Book Blogger Confessions–Managing Deadlines

 

 

Book Blogger Confessions is a newish meme hosted by Tiger’s All Consuming Media or For What It’s Worth.   On the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month they discuss a topic that effects book bloggers and then give other bloggers a chance to vent, share their opinion, or offer a solution.

If you want to participate just grab their button and include it in your post with a link to either Tiger’s All Consuming Media or For What It’s Worth.   They will be providing a linky at the end of their posts so people can "hop" to see all the participants answers.

Today’s topic is:  Deadlines for reviewing and blogging. Do you set them? How do you keep them? What do you do if you can’t meet a deadline?

This is something I struggle with all the time!  Deadlines!  They stress me out!  I find it amusing that even though I hate being under pressure and having to meet deadlines, it is such a huge part of my book hobby.  That just doesn’t seem right, now, does it?

Here’s how I deal with those deadlines, which can dangle over my head like the Sword of Damocles.  I have a daily planner just for blogging.  I have tried to keep one online with Google Calendar, but I just can’t seem to make a virtual calendar work for me.  I mark down the dates of firm deadlines, and then I keep a sheet, updated weekly on Saturday, of looming deadlines.  Interview post dates don’t stress me out like review commitments.  I love reading author responses to my interview questions, and have a lot of fun with these posts, so they are easier to deal with.

Now reading and reviewing can cause a lot of apprehension.  I try not to make many firm commitments for book reviews.  When I am feeling pressured, I don’t enjoy reading as much.  I don’t enjoy blogging as much.  I can’t find my blogging mojo, and during those times, there are fewer reviews on the site.  Maybe Real Life is intruding, and I just don’t have the time or the attention span to write that review.  That’s never a good thing, so I keep my schedule for book reviews more flexible and fluid.

My biggest piece of advice to new bloggers: don’t over commit.  Blogging will quickly become a chore, and you won’t have fun doing it.  If you don’t have fun doing it, you will quickly stop blogging altogether.  Work out a schedule that works for you.  I work long hours to pay the bills, so reviewing and blogging activities happen mainly on the weekend.  I squeeze in as much reading as I can after work during the week, but some nights I am so tired that I actually fall asleep with a book propped up in my hands.  This tends to scare to crap out of me when I drop the book I was reading when I doze off.  Oops!

Set realistic goals for yourself, too.  I tend to be to a bit overly optimistic with how many books I can read in a month, but by posting a projected reading list at the start of each month, I feel that I at least have a plan to work with, and I work better with a plan.  I don’t beat myself up when I can’t get everything read, but at least I have a goal to work toward.  So setting goals for yourself that are realistic, and not over committing will keep your blog a more enjoyable activity.  If you lose the mojo, take a break.  Step away from your blog.  Take a deep breath.  This is supposed to be fun!

How do you manage your deadlines?  Leave links and share.

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9 thoughts on “Book Blogger Confessions–Managing Deadlines

  • February 6, 2012 at 10:08 am
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    Excellent ideas! I have really been working on setting realistic goals for myself and trying to not over commit. I fell into the trap of agreeing to almost every review that was sent my way last year and towards the end of the year it was just too much to handle!

    I think a flexible schedule really is the only option. Reading is subjective and if you are feeling forced to read/write a review and not enjoying your reading time it is going to show in your blogging!

    Bonnie @ http://www.handsandhome.ca

  • February 6, 2012 at 10:14 am
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    I am always falling asleep with a book or my Kindle in the hands! At night in bed is sometimes the only chance all day I’ll have to read.

    Great advice for a new blogger!

  • February 6, 2012 at 10:29 am
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    I thought about starting the month with a projected reading schedule, but I think I’d only follow it for the first couple of books and then I’d completely go off and read whatever. I did just get a planner to start keeping track of when certain things need to be posted by, so we’ll see how that goes. I’m not great with scheduling or planning and up until now I’ve never had to worry about it. But since my blog is picking up, I have to keep track of some things.

  • February 6, 2012 at 10:35 am
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    @Hannah – I am not always good about being organized, either! The planner will help you a lot. I refer to mine all the time, and actually have posts scheduled out until the middle of March.

    @Andrea – The bane of busy book bloggers – falling sleep while reading! I do this constantly, even when the book is awesome. I need to learn to live on less sleep :)

    @Bonnie – A flexible schedule is crucial to keep the blogging mojo flowing, but it is hard to not over-commit. I constantly struggle with that. It’s just hard to say no sometimes.

  • February 6, 2012 at 11:45 am
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    “Don’t over-commit.” SO TRUE! This is the hardest part to figure out, and after a year I’m just now getting to where things are feeling under control. Learn to say no, and things get a lot easier.

    I do use Google Calendar to schedule out my reviews and posts, but I’ve recently taken to paper as well because I like having to write it down and stare at it. :)

  • February 6, 2012 at 11:49 am
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    @Logan – I think that is why I use a paper scheduling system, too. I like being able to flip through the pages of the planner :)

  • February 6, 2012 at 12:20 pm
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    Oh yeah nods head with over commiting one self to reviews ..That’s hard to figure out sometimes

  • February 6, 2012 at 12:22 pm
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    @Julie – I am a book junkie. It is SO hard for me to turn review books away. I am trying to do better with that, though…

  • February 6, 2012 at 12:40 pm
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    Excellent post!!!

    Such great advice. I can’t use a virtual planner either. My husband keeps downloading different ones for me to try but I guess I’m old school that way lol

    Just the act of writing the schedule makes me remember the date better.

    I’m taking very few review requests this year and it has helped me immensely. I feel like a weight has been lifted off of me – on the downside I still feel awful saying no & I sometimes feel like I’m missing out on something wonderful but you have to strike that balance.

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