Monday, September 15, 2008

Too Much to Say

I sat down to write a post but couldn't begin. It isn't blogger's block, though I did have that difficulty not long ago. No, it's rather that there's too much going on. I spend my days juggling multiple priorities (as we all do), and I'm finding that it's difficult to get myself to focus long enough to craft a post on a single topic. I tend to use Twitter instead to post thoughts here and there. But I miss writing full posts, so I'm trying to get back in the game. I thought I'd do a bullet post, but even that felt like too much like work. It's back to basics then, just me talking nonsense about whatever.

The Little One is loving preschool. I felt like a pro this year, as our transition back to school was seamless after two years of nursery school. I'm so used to her going to school now, unlike the emotional parents who were saying goodbyes to their 3-year-olds for the first time. We sailed through the first week. Then came week two. And along with it, the clinging and crying. Sigh. BUT, after some talking it over with her last week, she decided she wanted to be a big girl and give me a nice goodbye every day, and she's been great about it since then. She's begun to make some friends, and that seems to have made the difference. Yesterday she was even bored by afternoon and eager to get back to school this morning.

Work is crazy. Teaching four university courses is just nuts. For those of you who don't know how it works, a standard teaching load for academics who also do research is two courses per semester. This allows you the time to do your research and writing. Four courses does not. Even three is a stretch for getting any serious scholarly work accomplished. If you happen to be childless and single, you can make it work by spending more of your free time on your own work. For me, this isn't an option. Instead, I must cut corners where I can on the teaching work (which is very unsatisfying to do when you're developing your courses for the first time) and preserve one 5 hour day each week (the actual working time left between preschool drop-off and pick-up) in which to do my research and writing. I steal bits of time on evenings and weekends as well, but for this kind of work you really need long stretches of uninterrupted time.

It's better than last year, when I was adjuncting, since this year I'm full-time at one university (albeit just for this year), but there still aren't enough hours in any given day to do what I need to do, even when I try to keep things simple. And the grading hasn't even begun yet! So that's why I've been M.I.A. around here.

However, I refuse to let this year slip by in a flurry of working. I'm steadily finding ways to work smarter, if not harder (I don't know who came up with that pithy little idea, but I have to say I love it), and I'm carving out time for myself where I can as well (something we mamas just must do, whether we think we can or not).

My commitment to blog reading and writing is a part of that. Though I've had to be more judicious with that as well. I'm paring down my reader subscriptions a bit, making sure I only subscribe to as many blogs as I can reasonably visit in the course of a week or two. That means I've had to unsubscribe to some (for now anyway), but it also means that I'll be able to comment more on those that remain. I felt a little guilty at first, but then thought, screw that! The fact is, certain blogs speak to you at a certain time, while others don't, and that's okay. I'm hearing many people bemoan the fact that they can't keep up with their reader subscriptions, so I know this is a problem many of us have faced. And some of my blog friends have seen a major increase in their readership and can't visit everyone who comments on their blog (not to mention those in their overloaded readers!). I'm sure it is difficult when you want to give back but just can't keep up.

I don't have this problem (though I'll be honest, I wouldn't mind facing it eventually!). My readership has grown nicely in the last couple of months (yay!), but not so much that I can't keep up with it. I love my commenters and try to visit every one of you (though sometimes it takes me awhile!). I usually don't comment back in my own comments, preferring to instead comment on your blogs to give back that way.

So how do you manage your blog life? Do you post every day or less often? How many blogs do you read in a day? In a week? Do you use a reader or visit from your blogroll? Do you tend to comment often or mostly just read? How do you give back to your commenters (responding to comments within your blog or visiting their sites)? Do you use Twitter? Let's compare notes.


Scary Mommy said...

Ugh! I don't manage my blog life very well, I fear. I twitter once in a blue moon. I try to blog three or four times a week, it used to be daily but that was impossible to keep up. And commenting? Oy. I comment back the day of on my posts, but after either e-mail or just pop by. It all depends, and I do my catching up when hubby is away...

Love the buttons! ;)

McMommy said...

My blog life and my real life are one, co-joined, slopped together mess!! I love to my posts come easily to me and are fun for me to write. However, it's just too hard for me to go visit all of my commenters b/c then I seriously would have to neglect my kids and husband!! I love my commenters who twitter b/c then I feel like I can stay in touch with them without the huge time commitment of visiting 50 blogs per day or whatever. It's all in one nice neat little area for me to socialize with everyone!! :)

Had to stop by and see your Palin button....this Obama Mama APPROVES!!!!!!! Love your buttons!!

Email me so I can send you an email I just received regarding's a good one!

catnip said...

I manage very well thank you. NOT! :)

You know me I still post, just the quality goes way down when I'm super busy.

I'm sort of around twitter, checking in but not very talkative. I need to make more of an effort.

Does Anybody Hear Me said...

What is it with this school year? My kids have been back in school almost one month and I have been non-stop busy since then...

I don't post every time and not enough to say. And I tend not to post when I have has a particularly crappy day and want to post nothing but complaints :). I use a blog roll to keep up with other blogs...readers and "Twitter" are much to complicated for me to understand!

IRISHKAT said...

I have been trying very hard to 'love' my blog and put up posts that don't involve just pictures. But really, posting pictures and bullet points is so much more effective and efficient. And how crazy are you teaching four classes?? One too many sips of the wine this summer I think!! ha ha

Virtual Voyage said...

Came via Black Box, - good post!

I've just had a few months out of blogger, doing the occasional post on WordPress; have come back to Blogger with more time on my hands and because it works well as a more social medium. Last winter I posted a couple of posts a day over six months but circumstances were unusual (laid up with a leg injury).

Have Google Reader but find it a hindrance rather than a help. Problogger tips are good.

I think blogging is to some extent an artificial construct as far as relationships go - I pulled up short one day when I realized most people would never call in on off-blog friends every day to endorse what they were doing, if you get my drift. There are no real rules.

Best rule of thumb seems to be to keep a tight circle of regulars and browse as and when!

NedaAnn said...

I've been so sick lately that reading & typing makes it worse, so lately I've not been very good. However, I try to catch up on days when I am slower & on days I'm swamped I stay off the computer to actually work. I figure most of the blogs I read are written by other mommies, so they understand if I go MIA for a little while. Unfortunately, my blog has been neglected lately. *sigh* I do love Twitter, though, because quick updates make life easier for me.

Ann said...

So many questions. If this gives you any indication of my attention span, I will answer 2 questions now and come back later for the rest (;-> )
I've done a poor job of 'managing' my blog life. I keep meaning to come up with some kind of plan. (I need to work on that.)
I used to make an effort to post everyday, however I found that that was putting an unneccessary stress on the whole thing, so now I post if I really feel like it.
(I'm going to look at how everyone else answered now!)

Ann said...

And another thing!...
I've created my version of a blog award.
Come by and see!

Tiffany said...

It comes and goes for me...

This week, I have posted a lot... other weeks, not so much. SITS is really my priority, so that always comes first.

Commenting is tough. I don't subscribe to blogs, cause that would make me crazy. Instead, I comment back on those who leave me comments and then I have a few that I really love and have been reading forever.

What I have realized is that if my blog becomes a chore, I need to back off. I don't worry about my traffic anymore, I just post what I like and get to people when I can.

Kathy said...

My blog is up and down depending on what is happening and if I'm sitting long enough to open my laptop. This week I have posted a lot because I've been home with strep. I do enjoy reading other blogs and love to look for inspiration for scrap booking

Heather said...

Very good questions. All of which I'd LOVE to have answers for. I struggle with finding time for posting and commenting, but I love blogging so much that I sneak it in here and there.

The Mom said...

Some times I find my head spinning in all different directions trying to manage it all!

I post as I think of things, which is every night as I go to bed, and then I often forget, lol!

I try to comment on someones blog every day that I blog.

And, I don't use Twitter, etc. as often as some, just because if I was to tweet my every move, it would be - poopy diaper, dishes, laundry, poopy diaper, etc.

Great Post, I found your blog from Ann's Virtual GNO!

Jennifer said...

Hey there! Stopping over from Ann's GNO to say hi!

I set a goal for myself to blog every day and I've been sticking to it. Maybe I will reevaluate that at some point--but so far, so good. I love Twitter! Haven't been doing it too long--but I love the idea of mini blogging. I try to comment back to everyone who comments and I would say I check all the blogs on my roll daily--not all of them post every day though

Jori-O said...

I, too, am stopping by from the GNO and it's so good to see all these perspectives...I am new to the bloggy thing and I love the socialization, back-and-forth of blogging, but oh. my. I have no strategy to my blogging or reading and therefore find myself sitting here for hours. I've seen the twitter button but haven't explored it...see how new I am? Thanks for letting me stop by!

wheelsonthebus said...

I don't Twitter, but I read most posts in Reader, just commenting when there is something I really want to say. Most people whose blogs I read post something that inspires a comment once every week or two. It's not that I am not interested in the posts -- I just don't comment if I have nothing to add.

Oh, and I once withdrew from the running for a community college position that had a 5/5 teaching load. There was no expectation of research, but it just seemed excessive.

Meaghan said...

Nice blog, love the heading!


Ann said...

Hi Kaza!
Just wanted to see how you were doing today.
Happy first day of fall!
I hope you're able to take it easy this week.

Always Smiling said...

Just found your blog via the comment you left on mindless junque.

My blog is seriously lacking. I have plenty of computer time, but I don't have "blogging time" since the Fall semester started. It's hard balancing kids, college classes, husband, and everything else that lifes throws my way.