Lola’s Ramblings is a feature on my blog Lola’s Reviews where I ramble on about a book related or a non-book related topic. These are discussion type of posts where I talk about a topic and readers can weigh in on the topic in the comments. Usually these posts are everything that doesn’t fall under any standard header, like tours, cover reveals, memes, challenges, recaps or reviews. Lola’s Ramblings posts are discussions of a certain topic and my point of view on them. The banner for this feature is designed by Michelle from Limabean Designs.
Ironic isn’t it? A discussion post about my lack of discussion posts. If you’ve been visiting my blog for a while you’ve probably noticed the recent lack of discussion posts and while I’ve mentioned things in my Sunday posts I wanted to write a post about it as well. It’s weird how inspiration works sometimes. I can’t find the right mood to write discussion posts and then the one I do write is about my lack of them. Mainly I wanted to explain why there have been so few or actually no discussion posts for the last month(s) and address the things many bloggers struggle with; balancing life, work and blogging.
Increase in Work
The main reason why I haven’t been writing discussion posts and generally been blogging less, commenting later and not always commenting back is the increase in work. The first three months of this year have been amazing for Lola’s Blog Tours. A big difference to the last quarter of last year when I was really struggling and I am so happy to see my work pick up. It really has been an amazing few months with lots of work and I can only hope this keeps up as I might actually approach having a decent (in my opinion) income. So really I am not complaining at all, on the contrary I am just hoping that whatever has changed I can keep it up and the work will continue being like this. I also started working as personal assistant for a second author in January. Which has been a great help. To put things into perspective my assistant work is about half of the money I make each month. Without the assistant work I probably wouldn’t have been able to keep running Lola’s Blog Tours. And I really enjoy the assistant work and it’s a nice mix with my tour work and bring some variation to each day. So I have a lot more work in general since the start of the year and that has caused me to change some things up. It really messed up my balance between different aspect of my life and I had to figure out how to make things work. And sadly one of the things that had to go for now is writing discussion posts. Which bring me to the second reason: I need to be in a certain state of mind to write those discussion posts.
About Writing Discussion Posts
I’ve always realized that to write discussion posts I need to be in a certain state of mind. I can’t write discussion posts if I am feeling rushed or hurried or stressed or whatever. Which is the reason why for a long time I kept two months ahead with my discussion posts as that way I was so far ahead I never had to worry about them. Because there was no time pressure to write them, I kept my creativity and inspiration and could easily write 3 or 4 new posts each month. I knew I was ahead so I felt like I had enough time and no pressure to write those posts, so I could keep them going. When that buffer of posts started getting less and less because of my work increase, so did inspiration to write them.
The fact is I have tons of ideas for topics, for some topics I have things jotted down on notes, which are strewn across my desk. But I just can’t seem to find the time or motivation to write them. Technically I would have some time. Take an hour and write a post, but then I would have to write that post in an hour. And that pressure makes sure I feel like I can’t. Maybe it’s mostly the fear that I can’t write the post then and then waste an hour. Because when you’re busy every hour seems very precious, so I don’t want to waste an hour and have nothing to show for it. So yeah basically my mind isn’t in the right state to write these posts. Last month I had an hour and I was fully planning to write a discussion post, but then I felt rushed and all my thought out lines disappeared and in the end I just spend that time doing some minor less priority tasks that had less priority, but needed to be done eventually. It was nice to finally get those done, but I also felt bad that I didn’t get that post written. I am hoping that eventually I will find the right state of mind and time to write discussion posts again. But for now I have decided to not to push it. If I don’t feel like I can write a discussion posts I don’t. But don’t worry I am definitely not stopping with blogging altogether. Because for everything I just said about writing discussion posts? I don’t seem to have any of that with reviews.
The difference between discussion posts and reviews
For some reason writing discussion posts and reviews is very different. And in a way it’s both writing posts, so I guess the difference is mainly in my head. I can finish a book, pick an hour and sit down and write it and I will get that review written and scheduled within that time. Although sometimes it might take a bit longer. All that mental block and state of mind thing I rambled about that I need for discussion posts? It doesn’t seem to exist for reviews. And maybe that’s just because I don’t believe it exist there or because I always have been so obsessed with writing a review after I finish a book and before starting a new one. Which gives me a short time frame to write a review, so I always make do with that. So nothing seem to have changed there. I also still make writing reviews a priority for multiple reasons: I want to keep having content on my blog, for many books I promised to review them, reviewing is so much a part of my reading process I can’t imagine skipping it and I am so accustomed to just sitting down and writing those reviews I don’t even think about it. It just works. And I am very grateful writing reviews still seems to go so well. Maybe one day I can achieve that same state for my discussion posts too.
Balancing Life, Work and Blogging
These last few months I realized how delicate the balance can be between all these different things we have going on in our lives. There’s work, social obligations, hobbies, household chores and thins like blogging. I always thought I had a pretty good balance between everything, but it seems it was only that way until one of those things changed, namely in this case an increase in work. And then you notice how that delicate that balance is when every tips over and you’re left scrambling to find a new balance. I realized how hard is to to find a new balance and it was hard to decide what to put less time in and where to focus. I do think by now I have found a new balance with my increased work load, but I am also aware of how easily it can be messed up when something takes longer than expected or something unexpected pops up. And there are weeks where things go a bit differently or something takes more time and I have to figure out how to compensate for that.
I do feel like I learned a lot these past few months. It’s like I have a bit better insight in which tasks I can change or move to save time and also which tasks I can’t, like cooking. And I’ve realized the importance of taking enough breaks and sleeping enough as that’s the only way to keep my productivity up, even though it means less time for work, it also means that the time I do spent working is more productive. I feel like I’ve gotten more efficient with some things, I can better gauge how much time something takes and it seems at times my discipline has gotten stronger. I can focus on what needs to be done and do that, probably also because I can’t afford not to. I can better prioritize what’s most important in a day and what’s optional. But even so balancing everything is still difficult and while the current balance works for now, who knows for how long. And I want to do everything, but sometimes I can’t and that’s hard to deal with.
What to expect on Lola’s Reviews in the future?
So after I listed all of that, I also wanted to address what this means for m blog in the future.
- I won’t stop blogging. I briefly considered stopping with blogging, but I can’t imagine my life without it and I enjoy blogging too much to give it up. So while I might not be as active as I used to be, I still will be blogging.
- Less posts. In general there will be less posts on my blog. Last year I often had 5 to 7 posts each week, nowadays it’s more like 4 or 5 max.
- A higher percentage of those posts with be reviews. I am not pushing to get those discussion posts done right now. I do hope I will get some written again eventually. But for now this means that most of my posts will be reviews, like you’ve sene the last few weeks/ months.
- Sunday Posts stays weekly. I am committed to keep doing the Sunday post each week. It’s a nice way to wrap up the week and I love hearing for you all and if I have the time visiting back and seeing how you all are doing. So far I’ve managed to write the Sunday posts each week, although I did change s a few things, like I am not listing all the free books I got anymore as that got time intensive.
- Lola’s Kitchen about once or twice a month. I hope to keep doing a Lola’s Kitchen post once or twice each month. These are easier to write than discussion posts and I still have a list of recipe I want to type out and share. I am not trying out as many new dishes as I am used to, but I still try out a new one every few weeks, so that should be enough to keep these posts going :).
- Lola’s Ramblings and Lola’s Advice posts will be rare. I do hope to keep both of these features along, but they won’t be as regularly as they used to be. I will write these when I can, but for now I am not counting on anything or forcing myself to write these every week or month. I just see what happens with these and when I can write one.
- Comments and blog visiting. I will do my best to keep replying to every comment at least and where possible to comment back. But commenting back is the things that’s the first to go when things get unbalanced, so I can’t do that as regularly as I would like. but I do my best to still do some visiting each week. And I am really grateful for everyone whose still stopping by and commenting, so that’s why I do want to make sure to reply to every comment.