02 April 2013

A Day in the Life of a Book Blogger


A few weeks ago, I saw someone mention on Twitter that they had stayed up until 4am reading a book, and then had to get up at 6am to go to work, and my first thought was 'oh man, I could NEVER do that'.  And it's true - the latest I've ever stayed up reading was about 4am, and that was for a 24 hour read-a-thon.  

Then of course, all those screaming blogger insecurities came into my head - I'm not DEDICATED enough, I'm not a REAL book lover, I am SHIT at this book blogging biz.

After mentally beating myself up for a while, I started thinking - exactly how much time am I investing in blogging?  Am I actually as shit as my initital reaction seemed to say? 

So I kept a diary of what I actually do on an average weekday to see if I could possibly be more efficient and it was pretty interesting.....

7:00am - My screaming alarm clock wakes me up, and before I even remove myself from the gorgeous cocoon of my bed, I check my emails just in case something exciting/funny/terrible happened during the hours I was sleeping.

7:10am - 7:30am - Shower, dress and make myself a tea/coffee, or in more extreme moments, mainline RedBull.

7:30am - 8:00am - Reply to any urgent exciting/fun/terrible emails, check Twitter and Facebook, make sure my scheduled blog post has gone up and go through my feedreader, book-marking everything I intend to go back and read and comment on later.

8:00am - 8:30am - Finish getting ready for work, leave house.

8:30am - 8:45am - Walk to train station whilst listening to latest audiobook.

8:45am - 9:00am - Catch train and either listen to audio, or read ebook depending on whether I find a seat or have my face unwillingly implanted in a strangers armpit whilst jammed up against train door.

9:00am - 9:15am - Walk to work whilst listening to latest audiobook.

Repeatedly throughout work day - check emails/Twitter/Facebook.  Don't get a chance to read during day as I cannot hide from the peeps.

5:30pm - 6:15pm - Leave work, listening to audiobook and/or reading ebook on train and listen to audiobook during walk from station to home.

6:15pm - 7:00pm - Catch up on emails again, read other blog posts and comment, reply to own blog comments (more often than not, I neglect my own comment replying to leave other comments!).

7:00pm - 7:30pm - Do other grown-up housework things to avoid living in a hovel.

7:30pm - 7:45pm - Dinner.  Attempt to talk to boyfriend because I really should do that occasionally.

7:45pm - 10:00pm - Write reviews, schedule blog posts, leave more comments, attempt to reply to own comments and get in a bit of reading if possible.

10:00pm - 11:30pm - Go to bed and read.

11:30pm - Concede defeat and sleep.  

And my conclusion from all of this?  I spend as much time as I possibly can reading and blogging - I need to go to work, I need to sleep and I need to do those (often boring but necessary) grown-up life things.

So I'm going to try and stop beating myself up with my insecurities - I do the best job that I possibly can without sucking the fun out of blogging and reading, and accept that I'm never going to be the person that reads 3 billion books a year, or stays up until the wee hours reading.  Except on weekends - I could totally not sleep on weekends, right?!

27 comments:

  1. Girl you read way more than I do so stop beating yourself up about not being dedicated enough. I think blogging should never be a challenge but a hobby and I know that we all take it really serious. I have friends saying that I should get payed for reading-hell yes, I should!
    From your day above (which is hillariously written by the way) I got the impression that you try to cram as much readingtime as possible in to your day and you blog so often that you are a wonderful and highly dedicated blogger. :)
    I loved your desription of your way to work - I experience this too on the subway in the morning and in the evening and I know how bad this situation can be during summer. So I wish you lots of empty seats in the next months :)

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    1. Thanks Karin - maybe that's the problem, I'm trying to cram TOO much in! Never do things by halves though ;)

      I love taking the train when it's quiet - they are the days I hope for a delay so I can just keep reading!

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  2. You read more than I do. I loved taking the bus to work so I could read or listen to a book, now I have to drive (just started audiobooks lately much tot he chagrin of hubby). I can't even check FB or Twitter at work unless it's on my cell phone.

    I loved this post. Oh and you should check out my BFFs feature... A Day In The Life Of... where she has authors guest post about their days. It's really fun!

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    1. Public transport is good for reading when it's not crowded!

      Oh I'm going to check out that series, sounds awesome!

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  3. As much as I sometimes covet some of these bloggers who somehow monetize and live off their blogs, I don't read half the money making posts. You bring a more interesting perspective to your reading when you're out living, after all.

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    1. Very true! I like having the freedom to do what I want, when I want!

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  4. I think you spend a lot more time reading than I do and I think your posts are interesting, so don't beat yourself up. And everyone's human too, sometimes you have other things to do or you want to have a little break.

    English isn't my native or even second language and I started reading in English only three years ago. My reading pace has improved, but I still read slower than an average American ( I did a test which I failed miserably!). And I'm not insecure about it, that's just what it is.

    Since I'm the night owl, I sometimes catch myself reading until a.m. hours. I just can't get my mind of things ( I think I have some major attention issues :D) and reading helps me go to sleep (not that the books are boring, they just pass the time I'd spend trying to fall asleep).

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    1. Kudos to you! I always admire people that speak more than one language and can read in a language that is not their native tongue - I wouldn't be able to do it.

      I always read before I sleep and then sometimes toss and turn for hours thinking about what I just read!

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    2. You just get used to it, because we start to learn English at school from the age of 8/9. Though not a lot of Latvians know it that well, I'm just good at languages.

      I toss and turn only if it's really really late and the book is too good to put down. I mostly read until my eyes are misting over :D haha. I've had school days when I don't even go to sleep because I was reading until 7am, the time I usually wake up at.

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  5. What I love about your blog is that it's you! Your personality comes through. I try to do that with my reviews as well and sometimes I reread and I just don't see myself. That's the most important thing about blogging, I think.

    And, I've read quite a few books this year, but I don't have a job! I am starting college soon so I know my reading will probably be mostly with text books, so I enjoy blogging while I can. Don't be yourself up, just be! :D

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    1. Great point - personality is really important, otherwise we might as just well read the 'formal' reviews and be done with it.

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  6. I think you do an awesome job maintaining a balance between what you need to do and what you want to do. I get the same insecurity that you do but I think you're doing excellent and you're right you shouldn't worry about it.

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    1. Thanks Michelle :) there's only so many hours in the day!

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  7. Finding that balance is SO hard! Sometimes I just want to give up and forget blogging completely, but then I remember how much I'd miss talking about books. In the end, it's definitely worth it to stick to our own standards and not try to mold ourselves into fitting someone else's.

    Great post!

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    1. Exactly - we shouldn't measure ourselves against others, but sometimes it's hard not to. Balance is definitely the key!

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  8. My goodness! We can all definitely relate to this. I don't EVER plan to stay up to 4 AM reading on a work night because I know exactly who would suffer from that: the kids I serve! So while I might be loving the hell out of a book, my job is important too and I love what I do. I cannot access Facebook or Twitter from the school, so I occasionally get on my phone for social media, but not too often. My job keeps me busy. I try my best to read during lunch, but often find myself visiting blogs instead. This is because I am not very interested in getting on the computer at night anymore...not like I used to! I do the majority of my blogging on the weekends, but I want to make room for my other hobby, scrapbooking, which is just as time consuming. I am scrapping ALL DAMN DAY this Saturday. Take that, blog!

    Anywho. We do what we can. We all have different priorities and responsibilities. We put way too much pressure on ourselves to live up to another's standards. In reality, there are no damn standards and THAT is why this community rocks!

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    1. There are no standards and that is what is cool about it - you can put in what you want or can. If I stayed up until 4am reading and then tried to chair meetings all day, I'd end up a blathering mess!

      Happy scrapping ;) I used to spend hours doing that in Australia, but supplies are hard to find in NL so I had to give it up (temporarily!)

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  9. I frequently compare myself to other book bloggers even though I know I shouldn't. My schedule is similar to yours - I spend every moment I possibly can reading/commenting/responding/reviewing/promoting etc. and I still feel like its not enough. I am always marveling over the book bloggers who seem able to do so much more but I have to remind myself that I have no idea what their life is like. They could have a job with a lot of down time - or still be a student and have an easy course-load. They might work 5 minutes away from the office or not work at all (as opposed to my 2.5hr daily roundtrip commute). They could have fewer responsibilities or distractions or require less sleep. Its impossible to really know so we aren't being fair to ourselves if we compare. It's like that saying - There's always going to be someone smarter than you .. in this case, there is always going to be someone who does more and that's ok! This is supposed to be fun - so we just need to do whatever we feel like doing and be proud of ourselves! Blogging is no easy task and if anything this blog is a testament to your dedication and love of reading! :)

    Nicole @ The Quiet Concert

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    1. That's a really good point, that we don't know how busy other people's lives are, so comparing ourselves is pointless. Man, I wished I lived 5 minutes from my office, but that's never going to happen so I just embrace my commute - armpits and all!

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  10. Love love love this post, Kat. I beat myself up for not reading more books, especially when I see so many lying around that I bought ages ago, to read. But my, my! Girl you read the whole day, be it ebook or audio or physical copy. So stop beating yourself up over it and talk to your poor boyfriend more. I am sure he thinks you have a relationship with books instead. And I know all about those crowds in the bus/metro. I go through that everyday and can't listen to audio because people chatter way too loud and hate it when I can't open my Kindle because it's jammed pack, feels like such a huge waste of time.

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    1. P.S. I'm one of those read till 4am and get up at 7am to go to work bloggers but well you know, sometimes it's hard to put a book down. Just finished Grave Mercy at 3:30am a few days back. But oh well, I can catch a few hours sleep after I come from work in the evening (I end up catching a power nap at 7/8pm). Can't just leave an interesting book like that, you know?

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  11. I think you are a brilliant book blogger! And I wish I read as much as you. I used to. I don't know what happened. I think I'm getting into a reading slump....

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  12. I love this post! It's awful having that "I'm not doing enough or dedicated enough feeling". I try to read everyday and then set at least one day a week aside to do blogging things to schedule in advance. But I've also realized that it's important not to beat myself up if I don't get something done.

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  13. It is so easy to get caught up in the I should be doing more or something different. I do it quite regularly myself, but the more important thing is that this is a hobby. It should still be fun, and fulfilling and in balance with the rest of your life - whatever that means for you!

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  14. Oh girl, you are doing way more than I do! I've been cutting down on blogging for the last year because at some point it consumed every scrap of free time I had and it just got to me. I am slowly learning how to make it more enjoyable for myself, and I stopped worrying that I'm not doing as much as other bloggers. To be honest, I don't want to. I want to read and review for pleasure instead of because I have to. I've cut down on commenting and reading other blogs to only on weekends, and from this week I am doing three reviews a week instead of 5. I tell you it's making a huge difference in my life. Great post!
    *hugs*

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  15. I tried to comment to this a while back but my phone went weird on me, thus I am stopping by now. I LOVE this post and just want to say that everyone will blog in their own way but that doesn't mean you aren't as committed to blogging as someone else. What it means is that you do it YOUR way. It's the same discussion as those who post only a few days to those who post daily. As long as it works for YOU then it is perfect :D

    And, because you're followers love you, we appreciate all the time you can put into blogging and won't be going anywhere just because you don't read until 4am. (And trust me, I couldn't do that either. I try, but I usually end up falling asleep with the book on my face, lol.)

    I'm highlighting this post on my Weekly Highlights because I loved it so much! Thanks for such a great post Kat!

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  16. This is a great post! And at the end I think the point is that we all have to do what we feel is best when it comes to balancing reading, blogging and life...which tends to take up so much time!!! Darn work!! it definitely seems like you are maxing out your reading and blogging time though...

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