First of all I have to tell you all a little about myself so that you can understand my personal situation.
I'm a married mother of two small children. A five year old girl and a one year old boy. I work part time as a home health caregiver but am currently only working one day a week.
My family could keep me quite busy all on their own, but I think it's important that we all have something for ourselves that makes us happy. Reading certainly does that for me, but being able to discuss the books and sharing them with people is something that really makes me happy. When I'm immersed in the world of books, whether it's blogging about them, attending a book signing, or tweeting with my favorite authors; I have a feeling of 'coming home'. I've found my place in the world. So it's important to me to stick with what I love.
So how do I manage to balance it all out?
- Keep up with reviews. Auto post is your friend. If you have reviews lined up already, post it for the future. You can always change it! Once you get behind on reviews you find you can't remember the books very well and writing a review is much more difficult.
- Keep a calendar with all the interviews, blog tours, guest posts, etc you have planned. If you have things planned ahead you'll find yourself rarely trying to find something to post. (Of course it depends on if you accept many of those sorts of things.)
- Use files in your email. I have files for author interviews, guest posts, winners addresses from contests (which are erased as soon as I know I no longer need it), book tours, blog tours, etc. That way if you don't get things posted you know where to find them.
- If you host giveaways, keep up on the entries! Tally them as they go along. Generally you get a huge amount of entries in the beginning, so after that initial surge if you tally and then if you tally a couple more times it ends up not being so time consuming. If you wait and do it all at once after it's ended, well, if it's a popular one it can literally take days to add them up!
-Have a routine.
-Know what you want from your blog. Some people may not find it important to post every day. That's fine! But if your determined to have a post most everyday know that you need to plan ahead.
I write my reviews as soon as possible after I read the book. If it's for a tour and it's a specific date I'm suppose to post it then I auto post for that date. Often I don't really feel like writing a review. The words aren't coming to me or I just have too many distractions to think, then I prepare the review with the pictures and the details of the book. Then I write at least a few lines of what I liked or didn't like and I go back later and spruce it up.
I find that my biggest challenge is being able to visit other blogs. I spend so much time on my own I don't get enough time to read them! So my goal for the future is to find a better routine that fits in more blog surfing!
I do post most everyday, and often more then once a day. I post at least 2 reviews a week, usually 3. I participate in In My Mailbox, It's Monday! What are you reading?, and Tuesday Teaser. What are you reading and Tuesday Teaser don't always get done because they are posts that can't really be wrote up ahead of time. I work Tuesdays also so if I don't find a chance on Monday to write it up then it doesn't usually get done. I don't stress about it. I just find myself thinking when I'm reading a book if it's a perfect Tuesday Teaser and if I'll be posting the review AFTER Tuesday and sometimes I am able to type it up the weekend before. If not, then oh well!
Balancing a blog, a job, your family and your reading is a challenge. You have to lay out what is important to you, set up your goals, and then get on a routine that works for you.