discussion: exam season and blogging

Welp. This time of year is never fun, but I’ve never had to balance so many different things before – I’ve got exams, I’ll be working 3 (!) part-time jobs, preparing for my MA next year, and blogging, along with personal stuff too! I know I’ve got to be realistic – as much as I love blogging and reading and chatting to y’all, my exams and 15,000 words of essay have to take priority.

This wasn’t such a problem for me last year, because I’d just set my blog up. I wasn’t concerned about stats or maintaining relationships, and I had a co-blogger to help me out. I also wasn’t as invested as I am now. It would feel weird for me to take a whole month off blogging – like a piece of my life was missing. I learn so much from the blogging community, and I can’t imagine not speaking to you all for a whole month!

Basically – I want your advice! I’m still a relatively small and new book blogger, but I still want to maintain some sort of link to y’all. My options as I see them are:

  • Schedule lots of posts

This would be the dream, I think. But I’ll be honest, I’ve been falling behind in my posts for this month, let alone next month’s! I could maybe do this if I wrote quite short posts, or focused on tags, but I don’t want to sacrifice any quality for simple quantity.

  • Limit posts to two a week: one Mental Health Monday, and a random bookish post

This is probably looking like the most realistic. I really want to continue creating content for my Mental Health Monday series, because it is so important to me, and I think it helps me look at my own mental health. But I do also realise that I am primarily a book blog, so a bookish post sounds sensible, whether it be a book tag, a review, or a discussion. Hopefully that way I could really focus on writing good posts, as well.

  • Go on a complete hiatus

I really don’t want to do this, but ultimately if things are getting too much I think I’ll force myself. I realise that I spend a lot of my free time blogging, blog hopping, and on Twitter, and this is my last year of my undergraduate. I really need to focus my energy on exams and essays.

Now. My question to you is: how do you do this?! If you have any tips or tricks that have helped you balance blogging with life, please let me know.

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26 thoughts on “discussion: exam season and blogging

  1. Alienor says:

    Ahhh this is so hard!! I’ve been in this position in the past and it’s difficult to choose… but I think your second option is great? Good luck for your exams 😊

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  2. Bina says:

    Whoa your workload is terrifying! I’m kinda glad my days of juggling everything are over. But it can be done 😁 My advice is to go in hiatus and just stay connected via twitter whenever you have some time. Concerning stats and stuff, I’m super unqualified to give advice, I guess you could schedule 1-2 posts? But really, people have always returned to my blog and I once disappeared for like a year.
    Best of luck with your exams!!

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    • whatthelog says:

      Yeah, in retrospect I probably decided to put a bit too much on my plate. However I am determined that I will prioritise, and do well!

      That’s a good shout – I suppose if I wanted to keep my stats up I could also maybe put some of my older posts up on Twitter which people may not have seen. However, I probably need to remind myself that stats aren’t everything.

      Thank you 🙂

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  3. Creatyvebooks says:

    Although, balance school, work and blogging can be done I agree with one of the commenters and suggest a mini hiatus or schedule 1-2 post when you have the time. Don’t overwork yourself unnecessarily. The blog will be here and so will your follows.

    Good luck on your exams!! And remember self-care.

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  4. Shouni says:

    Whoa, exams, blogging AND 3 part time jobs? That’s a lot. Just take care of yourself is what I would suggest. If the work load gets too much, take the blog hiatus. Your readers will understand. Don’t stress out too much for blogging since you already have a lot to stress out over. Good luck with everything!

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  5. PositiveMentality says:

    If having 1-2 posts uploaded a week makes you feel better about your blog and you feel that accomplishment means more to you, then try to schedule them in, therefore option 2. Plan your days and what you are wanting to complete if you are not already and schedule a time slot to focus on blogging. If it ends up you are super stressed and it is affecting your mental health, realize your more important and go with option 3. Followers will understand!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Huntress of Diverse Books says:

    Wow, you’ve got a lot on your plate. What I’m doing at the moment is working full-time to save money for my MSc course and blogging part-time. I decided to do less Twitter and I read while commuting to work (which is ca. two hours of each day). I wasn’t able to write reviews when I was in London but I’m going to use one weekend day to write the reviews of the books I read. This weekend, I’ve set aside all my time for writing reviews because I’ve got 15 I really want to do.

    What certainly helps me is to write the reviews when I’m more relaxed (which is why, I chose the weekend) and to schedule. Scheduling is my friend whenever I’m busy and I’ll be trying to get half a year of review posts ready before September comes.

    Also some book tags can have high quality, if you put a lot of thought into the topic.

    And if it’s really to much, take some time off 🙂 .

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    • whatthelog says:

      Yeah, I was thinking of doing less Twitter too. I spent really too much time scrolling through my feed. At least when I’m blogging I’m actually writing something!

      Thanks for your advice – I need to start scheduling stuff, clearly!!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ceillie Simkiss says:

    I’d say do 1-2 posts a week, but schedule them in advance whenever possible. That’s how I do mine. I can’t blog on a regular basis the way some people do and just post whenever. Literally everything I post is scheduled. You have to take care of yourself. I can;t imagine working 3 jobs and doing grad school. That’s just exhausting.

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    • whatthelog says:

      Yup, I’m definitely thinking that scheduling is the way to go. I tend to loosely schedule stuff (hence why sometimes posts go up before I actually write them, oops!) but I think a more rigid schedule would do wonders for me.

      Taking up all 3 jobs was probably a bit silly of me, but I’m enjoying them so much that I really don’t want to stop!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. lacyliteracy says:

    I would do two things: schedule lots of posts in advance and hold off on writing reviews. I’m a college student who does a trillion activities on and off campus, and this has worked for me. That’s what I always do when I’m going into exam season.

    I always have a cache of Trope Tuesday and Diversity Spotlight Thursdays (which are my two weekly memes) scheduled and written usually a month in advance anyways. I really suggest writing meme posts at least weeks ahead if possible. Just schedule a block of time in between studying as a break that you know you’ll be writing posts during. Because I know I have at least two posts that will be posting a week, I feel a lot better not writing reviews or holding off on other bookish posts when I know I’m going to be busy.

    Also, definitely hold off to two posts a week. I would just leave some posts schedule for twice a week and then log off completely and ignore your email notifications when you’re in the middle of exams.

    Good luck!!! I hope I’ve been able to help a little.

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    • whatthelog says:

      Thanks for your advice! Scheduling in Diversity Spotlight Thursdays is a fantastic idea, I am definitely going to do that. And you’re totally right – reviews do tend to take a longer time to write than other types of posts. I’ll definitely be factoring that in when I’m scheduling up the next two months 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. ahitsdina says:

    Oh, that is a lot of intense things to go through over a fairly long period of time. I have a suggestion: maybe try to have guest posts on here to fill up the schedule a bit. Then, you can write one-two posts a week. Don’t worry about scheduling too many posts in advance. Just do it weekly instead.

    Good luck, Wendy! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  10. justanotherloststudent says:

    Hello! I recently started following you as I’m planning on setting up a book review blog with my friends in the next few weeks. I’m literally just in the process of doing my last essays and exams before I graduate from my UG, and I thought reviewing would be a nice thing to consume my extra time! I could not imagine being able to cope with all of the demands of working, and essays, and blogging so I think re-thinking your activities is a good shout.

    I personally think it is much better to downgrade the amount of blog posts your doing, limiting to less often posts but which give you more time to focus on producing great, fun content! That way you can always post more IF you can and can also keep up with other blogs but don’t feel too much pressure with everything else 🙂

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    • whatthelog says:

      Hi! I’m really excited to see what you’re going to be talking about on your blog! Always nice to see another diverse book blogger out there in the world 🙂
      Thanks for your advice – I think that’s what I’m going to try to do for the most part. Right now I’ve got a couple of days where I’m trying to schedule in a bunch of posts, so we’ll see what I come up with!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Grab the Lapels says:

    When things get busy, I tend to post once a week (which I’m doing right now). Also, choose shorter books, and consider poetry and chapbooks. If you’re around once a week, I don’t think people will forget/abandon your blog. At the beginning of a review, you can give us a little paragraph telling us what’s going on with you. Photos also help! Got 5 old coffee cups lined up on your desk among a pile of papers? Let’s see it!

    Also, there is a blogger I follow who is in the middle of graduate work and only posts about once a month, but when I do talk to her, it’s really meaningful. I never stop following her.

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    • whatthelog says:

      I have 100% taken your advice on this one! I’ve been reading quite a lot of poetry, which has been a lovely break from my revision of novels and plays, as well as being shorter! And haha, I like the idea of giving a little update! It’s really lovely that you’d be interested in that 😀 I sometimes kinda forget that I’m not just a book blogger, you know?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Grab the Lapels says:

        It especially helps to give a brief personal update if you’re not pounding out reviews. That way, readers never think you’re neglecting or “half-assing” your blog.

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