If you are a blogger, you’re probably doing this as a side job, a hobby or a full-time way to earn an income. In my case, I’ve transitioned from a hobby to a side job to a full-time one, so I know what it’s like in all three scenarios. I’ve been particularly and conspicuously absent from the blog-hopping scene for the last couple of months. A few people noticed and asked. 

As you may be aware, this is my second blog. This is the space where my creative self can walk free, blog freely without any sort of expectations whatsoever. Neither post likes nor comments nor page views or shares make a dent in my writing. You could say that this is my actual online diary, which very few people read. And I am okay with that.

Why have I cut back on visiting other blogs, you ask? For a number of reasons. The most important of them being that I’ve transitioned to a space where I’m very conscious of the time I spend online these days. Ever since I began to treat my other blog as a full-time job, I’ve begun to keep regular work hours.

Working from home means that we have the advantage of working whenever we want.

Working from home also means that we have the disadvantage of working even when we shouldn’t.

Get the difference?

Time is a funny thing. It stretches and becomes elastic and accommodating, if we are willing. It can also become restrictive if we try to pack too much into a single day.

So now, everything related to the main blog happens between 9 AM and 5 PM. This includes writing posts, making graphics for them, creating a social media promotion strategy and executing it, speaking to clients, working on their content and lots more admin work that I won’t bore you with, honestly.

After 5 PM I try and switch off from all things work/blog-related. And this is a strange thing for me, because I used to be the kind who would use the evenings and late nights to catch up on blog hopping. I don’t anymore.

I do miss reading other blogs the way I used to. I am deeply grateful for the community that has helped bring me to where I am today. And it would be remiss if I didn’t try and return the favour every now and then.

But, time has become a precious commodity now. My daughter is almost a teen, which means that she spends lesser time sitting by my side. So the moments that she does are so rare and beautiful that I don’t want to lose sight of them.

Similarly, my reading offline took a big hit over the last 4 years. Reading only blogs made my attention span plummet and didn’t let me take up anything more than 2 pages in length. Until I decided to bring the focus back to deep reading.

Being very active on my personal social media channels was fabulous because it made me create lovely connections, but it came at a heavy price. I was more present online than I was offline.

Which is why when I took the decision to convert my blog to a business earlier this year, it became apparent that I’d have to make other changes too.

My time online had to be reduced.

So if I haven’t visited your blog recently or engaged with you on your tweets, Facebook posts and status updates, it’s not because of something you did. You still mean a lot to me, as much as you did when we first connected with one another.

In fact if you reach out to me today, even if we haven’t contacted each other or visited each other’s blogs in the last 6 months or even a year, I would pick up from where we left off. Life is too short to hold grudges or blame other people for our shortcomings and misfortunes.

It’s also a fact that relationships thrive when they are nurtured. But do you realise, that as bloggers, we have too many relationships? Too many blogs that we follow? It’s not physically possible to be wholly invested in every blogger you’ve ever connected with and it would be harmful for you to attempt that.

So remember, it’s not you.

This is just me, being more mindful and making time for life. And I hope that, with age, I’ve grown wiser, let go of more expectations and become more accepting of people and circumstances for who they are.

A cup of coffee set against a crumpled sheet on a bed, indicating Self Care as a Blogger- Making time for life.

11 thoughts on “Making time for life

  1. I couldn’t agree more with you. You don’t have to ever worry about ‘me’ from that blogging visits angle. I know you and I respect you for all that you do for the blogging community and of course your family.
    I think I will get where you are someday. At this time, I do feel guilty of not visiting other blogs and also the fact that this blogging hobby is getting expensive for me. I don’t make a penny so sometimes I wonder if I should such switch to the old free way of doing things 😉 But I know, I won’t do that.
    So until I reach the zen mode, here is three cheers to you. Hope you are able to manage the time the way you want. Hugs!

  2. I worked for two months like crazy and that’s when I realised how precious time is and how much of it we take for granted. Learning to use our time wisely mostly affects other areas of our life, like blog-hopping, as you said. It happened with me, too, and I realised how difficult it must be for someone like you, to work full-time, take care of home and family and then find time for visiting blogs you follow or spend time online.
    It is so necessary that we make time for ourselves and everything else that is much more precious, so I can so understand when I don’t find you visiting blogs as often as you used to. And, my secret wish is to be as busy as you are! SO, I am only learning so much from you, from your ‘absence’, from this post of yours and also your presence online which is much less that it used to be long back!
    Thanks so much for it all, Shy!

  3. Trust you to write a post like this 🙂

    October was terribly hectic for me and my online time is something I had to cut out and I’m not guilty at all. Since I couldn’t write much, I couldn’t visit other blogs as well. Earlier I would have felt terribly guilty about it, but this time I knew that I did not have the time to do it. I was more realistic and it helped me retain my sanity.

  4. Feel like sharing my side of the story after reading this lovely post. As a book blogger, ( and also as a passionate reader), I cut off all social media and blogging activity post 12 pM. which means the hours between 9 to 12 is my blogging hour where I read my favourite blogs, write reviews, follow up on latest book release etc… I set my own pace and am happy with the way it is. So yes I just cant read and follow a hundred blogs, I dont engage much on Social media. Cause post 12 pm, is my reading time and family time. Somehow it has been this way from the beginning of my blogging journey, and probably that is why many fellow bloggers have found me to be a bit too distant.

    But well, you cant have it all in life. And as long as we are doing it the way we like it, setting our own goals and pace in our journey, its all just fine 🙂

  5. It’s important to make this distinction I think – how much time we are spending online, on blogging, and on building virtual connections versus offline ones. It’s important, of course, to connect online too. But at what cost is a question each one of us has to answer for ourselves. It will differ depending on why we blog and also on what is important at different points in our lives.

  6. I understand the time crunch and the work demands. Even without running a business from home, I’m constantly running out of time even to write on my blog. Blog hopping also took a backseat because of this. And then there are tons of new blogs on the rise producing zillions of contents. I haven’t made any new blogger connections even though there are plenty out there. It’s simply not possible. It’s okay to take a step back at times and breathe. Knowing that there are people around you whom you can approach with or without a problem at hand is a calming thought. Continue doing what you do, Shailaja. We know you are only human, though at times you appear in God Mother outfit wearing pointy heals. 😉 ❤️

  7. Good for you Shailaja. As with all things blogging this too is a personal choice that each of us needs to make. Socialising, online or offline will always have to take second place. Work is of course priority.
    That said, visiting a blog, to me, specially the ones that aren’t business blogs, is a way of keeping in touch with my online friends. So I end up missing them if I don’t visit for too long. But then blogging isn’t work for me so it’s entirely different.

  8. Good for you, Shailaja. Very wise way to manage your time. There are family moments, moments with children that can never be rewound and retrieved. And as my uncle is always fond of saying, charity begins at home – and self-care is most important if you wish to be of value in all the activities you invest your time in.

    Pleasure to see you yesterday, I almost half-expected you there as soon as I walked into the venue. All in all, it did turn out to be a nice day.

    But yeah, I will still maintain that you should keep in touch for fun more often–not necessarily via social media or anything online! *wink* What can I say? I do believe that in friendships, time spent together should not require too much planning.

    Hugs. Take care and I wish you well, always.

  9. I completely understand and am in the same boat since some time. My blogs are monetized but I am not really pushing out content like there’s no tomorrow. I try to have one post out on one blog in a week. I have cut down my SM time a lot. When I login, I try to respond to comments, threads etc. Rest of the time I am offline. Blog hops also I do when I have some time to kill and I am very choosy about what I read now both online and offline. My day time is reserved for work with breaks and that is good too.

    So yes, I am with you on this. With two kids and so much work, I think I owe this to myself. Luckily, with age, I am getting more focussed on my needs too.

  10. I love & admire you for being so upfront yet candid.

    I surely felt that your engagement elsewhere had drastically reduced over the past few months & it’s obviously because of the work that you do. Since almost close to a year, I’ve come to realise how demanding this work is that’s always undermined by people who say, “Ah, she works from home na…Blogging isn’t work”.

    Like you say, it makes you work even when you’ve decided not to open your laptop on the weekends. And the family frets.

    Shailaja, I owe all my motivation, dreams & future plans in blogging to you as I see a bit of you in me. Whole every veteran stressed on hustling break-free until you make a mark, you were the only one who urged us to stop & disconnect when we felt it was taking a toll on our mind, health or family.

    I do so. I’ve cut myself from unnecessary Fb feeds, uneventful people & WhatsApp groups, pods & I randomly decide my ‘free’ day (s) when my soul feels the itch to rekindle with an old friend/family.

    Yes, blogging isn’t easy. But what makes me love it us your guidance & examples. I recently interviewed a mompreneur who also believes that working from home is a herculean job.

    Your post just comes as a coincidence. The last week was really hectic for me with social media & post composition. So while on a Monday bloggers roll their sleeves up for work, today, it’s going to be my ‘break’ where I look forward to chit chat with my friend whom I haven’t been able to keep up with after I began blogging.

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