The Sunday Symposium is a weekly feature in which I'll be discussing various bookish topics and asking for your commentary, as well. This week, the symposium will be less of a discussion and more or less me telling you guys what's up. But I want to discuss how out of control this hobby of mine has gotten, and I welcome all feedback on the topic.
Um, yeah, so I was supposed to have this post up yesterday. Truth be told, I had this topic, or a very similar one, scheduled for last Sunday. But as it often does, life happened, and family obligations took precedence. Er, not really obligations, but my family wanted to do something fun, and I wasn't going to let my obligation to the blog thwart our plans. But this is what always happens, and no matter which activity I pursue -- the one with the family or the one with the blog -- I feel guilty. When did I have to start choosing between my hobby and my family?
And that's the point of this post. I've been feeling more and more lately that the blog has become a duty, a responsibility, an obligation. But it wasn't always that way. I think it became what it is now when I started participating in weekly memes and blog tours instead of just reading and chatting about books with fellow bibliophiles. Now, it's a constant stress to put out content daily, to be the best. And I don't mean that in a competitive sense -- though, I am a terribly competitive person -- but in the sense that I want the blog to be the best that I can make it. I'm constantly asking myself how I can change and improve it to be the best reflection of me, as a reader and as a person.
You've probably also noticed that I haven't been around much socially on the interwebz. I rarely tweet, post on Facebook, or even update my status on Goodreads anymore. It's not that I don't miss you guys -- 'cause I totally do! -- but work has been hella busy lately, with a big project finally winding down this month, and office hours were usually the time I spent the most perusing the social networking sites. (I'm bad, I know.) Even so, other projects are picking up momentum, meaning I still don't have much time for that sort of thing during the day. I've barely been able to reply to comments or visit my favorite blogs lately.
I thought bringing Mendy on as a co-blogger would prove beneficial, but she actually knows how to balance her life pretty well, and pretty much everything wins out over blogging. And I'm not judging her for that...actually, she should take that as praise. (But maybe we should call her what she is...a contributor to the blog, rather than a co-blogger.) I'm jealous that I can't seem to master that balance and make blogging my hobby once again. But a big part of it is because I really wanted the publishers to notice my blog -- and therefore me -- so much in the beginning. And now that I have a modicum of acclaim, and despite that it's nowhere near how well some other bloggers are known by readers and publishers alike, I'm okay with it. I'm actually pretty ecstatic about it. I feel like I'm at the point where I can maintain the relationships I've already formed in this industry and still go back to just doing my own thing without risking my integrity.
Basically, here's the situation: it's the last summer before my kiddo starts kindergarten, and I want to spend every moment I can with her before sending her off into the world. Which means some stuff on the blog may fall by the wayside, particularly blog tours and potentially memes. Much as my Katiebug has decided to only draw book covers when she feels like it, I'm going to post what I want when I want. No more feeling obligated to post something just because I've done so every week prior to this. Of course, there will still be plenty of reviews because, well, I can't just stop reading. ;0)
So, what do you do to keep the balance in your life? If you're a blogger, have you noticed that blogging has become less like a hobby and more like a chore? What steps have you taken to ensure that it doesn't become a second job?
Any and all commentary, chastising, and public flogging is welcome, as per usual. And thanks for stopping by! Also, be sure to check out Let's Discuss to find more bookish discussions all over the interwebz!