Monday, September 14, 2009

Blogged Down

frown I'm getting blogged down, big time.

Time management has been a challenge for me lately. I know it's a refrain everyone sings ("too much to do, too little time") but for me, things have gotten a lot busier in the last six months.

One culprit--and there are many--is all the time I spend on-line, checking Facebook, Twitter, ning, and "catching up" on my favorite blogs (I hate the thought of missing out on some important piece of information. See this previous post.)

To help manage my blog reading, I use Google Reader (of course, the term "manage" is a laugh, because my blog reading is anything but managed). Currently, my Google Reader tracks 116 blog subscriptions. 116! Add to those all the additional blogs I'll see mentioned somewhere that I click through to read. How can I possibly read them all?

Exactly how much time am I spending reading blogs? I've never been brave enough to tally it up. But let's do a little math. Assume only one third of the blogs I follow have a new post each day. If I spend an average of three minutes reading/commenting on each one, that works out to...about two hours!! EACH DAY!

I don't know about you, but I've got other stuff I could (should) be doing in those two hours.

Anybody have any solutions, besides "stop reading so many blogs"?



Unknown said...

Alan this is amazing that you should post this today. I just had an email "discussion" with someone on Friday about this very thing.

I want to "participate," and comment and visit the blogs - but what of the work I should be doing that will GET me work?

Writing my posts gets rather technical sometimes and that is time-cosuming also. And then I see so many FB users having the time to play vampire games and build farms?

Where do they get their time? Is it a different pace of time than what I have? I sit here and before I know it, it's 4 hours later and I still don't have that done, or that, or that...

If you find an answer, please share it with me!!

Debra Lynn Shelton said...

I'm with you. The more people who follow you, the people you follow. It gets harder and harder to keep up with all the great stuff out there. Don't stress about it, just post, read and comment when you've got time. I miss the "good old days" when it was just me and a few virtual friends. But that's show biz!;-)

Patricia Stoltey said...

Wow, are we all in the same place at the same time on this issue? I'm trying to figure out the time management problem as well because I want to focus exclusively on my current writing project over the next three weeks.

Let's just tell all our blog friends we're going to write a book now and that we'll drop by from time to time (although we might not always leave a comment).

So, Alan, see above. And if I see you commenting at my blog, I'll know you're goofing off. LOL

Elspeth Futcher said...

Honestly? I am not one of the gifted writers that can sit down at my keyboard and have gold flow onto the screen. I need some warm up time. That's when I do my blog reading - and blog writing! I feel it's a more constructive use of my time than playing computer card games (which I know I would do otherwise).

I find keeping up with other writer's thoughts a very helpful process - and it makes me feel a little less isolated in this rather isolating profession!


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Have you tried setting a timer? That way you can at least know how much time it's taking.

I try for 3-25 minute blogging sessions (interspersed through the day.)

Mystery Writing is Murder

Alan Orloff said...

Thanks for your comments. Don't get me wrong--I ENJOY reading all these great blogs. I feel connected and amused and enlightened and informed and a host of other things. I've also *met* a ton of great fellow bloggers and blog readers.

But there's only so much time in the day...I guess I need to keep trying to be more efficient and work smarter. And maybe I'll sleep less, too.

Adele said...

If I miss more than one day, instead of trying to catch up on several days worth of posts (averaging 250 a day on my reader) i mark the whole lot as read and let it go. It helps. I also tend to scan all but about 20 through reader without clicking through. I like to keep up with what's happening and what people are reading but don't feel any need to read all the posts.
good luck.

Galen Kindley--Author said...

I was indoctrinated with the need to blog daily. I cut that back to Monday through Friday, to spend time with my wife and just take a break. But, lately, I’ve been considering M-W-F as my blogging days. One of these days, I’m gonna have actual writing to do and I, for the life of me won’t be able to commit to blogging, visiting, commenting, and writing…I just flat won’t.

However, Alan, with your release up coming, you probably need to spend more time, not less, on the blog/online circuit to promote. Don’t you think? My book won’t be out until next year, so, I’m thinking I can afford to cut back a bit now, and ramp it up next year. So, that’s my thoughts. Good luck on what you choose, because it is tough to do it all.

Best Regards, Galen
Imagineering Fiction Blog

Alan Orloff said...

Hagelrat - Yes, I "mark as read" en masse, too, especially when I've been away and there are a zillion waiting for me. Better to start fresh.

Galen - A cogent analysis, sir. I need to cybershmooze more. And I need to write more. And I need to promote more. Maybe I'll cut down on sleep altogether.

Craig Hart said...

I've thinking the same as Galen. A M-W-F schedule might be an idea. I've been posting pretty regularly, but frankly it takes a lot of effort. Also, I think it takes away some creative juice I could really use to finish my current, dealine-laden WIP.

Soooo, I've been dealing with this exact same issue. I don't want to completely abandon blogging, because it's a lot of fun and I don't want to endanger the connections I've been making. It's something fun to look forward to.

I think what I may have to do is force myself to write a certain amount on the WIP first and then I'll feel free to spend as much time as I need avoiding your blog. (The jab was late, but I got it in there.)