small world imageAnyone who has been blogging for any length of time soon finds out blogging can become addictive.

So addictive, it can begin to rule our life.

Some bloggers stop socializing with their real life friends. Others spend so much time in front of their computer, their health begins to suffer.

Weight gain can result, as well as other unhealthy habits.

With all of the benefits blogging has, it’s sad to think the down side can be so huge.

Today’s Lesson

Blogging has a way of slowly drawing us in.

In the beginning it’s very subtle. We may find we’re spending more time on our blogs and stealing minutes from our sleep time to blog and/or communicate with our online acquaintances. Soon, those minutes can turn into hours.

If left unchecked, we can find ourselves sucked in to blogosphere and feeling quite overwhelmed.

In Davina’s situation, she realized she was blogging so much, her real life was slipping away. She so eloquently put it when she said,

My circle grew in the sense that I had more connections, but yet my life grew smaller. The blogging cycle became a merry go round that was spinning at a dizzying speed.

In my personal experience, it became harder to be creative and come up with new ideas to write about — because I didn’t have a life outside of blogging.

I think that’s why so many bloggers find other bloggers are writing about the same things. The fun and creativity is lost or smothered by self-imposed pressures of obligation. The inner critic has a wonderful time with this, distracting you, knocking around your ASSteroid Belt.

Blogging shouldn’t be that way. Blogging should be fun and not feel like an obligation.

Even though a blog can provide personal and financial gain, it’s meant to help us grow as a person; not to take over our life.

Today’s Assignment

Has blogging affected your life in a negative way?

If so, how are you handling it?

If you’ve found balance, what advice would you give to a blogger who is struggling with juggling their real life and blogging?

Raise your hand, share your thoughts and together we can help each other.

signature for blog post.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
Look Who's Talking
  1. MarylinNo Gravatar says:

    Oh wow, this post really rang true for me.
    About a year ago now I was burning the candle at both ends. It wasn’t fun, I wasn’t enjoying blogging anymore – it had become a chore, so I took a break.
    I didn’t blog for about a month. I recharged my batteries and spent more time with my children. I got more sleep. I saw my friends more.

    These days I blog every day. I write about my children on one blog and any random thoughts on the other.

    Once the children are in bed and I’ve tidied up I sit down at my computer and write. I set aside the time for it, and that’s that.

    Mind you, as a single mum of two, there’s not a huge amount of a social life once the kids are in bed, so I guess I’ve got it easy! I certainly wouldn’t *not* go out or see friends even if it meant I missed a day!

    I have found that since I took that step back, I have more to write about. I am taking in the life around me once more, and it’s invigorating.

    So… advice to others? Set yourself a specific amount of time to do your blogging, and any other bloggy-related things. Set a timer and get it done. You will be surprised how much you can do if you just put your mind to it and don’t allow yourself to be distracted for say 1 hour instead of putzing around all day and doing nothing. 🙂
    .-= Check out Marylin´s awesome post: I can never think of a decent post title… =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Marilyn,

      Thank you for sharing how you turned your blogging life around. I like your idea of having a set amount of time for blogging. As you know, it’s so easy to sit down in front of the computer and before we know it, hours have passed and that which we wanted to do in real life, doesn’t get one.

      Staying focused when we blog sounds like a great way to stay in balance.

  2. Oh, yes. I’ll raise my hand and admit that my life has been affected negatively. I only recently decided to make a change. I really need to get back into the circle of face-to-face friends. Just today I had lunch with my sister and some friends and realized how good it felt to be offline. But then I just checked the comments on the post I put up this morning and I have 24 comments to reply to. It stresses me out sometimes. I don’t know whether I”m going to spend the 30 min. it will take to answer them tonight or wait til tomorrow. I’d prefer to bask in the afterglow of having spent time with people today away from the computer. Sigh.
    .-= Check out Junk Drawer Kathy´s awesome post: Kitty OCD =-.

    • TracyNo Gravatar says:

      Bask, Kathy! Bask!

      • But now I have over 40 comments. Do I reply to them all? It’ll take me an hour! I wish I knew how other people got away with not replying to any of their commenters. It seems rude to me not to. What I’d rather do is go for a nice walk this morning. That’s another reason I need to get away from the computer: weight gain!

        Can someone set up an intervention for me?
        .-= Check out Junk Drawer Kathy´s awesome post: Kitty OCD =-.

        • Wilma HamNo Gravatar says:

          Robin Easton, a blogging friend had the same dilemma.
          Wanted to comment but also wanted to be out in nature.
          So she shared in her comment section that she loved us all AND that she was going to look after herself by NOT commenting just yet and going out in nature.
          She was true to herself and we all loved her for it.
          You could also invite the commentors to talk amongst themselves while you are away.

          I am with Stacy here, bask, bask.
          .-= Check out Wilma Ham´s awesome post: All conversations are not equal in intimacy. =-.

          • TracyNo Gravatar says:

            Kathy, I for one am never, ever offended by a “Thanks y’all” addressed to the group comment.

            Think of it this way, you did 95% of your job by providing us with excellent content. To be completely, 100% frank, I think your time is better spent writing more posts than coming up with another way to say “thanks for taking time to comment” to commenter #38 (unless that was me, I deserve better)

            I don’t think not replying to each and every commenter means that you don’t value them or their contributions, it’s just being realistic that you have a limited amount of time.

            On the other hand, I really do admire your comments section and am looking to see how I can build more of a community in comments.

            I like Wilma’s talk amongst yourself idea.

            • Wilma and Tracy — I can’t thank you enough for your thoughts (and Barbara, I hope you don’t mind us taking off with this discussion. I’m so glad you wrote about this. Look how much it’s helping me!)

              Wilma, your friend’s idea about being up front with her readers on wanting to get away is spot on. I believe I need to do that. I’ve been struggling with writing new posts lately, partly because I’m preoccupied with answering upwards of 50+ comments each post one at a time.

              Tracy, you are so right. I often have twinges of guilt for not writing more, which is absolutely what I’d rather be doing. I mean, that’s what people come to the blog for — new stuff! I felt a burden of responding to comments, most recently when I wrote about being so sick. Ironically, I was so sick, I didn’t want to respond.

              I really need to find a balance or I fear my writing will take a dive and then where will I be?

              Barbara, thank you again for this post. You very well may be responsible for me regaining my sanity.
              .-= Check out Junk Drawer Kathy´s awesome post: Kitty OCD =-.

            • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

              You’re welcome Kathy,

              That’s one thing I do like about threaded comments is others can discuss matters amongst themselves. I enjoyed reading the discussion.

              I know what you’re saying about answering comments individually. Although that’s what I do on this blog, I don’t feel it’s necessary for every blogger to do the same. I think it has a lot to do with the post and how it’s ended. On some blogs I’ll see comments where people are thanking the author for what they shared, whereas on others the author asks a question, and those who visit are answering it.

              Some visitors expect the blog author to answer each one, whereas others understand why they’re not. It can be a catch-22, but on the other hand, I think it comes down to what your readers expect and desire. If you find you’re in a position where answering each comment starts to eat into the part of blogging you love (writing), then you could possibly do a post and ask your readers what they would like to see, or have them suggest ways for you to deal with the time you spend answering comments. You may be surprised to find out your readers would be fine with you just popping in to say “thanks for the comments, keep ’em coming”.

              Keep me posted on what you decide.

  3. LanceNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,
    Hmm….interesting question. Blogging has definitely affected me. Negatively? There have probably been moments. Really, though, overall – it has all been so, so positive. I just think of all the amazing people I’ve met because of this journey into blogging, and how positively that has affected my life – and I’ll take the few very minor negative moments.

    For me, the hardest thing is probably balance…or maybe even better – harmony. Some days that harmony can be a little off, although usually it’s pretty okay. About the time this is all lacking more than usual – that’s usually a great time for a vacation! And when I come back, I’m recharged and ready to go…
    .-= Check out Lance´s awesome post: How to Make a Difference Without a Whole Lot of Money =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Lance,

      I hear you. The positive aspects of blogging far outweigh the negative. And yes, finding that perfect balance is often hard to do. I don’t know about you, but some days seem easier than others.

      I like your idea of taking a vacation (or time off) to recharge. Often that’s all it takes – time to step away, reflect and then come back with a new attitude.

  4. Mike GoadNo Gravatar says:

    Has blogging affected your life in a negative way? At times.

    If so, how are you handling it? I’ve made it just one part of my life.

    If you’ve found balance, what advice would you give to a blogger who is struggling with juggling their real life and blogging?

    What helps me is integration of my real-world interests into my blogging. Even with that, it would be easy to become distracted from real world important things like family, responsibilities…, the job — it’s a good thing that the job thing is behind me.

    For now, I view my blogging as a hobby, an obsession, to be sure, but still a hobby. I can walk away from a hobby and pick it up later.
    .-= Check out Mike Goad´s awesome post: Cliff Palace =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Mike,

      *smiles* Yes, it does become an obsession, doesn’t it?

      You’ve raised a good point. If blogging is a hobby for us (and we’re not wanting to go further with it – like start a business, write a book, etc.) we need to remember that – it is a hobby and we need to learn to step away from it.

  5. So far I haven’t been affected negatively by blogging, but it makes sense that that could happen to some people. Great topic to address!
    .-= Check out Positively Present´s awesome post: from fearful to fortunate: do what you don’t want to =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Dani,

      You’re fortunate. It sounds like you have found the balance that is so crucial for us bloggers who get addicted. 🙂

  6. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara. You know, I still struggle with this, even after writing that post and deciding to slow down! I’m incredibly drawn to blogging and writing and that’s what makes it so difficult. Not to mention working from home and being at the computer more often. The world is right at my fingertips and I look forward to “chatting” online; those people “get it”, while real life friends don’t. It’s easy to be drawn in and feel like you belong to “something”. I agree with Marylin about just setting aside some time for it. Learning to fit blogging into your life, rather than fitting your life into blogging. Thanks for the link 🙂
    .-= Check out Davina´s awesome post: New Lives: Stories of Rescued Dogs =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Davina,

      And thank you for raising this issue. That’s so true. When we work from home it’s easy to check on our blog, on other bloggers, to tweet “just for a minute” and then get caught up in it.

      I like how you pointed out our online friends “get it”. Trying to explain the draw to blogging to those who don’t blog can actually be quite difficult.

  7. I confess about a year ago our house electric got chopped because I was spending so much time blogging I forgot to pay the bill. Was the longest hour of my life to get it back on. Not good!

    What I have learned that could possibly help others find balance…
    1. If it starts feeling like a “chore” I reconnect for a day or 2 with other things I like to do, which revs me up.
    2. I no longer put up a post just to give my readers something new — I post when I feel I have written something I’d enjoy reading too. And by putting less pressure on myself in this respect, my mind thinks of fun things to share and my posts are becoming reliably better (I think. Or at least I’m trying to be consistent in my funsterment.)
    3. I used to try to read and comment on every post of every blogging buddy who comes over to my site, but now I don’t put those expectations on myself.
    .-= Check out Jannie Funster´s awesome post: Weirder And Weirder: Funny Keyword Searches, 6 =-.

  8. TracyNo Gravatar says:

    I don’t think this is something that affects just bloggers. In my own experience with forums for mothers, I’ve noticed that it’s very easy to start relying on your online network for support. Don’t get me wrong, online friends can be an awesome source of advice and cheerleading, but there are times when having offline, local friendships that you’ve nurtured can be a lifesaver.

    For balance, it really depends on the day whether I feel like I have it or not. I’m feeling a bit of guild and dread right now because I feel like I’ve let down my blogging audience because I’ve been so preoccupied with offline obligations. I’m sure it will pass after I stop procrastinating and just get on with it, but it does make me question, am I taking blogging a bit too seriously?
    .-= Check out Tracy´s awesome post: A Grown Up Hissy Fit =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Tracy,

      I’m with you on that. Some days are easier to balance than others. When real life calls, that’s what we need to deal with first. Fortunately our blogging buddies empathize with us as they too, have lives they’re living.

  9. PeacefulWmn9No Gravatar says:

    A tipping point occured for me this past summer when both of my laptops were down at the same time … for 10 days! I thought I’d have withdrawal symptoms or go crazy or lose all the progress I’d gained, but to my wonder, the world didn’t crash to a halt after all.

    I actually felt a sense of relief, a renewal of things I hadn’t known I’d missed so much during those 10 days.

    Since then, I’ve made a concerted effort to blog less and “live” more. I still love to blog; I still want to grow my sites–always will.

    But I doubt I’ll ever let it drive me nearly insane again. I’ve quit breathing IT, and begun to breathe variety and totality of life again. It’s wonderful.

    Karen
    .-= Check out PeacefulWmn9´s awesome post: The Joy of Snail Mail Letters and Cards =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Karen,

      Being without our computers is a great way to be forced to take a break. And, making an effort to be “disconnected” is a great way to force ourselves to live our offline life.

      The last time I took a vacation, I left all technology at home and like you said it was quite liberating.

    • PeggyNo Gravatar says:

      Another reply I needed to read!

      What I need to do is disconnect my internet connection so I can create with my words…write my novel…and then after my words are done for the day, reconnect the ethernet cable and see what else is going on…but only after I kiss my sweetie and walk the dog!
      .-= Check out Peggy´s awesome post: Belief =-.

  10. J. StanleyNo Gravatar says:

    How true… I find my self leading a far more sedentary lifestyle in the winter. I love getting out and being active in the summer months, but once the weather turns cold I find myself sitting in front of the computer typing away for hours on end. Weight gain and headaches soon ensue. I think the balance for me comes from having three kids and a wife. If they didn’t keep me hopping, I would never leave the computer.

    I guess my only piece of advice would be to set limits and stick to them. Whether its a set number of blog posts on a daily basis or an hour or two on the computer, setting limits seems to help…
    .-= Check out J. Stanley´s awesome post: Hair and Hair Product Keywords =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi J. Stanley,

      Isn’t that the truth? When winter comes we’re more apt to spend our time indoors, sitting at our computers. Hence, we might eat more and exercise less.

      Setting limits is ideal. That’s something I continue to work on. 🙂

  11. Kelvin KaoNo Gravatar says:

    Negative effects… not really. I do spend too much time reading blogs, but that never truly gets really bad since I’ve started to skip over quite a number of posts if I don’t care enough about the topic or the author.
    .-= Check out Kelvin Kao´s awesome post: Puppetry Classes =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Kelvin,

      I hear you. There are so many great posts being published it’s hard not to want to read them all.

  12. Barbara, you’ve really opened up something here. I enjoyed reading the comments and strategies for staying in balance. And it’s good to know that I’m not the only one who has felt overwhelmed. So yes, I’m struggling with it. It’s taking up too much of my time. I always underestimate how long it will take to write. The muse seems to capture me and doesn’t want to let go. I need to get a handle on it.
    .-= Check out Patty – Why Not Start Now?´s awesome post: False Evidence Appearing Real: The Movie =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Patty,

      It can be overwhelming, can’t it? And I’m with you on underestimating how long something will take. Sometimes that muse can be a detriment. 🙂

  13. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    I have found one way of getting off of the computer is to get a job! It certainly gets you involved with folks quickly. I found that I am enjoying meeting new folks as well as re-learning how to talk! It is really hard to talk to people face to face via typing…. LOL!

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Linda,

      Oh yes. That will do it. Getting/having a job not only gets us off of our computer, but forces us to live in the real world. Plus, we get paid. 😆

  14. HilaryNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara .. I’m sure there are tricks of the trade to blogging and answering comments etc. I haven’t got a routine or got myself organised yet – but I’m working on it .. Ideas are not a problem – the world is my oyster, on top of that there’s loads of topics I cut out that can lead to a post or part post – when I started the blog I realised I’d made my life easy for myself: however I like to do each post properly (well as properly as pos – and give different ideas on the various topics .. something of interest – but even an apple – proved mind blowing .. still I learn!) but it takes a while for me to filter which direction I’m going in .. and then I can change directions .. I probably need to use pen and paper, rather than just pc & bits and pieces cut out or noted from something I’ve heard or seen.

    I’ve held back somewhat as I need to be able to have some control over what’s happening and want to learn the tricks of the trade – now I hope I can move in that direction.

    I can understand how blogging can take over peoples’ lives – but we need to step back and evaluate what we’re doing and why .. I love the interaction with other bloggers and have been extremely grateful just to be around and join in …
    .-= Check out Hilary´s awesome post: A is for Apple – an Apple a day keeps the doctor away … =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Hilary,

      That’s true. When and if we can get into a blogging rhythm it could make it easier on us.

      I agree with how you said we need to evaluate what we’re doing and why. The answers to those questions may help to keep us focused and on track.

  15. Hi Barbara,

    Fortunately, I have not felt any negative impact from blogging. I do think it is important to have some type of balance though. As for me, I pretty much make sure I engage in the real world for four or five hours before I start doing my blog stuff. And then I have cut off time for the day. That way the time when I am on the computer is full concentration and I truly do get a lot done. Plus, a lot of inspiration for posts comes from being out in the world. So I make sure to be out there in the world.
    .-= Check out Nadia – Happy Lotus´s awesome post: Hanging Out with Hemingway =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Nadia,

      I like your idea of setting specific times for blogging and then staying focused when you do. It sounds like that’s a great way to incorporate your love of blogging into your real world, but not have it affect you negatively.

  16. I have indeed found balance, but I’m not sure I’m qualified to give advice, because I seem to have found my balance simply because after blogging for a relatively long time (almost 2 years), you gain perspective and are not as drawn to the computer anymore. Plus, you become very efficient. This has been my experience, anyway.
    .-= Check out vered | blogger for hire´s awesome post: Restaurant Salads Scare Me =-.

    • TracyNo Gravatar says:

      Heh, Vered, that is so true. I remember in the very, very beginning running to check every 4 minutes to make sure my blog didn’t explode.

      I was thinking about my comment more and realized, what I wrote about having a bad week and feeling out of balance wasn’t something unique to blogging. I think it would have been a bad, unbalanced week no matter what.
      .-= Check out Tracy´s awesome post: A Grown Up Hissy Fit =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Vered,

      Thank you for bringing that up. When we’ve been blogging for a longer period of time, we come to learn which things (like checking stats) can be a time suck, and which things we need to focus on.

      Like Tracy said, in the beginning we can spend a lot of time worrying about stuff needlessly.

  17. Chris EdgarNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks for this Barbara. For a while, I was starting to see blogging as not worth the time I was putting into it, until I realized that I could use my blog articles as raw materials for other things I do — the book and the speaking and so on. I can produce blog posts while brainstorming about my non-blog writings, all in one fell swoop. When I recognized this, it started to make more sense.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Chris,

      Thank you for sharing your observation. That is so true. Even when we think all we do is for naught, we often find a silver lining and it becomes a win-win.

  18. Lori HoeckNo Gravatar says:

    I’m about 2 years into the blog world now. I learned most of my lessons with my first blog. I went through discovery, addiction (to blog writing and commenting), burnout, and all the other roller coaster rides. Much of it has been amazing and wonderful. The drawbacks all came from trying to meet perceived expectations; fearing drops in readership or comments; and sometimes feeling inadequate to other bloggers — in other words, doing it for an ego boost or trying too hard.

    The cure? I always have to come back to “It’s about giving to others.” I know my latest blog can save lives. I’m grateful to have the skills to pass on this information. A giving attitude and grateful mindset — those always help me get back to being real and relaxed.
    .-= Check out Lori Hoeck´s awesome post: ‘Why do I need self defense? I live in a safe area.’ =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Lori,

      First, I must say, I’m so happy you did come back to blogging. I love your blog and what you share. Like you said, what you’re sharing can save lives.

      I’m glad you brought that up about “giving to others”. When we unselfishly share in hopes of helping others or improving their lives, (and not worry about stats, comments, etc. ) it will come full circle. Plus, by keeping that in mind when we blog keeps us on track to why we started blogging in the first place.

  19. George AngusNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara,

    This really is a good question. Sometimes we get so many trees in front of us it’s impossible to see the beautiful and vibrant forest that brought to this juncture in the first place. I’ve not seen a down side yet, other than whatever *self* imposed negatives I’ve managed to put in place.

    For new bloggers:

    I think it’s cyclic. There will be times when maybe the numbers or comments are down, or you can’t find the inspiration to post anything. The most important thing is to not beat yourself up about it too much. The numbers will come (or they won’t). The posts will most assuredly come.

    The bottom line is that it’s all ok. Hang in there for the ups and downs and remember why you started blogging in the first place.

    George
    .-= Check out George Angus´s awesome post: Setting Atmosphere =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi George,

      Boy are we on the same page. I just reread what I wrote to Lori, and we both agree, we need to remember why we started blogging in the first place.

      I like your advice about hanging in there and not beating ourselves up. To add to that, I’d say, if a blogger loses their joy for blogging, know when it’s time to quit. Quitting does not make us a failure.

  20. LisisNo Gravatar says:

    Awesome topic, Barbara! Everything I was thinking has been said in the comments… especially by Lori (she read my mind).

    But I will say, it seems as if it may be time for someone to create Bloggers Anonymous (BlogAnon sounds kinda cool) for anyone going through that emotional and psychological roller coaster. It’s so easy to get addicted to our blogs and, consequently, neglect our “real” lives.
    .-= Check out Lisis´s awesome post: Inspiration from Marcel Murrell (1916 – 2009) =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Lisis,

      I like that too – BlogAnon.

      Truth be told, becoming addicted to our blogs does happen. Hopefully bloggers will realize the blog will wait while they live their real life.

  21. Wilma HamNo Gravatar says:

    It is with most things in life, what you are doing it for will determine the domination.
    As I said, I like what Jannie said.
    If you feel it is no longer fun, stop and do something that is fun. We are not here to work as slaves.
    Do not do things coming from fear, fear that you lose your readers, fear about whatever, because fear let you lose your common sense. So only publish when you have something to say.
    And when commenting do that because you have time to add value.

    For me it is looking at the ‘for the sake of what’ are you doing what you are doing and that normally decreases the chances of doing things for the wrong reasons and getting overwhelmed.

    And as always, blogging is not different from real life, workaholics in blogging will be workaholics in real life, woudln’t you say?
    .-= Check out Wilma Ham´s awesome post: All conversations are not equal in intimacy. =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Wilma,

      Your comment reminds me of how I’ve noticed many bloggers appear to be overachievers – or workaholics. For some reason, we just want to do it all, and do it good.

      I like what you said about not doing things out of fear, such as fear of losing readers. Anytime we start getting hung up on the numbers, we set ourselves up for disappointment which can then eat into our creativity.

    • PeggyNo Gravatar says:

      “Do not do things coming from fear, fear that you lose your readers, fear about whatever, because fear let you lose your common sense. So only publish when you have something to say.”

      Thanks Wilma! I needed to read this today!
      .-= Check out Peggy´s awesome post: Belief =-.

  22. suzenNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara!
    Talk about timing. I was away for the weekend – not even a lap top. It was wonderful. All the way home today I was thinking about a post on Chris Brogan.com about being addicted to our own opinions, leaving them like confetti throughout the blogosphere, convincing ourselves it matters, believing the more we do, the more people will like us, the more this the more that etc.

    I’ve already decided one post a week is my limit, plus weekend videos. That is totally doable and I enjoy that. But thinking about what I may be addicted to I looked at all the blogs I follow and WHY because that eats time – a lot of time! I don’t need to follow so many blogs – as I mentioned many I leave comments for regularly don’t even READ mine – duh, what am I doing this for? To waste my days? Because I have! And I’m done with that. Guess I woke up. I thank you so much for some of these posts that made me really think about why I’m blogging! You’ve helped more than you know!
    .-= Check out suzen´s awesome post: One – A Hopi Prayer and Bono – Awesome Combo! =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome SuZen,

      How nice that must have been – being away for the weekend without your laptop.

      That’s an interesting concept; what Chris Brogan said about being addicted to our opinions and leaving our words throughout blogosphere. It’s got me thinking. 🙂

      It sounds like you are closer to finding what works, and doesn’t work for you (with blogging). Figuring out where we spend our time and if it’s productive, is a great way to determine if we’re on the right path and when it’s time to change our strategy.

  23. Cath LawsonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – I’d like to say I realized I was blogging to much and cut down. But as you know – it didn’t happen that way. Ill health and other problems probably forced me to cut down. And I think that is a good thing.

    As Davina says – spend too much time blogging and it can be a huge time and creative suck.

    I used to spend far too much time blogging, marketing and social networking and as much as I love my online life, I’ve realized I’ve got to make time for my real life too.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Catherine,

      I hear you. I remember when both you and I spent tons of time on things that now when I look back, probably weren’t all that productive, but we thought it would help us to grow our blogs.

      I know health issues forced you to blog less, but it sounds like it’s a blessing in disguise. (But that doesn’t stop me from missing seeing you in blogosphere)

  24. Blogging has affected my life in a negative way. I believe that every action has some positive and negative effects to it.

    I do blog and try to connect and while doing this spend time away from my family, but I know in my heart that this sacrifice will be worth it. Because I’m building a business that will help my family become stronger. This may be me just rationalizing, but that’s ok.

    I do spend time with my family, just not every moment of my waking life.

    Great question. Really got me thinking about my work life harmony.
    .-= Check out Karl Staib – Work Happy Now´s awesome post: The Secrets to Workplace Leadership =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Karl,

      You’ve raised a good point about how sometimes we do need to devote more time to blogging as we are using our blog as a stepping stone to a better future. In those cases there will be sacrifices, but it sounds like you’re finding a balance where you can build your business and still be there for your wife and that new baby of yours.

  25. I’ve recently had a change of heart regarding blogging – I read Gary’s book ‘crush it’ about bringing your passion to your work, and realized that I do not HAVE to blog every day, I do not HAVE to focus on my sites…but I DO have to ensure I love the work I produce!

    So…I do work my passion every day but the visual results sometimes take on the form of a video or a post or a discussion online.

    It’s been a very healthy breakthru. 🙂
    .-= Check out Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach´s awesome post: The Great Eyeglasses SCAM – Simple Ways to AVOID Being Ripped Off =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Barb,

      I like how you put that. We don’t HAVE to follow any rules when it comes to blogging, posting, commenting, etc. But if we have passion for blogging, then we need to ‘bring it”.

  26. Great topic. My husband is amazed at how many hows are dedicate to blogging. I remind him what’s the difference between this and sport or any other thing on television regularly? He say’s “You’re right there’s none.”

    The same can be said about gaming, texting, twittering etc. It’s all about balance. It’s all about taking a personal inventory. Better yet go ask your loved ones if you’re spending too much time on your computer. Then we should all blog their answers;)
    .-= Check out Tess The Bold Life´s awesome post: One Brave and Amazing Teenager =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Tess,

      LOL. I think we all know what our loved ones would say.

      I do agree with you. The time we spend blogging may not be any different than the time others spend on their hobbies, however, like you said, balance is important.

  27. Kim RamseyNo Gravatar says:

    I’m guilty of this problem. Well, not only because of blogging, but all my online activities. I think I’m stuck with my computer 1 year now and forget to communicate with my friends. Hopefully, I could settle things out and be back with my normal life by next year. I don’t wanna lose my friends outside this cyber world.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Kim,

      That would make a good resolution for the new year; spend more time with real life friends. With it being so easy to get caught up with online activities, our real life often gets put on the back burner.

  28. BunnygotBlogNo Gravatar says:

    Yes, I guess it has had some negativity but I hadn’t released it until my husband told me I was treating my blog as a job.
    Writing filled the time in while he works in the evenings. So I cut back on it.
    .-= Check out BunnygotBlog´s awesome post: Child Of The Cold War =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Bunny,

      That was probably good your husband pointed that out to you. Often we don’t see it for ourselves, thus we just keep plugging along.

      I hope you found something fun to do to replace blogging.

  29. Dennis EdellNo Gravatar says:

    I didn’t have much of an outside life when I did have an outside life, so this is rather a boost for me. lol
    .-= Check out Dennis Edell´s awesome post: I Want You To Review Me. Part 1 =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Dennis,

      *smiles* That’s good to hear. You’re situation shows another benefit of blogging.

  30. Hi Barbara,
    My foray into blogging was addictive at first. I love all the connections I’ve made. Every now and then, I realize I haven’t caught up with a real life friend in quite some time and I need to hang out with people I can actually see in the flesh! Things are beginning to balance out. I am giving myself more time to live and be and do now, and I’m blogging when it fits. Before that, I was blogging first and living second. It was loads of fun but unrealistic to keep up that way.

    This is an interesting topic. I’m enjoying the comments as much as your article. Thanks, Barbara!
    .-= Check out Jodi at Joy Discovered´s awesome post: Forgiveness, Letting Go, and Freedom =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Jodi,

      Your situation is/was very common. In the beginning it’s easy to get caught up in the blogging whirlwind, only to have our real life put on hold. It sounds like you’re finding balance while still enjoying the process of blogging.

  31. FriarNo Gravatar says:

    Okay, if it’s a serious business blog that one depends on for their livelihood, I can understand the need to post regularly.

    But for the majority of us, it’s just a hobby. WHO sez we have to post x-number of times a week?

    I dont’ understand why we have to be such martrys about the whole thing, why we self-impose such stress on ourselves. As if everyday life doesn’t give us enough responsibility, already.

    New Flash, everybody. If you miss as post, the World will NOT end. The Universe will Survive. Nobody’s going to yell at you. Get OVER yourself!

    Here’s a wild concept: Just post something, if and when you feel like it. That’s what I do.

    You’ll be suprised at how much you’ll write, if you allow yourself that freedom.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Friar,

      That’s true. We set self imposed guidelines for reasons only we can answer, thus creating stress we certainly don’t need.

      Posting when we have something to share not only results in a more quality article, but like you eluded to, our creativity comes alive, as well.

  32. PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

    So far headaches are the only negative I have encountered. I write for about 3 hours everyday and I read blogs about 2 hours 5 nights a week. I do not even get on the computer on the weekends.
    I do hours of cooking every week and house and yard work…and I like to have friend time…which I am working back into have friends in real time…and blogging is assisting me in doing that…

    I do not very often watch tv…once a week I make sure I watch a movie…

    I exercise daily and I love to walk …

    Maybe this is Vered’s balance…or a kind of balance for my life….where I am out of balance is that I have great difficulty making money to live on…
    and through blogging I am getting great help at that…

    My blogging friends have a younger attitude no matter their ages…maybe because we are not confronted by their wrinkles in blogging…???

    The conversation is more interesting…

    If I am addicted to anything in this world it is sugar and and reading…

    Another neat post….I wish the train went through your part of the State, I would stop and get you a cup of tea…

    I have decided that one needs more math to do the layouts of an ebook…so I need a hands on lesson from my IT in SF….good excuse for having an out of house experience?

    There are some good things about age…blogging is one of them 🙂
    .-= Check out Patricia´s awesome post: Food and Friends =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Patricia,

      You’re one busy gal, but it does sound like you have a healthy mix of blogging and real life incorporated into your days.

      I wish the train come through here too, as I’d love to have a cup of tea with you. Enjoy your time in SF and getting help with your ebook. I’m looking forward to it’s release.

  33. Wow. This topic has generated some thought!

    Blogging isn’t negative for me. It’s cathartic. But yes, I do get overwhelmed and relate to Davina’s words.

    Life carried me away from blogging for a couple months — away from all things computer. My hard drive died. My writing and painting life took a back seat to grandkids’ cross country and cheerleading and football games. They took a back seat to meeting more with friends in the here and now — over coffee and birthday lunches and a little shopping. To painting classes close-by.

    I allowed myself time to wonder just where I want, and can and will, go with my own life in a way that will inspire not just me, but my girls and grandkids.

    I continue to take classes and make notes and to journal, and in the last week or two feel re-fired to put my journal-notes into my blog.

    The key for me is this: recognize when I’m reacting to something. Responding in some way. And then write about it. Wonder out loud, sort of, with pen in hand. As I used to before blogging and when I first began blogging. For example yesterday, while in the coffee shop reading, a couple gals working there cleared away the last remnants of Halloween and redecorated with Christmas stuff. And I thought, where’s Thanksgiving? I loved Thanksgiving Thursdays at Grandma’s when I was a kid. So I wrote about it this morning…

    Thanks for getting me out of the journal back to the blog. 🙂 Big hugs to you and Davina…
    Barb

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Barb,

      I just read about your wonderful Thanksgiving Thursdays. Just reading what you wrote brought back magical memories of days gone by and Thanksgivings spent at Grandmas.

      Isn’t that great knowing you can step away from the blog, re-evaluate your life, do what you want to do when you want to do it, knowing the blog will be there when you return?

      (((Hugs))) to you, too Barb. 🙂

  34. […] Thank you Barbara Swafford and Davina for getting me out of my journal back to the blog. For making me take some time to think […]

  35. PeggyNo Gravatar says:

    I really like Marilyn’s advice – set a time limit to write my blogs.

    What I need to get better at is setting up my posts to automatically post at a set time. I can write two or three on a Sunday, schedule them to post and not worry about not posting for a week.

    Writing itself is a lonely job – and with no set writing time, I’m kind of all over the place. I need a writing / blogging routine. Yes, that’s exactly what I need.

    …now I’m going to read the rest of the comments and see what other helpful tips are posted!
    .-= Check out Peggy´s awesome post: Belief =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Peggy,

      I agree, ideally we would set a specific time to blog, but like you, I end up all over the place. I blame it on my erratic work schedule (self employment), but I know that’s a flimsy excuse.

  36. J.D. MeierNo Gravatar says:

    I like the way you distinguished between fun and obligation.

    I always do a self-check. If I catch myself feeling like it’s a chore, then I check what’s off. There’s a big difference between resistance that makes us stronger, but we’re on path, and resistance because we’re off track.
    .-= Check out J.D. Meier´s awesome post: Balance Connection and Conviction to Reduce Anxiety and Lead Effectively =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you J.D.,

      That’s a great idea. Doing a self check would also alleviate getting too far off track and getting burn out.

      *smiles* I just looked at which post of yours CommentLuv highlighted and it looks like a perfect fit to this topic. I’m coming over to check it out.