Since getting myself a full time job, my blogging efforts have dramatically reduced, and I constantly manage to make myself feel bad for this- and to be honest, all of the self-inflicted guilt tripping often makes me not want to carry on blogging, because I set myself targets that I know that I can't keep. It's not even necessarily that I don't have time to blog, but more that I don't have time to read the same number of books as when I was unemployed, and so have far fewer reviews to churn out. I have also stopped various memes and features (such as top-off tuesday and teaser tuesday), and while this has saved me some extra time in my week, it has made my blog look just a bit empty.
So, what is the answer? Well, each to their own, but I have been trying to work out what woks for me (and may work for others too. Who knows, right?)
Changing my reading patterns- Audiobooks on buses
Trying to find the time to get my reading fix is difficult, until you start to add up the amount of time I spend on buses during the week. Just my bus rides to and from work start to add up to some pretty impressive hours Monday to Friday. 40 minutes each way to work from my house, or 1 hour and 20 minutes each way from my boyfriend's house to work (and the sad thing is that in a car these are 12 minute and 18 minute trips respectively). That's a lot of reading time, and even more listening time (as I can listen while I walk to various stops and between various buses), hence, a change to audio-books.
Plus, this is great because I can be borderline comatose every morning, and effectively having someone read the book to me. And, as another little bonus, it saves my eyes for the brutality of staring at a computer screen for 8 hours straight. Whoop, less eye strain for me.
Not getting distracted
I used to write reviews with about 10 other tabs open on my laptop- goodreads, facebook, tumblr, twitter, about three other blogs, cracked.com, maybe a recipe or two, and youtube. This made it so easy to have sensory overload and get massively distracted mid review. Then I would go back to it another time (or later the same night), forget my point, and spend hours making a little progress before getting distracted again.
More recently I have imposed some limitations on myself- I will literally only have one other page open at most, and that is usually goodreads if I need a refresh on a book's blurb and to get the cover image. And the result is that I get much more done, much quicker.
Blog when I feel like it
This works in two ways- if I try to blog when I don't feel like it, then I get barely anything done, and when I do, I am never happy with the result.
Secondly, if I feel like blogging, then if possible I will do it, even if I can't get near a computer. I write reviews on paper on the bus, write notes to myself on my phone, and borrow my boyfriends laptop if I don't have mine to hand. The same applies for writing in general- it has become an increasingly regular sight to see me jotting down notes, ideas and phrases at the oddest of times, such as when drunk and pre-drinking- and surprisingly, I can even sometimes read it the next morning.
Don't have a reading order on my to-be-read list
The more I try to structure my reading patterns, the less I seem to read. Whatever book I had planned to read (because it looked incredibly exciting/funny/interesting/other fundamental good-book characteristic) next suddenly seems a lot less interesting, and another one that I can see on the shelf is now whispering my name. "Rachel," it says, "read me first. I'm much more interesting than that book."
It seems that I operate best when I follow my instincts to be a creature of whim. (Anyone who has been to a restaurant with me knows this well.)
Review as soon as possible (but not too soon)
There are books that I read months ago that I haven't reviewed yet. And now, after all this time, I probably won't review them at all. My initial reaction has faded to a distant memory, and the general plot has probably become a bit muddled or forgotten. It is best for me if I leave it a day or two after finishing a book before I write my review, to make my thoughts a tad more coherent than "oh, wow" or "bore snore" but if I leave it too long I lose motivation.
What do you do to optimize your blogging? Let me know in the comments below, or link through to your own discussion posts on the matter.