The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Ask Arlee & Battle of the Bands Winner

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         I'm still taking questions for my occasional "Ask Arlee" feature here on Tossing It Out.   If you have a question you'd like to pose to me then leave it in the comment section.   I still have plenty of questions from previous calls, but it's nice to get some interesting new ones.

         The question I'm addressing in this post comes from Buck at Buck Inspire.
bucksaver said... ...Arlee, "How do you keep blogging when your schedule gets busier than normal?" Thanks!
February 25, 2013 
           That's a question that many of us struggle with and something I touched on in my previous post.   Many of us have busy enough lives without adding social media into the mix.  Blogging is often just a part of a social media regimen that can suck up hours if we don't keep things in check.  If you're like me you probably go beyond the time you intend to spend on activities such as blogging and other social interactions.

            It all has to come down to priorities.  To me family matters have to come first--these are the people who mean a great deal to me and the ones I deal with directly on a regular basis.   Blogging has its place in my life and there are a few approaches I use to make blogging fit more easily into my regular schedule even if busier than normal.

             Here are some of my suggestions:

  • Write posts in advance as much as you are able.  
  • Keep a few non-time-sensitive posts in reserve in case you have to throw something up quickly.
  • Maintain a list of blog post ideas that will help you compose posts more quickly.   A brief outline or list of discussion points for each topic can help greatly.
  • If you are overwhelmed in your schedule, write short posts.   Avoid trivialities as much as you can so your readers can still feel rewarded or have something they can relate to.
  • Avoid posts that require a lot of research and searching for links to add.
  • Write about personal topics that can be composed quickly, but still be of interest to many readers.
  • Sometimes you might have to cut back on visiting other blogs.  This may cut down on the comments on your own blog, but there's only so much time in each day.  You can't spend what you don't have without having to pay for it later and time cannot be recouped.
       Yeah, I might be stating the obvious here, but if this helps someone then it's worth my time to put it up in this post.

We Have a BOTB Winner!

          My last Battle of the Bands installment pitted the original version of "It's My Life" by Talk Talk against the remake by Gwen Stefani and No Doubt.  Both versions are quite good and the voting outcome bears this out.

           It was another close one.

           I think the remake is excellent.   I had heard Stefani's version recently as part of the piped in music line-up in some business establishment I was visiting.   Not knowing who it was, but recognizing the song, I researched it on Google and decided this might be a pretty good Battle match-up.

            There's nothing wrong with Stefani's version of "It's My Life"--it rocks--however I still prefer the original sound of Talk Talk's version of the song.  That's where my vote goes--Talk Talk.   Still it was not enough to bring them a win.   No Doubt nudged ahead for the victory.

Final Outcome:

 Talk Talk             15

Gwen Stefani and No Doubt   16

Stay Tuned for the Next Battle

        On Wednesday October 15th I'll have another one of those Battles that may provoke some controversy.   It's a weird one, but Halloween is coming soon and it's a time to be weird.

        How do you find time to social network without interfering with the other aspects of your life?   Have you cut back on blogging activities?   Do you have any suggestions for finding more time for blogging?


  1. Hi Lee, some excellent tips on blogging whilst leading a busy life.
    Due to internet supplier breakdown twice in the last week am still on line.
    Hope you are well and look forward to your next Battle of the Bands.

  2. That was a close one.
    If I'm strapped for time or ideas, I just don't post.

  3. Finding the balance of blogging and the busy life is where I find myself. More times than not blogging gets but on the back shelf. Great practical tips.

  4. Good tips. I'll keep them in mind as my time seems to be getting shorter and shorter.

  5. I try to keep to two posts per week on my blog but often fail. I just let it go when I don't have the time or, more honestly, don't feel well. Scheduling posts ahead of time is necessary for me, though I try not to do so too far in advance.
    Twitter is much easier to manage because of character limitations and retweets.

  6. Yvonne-- I thought internet was supposed to be better everywhere else beyond the U.S.

    Alex-- Not posting is always an option. I try to post according to my schedule, but lately my schedule probably has seemed random at times.

    Wanda-- I guess it's most important to focus our energies on the tangible life around us. Then come the activities like blogging.

    Loni-- Maybe Earth is going through some weird time warp which is causing our time to go faster.

    Jennifer -- Twitter is not too difficult to manage especially when I'm most retweeting stuff.


  7. Lee-

    If it weren't for the ability to schedule, I'd bow out of BOTB.

    A couple of posts ago, my "pre-scheduled" posts ran out, things were busy, and the whole thing felt like a chore.

    Since blogging is pure diversion for me, it's the first thing I drop when my schedule gets full.


  8. I don't work so I have the time to play on FB and blog and so forth. that said, I dread the April A-Z challenge b/c I follow quite a few blogs and it's hard to keep up with their daily posts. I try to keep quite a few posts in the can and ready to publish every other day, at least 2-3 weeks in advance.

  9. You give great pointers and I do post ahead in some things. Soooooo close! Talk, Talk should have won:) Blogging and reading blogs does take up time but I do enjoy it as long as it doesn't envelop me:)

  10. I tend to stay at least a week ahead on my posts. That way, if I have a busy week (like this one), I still have posts going up.

  11. I follow almost all your suggestions about saving time except having a few generic posts ready in case they're needed. I'll have to try that one.

  12. Larry-- If I were still working I might not be blogging much if at all.

    JoJo-- A to Z is a Challenge. It's difficult for me to read very many posts and comment on them.

    Birgit-- I love the blogging, but there are other things I need to do and want to do as well.

    Susanne-- Thanks!

    Andrew-- I try to do the same. A few times I have kept a month or two ahead--usually if I'm going on vacation or for A to Z.

    Susan GK-- Right now I don't have any generic posts in the hopper, but I have a few that are almost complete.


  13. I'm actually on the downside of my blogging. 6 1/2 years and I'm looking to change up how/when/if I blog. Been doing 3 per week, but not nearly as motivated now.

    Father Nature's Corner

  14. I have a steady and consistent history of being erratically unsteady and inconsistent in my blogging.

    But when the stars magically align and I DO post, I at least try to offer something of substance so that people might enjoy it whenever that happen to stop by.

    But my blog is also geared towards my "creative" outlet, and truthfully I have to confess I haven't offered much lately besides BOTB posts -- which I would be hard-pressed to consider anything really "creative" of my own.

    But they're fun to do, and the pre-scheduling saves me.

    Still, I have a goal to become more consistent and offer something "creative" on a more consistent basis, even if it's just the fun "Newsday" things I post like yesterday.

    And I liked No Doubt's version, but I voted for Talk, Talk also.

  15. If I get desperate for blog topics, I pull from my own books. This week's IWSG post is a good example of that.

  16. I think blogging will take even more of a back seat as we roll into the holiday season. People just get BUSY. I know that I am struggling balancing blogging and everything else.

  17. GB-- Yeah, motivation is the real driver for anything we do.

    Chris-- BOTB seems to be my blog's raison d'etre of late. Mostly I've been distracted a lot of late.

    L.Diane-- That's probably a good blogging strategy.

    Robin -- Holidays to make a difference, but then again there's always something.


  18. Good tips for blogging. It's Thursday evening, and I'm still answering comments from my post at Alex's on Monday morning.

  19. Sorry for the delay as I was getting ready for my road trip. What a photo finish to the Talk Talk, Gwen Stefani Battle of the Bands. Thanks for answering my question! Wow your list of topics must be huge if you can pull a question from a year and a half ago. No wonder you are such a prolific writer. Great tips! I wrote a post breaking down where I can apply them to myself. Thanks again!

  20. Carol-- Answering comments is one of those things that takes up more time. The interaction can take a huge amount of time.

    Buck-- I tend to add topics in my queue then they get superceded with other things. It can really add up.



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I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

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