the blogs I follow with a reader, but I don't always comment on them.

Christina Lee said...

Blogging has become a such a two year habit for me that I almost got it down. it's hard to break away from it, yet on days I don't blog (the weekend) it so freeing and allows me to play catch up. But yeah my paying jobs and family have to come first. My writing is thrown in there somehwhere everyday and I always wish I had more time for it-sigh

Fairway Fiction said...

I'm also still new to blogging but I find three times a week works best for me. This schedule still forces me to be somewhat consistant while giving me time for life's other needs and wants.

I like to read other's blogs in the morning - as long as I'm not running late (and yes, that happens a lot). Otherwise, I try and catch up sometime after dinner.

Tracy said...

Oh, real life definitely comes first, although my husband sometimes complains that I'm on the laptop too much in the evenings. I don't really see the big deal though, because once the kids are in bed, he just crashes on the couch and I'd be left watching something on TSN...With busy days, I've got to get some writing/blogging time in there somewhere!
(And I do feel guilty for not getting around to all the blogs on my reader, because really, who couldn't use a little more guilt in their life?)

storyqueen said...

I really only blog if I've got something to say...either commnent-wise or post wise. I only post a couple of times a week, so I don't feel bad about that.

Blogging comes after writing...but before dishes.

Shelley

Kelly said...

Real life comes first. Definitely.
I try to get to blogger's posts at least three times a week, so it doesn't have to be a daily thing to support them. Once in a while blogging does take precedence over my real writing, and that's silly but true. I need to change that. The real writing is why I started the blog in the first place!

Ian said...

I don't blog - I follow blogs and absorb their information like a man-shaped sponge.

But even sucking up all that info from the more erudite on t'internet does eat up my time. I try and keep it reasonable and prune my blog list every now and again.

That said, if you do nothing but blog, I bet your blogs would shrivel and become a lifeless husk compared to what they once were(not you specifically of course, 'cause your blogs are always interesting).

But yeah, family, life and writing come first for me too. S'pose it's all about how you slice up your time. Me? I gave up MMO's and gaming in general, after a life-long addiction and cut way back on my TV in order to make time to write (Oh, the sacrifice!).

Jennifer Shirk said...

I fit in blogging or visiting blogs whenever I can. But yeah, guilt sets in if I can't visit everyone I'd like to visit.

KrysteyBelle said...

I actually only get to 2 or 3 blogs a day. I'm a stay at home mom, so after Small Child has eaten in the morning, and while he's running around playing by himself, I read/write blogs, check email, twitter, facebook, etc. I can't write while he's awake, so I try to do 500 words while he's napping and another 500 after bedtime. As for cleaning, I have various routines and times to do that as well. It's taken a while to get there, but it seems to work pretty well, and I'm satisfied with what I accomplish.

Nicole Ducleroir said...

Yikes, this comment would work on Confession Friday, too! Blogging comes first, but wait! I can explain!

I get the kids up and out the door by seven. (Yes, it's an ungodly hour for school to start, but I don't make the rules :P) Then, I get my coffee and write a blog post/read and comment others' posts. I consider my blogging time as a sort of "writing warm-up exercise," because not only are my creative juices flowing as I choose my words and voice for each post/comment, but I'm also incredibly inspired by the successes and struggles of the other fab writers I follow.

Writing is my priority, in daily blogging-WIP order, and the rest of the day I cram in the gym, cleaning the house, and running errands. Until 3 pm, that is. When the kids are home, I'm ready to snuggle them and help with their homework.

Of course, when they want to go out and play until dinner...I'm back at my computer. Whether I'm writing or blogging then depends on my mood :D

I love your posts, girl! Rock on!

Southern Princess said...

My hubby comes first
My writing comes first
My research comes first
My dog comes first
My family comes first
then I blog...

this is not just because I want that LIFE before blogging, but because all those firsts are what help to keep the blog interesting & fresh. It also allows me a window to see those firsts as the most important things in my life. When my blog becomes devoid of any of them then I need to step back and refocus my time. The balance is hard, but worth it.

Visit My Kingdom Anytime

Em-Musing said...

I write material for my blogs whenever they pop in my head. This weekend, I had five shoot out of my brain. (I always have a pad with me) Having material already in the can, I then can post Mon - Fri almost effortlessly. I don't feel guilty for not blogging or reading everyone else's blog everyday, but I miss it.

Kristi Faith said...

I only feel guilty when I get to my blog and see I've lost two followers. That really bummed me out. I felt bad because I was unplugged last week and must have lost some people's interest.

I do feel guilty sometimes when I can't comment on every single blog, but I try to remind myself that my bloggy cool kids still love me. :0)

I love your blog and it's amazing you find the time to comment as much as you do. Don't feel guilty!!

Glynis said...

Blogging is part of my writing day. I have cut back on the amount of blogs I followed. I then cut out a few I had set up.
I only have DH to worry about, and he spends his day in his avery, LOL.
When family fly over to visit, they are my priority. I do not have access to writer groups, so blogs are my education and community.
You must not neglect life for blogs, I agree.

Jess of All Trades said...

You shouldn't feel guilty. First above all things you should devote to being a Person, to your family, to your writing. I consider it a great gift that you've chosen to share your knowledge and your victories and defeats and comments when you have time. Of all the things you listed, blogging would definitely be at the bottom of my list too.
I think as long as someone is clear with their devoted readers (I have few, so I'm not too worried about blogging religiously..obviously), that there are times when you won't be posting, there's no reason for anyone to be upset.

It's not like putting out a bird feeder. You don't want to put out awesome, consistent nourishment for the birdies and then cut them off at wintertime. People are smarter than birds, so of course, if they know you have family and real people things to do... I think not-blogging is acceptable ;)

Laura Pauling said...

No, I don't feel guilty because if I don't catch it one day, I will another day. So many other things are more important - like you said - living and writing.

Kerri C at CK Farm said...

No guilt here. If I blog I blog if I don't there is always tomorrow. I admit I read and comment more than I update my own blog.

E. Arroyo said...

Kids
House
Husband
Writing
blogging
No guilt!

Southpaw said...

I did in the beginning – feel guilty about not getting to all the blogs every day. Then I realized it wasn’t a task that could be done and write and have a life. So, now when I take breaks from writing and other things I check out my blog list and only three to four times a week.

Karen Akins said...

I agree and empathize with your entire post, but only have an answer to your last question. Because we're human.

Danyelle said...

I feel guilty, but it's a guilt I'm learning to live with. The truth is, it's impossible to be everything to everyone all the time.
My family will always come first, and I'm learning to put my writing first as well. I can't get out much now, so blogging/social networking=socializing for now, but only for now.

So far as blogging is concerned, my first priority is to those that stop by or that regularly stop by. I try to comment back and reciprocate. Doesn't always happen, but I think people are understanding. :)

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Thank you!

Life comes first! Blogging is fun, but I'm learning to wrestle back into its rightful place.

Stephanie Thornton said...

I often do feel guilty if I miss a blog, but life comes before blogging. And I've discovered that when I do miss a blog, or a day of blogging...

The world keeps turning.

But I do enjoy blogging and I don't know what I would do without the writers I've met in the blogosphere!

Abby Stevens said...

I started blogging for myself, and I think for the most part, that should remain why I do it. Like Danyelle said, I try to respond to all the comments people leave and try to read the people's blogs who are active on mine and comment on theirs if I have something thoughtful to say, but otherwise, I don't worry too much about the 'social-networking' side of blogging. If I'm shooting off thoughts into a void, so be it. It's for me anyway.

That being said, I do LOVE the social networking side of blogging, and I've 'met' a lot of wonderful people - I just put my 'analog' life first. I write full-time, so when my husband comes home, unless I am truly on a roll, I put it all away.

I also don't blog on Fridays or the weekends. I never want to get burnt out, so I'm trying to take steps to ensure that I don't.

Zoe said...

Timely topic, as usual! Just thinking about it this morning. I was starting to feel a little guilty for not posting since last week, but decided to aim for only one well-crafted, thoughtful post per week - IF I have something to say, and IF I have time after my other projects. My priorities are thus: 1) finishing the horror MS, 2) freelance copywriting projects (pays the bills), 3) reading (huge to-be-read pile to tackle), 4) life. :)

VR Barkowski said...

Blogging is my primary contact with other writers, so it's important to me. But I've noticed whenever real life presents itself - walking the dog, dinner with dh, a chat with the UPS guy - that's where you'll find me.

Tina Laurel Lee said...

It is something that I enjoy because of the community. and something I feel responsible too. Because I believe you need that in order to create a viable community. But my blogger friends and contacts do not rely on me the way my family does or my writing does. So it will be the first I will let go if I must. Although I have been known to let the bathroom go a bit, and the laundry, but never the kitchen.

Looking forward to posts this week.

lynnrush said...

Great post.
Some days I can't hit all the blogs on my list, and that's okay. I'll catch up on them when I can.

I do miss them, when I can't get to them for a couple days, but it's always fun catching up, though.

Tere Kirkland said...

I usually have time to blog between long scans at work. But not always. I keep it to the week days, though. Weekends are for my writing, though my husband's work schedule just changed, so I don't have Saturdays to myself anymore. This could be counterproductive, but it's nice to have more time with him.

lbdiamond said...

Yeah, I would like to decrease my time spent blogging. Sometimes I actually write several drafts of a post--just so it makes sense! (Well, I hope it makes sense, LOL!) Anywho, I'm trying to go for shorter posts for the most part. Getting there...except for Mental Health Mondays--apparently, I've got a lot to say... ;)

foldingfields said...

I actually don't feel guilty about not getting to every blog I like to read and commenting (you should feel lucky that my roll is alphabetical and I usually get to yours third, but if it wasn't good I wouldn't come back), hehe.
I feel guilty about not spending enough time, in the moment, on the things that matter. If I'm pushing my kid on the swing, I'm often thinking about my ms or something else and I have to painfully pull myself back into the present. I leave my computer on all day so that when I have a few minutes, I will sit down and start where I left off, blogging, emailing, writing, etc. It's that multi-tasker that doesn't fit me well...stresses me out. So, like you, I try live a little (hopefully in the moment), think and then get to stuff when I've got the time. Somehow it does just fit in. xx

Jana Hutcheson said...

I could not agree more!!! Writing's great and fun and admirable and I really, really hope I'm published one day, but the PEOPLE in my life mean so much more! Thanks, Elana!

Carol Kilgore said...

I struggle with this problem. Living and writing still come first. Some days I spend more time on blogging than I'd like. I feel guilty when I do. Guilty when I don't. Aaccccckkkk!

Olivia Carter said...

I agree with you 100%.

I tend to blog everyday but I also "post date" a blog post. So, if one day I have more time I write a couple & set the one of them to post the next day.

And, OH MY GOODNESS, do you watch Survivor?!? My husband & I don't know anyone else who watches it & we're always like, "Did you see what Russell just did?!?" or "I actually like Boston Rob this year!" So glad to know there are other fans out there!

Jennie Englund said...

That's honest, and totally fair.

I have the opposite problem. I feel like I could blog and read blogs much more than I do. I feel bad about it.

Where's the happy place in the middle?

And what is a "DH"?

Patti said...

I agree, other things need to come first. I think when I first started this, blogging came first. I used to obsess over comments, now I'm not as concerned. I spend two days a week commenting and post three times a week and I forget about it for the weekend.

And for the record, love Boston Rob.

L. T. Host said...

Real life does come first for me, too. Also, work. If I'm too busy to take my breaks or my lunch, I usually don't blog that day-- because of number 3: my sanity. Generally speaking, I need to de-compress and focus on other things once I get home. It's rare I crack open the computer after I get home these days, unless I work on my wedding invites or something. My blogging has suffered a lot recently :(

Falen said...

i feel especially guilty if i don't get to the blogs of peeps who comment on my blog. I don't want them to think that i'm unappreciative. I'm just so busy and have so many blogs...

Talli Roland said...

I'm trying really hard to keep up with everyone - I really enjoy reading all the blog posts and commenting - but I only do it at the end of the day when my writing and everything else is done. And I usually do it while watching telly and chatting to live people!

John Sankovich said...

I do my blog reading while at work, which also is why I hardly comment, but I do my blog writing after work and after I've done my other writing. I usually finish all of my writing related stuff by 5:30/6:00pm and then the rest of the night is family time. Even with that, I'm currently thinking of cutting my blog back to 3 days a week as I've noticed it has been a chore somedays.

Amalia T. said...

Real life, in my opinion should always come before the internet, unless of course a particular promise or obligation has been made-- say, you promised to write a guest post for someone, then it's just as rude to not accomplish that than it is to not do whatever is asked of you by your agent or publisher, in my opinion. If you make the commitment, it should be honored! Otherwise, blogging is just like any other hobby!

bookaholic said...

Blogging is certainly important because as I have always said,it helps me to connect with friends across the globe. Besides,blogging is fun. But I certainly do not feel guilty if I miss blogging for one or a few days because living life always comes first to me. There are so many other things that occupy my time and mind. Like they say,you eat to live and not live to eat! So is the same about blogging I guess...

Between Elana,I have got an award for you on my blog :)

Kim said...

I have my priorities completely backwards. At least when it comes to the following: blogging or writing.

I know I need to put my writing first, but it doesn't usually happen. I feel like I'm letting people down, if I'm not reading what they write. I think to myself that I'll just glance through my blogs, before I settle down to write for the night. Before I know it, I've spent all my time blogging, and don't have time left over to write. I need to change that!

December said...

Blogging comes somewhere in the middle. Usually I get a fun idea I want to share with my friends, so I blog it, instead of telling everyone.

Sometimes I avoid writing or edits, to blog. ((hangs head))

I try not to force myself though, if I skip a day, two days, that's okay. I'd rather have something interesting to say, then jabber on about nothing!

bookaholic said...

Sorry forgot to mention the link.
http://bookaholicsoye.blogspot.com/2010/03/my-first-bloggy-award.html

Sherry Dale Rogers said...

Here lately life has gotten really bizzy and my blogging has suffered. I admit I feel bad when I don't get to post or comment on other blogs.

I love my blogging community but the world is still spinning outside and that must come first.

Brittany Laneaux said...

Judging by the amount of comments...this has been on everyone's mind. I've seriously had to have this talk with myself. My business blog, I try to keep up, but really it is just once a week. My personal blog has not been touched in a week and half because of kids, in-laws, spring break...and I have felt guilty.

Why?

I have no clue! I want to build a following simply because I love the community, but I don't want to sacrifice the other stuff for it.

B. Miller said...

I feel that blogging is important to my writing career because it helps build my writing platform. Every post I make is like a deposit in an account - building my "credit" as a stable, producing, prolific writer who understands the importance of keeping in contact with her fan base as well as offering a little about the craft each day. Therefore I make time, about a half hour each day, to post on my blog. Then I add another half hour to an hour in reading and commenting on other people's blogs. Time-consuming, but important.

Susan R. Mills said...

I have recently decided to put living first. I felt guilty in the beginning, but I've realized how much happier I am. Blogging is great, but only if you keep it in it's place.

Crystal Cook said...

To me blogging is kind of an indulgence, and I don't feel guilty about it. I also don't feel guilty about not visiting other's blogs because I'm sure I won't be missed :) (not trying to be all self hate honestly) it's just fun.

But life, real life, real people come first.

Krista said...

I finally wrote up a weekly schedule, covering 7:30 am to 9:00 pm, Mon-Sat. It has really helped, and I actually heard the collective sigh of "support" from my family when I posted it. It's been great!

Natalie Aguirre said...

I put living first, my family, my job, and writing. I tend to read blogs a bit as a break at work and at night after I've cooked dinner, etc and am really too tired to write. But I do feel it takes too much time and I do feel guilty when there's days I can't read and respond on blogs, like it's my job or something. I'm looking forward to your blog on how much time to spend on it. I'm glad I'm not alone on the guilt feelings even though I know I shouldn't feel them.

Slamdunk said...

Good post and discussion. I was surprised at how time consuming blogging becomes.

I don't do much of it on weekend and instead use time especially at night during the week to do blog related activities.

I think also the type of blog can make a difference. For instance, I write about missing persons cases and have been contacted several times by member of a person's family or his/her friends wanting to discuss the case.

This leads to more posts and more homework, but it also allows me to better connect the blog with real life as opposed to if I just wrote strictly about my family or something,

Lisa Nowak said...

I have so much blog guilt. And email guilt. And that gives me big-time anxiety. Sometimes I wish the Internet would self-destruct so I wouldn't have to deal with it anymore.

M.R.J. Le Blanc said...

Living should always come first. I've got a puppy who definitely comes first, but since I'm home all day I just meander from there. I think we keep forgetting that lots of us are in the same boat as us, and have lives. Really you (the general you, as in everyoen) are your own worst enemy :) I love seeing comments on my blog but I don't get all broken up if I don't see the usual posters or even any posters. I think most people can say that, right? Though I'm sure there's sometimes the thoughts of 'I hope they're doing okay' if you don't see someone who usually comments disappear for awhile, but you get what I mean :)

Shannon Whitney Messenger said...

Great question. Blogging does have a high priority for me, but I definitely put other things first, like: (and this is in random order)

my writing (thus why I vanished from blog hopping for about 3 months during my heavy revisions)

my husband (I'd kinda like to keep him. He's pretty nice)

American Idol (YES--I'm THAT big of a dork. But it's the one TV show I don't miss, because if I miss it I can't vote, and then I can't take credit for the careers of the next Carrie Underwood and David Cook--who both owe me a thank you card!) :)

Jody Hedlund said...

I've realized it's just not possible to keep up with all of the blogs or even to get back with everyone who visits me! I like to try, but I've lowered my expectations and I don't beat myself up over it!

Angie said...

Blogging must be totally non-stressful for me, or I just can't do it. I refuse to feel guilty about it in any way. You shouldn't either. (My verification word is maternal. Hmmmmm)

AchingHope said...

I do get annoyed that I can't blog as much as I'd like, but I do agree with you. Have a life and keeping up with the fam is so much more important.

L.T. Elliot said...

I block out a time for bloging and don't exceed it. It has its place and then life is lived around that place. That's how I try and manage it. (Notice that I said try. ;)

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Baseball comes first!
My hubby and family come first.
Teaching comes first.
Trying to sell our house comes first.

But, I must admit, blogging is still pretty high up there. :-)

Kayeleen said...

I missed blogging while I was away from it. Things would be happening and I would say, "Oh, I want to post about that." But then, I would think, "No, this is family time. This is more important." For me, it's family first and always. That means cleaning house and helping my husband with his stuff, too. Then it's writing, then my blogging. I generally open up tabs for the blogs I'm reading and read them when I get a chance, taking a break from the other things that are important.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Some times it feels like blogging comes first. At least first thing in the morning. And yes, I do feel guilty if I can't get to every blog on my list. Fortunately not eveyone blogs everyday. That helps. And Of course I have my favorites I read no matter what (unless I have no, gasp, internet coverage). :D

Mary Aalgaard said...

My kids, naturally, come the very first. Real life connections next, but a close second are the ones online. They're real too, aren't they? I teach piano, so my students come before blogging. I'm writing a script, but I'm seeing that the script, which is real life drama, is part of the same nervous system as the real life relationships, and the ones online. They ARE real, too, aren't they? Hello? (taps on computer screen) Anyone in there? And, actually, working out, exercise, ranks up there, too.

Alison Eckel said...

Are you kidding? My life is ruled by guilt. It took me 30 some-odd years to figure this out, so I'm now working on it. I'm trying not to feel guilty about all of the things I should be doing, but am not.

Especially as a Mom I feel guilty doing things just for me. I'm learning though, the only way to be a great Mom, wife, writer, etc. is to put myself first sometimes!

The problem is I look at women like you and think how the heck does she do all that she does? Then the guilt starts to creep back in ....

Janet Johnson said...

I agree people come first . . . though when I'm so close to finishing that chapter, I admit I might let my writing come first. But everything has a time and a place.

Blogging is a spare time thing for me. I enjoy it, but don't stress over it. If I miss someone's blog one day, life goes on. Too many other things to worry about that are more important.

Crimey said...

I used to feel guilty because I couldn't seem to ever blog regularly, but I realized that my novel comes first so if I blog once a week, I'm pretty satisfied. Especially now that I'm going through line edits on my novel.

Elena said...

It used to be more of a priority but lately, not so much. Of course that may change once my book is finally finished. I prefer to post early in the morning before I begin the day in earnest. I'll read other blogs when I can fit one in here or there.

Caledonia Lass said...

I spend a certain amount of time on the computer, usually when I wake up. Sometimes I take a little longer depending on two things: How groggy I am or how many blogs I have to read.
If I get too far behind things during the day, I do stop and take care of things and come back to blogs later in the evening when everyone is settled in for the night.
Sometimes, my blogs get posted at 2 a.m., I'm a night owl, but they get posted!
I recently discovered how to set up my blogs to post at later dates. So I have been thinking about things I want to discuss and then scatter the blogs to pop up randomly.
But what comes first for me? Family. Living my life. I don't want to be stuck behind a computer all the time. I am planning a garden for spring, veggies! And will have family visiting in the summer.
I love your posts. :D

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

I'm still new to blogging, so I'm still working out my blog writing/reading schedule. I try to keep up but I agree that real life and writing come first. There has to be a balance, I just need to find it :)

Theresa Milstein said...

I wrestle with this too.

Commenting on blogs is the easiest part of everything I do because I can sit while I do it, can often squeeze it in while subbing, and I don't have to think as hard.

Chores have to be done (To some degree). Time with kids is essential. I'm glad I have a DVR for the shows I like to watch.

Writing my blog is the only part that concerns me. I love writing it, but each one takes time and creativity, which means that I'm not writing fiction. But I see a bigger picture with it - I'm becoming a better writer and connecting to other writers.

Munk said...

I blog rarely and I don't feel the least bit guilty about it. Blogging is so far down on my list of things to do, I can't see it on a foggy day. I'm not sure how it works, but writing my blog always works better after my Friday evening beer. Perhaps it helps me gloss over the submission's imperfections prior to stabbing my cursor at the "post blog" button.
Writing on the other hand is second to nothing but family and health. Which means I also have to go to work everyday.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Yes, I feel guilty! And then I'll look at other bloggers and their ever-expanding list of followers and I feel even worse - if I don't put my all into it, I won't gain followers and my comments will go way down.

Some days it does consume way too much time...

I want to live as well.

T. Anne said...

I used to get up in the wee hours and attack the blogs but now I fit it in whenever I can. I must live. I choose life, lol!

Jamie D. said...

I only feel guilty when I don't get to a few of the blogs I read regularly...because i consider those people closer friends, and I want to support them as often as possible. I don't feel guilty when I can't get to blogs of acquaintances (or people I don't really feel like I "know")...I can only do what I can do.

As for priorities - the dayjob has to come first, unfortunately, but I read/comment at work when I have time. If I don't, I skip it, and just read those few friend blogs in the evening.

Writing posts either fits into a slow workday (always a day ahead), or recently, I've instituted a "rule" that blogging must be done by 9pm. When I'm writing blogs at night, I'm also watching favorite shows with DH, so it's not like I'm "giving up" something else to blog - I'm just fitting it in. I don't have kids, which makes it easier.

Writing is late at night, and my "before 9pm" rule ensures that blogging is out of the way before workout time, before chores, and before my writing time. I can't write earlier with good TV, so it works for me. :-)

Amber Tidd Murphy said...

Sometimes I feel guilty for blogging at lunch instead of eating, and for commenting on blogs while ignoring my husband every night.

Um, what's a social life?

Faith Pray said...

Elana, you hit upon a great question. Surely we don't need to make time to eat and clean our clothes, do we? I like your post because I spend half my life trying to figure out how to juggle all the things in my life. Blogging and following blogs is awesome, but since starting this journey I have sorely neglected my writing hat! And when, while I am obliviously absorbed in blog-reading I hear my one year-old gurgle on a discarded lump of something he's found on the floor, made by his sisters
from who knows what toxic foamy-clay substance, I realize I must quickly tear off the blog hat and snatch up the mom one again. Good point!

Kimberly Job said...

Guilty! Even worse, I'm one of the people you blogged about the other day who read blogs in Google reader and rarely comment.

Jemi Fraser said...

I always feel guilty if I miss even one post of my blog buddies. Silly because I follow well over 100 blogs - but it's hard to escape guilt.

However, blogging comes when I'm done with real life.

Kids, hubby, other family, food, day job, cleaning (sometimes!), & writing come first :)

Elana Johnson said...

Excellent points from all of you! I've responded to many, and been inspired to look at blogging in a new way.

As a hobby.
As something more fun, not a job.
As something I "get" to do, not something I "have" to do.

And now I get to go watch Dancing With the Stars with my DH (darling husband - Jennie).

Thanks to all! Your validation of my insecurities are appreciated!

Lisa and Laura said...

Why do we feel guilty? I tend to think it's the Catholic in me. For me, family comes first (most of the time), then cleaning, then friends, then writing and then blogs. The last two switch back and forth, even though writing should always come first. Like right now, Lisa just sent me her chapter, but instead I'm reading blogs. It is SO hard to find the balance. And I can't see it getting any easier!

SB said...

reminds me of the time I first started to try to read The Globe and Mail newspaper (being all smart and stuff) and read it from cover to cover - I looked smart, but had no time for anything else! I feel like that when I roll down my list of blogs to read...so some days I jump - I do the superficial, what title grabs me today? Or who've I not visited in a while? Sigh...we have to have lives too!
SB


not too serious i hope

Solvang Sherrie said...

Yes I feel guilty when I don't get to every blog. But I realized at some point that I was spending too much time online and not enough time doing the actual writing. So I cut way back and I've been a lot happier because--surprise!--I've had more time to work on my book(s). And even more surprising, the blog has continued to grow. For that, I've been extremely grateful to the people interested enough to read what I have to say :)

(And I hope you noticed that I'm commenting even though 99 other people got here first -- I've been paying attention to what you're saying!)

Karen Lange said...

So how did you know what was going on in my head? Yeah, I do fight feeling guilty, not just about blogging but other things too. I confess to be a fabulous work in progress. When I get it all figured out, want me to give you a shout? Good discussion. :)

Tiffany Neal said...

Blogging is important to me, but I've learned that it is definitely not more important than living and writing and even reading published books.

Blogging takes a lot of time and the rewards are great, but I'd definitely feel more guilty if I don't take care of my fam first! :)

Sierra Godfrey said...

I guess blogging is so important -- hence the guilt when you can't get to every blog in your 1000+ Reader list -- because it is SO DANG COOL to have a writing community out there. And we do it through blogs and twitter, mostly. And it's awesome. And I want those bloggers to support me too and leave like 20 comments. So for me it's about building the community, brand, and dialog.

I've learned A LOT about writing through blogging. Reading and writing blogs helps me stay plugged in during the day with what I love passionately: writing stories.

Jenn Johansson said...

I so know how you feel. I find myself feeling the same guilt and asking the same questions. Thank you for posting this. Reading this, from you, males me feel empowered. :)

Christina Farley said...

Absolutely! It's amazing how you can feel guilty about not blogging isn't it? Kids, hubby, my own writing must come first!

Shelley Sly said...

I'm glad you made this post, Elana. For me, blogging comes close to last, and I hate to say that, because it sounds like I don't care. I really do love blogging! But I have a family, plus a job, plus writing, and then anything else life demands (we're house hunting now, for instance) so by the end of the day, if I have time to post or read or comment, then yay! If not, I put it off 'til tomorrow.

Juliegoose said...

I find I blog when I'm emotional about something. If I'm angry or happy or excited or just feel something I want to share, I jump on and blog right then. If I'm at work or in the middle of something I just remember the title of my would-be blog so when I have time I can call back all the emotions and write it again. I don't have a set schedule but I would probably average a blog a day. As long as I'm feeling it things come out faster and better and I can fit it between the cracks.

I'm a single mom and I'm working on my second novel, and I have a part time job and I clean my house and home school. I hang out with friends and watch Lost and make dinner and watch over an old lady twice a week, but I've found I'm just fine as long as I grab my computer and blog when I'm feeling something, then I don't have to mull over it later or have something bug me, I just blog it! :P

Palindrome said...

I learned from my friend and fellow blogger, Falen to write all my posts ahead of time, on one day. Of course, if I get the inspiration for something and the time before that, I'll hammer something out real quick but it's mostly scheduled now.

I definitely put blogging further down on my priorities especially when it comes to life. How else will I find things to blog about? If I do nothing, I will have nothing to blog about.

When I have free time, writing is near the top but family, friends and the Man come before that. And unfortunately, my day job takes up all the other time.

Kimberly said...

Good thoughts.

When I first started blogging it consumed all my spare time, and a heck of a lot of my time that wasn't spare.

I still spend too much time at it, I'm sure. I could live more than I do. It's a constant struggle for balance. But in line with your next post (which I've read and am lazily commenting on here), my blogging time is devoted to blogs that have a positive impact on my life. And generally I only KEEP reading a blog if I feel connected to the author of it in some way. The authors of the blogs I read become friends in time...or they don't. And if not I generally move on.

I'm stay at home mom in a small hick town and apparently blogging is my social life. It's also my access to sanity during insane days. A way to be uplifted, inspired, and sometimes educated. But yes, you can't blog in a good way unless you have a life to blog about and living has to come first.

Dominique said...

I pretty much have to live before blogging. Most of my living comes with a schedule, whereas I can blog when I have the time, so I live first, blog second.

Horserider said...

I write and schedule all my blog posts on Sundays. Sundays are my hang around the house on the computer days most of the time.

As for reading them, Google reader keeps track of the blogs I follow and I can go there and see what blog posts I haven't read yet. If I don't read them all in one day, no big deal I can catch up the next day or whenever I have some spare time. I don't actually read the posts on Google Reader just because I like the experience of actually going to the blog, seeing the background, and it's easier for me to comment if I'm already there.

Terresa said...

For me, I had to burn through a haze of blog reading addiction (yes, that, or near addiction). Then, after a self-imposed weaning process, I'm back visiting blogs, but more like 1-2 times a week instead of daily or near daily.

It's a good place to be.

Melanie Avila said...

Ironically, I'm reading this a week late because life had to come first. I think I need to cut some blogs from my reader because it's getting to be too much.

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