New Blogging Strategy

In February 2022 it will be exactly ten years since I started this blog, hoping that it would force me to write frequently and thoughtfully. I don’t know about the thoughtful bit, but it certainly has turned into quite a demanding hobby. At first, it was more of a place for posting poetry or other odd bits of writing, but it has now transformed into a book blog… and is in danger of killing my appetite for writing (and possibly even reading), instead of feeding it.

So I have resolved to merely review the books that are part of my main reading topic every month (January in Japan, for example). If I read a lot of those, like I did with the Russians in December, I will only review as many as I can comfortably cope with – or the ones that impressed me most. I will then chuck in very brief reviews of the rest when I do the monthly round-up. If I no longer feel the pressure to review nearly everything I read, then I can perhaps provide more considered reviews when I do actually write one. (Although, in my experience, the more passionate I am about a review, the more time I spend on it, the fewer people read it.)

I may (or may not) include some posts on other topics, such as any cultural events I might attend, or books I have acquired within a certain time frame. However, I aim to post at most three blog posts per week: something more bookish or cultural on Monday and Wednesday, and a Friday fun escapism.

The hope is that I will then divert my energies into more productive channels, such as writing, editing the novel, translating… or simply going outside more.

45 thoughts on “New Blogging Strategy”

  1. That seems a very good plan to me: even three posts takes some doing. Blogging can take over: and if it becomes an obligation, it becomes an imposition too. And this applies to reading blog posts too. Sometimes the most considered posts don’t get the attention they deserve because they drop into the inbox at the wrong time, and ‘later’ never comes. But I’m glad you’re continuing to blog. You bring books to my attention that don’t cross my radar in any other way. Thank you!

    1. Thank you, very kind of you to say so. I do try not to review merely the books that everyone else does, because I feel there are so many others that are deserving of our attention but that get sidelined…

  2. I’m amazed by bloggers who manage to juggle demanding full time jobs, family and other commitments while posting regularly on their blogs. No idea where they (you!) find the energy or time. The very best of luck in your other projects!

    1. Not having a husband to complain about you not spending time with him in the evening – and not watching much telly, which was what spending time with him seemed to entail – does help! 😉

  3. Getting our priorities right takes a lot of thought and a fair bit of juggling, as being a writer/blogger is such a complicated endeavour. Even with the best will in the world, we cannot do everything…

    1. Wow. 3 posts a week is a lot, and a rate I achieve only when very, very motivated; i.e when hosting events. (And I’m retired.) But then I’ve always been in awe of your productivity … how much sleep do you get a night, again? 😉

      Not that I want to dissuade you from the new plan. I enjoy your posts very mucb. (As does my TBR.)

  4. I support you in whatever it takes to get a balance between blogging and whatever else matters to you, Marina Sofia. I personally found posting every other day in 2021 (a luxury afforded by lockdowns and isolating) ultimately unsustainable so have swapped to one post every three days, effectively the same schedule as yours. I wait to see if that’s also sustainable for me, but at least it gets me more time to catch up on posts from my fellow bloggers such as your good self!

  5. Wow, that’s an incredible time to run a blog for! I completely understand your thoughts and reasoning; it is often difficult to keep up, and I’ve changed our daily schedule to a twice-weekly one in recent years, just to make it more sustainable. Wishing you all the best for you and your blog in 2022!

    1. I think it helped in the early years to discover the literary/bookish community – and I have made some wonderful friends along the way. But I seem to find it impossible to say no to anything related to books (plus the realities of my non-bookish life)… and perhaps that explains my two months of feeling poorly and catching every bug going around at the end of 2021. My body is telling me that I can’t take any more on.

  6. I’m really just very happy to have read these words. I’m not a blogger myself. Yours is wonderful, but my enjoyment of it always has a counter of concern for you as a writer, editor, translator, and friend, that there are so many time-consuming demands in your life. I read this just as I was resolving to spend less time reading reviews. and more time on my own writing. Reviewing has been there for you, and the time may yet arrive when others spend time reviewing your work! This can be a very good new year indeed, for our work and lives, and friendship! ❤️

    1. Thank you, my dear, I know my writer friends all think it is HIGH time I spent more time getting serious about my writing instead of simply talking about other people’s writing. I suppose I was chasing for immediate satisfaction rather than writing into the void… which is what it feels like sometimes when you are writing a novel that no one wants etc. etc.

  7. I think you’re being really wise to focus your blog as you need to, Marina Sofia. I learn from your blog with every visit, and you always share rich, helpful thoughts, so whichever direction you go in, I am sure we’ll all benefit. That said, you need to balance your life, and this seems a smart way to do it. I look forward to continuing to learn from you.

  8. Well congratulations first of all on 10 years of blogging, amazing! I do love reading your reviews and articles so I’m very pleased that you’re taking this approach and not just quitting when you’re all burnt out, have a happy year and hopefully you can get back to enjoying your writing.

    1. Thank you! Yes, I hope I can recognise the symptoms before total burnout. I think being ill for most of October, November and early December made me realise that perhaps I haven’t allowed enough time for rest and pleasure over the past year or two.

  9. Well congratulations! I come up to 10 years in June and I totally understand where you’re coming from. Sometimes the balance is all wrong and blogging has to be manageable. Good luck and I’ll look forward to reading what you do post – your blog is always so interesting!

    1. I still enjoy the blogging (although feel occasionally guilty about not reviewing everything), but the problem is that it simply takes up too much time. I need to think carefully how I use up that scarce resource.

  10. This sounds like an excellent, manageable plan. I have found myself struggling recently, so I am definitely giving myself permission to break my own self imposed rules if I want to.

    1. It sometimes feels like there is too much chatter on the internet already, why should I add to that? But then I always read your posts (or other friends’) with pleasure, so maybe…

  11. 10 years! Welcome to the club!
    Do what’s best for you and we readers will follow you on your new path.

    It’s a hobby, it should remain a pleasure.

  12. I love to read about new blogging directions and I totally support you making any changes to make your life better for writing and anything else that is important to you. Since I am retired my blog is my focus, and yet I still find it hard to keep up with and had to give up on reviewing every book (sadly for me, but probably a good choice). I hope it works for you.

    1. Thank you. I hope so too. I think a wake-up call like exhaustion and bad health was needed to make me realise that I should allocate my time more wisely.

  13. Good for you. Especially in a time with so much isolating social media can be tempting, but making sure you have the time to focus on your own creative projects is vital. I kind of think of my blog as me talking to myself and if others drop by, that’s great; and I’m spending very little time on Twitter these days.

    1. It remains to be seen whether I will use that ‘extra time’ (which probably will scarcely materialise) wisely and creatively. The satisfaction of feeling that I am writing something every day, that I am ticking something off the list, even if it is just a blog post, cannot be underestimated.

  14. Wow, 10 year! That’s a tremendous achievement, Marina – especially given the quality of your reviews and posts, which are always so thoughtful and well-written. As for your 2022 strategy, this sounds like an excellent plan, allowing you to focus on a key area of interest each month while still covering your other reading in a summary. Good for you! Here’s hoping it will free up more time that you can devote to other writing, translating and having fun!

  15. Sounds like a good plan! Blogging is fun but there’s no doubt it’s time-consuming and there are times that writing a review begins to feel like work rather than pleasure. it always amazes me how people manage to fit it around a real job, not to mention a busy life. I doubt I could have done it while working. Hope you manage to find a balance that allows you to keep blogging while getting on with your other writing plans! 😀

  16. I’m hitting my 10th anniversary in the same month. Like you, the blog has evolved and changed direction – I never thought when I started out that I’d be writing multiple posts a week. Nor did I anticipate how much time it takes, particularly when you factor in responding to comments and visiting other people’s blogs. Even though I’m retired it’s still hard to find the time so how you can manage it when you are also working I can’t imagine.

    Sounds like you are putting your focus on where it matters most. If that means fewer posts, then that’s fine. We will all be here to read them however often they appear

    1. How very kind of you to say so! Of course, it is far easier at times to write a blog post than a chapter of my novel or a story, plus I get nearly instant feedback as well as a sense of satisfaction at having completed a task. But it does take ridiculous amounts of time! Now if only I could stop doomscrolling as well… just think of all the extra time and energy I would have!

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