Friday, February 5, 2010

A Little Advice Please?



I apologize to those of you who will feel as though you have read this post several times already. The truth is I have written it several times, which speaks volumes about my tendency to take one step forward and two steps back.

My word for this year is "new." One of the things that definitely needed to be changed in a big way was the time I spend blogging. In the spirit of "newness" I wrote about my intention to set boundaries. I managed for a while to keep my fidgety self contained within those perimeters, but little by little I began to stick my toes over the line. Before I knew it I was not only right back where I started but I was going way overboard.

Rather than cutting back, I added things. Facebook, Twitter, friends, fans - I was clicking away and spreading myself very thin. Instead of reading and commenting less, I added to my bloglines and couldn't seem to stop trying to visit everyone - reading and leaving comments.

I confess that I love all of it - the writing, the sharing, the posts, keeping up with family and friends. But it has grown too big - yet again.

I have been trying to come up with a plan that will fit blogging into its proper place in my life. In thinking about it, I found myself wondering how others manage. Perhaps you wouldn't mind sharing with me how much time you spend blogging and how you fit it into your schedule. Could we just talk about it a little? I'd like that.

Blessings,
Linda

21 comments:

Maria said...

Hi Linda~
Hmmmmm "Where do I begin?" as the song goes...

I have found that blogging has truly enriched my life. The beautiful people (yourself included :) out here in blogland, are such treasures.

I have to say that although I am part of facebook-land~ as a teacher, my privacy is tweeked to the maximum. I am only available to family...

I participate in Sky Watch Friday (missed this weekend because I'm visiting my father)~
and occasionally I have "set my table" for Tablescapes Thurs...
Both of these memes are simple statements of beauty ~

I have also discovered that writing a blog is as much about self-discovery as it is about sharing...

Posts that encourage a smile or an inspiration are my favorites to visit ♥

Once inspired ~ it's time for us to pass it on at home and with others...
Blessings and smiles to you ~ Maria

Dawn said...

I have been struggling as well. I avoided Facebook for a very long time, for this very reason. Then I jumped in and I don't seem to do anything halfway. I love hearing from old friends and new friends this way. But it is time consuming and guilt-inducing. As for blogging, I so miss all of those who have dropped out of blogging for Facebook. I love hearing from everyone so much - and like you, define my success sometimes by the number of comments. Going private was a disappointment, because people forgot to come over, even though I would comment on their posts. But mostly, I just love reading other people's thoughts and passions - and yours are always so amazing! So - where does that leave me? Sometimes it feels like a burden, as you said. I have found myself short of words lately, especially important words. But, as I told DC yesterday, I don't want to quit! I would miss eveyone too much. Mostly I do only one post a week these days, but that seems to be enough.

That doesn't mean I'm not on here way too much, but I do find myself catching up once a week too, which takes a lot of time.

Well, hope this helps!

emily wierenga said...

sweet linda... i blog when i feel i must. when the words burn themselves into my soul, and i will die, so to speak, if i don't release them... i use my blog-space much as i do the telephone. it serves me; i don't serve it. if i don't feel like answering, because my son or husband or mother needs me, then i let the answering machine get it because i know people are gracious and forgiving, and i can get back to them. don't feel like you always need to comment or post. the blog-space serves you; you, serve God. so when he tells you to write, write. and when he tells you to encourage through commenting, then do so. but otherwise, i wouldn't feel guilty. instead, i'd put my feet up and read a good book. love you, emily.

Nancy said...

I haven't been blogging and I do miss it. I may decide at some point to go back. I've enjoyed FB and keeping up with local friends as well as blogging friends. I have meshed the two without keeping up with my blog. I do love reading your blog and you are such an inspiration to me. God seems to speak to me through your words so many times and that is a blessing indeed!

Heather said...

Linda, I know *exactly* where you are! I, too, have struggled for ages with the time I dedicate to the blogging world-- isn't it funny (or pathetic, perhaps) how the Thief sneaks in to steal our joy, only to replace it with guilt?? I go back and forth re: the time I spend here, but as the others have mentioned... I enjoy this community immensely, and the wisdom, insight, and encouragement shared often meets me right where I am and boosts me up, right when I need it. Friendships I wouldn't have discovered otherwise, outlets I wouldn't have explored were it not for this medium... but finding that balance-- that's where it gets tough.

Unfortunately, I have nothing to offer you other than a similar frustration and one little request-- keep blogging here as the LORD leads b/c He is using you in so many ways... your servant heart is a blessing every single time and I'd miss your ministry terribly were you to set it aside. Of course that's selfish of me (*grin*) so I guess I'll just offer this-- follow *His* lead b/c He never leads us astray... and I'll keep hoping that He leads you to continue here, just as you are~

Have a wonderful weekend :)

christy rose said...

I think this is an area that every one of us have to ask the Lord to lead us in. And, I think the answer from the Lord will be different for each person. But I have found that what works for me is to blog only when I feel as if I have something on my heart that I want to get out or record. I do not try to blog just for the sake of getting something published for the day. And I set aside time each day to visit my wonderful blogging friends. I give myself an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon. And sometimes if I am sitting in the evening, watching tv with my family, I will visit a few of my blogging friends then. It keeps it fun for me and not an obligation or a chore. That is how I have been lead to handle it but I do not think that it would work out for everyone's lifestyle or schedule. I pray that the Lord leads you to your perfect timeline too. :)

Teena said...

I do not spend much time blogging... but love to read the comments and comment on others! My computer is very slow so I usually get on LATE at night when everyone is asleep and only about once/twice a week....

BUT

I do check things on my blackberry! Twitter.... fb and blogs. Usually while I walk in the mornings.... or when I sit for a bit... in the afternoon....

but yes... I too have to really watch it.

YOU are a great encourager... and I appreciate your friendship. Hope that makes you STAY!

Hugs,
Teena

Laura said...

It is a very real problem, Linda. I try to stick to a schedule. My living hours are very precious to me. Time with my family sometimes gets sacrificed when I feel a post stirring in me, but I try not to make a habit of that. Mainly, it's scheduling for me. And sticking to it! I know, i know, that's the hardest part.

I'll pray for you in this, sweet friend.

love,
laura

grammy said...

Boy those comments are LONG (o:
I will just say I struggle with it too.
While we were away for the weekend... there was no computer oTV
guess what? We read and played games together... sat by a fire and talked... Walked, went for a ride to see the sights... I couldn't help but think it was better... more free. I am home and look what I am doing
(o: We all need to set our own boundaries I guess. I am going to go back and read the comments and see if there is any helpful tips.

Prairie Chick said...

I love what Emily and Laura had to say. I can relate to them both. For me I try to keep the "writing" and the "reading" aspects of blogging separate. Like Emily, I write when something is burning in me to be realized, expressed, birthed, shared. That can't be put on the dayplanner.

I use Windows Live Writer, so when I feel the stirring within I will open up a new file and start to write, a brain and soul dump if you will.

I then save it and go back to it when I have time to devote to it (early in the morning, or late at night). Because brain and soul dumps over supper prep hour have resulted in burnt steak more than once. :)

When it comes to reading, I had to cut way back on the blogs I follow. They have to meet one of three criteria. 1. They are edifying, encouraging or educational. I am enriched by them in some way practically or spiritually.

It's not all about me. Sometimes I just feel I should follow someone for a time, God brings our shoulders to rub and I seek to leave a nice fragrance while I can, but over time I generally find I can move on and go back to my faithful reading list.

Google reader is my friend. When I get a chance I can peek in and scan posts and see ones that stand out to me that I want to take a look at. I don't read every post by every blogger I follow, if the essence of a post catches my heart or attention I flag it to come back to, to read at length, ponder and comment on. Otherwise, I mark all the other posts that don't catch my eye as "read". It's like sorting mail :)

Let's see, what else? Oh yes, Facebook. I'm on it. I've got alot of friends there. I don't go there much. I'd much rather exchange a personal email or phone call with a friend than write on their wall publicly. And yet, it is fun to have a big social meet up with status updates and comments every once in awhile. I just don't get people updating their status 3 times a day to share their every little move. Makes me wonder what that says about people's need for attention and what kind of society we live in.

I have struggled with this too, as you know. Fellowship is sweet. But too much of a good thing is a bad thing. I am on this journey of balance with you, and all I can say is that if you are anything like me you need a plan. Schedule your reading time, and don't read or comment outside of that time. I usually read/comment during lunch break while I sit and sip on my coffee. I want to sit and sip on my coffee anyway, so it's a two birds with one stone sweet deal.

Praying your eyes will be opened to see what balance should look in your life, praying for the excitement to make NEW inroads, and looking forward to seeing you wield the sword and slay this dragon for His glory in your life.

Much love,

N.

Prairie Chick said...

ha ha... Grammy, you thought the OTHER comments were long. LOL!

Donnetta said...

Oh the conversations you and I have had related to this topic. I have been thinking a lot about this over the weekend. I am going to e-mail you today with more thoughts. :-) Thank you for sharing your heart friend!

Anonymous said...

Sorting through the same questions...for me, the line between work, hobby, ministry and social-outlet is greatly blurred due to the many online opportunities. My writing is both work and ministry, but I also find it fun and refreshing.

It's hard to think things through when blogging, Facebook, and Twitter don't fit neatly into a particular category (it's not just work, so I can't just say, "Well, after 5:00 I'll be all done with this work thing.")

What if "work" is also fun, rewarding and inspiring? Can I do it in place of watching TV at night?

I'm enjoying your readers' comments. Let us know what you learn and conclude as you continue to experiment!

elizabeth said...

For the longest time we had in our house a silly little phrase "screen free til 8:03" (we added the 03 only because then it rhymed - LOL). We had realized that computers and tv were taking up too much of our time. By doing it this way we had time to spend together and talk about our day and then time to get some things done around the house. By 8:00 it was ok to sit and relax. Now, do realize my household is my husband and I and our 24 year old daughter, so it works well for us. We've gotten lax lately and we just talked at dinner how we can really tell the difference.

And I will second what others have said - your blog is a ministry and I do pray that you are able to figure this out to your satisfaction and continue.

Graceful said...

Linda,
Oh how I can relate to your post. I, too, have a blogging/commenting/tweeting/etc. addiction. I spend way too much time, and then feel terribly guilty about the impact it has on my family. I try to set boundaries -- at the computer only before 7 a.m. and after 8 p.m....but I find myself cheating. A lot.

I guess it all comes down to establishing strict boundaries and sticking to them. And perhaps tossing in a bit of prayer -- that never hurts!

And thanks for commenting on my guest post over at Jumping Tandem yesterday (speaking of commenting!).

Bev said...

Praying you find what feels right to you. Life is full of seasons and sometimes what worked for awhile needs to be shifted a bit, or set aside for awhile. I have one blog I read that does not allow comments and find myself really enjoying spending time there, with no pressure to ever leave a comment.

Deidra said...

As my kids say, "I feel you." This year I made a schedule for myself. I write Monday through Friday and read blogs (just two hours) on Saturday. If I post anything on Sunday it's a photo and/or scripture. And mainly, I try to keep it all turned over to Him.

Praying that He keeps us all on track, and all of our "stuff" in its proper place.

PEA said...

Dearest Linda, as you can see from all your comments, this is a subject that we all have struggled with, me included. There was a time where I would visit everyone on my bloglines (over 100 blogs) every day and it's all I would do all day long it seems. If I didn't, I felt guilty. After quite a few months of this, I was feeling so overwhelmed and my love of blogging was starting to affect my life. Now I'm coming up to my 4th blogiversary and I've learned to spend only a couple of hours on my blogging and visits a day, taking turns on who I visit. Some days I just take a break from it completely...more or less to recharge my batteries! lol Often I just read the posts through bloglines and don't comment. If people get mad because you don't visit every day then it's their problem, not yours. We all have lives outside of blogging and must never forget that.

As for Facebook, I was getting hooked on playing all the games on there and just last week I finally put my foot down and only kept 3 of my favourites which don't take too much time to play, deleted all the others so I wouldn't feel tempted to go back to playing them. I don't post very often on it but do like to keep up with everyone on there, even if it's just to leave a little comment once in a while.

I know for a fact that I could never stop blogging because I enjoy it so much and love the friendships I've made through it. Spending less time on it is a work in process:-) xoxo

Maxine said...

Well,Linda, one of the reasons I didn't see this post until tonight is that I have been VERY spotty with my blogging/Facebook time for the past few days. That is the only way I can handle it. If I am particularly busy for a day or days, the first thing to go is the blogs and FB. But when I have some extra time, I do it. Also, unfortunately, I'm not able to make the longer, more thoughtful posts that I once did. I prefer now to do shorter posts (I blogged about it some time ago) and just sit down and do it when I have fifteen minutes or so to spare. Sometimes I'll start a post and finish it when I get the casserole in the oven and there is a bit of time before dinner.
I like to go visit others in the evenings, sometimes when we're all sitting in the living room chatting or looking at a game or whatever. We're together, but I have my laptop and my family doesn't mind.
I will say this, though, I can't and won't let blogging or Facebook be a priority. If a week goes by and I haven't been able to get to it, I know my friends will still be there when I do.
Hope you are able to find just the right system that works best for you, but we all have been there and it will probably always be somewhat of a struggle for us all.

L.L. Barkat said...

Two things.

A technology Sabbath once or twice a week. It reminds me of the other things I love in life and makes room for them.

And time. Yup. After blogging for more than three years, I got tired of doing "too much" and now I more naturally do only what I want to do.

Also (oops, this is three : ), trust that if you are doing it, maybe there is something you need from it. Where else can you find that? Follow it on your Sabbath days.

Sam Van Eman said...

L.L. said, "trust that if you are doing it, maybe there is something you need from it. Where else can you find that?"

Great question that may require a deal of introspection, feedback from those closest to you, and the hard, hard work of responding.