Hello and welcome to Bookending Spring on the BookwyrmBites blog! There are so many awesome prompts for the month and I won’t be able to get to them all; I really had to pick and choose the ones that I felt like I had the most to contribute to. But make sure to hop over to the announcement post and make sure you’re giving the organizers and all the hosts lots of love for their hard work!
I strongly believe that every month can be a fresh start — because life’s too short to always be waiting for New Year to make a change — as well as an opportunity to check in with your routines and processes to see if everything’s working out and whether it could be improved. So today, let’s pop the hood and see if any of the circuits need to be rerouted or replaced.
There are circuits in cars, right? I don’t drive, I wouldn’t know.
(Oh and ICYMI, I am not the author of the previous post on this blog … but I did write a post that went up yesterday on another blog, if you can find it! 🔍)
This post is part of Bookending Spring 2019, which is organized by Sam & Clo! Today’s (yesterday’s) prompt, “Pre-scheduling and organizing your blog ft. mood blogging,” is hosted by Jayati @ It’s Just a Coffee Addicted Bibliophile.
Writing, Graphics-ing, & Studying, Oh My!
As a reader of other blogs, I love the idea of the “regularly scheduled” weekly feature — for example, Fandom Fridays by Lupe @ Bookwyrming Thoughts or the WWW Wednesday meme — and it’s a series idea I’ve considered trying out myself, one of many projects I’m shelving
, pun absolutely intended, for my summer Tidyathon. And like many other book bloggers, I prefer to post a mix of reviews, tags, memes, features/tours, discussions, et cetera. (If you’re unsure what any of these entail, Clo @ Book Dragons wrote a great introductory post explaining the different types of posts!) So that’s a lot of different types of content all going up on the same blog, and since I’m also a college [university] student I’ve also got homework and exams and projects as well as general adulting/life stuff going on.
Like many other bloggers, I use a bullet journal and Kal’s spreadsheet to keep track of my life; the former is more for school/personal and the latter for blogging, just because the separation helps me prioritize and stay organized, though I’m planning to switch to a traveler’s notebook after I finish out this current notebook. Anyway, for the most part I know exactly what’s happening when
unless I’ve switched everything around again as I so often do and that helps me triage my life on a daily basis, allowing me to focus on whatever needs to get done next.
Because sometimes life gets busy, and you just gotta do what you gotta do to keep your head above water.
Early is On Time, On Time is Late (But Early is Not Late)
(Hi, fellow marching band alums! Sound off in the comments, especially if you recognize this slogan.)
Deadlines aren’t real to me unless they’re imminent, and despite my best efforts I often end up running behind and scrambling to finish posts so they can go up when planned — either that, or I have the next week or so scheduled, and I skip ahead to a post meant for next month that I really want to write.
So although I would love to be in the habit of prewriting and scheduling ahead, sometimes the best I can do is having backup post ideas: a meme or tag that I can dash out in half an hour, or a review that I can crosspost from Goodreads and just format for my blog, then throw together a graphic from my Canva template. (Reusable blocks are awesome for saving time on formatting and remembering all the important components/details you want to include, by the way — I have a post on this in the works. Shoutout to Kal for nudging me to write it!)
As a former co-admin of a fairly successful Tumblr (as well as running multiple others on the side), I love that WordPress allows for Categories to sort posts more easily. And as someone who once diagrammed her laptop’s folder tree to create maximum efficacy, I love that you can actually create hierarchies: categories within categories. (For example, under “Bookish” I have the subcategories “Reviews,” “Rec Lists,” and “Blog Tours.”)
Where Tumblr experience really comes in handy is with Tags — since Tumblr search only looks at the first twenty or so tags
last I checked, which was admittedly years ago, I learned to be mindful of whether the ones I use are actually helpful. That said, since I don’t think WP has similar limits, I tag publishers, authors, my rating, content warnings, representation/diversity, genres, and a lot of other details that I think are useful in sifting through my blog.
One of my favorite YouTubers/productivity pros once mentioned that commiting to uploading a video every week helped them overcome perfectionism and focus on discipline over inspiration. It’s a similar idea to my dad’s advice — 先求有再求好; worry about having something before you worry about making it good — and something that I try to keep in mind as I work on figuring out school/life/blogging balance without dropping any of these balls.
Although I have times when I’m more or less inspired to work on blog posts, I don’t rely on them to last through all the time it takes for me to do all the blogging things I need to do
because then I would be blogging only when the stars align and I don’t have a school commitment coming up. It’s nice to feel inspired, but for me it’s really not a necessity to get blog-related tasks done.
So when I do find myself particularly in the mood to blog I’ll peek at my blogging spreadsheet to see which posts still need to be written and just chug away at them. They don’t need to be fit to publish yet, but I’ve always found it easier to edit and rewrite than to write that first draft, so I take full advantage of the mood. If the muse doesn’t want to play nice, though, I have had times where I force myself to put words down even if they’re not pretty or even really adequate to convey what I want to say.
And not every post will be a masterpiece, but each one will help make me a better writer … and help maintain my blog stats, because while it’s not my main concern, it does still matter to me, if only as a means of measuring growth and reach/audience. Anyway, the process of creating content makes you a better creator, as science shows through the ceramics class example (tl;dr quantity beats quality when it comes to practice), so I focus on hitting “schedule” or “post” and moving forward to make the next one better.
A Quick Case Study
This very post is actually a prime example of my blogging process: I saw the prompt when the Bookending Spring announcement went up, got really excited about the topic and started formatting a draft, then promptly got buried under organic chemistry exam prep to the point of postponing everything else. (I really need to pass this class, okay? 😅)
My plan was originally to finish up this post on Monday, because I did have the sections outlined and a few sentences written for each — side note, I cannot emphasize enough how much it helps to write down all your thoughts when you come up with a post idea, instead of thinking you’ll remember when you actually sit down to write it! If you have title options, points you want to make, gifs you want to add, other posts you want to reference, dump them all in the draft for easy access later on; your mind is for having ideas, not holding them — but I just have so much to say about this topic, and this point reminds me of an anecdote reminds me of an article/book I read reminds me of a meme reminds me of … you get the point, probably.
At some point, I remind myself that I can write a follow-up post, or turn it into a series even, and that I need something to post today. And then I give it one more proofread, a little bit of tweaking and reordering paragraphs, and I hit “post.” (And here we are.)
- Kal @ Reader Voracious – 2019 Book Blogger Spreadsheet Template
- Annie @ Blossoms and Bullet Journals – 10 Bullet Journal Spreads to Help You Be a More Organized Blogger
- Aimee @ Aimee, Always – How to Make a Blogging Schedule That Works For You
- Clo @ Book Dragons – Why I Schedule Like It’s Going Out of Fashion
- Sam @ Fictionally Sam – How to Beat Mood Blogging
Do you schedule and/or prewrite your posts? How do you keep track of blogging obligations alongside “real life”? Are you a mood blogger?