Monday, February 06, 2012

Book Blogger Confessions #2

Book Blogger Confessions is a new meme hosted by All-Consuming Books and For What It's Worth. You can find out all about it here

Every second week there is one topic that has something to do with book-blogging that you can discuss on your blog.

This week's topic is:

Deadlines for reviewing and blogging. Do you set them? How do you keep them? What do you do if you can't meet a deadline?

When I first started blogging, I immediately started out with a schedule. I posted a review every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, and on the rest of the days I posted memes (Waiting on Wednesday, Follow Friday, On My Wishlist and In My Mailbox). I tried to post every single day, and I wanted to have three book reviews up every week. That didn't always work - I just don't read three books every week. I was going crazy, saying "I have to finish this book and review it today or I won't have anything to post!" and putting that above whatever else I had going on that day.

I didn't last very long. Blogging got too stressful for me to enjoy it anymore, so I had to change something. I decided to stop doing memes other than IMM on a regular basis, and I decided to only post two reviews per week. They didn't have to be on a set day; I'd just post them when I finished the book. I had almost no schedule.

Even though I'm still not doing many memes (I still do IMM, and started doing Top Ten Tuesday and this meme, but I don't make myself take part every week), my blogging schedule has gotten fuller again. I now take part in lots of blog tours, where the posts are always scheduled for a certain day, and I do some features like New Releases, Bookish Anticipation, etc. every once in a while. I still post two reviews per week.

Now I'm posting almost as much as I did when I first started, but it isn't as stressful because I write my posts long before I actually post them. I don't spend the same amount of time blogging every week - sometimes I have lots of free time, and sometimes I don't. That's just the way it is. But I balance the varying amount of time spent blogging by writing my posts early. No matter how much I read in a week, I post two reviews. So if I have a lot of time one week and read five books (that doesn't happen often, but sometimes it does), I schedule those reviews for later. I have reviews scheduled up until the end of March - so if I don't read anything one week, it's not a problem.

That was working out fine... until I joined NetGalley. I live in Germany, so I don't really get many review copies, but I do get books for review on NetGalley. When I first joined, I was so excited to see all those great books that I requested way more than I could ever read on time. When you read a NetGalley book it's different from reading a book you bought or borrowed from the library because there's a certain time in which you're supposed to review the book. And when you request as many books as I did when I first joined NetGalley, that just isn't possible.

Now I restrain myself every time a new title shows up on NetGalley and ask myself - if I were at a bookstore and saw this book, would I buy it? I only request books for which the answer to that question is yes. Still, sometimes those books with "expiration dates" can be stressful. I use the same method of trying to read and review early - when I have the time, I read a NetGalley book that will be released in two months so that I can have a review written already and don't need to stress myself close to the release date. But that doesn't always work, and I feel so bad when I don't have a review up in time for the release date. I'm hoping to improve in that aspect.

Sometimes I curse my schedule, but really, I don't know what I'd do without it. I like that I'm so far ahead and don't need to stress about not having read anything for a week. I still need to get a hang on reviewing NetGalley books on time, but other than that, I'm handling my blogging schedule pretty well, and I don't feel as stressed out as blogging anymore as I did before.

So that's how I deal with blogging schedules and deadlines - what about you?


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