Discussion: The Blogging Conundrum


In the past two weeks I've shared exactly two blog posts. Was I too busy to post? No. Was I on vacation? No. Was I trapped under something heavy and couldn't reach the computer? Nice guess, but again, no.

The simple answer is: I haven't felt like blogging.

The more complicated answer is... well, a little more complicated.


The real answer is what I have come to think of as The Blogging Conundrum

I started blogging for the same reason as most book bloggers: I wanted to have an outlet to share my love of books and reading with others. A way to discuss all things bookish. Easy enough, right?

But blogging is a time-consuming beast. There's drafting the post, proofing the post, finding or creating graphics, formatting, creating hyperlinks, replying to comments. And on it goes. 


Of course it doesn't stop there. Naturally, I want to visit my book blogger friends and read their posts and see what they're up to. And all the reading and commenting takes a lot of time.

But whether I'm blogging on my own blog, or blog-hopping and commenting on other blogs, I'm not reading

And I miss it.


So I can spend my time reading (and maybe even *gasp!* write a review now and then). Or I can spend my time blogging. There are several elements involved here: reading, reviewing, creating blog posts, replying to comments, and visiting/commenting on other blogs. I can do one of those things... I can even do two... but I simply can't keep all of it going all the time. 

So what to do?


I've managed to keep up a (semi) consistent schedule of posting for the last five years. But over the last couple weeks I just didn't worry about it. I shared a review last week of a lovely book (Broken Rebel by Lora Richardson) but otherwise all the time I would have spent blogging has been spent reading. I've read three books in the first week of September and I'm in the middle of two others. That's a lot for me. And I've loved it.  


Do I actually have a point? *shrugs* I'm not looking for advice on how to balance it all. Frankly, I'm tired of trying to balance it all. Blogging has always been a hobby (it's not like any of us are getting paid for this, right?), but if I'm spending the majority of my time blogging instead of reading, then what am I even blogging about? 

If there is a point, it's this: I miss reading. I miss picking up whatever book captures my attention and reading it without giving a single thought to getting a post up. I miss not having to make the choice between reading and blogging. 

So for now, I'm going back to what I love and miss: reading. And I'll post when I feel like posting. That may still be 2-3 times a week, it may be once a week, or maybe another two weeks will go by before I feel like writing a post. But the end result is that I want to be intentional about how I spend my time.

Have you ever faced The Blogging Conundrum? Do you find it easy to fit it all in - blogging and commenting and reading and visiting other blogs? Do you have a schedule, set aside a certain amount of time each day for things, or just fly by the seat of your pants? :) Let's chat in the comments... I'd love to hear about your own experience.

49 comments

  1. I think you do you and what makes you happy. I post a lot, but I feel like it's out of habit. I blog hop due to boredom lately. I could read more, but I already read a lot. But I don't have a job currently. When I do, I don't see myself keeping up. It's all about what works for you and makes you happy.

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    1. I agree, Deanna. I can where habit is a big part of it. But I'm forcing myself to question "am I doing this because I enjoy it... or is it just because it is a habit"? Add a full-time job to the equation and most of the time it feels like too much.

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  2. I feel this post a lot. I think we all need to do what makes us happy. Blogging is so much hard work and hard work that we don't get much out of. It should at least make us happy. I'm glad you are enjoying reading. And even if you post once a week or once a month, I know I'll be checking out your posts. :)

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    1. Thanks for that, Nick. It's been eye-opening to me to see that so many others have the same issues.

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  3. I can totally feel what you say. I'd love to be reading right NOW, but here I am, writing my blogpost, getting it up on all my various social media, checking other people's blog, commenting, commenting back on comments on my blog and so on...

    I do set myself a certain time, so I was at home at a certain time and do decide that I have to turn off the computer by a certain time so I can snuggle up and read, because I do lose myself in all the awesome blogs that are out here!

    I love how you're doing what makes you happy and are just going with the flow! I'll be looking out for your blog posts :)

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    1. Exactly, Esther. I can't count how many times I've been mid-blog post and stop and wish I was reading instead of blogging. I think it's great that you build in time in your day to read!

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  4. I COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND TANYA. I miss just picking up a book, reading it, enjoying it,a nd moving on. I think I'm writing my reviews in my head as I'm reading it.

    If I can, I want to use December to read mostly my backlist.

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    1. Same here, Amber! It's like, half the time I've reviewing as I read. Gah! I miss the days of reading and then just moving on to the next book. :) And I love your idea of devoting the whole month of December to backlist books!

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  5. ARE YOU IN MY BRAIN??? I've been chatting with a blogger friend about this. I think my days as a traditional book blogger are over. I just don't care about it in the same way. It does not spark joy lol

    I still want to talk to my friends though and even talk about books but not in the - read a book (especially on a schedule), write a review, schedule posts way anymore.

    I think we all have to blog in a way that's best for each of us and have FUN!! or it's not worth doing.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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    1. It's been so crazy to see this same kind of comment from so many others, Karen! I had to laugh at your "not sparking joy" comment but it's true. I like your take on it: moving on from "traditional" blogging to just doing what works for you, whatever that may be.

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    2. There are so few of us left and I hope we find a way to stick in around in a way that's fun and low key so that we can all still connect.

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  6. I've definitely changed things in the last couple years. I'm trying to blog ahead more and not worry about the blog on a constant basis. I am reading a lot, but I'm also trying to read more of the books that I own already and not just review copies. I think you should do what works for you at any given moment. I know that how I read and blog will change a lot in the future, so I'm doing what I can for now, and trying to focus on the enjoyment of it! And I'm definitely fly by the seat of my pants when it comes to blog hopping and all that. I don't even have a set blog schedule most of the time. hah

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. Reading from my own shelves is something I've shifted more and more to over the last 2 years or so. And I've loved. And plan to continue that. Blogging ahead is not something I've ever been able to master (no matter how sanity-saving it seems lol).

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  7. I completely understand tanya! I have slowed down on blogging for the same reasons and I just want to enjoy reading a little bit more too! So do what you want! xoxo

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    1. Thanks Sophie. Slowing down is exactly what I've been doing and it feels great to not have that self-imposed pressure.

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  8. It is definitely a concern. I go through the same thing sometimes- I blog all the time but might go days or even weeks without reading a book. Isn't that the point of my blog though haha? So I can definitely relate. I think for me too it's gotten to a point now where I don't even worry about book reviews that much anymore- i mean, I still do them, but I post other stuff or memes and it's almost more like a social activity for me now, rather than just reviewing. Otherwise yeah I'd probably be burned out on constant reviewing.

    I think it's great you're going to do it how you want to do it, and not stress over frequency of posting or feeling like you have t do this or that. I totally agree.

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    1. Right? It's like, if I'm spending all my free time blogging, and not reading, then what am I even blogging about? lol My days of trying to get a certain number of posts up a week are over and it's pretty liberating. :)

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  9. I have always said that I will never win the social media part of this blogging game, because I am not willing to give up my reading time. I have also cut back on blog hopping and just keeping up with my "posse". I do still enjoy the blogging part. I enjoy the posts I have been doing. You may have noticed my discussions have been MIA. They were always stressful for me, but I have been generating discussions via my TTT posts though, so that's a good thing. Glad you are reading and enjoying it, that's what's important.

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    1. Oh yeah, the social media part of it is a whole other beast - and one that I never have taken part in. That is such a major time suck and I've never been willing to go down that rabbit hole.

      You always do a great job at generating discussion - whether it's technically a discussion post or not.

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  10. I can relate to this post at every level. I have always said that I could read a lot more if I didn't blog and my husband always looks at me cross eyed. I still read a lot but I sometimes miss those pre-blog days. Before the blog, I didn't work about reviews, or feel guilty for being behind on blog hopping. I didn't spend hours drafting posts or worry about getting a book read in time for a scheduled review date. When I finished a book, I just picked up another one that struck my fancy and started reading.

    I did find over my break from this blog this summer (was it really a break?) that I did miss blogging. I missed checking in with everyone and being a part of the community. I would say just do what feels right to you. This is supposed to be fun so have some fun with it :)

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    1. Ha! Too funny about about your husband's reaction, Carole, but it makes perfect sense to me. :) I think I would miss blogging, too, if I gave it up completely. So I'm not wanting to do anything that drastic. But I'm also taking a step back and getting back to what I really want to do, which is read. For too long I've been blogging first and reading second. Which is so backwards. I'm ready to switch that around again.

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  11. I swear, Tanya, I could have written every word of this post! I'm so tired... I'm tired of feeling like a bad blogger/blogger friend because I've been struggling to "keep up with comments" for months. I've reached a point where I can't sit down to read without feeling like I should be doing something else. I'm tired of constantly feeling like I'm behind on everything because I can't read, write posts, comment, keep up on social media and live my life all at the same time! Something has to give but I have no idea what as I really don't want to give up on my blog again...

    I often find myself sitting on the computer writing posts while wanting to be reading. Commenting while I want to be reading. Then I sit down to read and feel like I should be blogging. *bangs head on desk*

    I've accidentally fell into a pattern of reading posts (as I want to know how people are doing) but not commenting as I don't have anything to say or have the energy to articulate a thought, lol.

    I go through bursts of inspiration and write a load of posts and schedule them but then I've got no energy to deal with the blog for weeks. I've even missed Sunday posts because I can't be bothered (or don't have time) to write them... Or I have nothing to report.

    I keep adding books to my TBR pile because they're free, or they're on sale or I really want to read it - then don't read it. The ever growing TBR is stressing me out! I have a desperate desire to read sitting hand in hand with a need to always be doing something else and it's driving me crazy.

    People can give advice but it often doesn't help. Everyone has to find their own balance.
    I think, for me, I need to learn to just let it go. Find a way back to reading. Blog when I WANT to and am feeling inspired and not worry about schedules. Continue reading posts and only commenting when I have the energy or something to actually say... So on and so forth.

    Come to think of it... Maybe I should have turned this into a blog post! lol It's long enough. ;)

    You are definitely not alone, right now. Enjoy just reading! :)

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    1. Nicci - I think you could just copy and paste your comment and have a ready-made blog post. LOL :) But yeah, the feeling of being constantly behind because I couldn't keep up with blogging, reading, commenting, replying, *and* having an actual life was too much. Enough already. This was supposed to be fun, right?!

      What you said about be at the computer while wanting to be reading... and reading but then feeling like you should be catching up on blogging... YES! Same! When did we decide we had to be able to do it all?? Both reading and blogging are supposed to be enjoyable, and yet somehow we managed to turn it into more stress in our lives. Gah!

      Hopefully we will both find a path to that. A better balance. Read when we want to read, blog when we want to blog, enjoy both, and feel no pressure to do either.

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  12. Blogging is way more work than I thought it would be when I started. Like you said, your own blog takes time, and then visiting and commenting on other blogs also takes a ton of time. It almost sounds like a bit of burnout on blogging? It can be hard to think about everything I'm reading in terms of blogging; sometimes I just want to read for fun, and I try to build that into my reading. I miss seeing your posts all the time, but I look forward to whatever you decide to post, and whenever!

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    1. Thanks Angela. Yeah, it probably is a bit of burnout, which should be helped by finding a better balance. I miss reading just for the sheer enjoyment of reading. And not being concerned about how long it takes me to read a book, or writing a review, or getting a post done. It feels good to take a step back.

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  13. I think that all of us book bloggers find ourselves in this situation. I really backed myself into a corner by setting the expectation for a book a week. I've always said that the more I try to schedule and a regiment my blogging, the more of a chore it becomes and the more I end up not enjoying it as much. I try to still get one review out a week, but there have been months that I've taken a break. I think the main thing is to do whatever it takes to still enjoy all of this. Lastly, the reason I've followed your blog has always been for your perspective on things. Be it a review or feature or just a musing like this, we'll still be here to read whatever, whenever you feel up to posting!

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    1. Thanks for that, Ethan. I appreciate it. I think part of my problem was trying to keep up with what others were doing. Like, well, these other bloggers are posting 5-6 days a week and reading 3-4 books a week." As if that has any bearing at all on what I can (or want to) do. Crazy. It feels great to let go of the pressure I put on myself and just go with the flow.

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  14. I so hear ya! I have definitely gotten to the point where I just blog when I want to blog and read when I want to read, and I don't sweat the rest. If it's not fun, then there's no point.

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    1. Exactly, Alison. Why feel the pressure from something that is supposed to be fun?! Those days are over and it feels great to just go with the flow more.

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  15. Yes, I so completely feel you on this, Tanya. I think it's why I've been so inconsistent with my blogging for the past month or so. I don't know if it's the stress of the pandemic or what, but I just have more and more days where I really just want to hide out and read without having to do anything else. I think my philosophy is becoming more like yours: it's my blog and I'll post when I want to. I do need to get better about blog hopping even when I'm not posting though because I do love reading what everyone else is posting. Not doing that is just me being lazy, haha.

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    1. It's been amazing to see how many others can relate to these feelings, Suzanne. And like you, I don't want to give up blog hopping because I enjoy keeping in contact with my blogger friends, but I always don't need to leave novella-length comments (like I sometimes feel led to do). A simple comment does suffice! lol

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  16. I completely relate to everything you've written here, Tanya! I haven't written very many posts in the last three weeks. I haven't been feeling it and it takes sooo much of my time. I've been trying to shorten my reviews and just not overly think them, because they take a long time if I do, but it isn't always possible. I will continue to try and shorten my reviews.

    I'm also trying to visit other blogs quickly. I may not read every word carefully, but I think fellow bloggers don't mind that as long as you pop by.

    I think you sum up the whole issue with this comment: "if I'm spending the majority of my time blogging instead of reading, then what am I even blogging about?" I like getting back to reading. Great post, Tanya!

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    1. Yep, it is sooo time-consuming, Rachel. And I've been feeling less and less inclined to spend the time I have doing that instead of actually reading. The two weeks I kind of "took off" and just read more was wonderful! And I realized the only one stopping me from doing that was ME.

      I agree that we can visit other blogs and leave a meaningful comment without turning it into a time-consuming chore. I need to get better at that.Too often I feel like I have to ingest every word ad comment on every single hing they cover. No need for that!

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  17. P.S. I just went back and read the number of words on a review I just posted and it is 442! Ugh! I'm trying, lol!

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    1. Oh,and a big YES to shorter, more concise reviews. My days of long, rambling, uber-detailed reviews are so over. :)

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  18. GIRL I feel you. I've decided to ditch a schedule altogether and just post when I want to. I've also decided to stop participating in any memes, like the sunday post, because I just can't guarantee I have time to visit everyone else's post and I feel like a dick if I don't lol Blogging is hard!

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    1. That's awesome, Molly! Hooray for ditching the schedule and just making it work for YOU.

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  19. I totally feel you! Quarantine made me go back to book blogging from my hiatus since 2017. I have decided to just blog my reviews whenever I feel so. I don't have to stress out if I don't have post in a week or so. And I felt light. I just have to stick to reading and reviewing books as a hobby, not a work at all. :)

    Yani at Litfae

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    1. Wow, that was quite a hiatus, Yani. I think it's great to take the pressure off yourself and just review when you feel like it and it works for you. Like you said, this is supposed to be a hobby, not a job.

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  20. I know exactly what you mean and it’s how I felt when I stopped blogging all together back in 2017.

    You set your own schedule, whether that’s posting once a month or once a week, do what makes you happy. It’s a hobby not a job and sometimes you need a step back to reconnect with why we read in the first place. Take care.

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    1. Thanks Heather. And you're so right - it's definitely time for me to step back and return to reading just for the fun of it.

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  21. I know exactly how you feel. Blogging is all kinds of time consuming. One post can take up a lot of time to draft, proof read, format and eventually post. Then you blog hop and reply to comments and get the next post ready. When do you find tome to read the books you want to talk about? Especially when you’re working full time? Add into it trying to have a social life as well and I really question when you’re meant to do anything else. I think I’m currently going through this. I like having a social life and doing hints which aren’t reading. Those things take time away from blogging though because I don’t want to sacrifice my small amount of reading time. I say we do what we want and if that is blogging going go for it but there are only so many hours in the day so choose carefully what you focus on each day.

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    1. So agree, Becky. Between blogging and reading and working and actually having a life... it's totally time-consuming. I'm determined to use my time on what really makes me happy, not on what I think I "should" be doing. And what I really want to be doing these days is reading. Imagine that! :)

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  22. I ABSOLUTELY know what you're talking about. Idk if you remember but I used to have my own blog (fantasy is more fun) and it became too much. The answer for me was coblogging and having no expectations for how often I would post or visit. I do what I have time for and have learned that everyone understands. I hope you find your blogging /reading sweet spot soon.

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    1. Thanks Berls. And I do remember your old blog! What's so silly is that all the pressure and expectations regarding my blog were coming from me... no one else. So crazy. I've been so much happier taking a step back and letting go of the feeling that *have* to post on certain days.

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  23. I can relate to this post. I’m a slow reader and a slow blogger, so EVERYTHING takes me forever. For the past two years, I’ve been trying to be very chill about blogging. It’s a hobby. The world won’t end if I can’t get a post done. I’ve always been a failure at keeping up with comments. I try to visit everyone who comments on my posts, but sometimes it takes me a week or two to do that. Then I feel guilty.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. Isn't it crazy how we feel guilt even over something as benign as blog comments? I think it's great that you've taken a more relaxed approach to blogging. It's only been a few weeks for me but I'm already feeling better about it and enjoying letting go of the pressure I put on myself.

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  24. This whole summer has been basically a hiatus for me. I get my Sunday Posts up (mostly because I don't want to miss people's birthdays and blogoversaries) and maybe one other post, if I'm lucky. But for me, it's been a total creative drain---I haven't been blogging, haven't been reading, haven't been blogging. Now that the school year is underway and we have some semblance of a schedule, I'm hoping things get back closer to "normal". So far it's been working a bit. We shall see!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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    1. Just keeping up with Sunday Posts is a big commitment. It's a lot of work. So kudos to you for keeping that going. Hopefully getting back into a schedule will help you all around. I'm finding that letting go of the expectations (that I put on myself) has been so freeing.

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