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Friend Friday: the blog-life balance

The theme for today’s Friend Friday is finding the balance between blogging and everything else. And as most of you know, I have struggled with that recently, and have gone to posting three times a week from daily. So I guess today is a good time for an update.

I’d love to be all positive, but unfortunately I still feel much the same as before. Some days I’m all optimistic and grateful for all the good things in my life, but some days I’m just really angry at what is happening in this country and feel like picking fights with people. And on some days I just want to crawl under a rock. So its ups and downs, and unfortunately I am nowhere near out of this difficult period yet.

On the blogging side, I am finding that posting three times a week works ok though, and I’ll continue with that schedule for the time being. It’s often enough not to feel like I have disappeared, but gives me a bit more time in between posts to prepare the next one and make the things I do post a bit more substantial. Though I am still way behind on answering my comments!

Its’s also taking a bit of time for me to adjust to posting less often, I’ve got so many ideas! At the moment, I have stored up, in addition to some outfits:

  • an interview with my friend about the crafty shop she has opened
  • a whole lot of diana vignette photos I’ve taken wandering about
  • some cross-proccess vignettes
  • photos Dave took at Saturday’s Decemberists gig
  • fantastically elaborate street art I found in Germany at Christmas
  • photo inspiration from working class London in the 60s
  • people recreating their childhood snaps in minute detail
  • An artist who camouflages exactly against his background
  • pictures of me and my sister at all ages

Maybe I’ll find the time to post more often, otherwise these will find their way into my schedule, very very slowly!

After I posted about my overwhelmedness, I also got a lovely long email from Veronica Darling with the advice to make one thing your priority, and do that properly, and not worry about everything else. And I intend to take this advice. At the moment, my priority is the Feminist Fashion Bloggers stuff. So I may occasionally give Friend Friday a miss for the duration of March. I’ll do it if I can, but I won’t stress if I can’t. Or that’s the plan anyway. Not sure I can promise not to stress!

Anyhoo, on with this week’s questions:

1. When it comes to prioritizing your life, in what place does blogging fall?

It was too high up the list recently, for sure. I’m not sure where it should go. It’s my most important hobby, but after friends and fun and actually doing stuff for sure. And work and studying.

2. We all wish we had more free time to dedicate to blogging and all it entails. What are your tricks for taking advantage of the time you do have to be as productive as possible?

No tricks, I don’t think. I do do a lot of thinking about what I’m going to write about while on the bus, in the shower and so on. So when I actually come to writing stuff down, I know where I’m going already, and it doesn’t take as long. Also, I am very experienced at writing, since 80% of my day job is writing reports and briefings. So I’m pretty confident that even something typed in a hurry (such as this, hehe) of anything is at least going to make grammatical sense and be generally readable.

Ok, that’s not much of a tip, becoming a civil servant to improve blogging output. But I guess the tip is to just keep at it, writing and photo editing and whatever else, and over time it will take less time.

3. Have you discovered any short-cuts that makes blogging easier or more time efficient?

I always schedule posts. When I used to post daily, I would schedule Monday to Thursday on the weekend for the week ahead. Scheduling is really great if you have lots of time at some points and none at others. But in an of itself it obviously doesn’t reduce amount of time spent. Which is why I had to cut back in the end.

The only other thing I can think of is to keep images well organised either on your computer or on hosting sites like flickr. This is relevant if, like me, you occasionally reuse older photos, e.g. detail shots in outfit photos – I reuse pictures of my shoes all the time.

4. Do you have an editorial calendar or something similar that helps you plan ahead?

When I used to do daily post, I did have an editorial calendar of sorts. Not an official one, with names like Wednesday outfit, Sunday inspirations etc, but usually it went like this:

  • Monday – free day, the day for big thinky pieces or special features
  • Tuesday – outfit
  • Wednesday – my own photography
  • Thursday – outfit
  • Friday – Friend Friday
  • Saturday – IFB Links a la mode and video
  • Sunday – photography or fashion inspiration

At the moment I’m doing FFB on Wednesdays, and Friend Friday on Fridays, leaving me with Monday to fill with random shit. I have so many ideas I honestly don’t need to worry!

5. If time wasn’t an issue what you would be doing on your blog/for your blog that you aren’t doing now?

Oh, what wouldn’t I do! More thinking, definitely more thinking. Getting to grips with video posts. More time spent reading blogs, and the news, and more responses to other people’s ideas. Better pictures. More interviews with people. More time connecting on social networking. More engagement with stuff happening in my local area.

If this was my job, I would kick this blog into shape quicksmart. Alas it is not, so its just this.


To read everyone else’s posts this week, visit Modly Chic!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Penny Dreadful 11 March 2011, 8:09 am

    Its tough isn't it. The reason I don't do things like Friend Friday are because I know it would stress me out, having to work to someone elses schedule. I find it hard enough as it is getting something out every weekday, if I started having to work to someone elses theme it would all fall apart quickly xx

  • oranges_and_apples 11 March 2011, 8:40 am

    It does have its advantages as well though, it gives you something pre-made
    to structure substantial posts around. And Katy has started posting the
    topics longer in advance, which is much appreciated! x

  • Sacramento 11 March 2011, 8:43 am

    Hello my dear Franca, I am so glad you are posting less frequently. It gives me the chance to taste the true flavour of each one of your posts, rather than rush through them.
    Much love my friend.

  • emilyknightley 11 March 2011, 3:41 pm

    Sorry to hear that you are still feeling under pressure, Franca.

    Great answers though 🙂 Gosh, wouldn't it be lovely to know that all you had to think about for work was your blog – I'd love that!!

    I think you definitely need to find a balance that works for you.

    Scheduling is sooooo my "secret" weapon!! xx

  • Rebecca 11 March 2011, 3:49 pm

    I schedule most of my posts. I think my content tends to be better when I have more time to think about it.

  • Ceri 11 March 2011, 5:48 pm

    Yes I have to agree with Sacramento. Sometimes when my favourite bloggers post too often, I can't keep up. I then feel like I am missing out!

  • Terri 11 March 2011, 6:09 pm

    Hmm, I'm wondering if I don't need to develop a weekly schedule like yours. I really, really want to see a future post in which you blend in perfectly with your background…though that would take a lot of work.

  • La Historiadora de Moda 11 March 2011, 7:41 pm

    This is one of the reasons that I'm so grateful to have co-bloggers. Right now I'm posting at Fashionable Academics and average of twice a week. That gives me the time and flexibility to post 3-4 times a week on my fitness and food blog.

    I'm sorry to read that you're still feeling stressed. Big hugs to you!

  • Tracey 12 March 2011, 9:52 am

    I completely understand where you're coming from on pretty much all of this … I'm looking to find a new balance at the moment too, and it's definitely a tricky thing to find.

    I like this idea of focussing on just one thing … perhaps that's an idea I should apply too.
    Anyway, best of luck with slowing things down a little … I hope you feel back to 'normal' again soon … for now, I'm right there with you! 😀

  • Stef 12 March 2011, 10:42 pm

    Apart from helping with time keeping I find scheduling keeps me from accidentally publishing unfinished posts. As soon as I start a draft I schedule it way in the future so if I hit publish it doesn't make a surprise appearance in anyone's reader 🙂

    Not being the most sociable person I guess blogging has become a little unhealthily important for me (more than once I've found I'd rather not go out but prepare a post instead) but all in all I find it has helped me be more balanced. Having a hobby that keeps me busy and lends focus has done my ehem "mental health" no end of good. 😉

    When you said you were going to post less I'd assumed you'd go down to a post a week or less 😀 but with so many ideas crammed into that head of yours I bet not posting is quite the struggle too 😉 Hope your life feels more balanced again soon 🙂

    Have a relaxing, fun Sunday!

  • veronicadarling 14 March 2011, 8:41 am

    Thanks for your thoughts here babes! You're sounding really positive as well (as always!)!

    I have started scheduling posts this year, because I knew you'd been doing it and I'm a bit like you too, I have a large slab of time sometimes, but am stacks busy 24/7 other times. With the Sew Weekly challenge for me, I've now fallen into a great blog routine where I post at the Sew Weekly blog on Mondays (right now!) and then can schedule out the rest of the week for my blog. It's really about being organised with your information and data, and like you said, knowing where your photos are etc. That can be a headache if you're filing system isn't good!