Hello! Yes, I'm still here and I hope to continue to be here for a long time. However, I think I'm long overdue for a little life update (mostly to put at ease all the authors and bloggers that have emailed me and my own inner SpongeBob that's running around setting filing cabinets on fire).
So without further ado, let's get personal.
A lot, that's what. As many of you know, I'm currently a full-time university student. I'm currently finishing up my penultimate year which means the classes and responsibilities related to my schoolwork are ramping up to a new level. I'm currently juggling being the co-president of an organization, three part-time jobs (I work in the Honors office, in my local Center for Writing Excellence as a Writing Consultant, and I also do freelance editing), and schoolwork for two completely separate majors. It's a lot. All the time. Something I've been discussing with quite a few of my IRL friends is how intense schoolwork is because it isn't like most other work. You aren't just done when your classes end. There's work associated with every class that bleeds into the rest of your day and this means that personally, I spent pretty much every waking moment on coursework. Next year will only get worse as I add in research on marine vertebrates on top of everything else.
Why am I doing so much?
Being in university is great. You learn so much in such a short time and it gives you a great space to stretch your mental muscles. I'm also so lucky and so privileged to be able to attend secondary school at all so I savor every minute. But if I enjoy it so much and if I'm taking such a full course load, why do I do the rest of it? It all boils down to finances.
University (at least in the US) is extremely expensive. I'm going to a university that's on the low end but I'm still spending tens of thousands of dollars to attend this school for four years and every year I stay, I add on thousands of dollars to my student loans. If you know anything about loans at all, you know this isn't great. So basically, I need to be making as much money as possible to mitigate my debt but also take as many classes as I can (to cut down on the time I'm there) which translates to working during every spare moment that I have.
After I graduate, I'll be expected to find a well-paying job within the six month grace period that the distributors of student loans allow you before I start paying them off. This means I need to make myself as attractive a candidate as possible. Hence seeking out leadership positions and taking on the time consuming task of being co-president of an organization. This also plays into my employment. There's an incredible amount of pressure to get at least one internship while in college or, at the very least, get extensive experience with the field you expect to go into. And you guessed it! Hence all the jobs I hold that, while they don't pay very well, provide me with valuable experience.
Why does this impact my blogging?
Unfortunately, bloggers aren't compensated for their time (which is a whole other can of worms to unpack in another discussion post). May addresses it perfectly in both her Blogger Appreciation post and in her ARC post. Time I spend blogging could be spent either working (so I have enough money to keep myself alive) or doing coursework (to improve my grades/qualifications so I have a better chance of a stable financial future in a year and a half). This means that blogging has fallen to the bottom of my priority list. It's the thing I do when I'm done with everything else except the problem is I'm never done. Every hour of my life is now scheduled with school, work, meetings, or sleep. Not really much space for blogging in there. Basically, I need a time-turner.
This isn't super related but I couldn't resist this meme :)
Does this mean I'm quitting?No, absolutely not! I love blogging and there's a reason I started blogging in the first place. However, I can't keep going for the next year the way that I have been. I keep putting in place plans for scheduling posts ahead of time, etcetera but it never works out because that still requires constant maintenance. I don't have consistent times that I can dedicate to blogging because my schedule and my exhaustion level are so variable.
Bottom line: no worries about the title of this post, I'm not going away for good. But I can't promise any kind of consistency in my posting schedule. I start out with a great schedule and with all the best intentions but the truth is that my life is changing at break-neck speed and blogging is the lowest on my list of priorities.
Coincidentally, also my philosophy on DNFing :)
What does this mean for Blue Eye Books?
I'll still be here, but I'll be here a little less (which is kind of already happening in case you hadn't noticed!). In terms of specifics things:
This is the one feature I'm going to try my best to keep up with. Carrie and I (let's be real, it's been all Carrie this past year) set the topics months ahead so these will be easier to keep up with. I've been a truly awful co-host and it's time to remedy that.
These will happen when I have time and the motivation. I used to write an extensive, 500 word review for every book I read but that just isn't going to be sustainable for the foreseeable future. I'm going to write reviews for books I feel passionate about and review books. I'll also likely be writing more mini reviews.
I'm still accepting review requests but I'll be accepting a fraction of what I used to only during the months of January and July.
The monthly wrap-up was a nice dream but it isn't at all realistic for me right now. I'm thinking I'll do quarterly updates...?
Discussions and special features like Recommendations and Guides:
These will also happen when I have time and motivation. So not that often but probably more often in the summer as opposed to the school year.
Blog-hopping, Twitter, and Instagram:
I'll still be visiting and commenting on everyone's blogs! I could never give that up. I may end up doing what I did this week and spend a few days going through the past few month's worth of posts but I'll keep up with them eventually. I'll also be around on Twitter like I normally am. Instagram is a little more dicey. I won't post nearly as often (maybe once a month) but I'll be around occasionally to ogle all of your gorgeous photos.
The current blog design overhaul:
I originally wanted this done by the end of last summer but clearly that didn't happen. I'm going to take it as it comes and update little pieces here and there. It'll likely take me another year to get it done but that's to be expected. This falls at the bottom of the blog priority list right now so it'll take a while.
I'm certainly not the busiest person in the world, but at this point, I'm placing eight hours of sleep above blogging which I think is the right choice. I can't function on anything less than seven and like everyone always tells me, if you say you'll sleep when you're dead, you'll find yourself six feet under much faster. I don't mean to get so deep or serious but this is what my life is at this point. Blogging is still one of my main stress relief strategies but lately, blogging has been taking up too much time in general so I've been transitioning back to just reading.
So bottom line, I won't be here as often but I'm definitely not quitting because blogging is a piece of me now. I'm five years in and I want to be here in five more years, book gods willing. I'll see y'all in a few days when I post either my quarterly wrap-up or the next 50/50 Friday, whichever comes first! I hope you all are having a lovely March :)
Wow, thanks for the update!! I didn't know your backstory and just how busy you are!! I think you are making the right choices and if you have to slow down on your blogging then so be it.ReplyDelete
I'm currently in my 8th year of blogging this year. Like you, blogging is a stress reliever for me and a way to express my love of books, author signing events, book festivals, etc. Plus, blogging is a way to connect with other readers and book bloggers too.
I thought it was about time after numerous authors and bloggers emailed me, asking if I was still around! :) It's been a crazy year! The nice part is I only have a year to go and then once I start working, things will slow down considerably (at least, that's the plan!).Delete
Yes and I absolutely love doing all of those things! Those are all what got me into blogging in the first place! I think I'll be going back to those and not putting so much pressure on myself to create new blog posts about all the events and such and I'll be focusing more on commenting and chatting with y'all :) Thanks for stopping by, Lisa!
I definitely agree that being in school full time is difficult!! I often find myself so immersed in schoolwork that I just forget to write blog posts. Hope you get everything back on track!ReplyDelete
Ugh right?? While entering the 'real' job force is intimidating, I would almost prefer it now because I feel like I would have so much time. School is like a 70 hr/wk job and it's so exhausting sometimes. Thank you, Emily! I'm going to need all the encouragement I can get :)Delete
Oh wow, you *are* juggling a lot! I dare say you might actually be the busiest person in the world lol. I can see why blogging would not be top priority. That time turner meme is great, I never even thought of that, but it's so true, haha.ReplyDelete
Haha yeah I envy the people who are able to do more than I am and still remain sane. Those people who can exist as totally normal humans with five hours of sleep are seriously immortal or something.Delete
Right? I never really thought about it either but that is such a large conceptual plot hole! People in fandoms never cease to amaze me with their genius. Thanks for stopping by, Kristen!
Geez, how you have any free time to sleep is beyond me. I feel I must bow down to your willpower to keep going because I would've ran away and hidden in a cave by this point! So go you! I also don't want you to pressure yourself into anything, so if you can't do a lot 50/50 Friday's right now that's cool. It will always be right here waiting for when you get free time!ReplyDelete
You and me both! I'm just holding out hope that somehow next year or the year after will be better than now. You are honestly so great <3 I'll definitely be jumping in on 50/50 Friday's more (hopefully doing them every week) but I guess I'll have to see how things go. Either way, I should definitely be around during most of the summer!Delete
Life has been and is so busy for you, Laura, wow, it's definitely understandable that blogging has to take a step back. Take your time with it all and yes, favour sleep always, sleep is SO important <3 <3 Sending you tons of love! <3ReplyDelete
Yeah, I'm just holding out hope that the year after next will be much easier :) Haha sleep is literally so great. Thank you, Marie! I'm going to need all the help I can get :)Delete
You ARE super busy and this totally makes sense! Sometimes the blog just has to chill a bit to make room for life stuff. Glad you're not going away completely, I think I just discovered your blog this past year and it's always fun to see your posts. but you definitely have ti put the important things first. Good luck with school stuff and don't worry- we'll all be here haha!ReplyDelete
Have a great weekend!
Yes, that's definitely true, even though I don't like it! I wish I could just add in an extra two hours a day and everything would be wonderful. Thank you! Hopefully I'll get my feet under me within the next few months :) I hope you have a lovely weekend as well, Greg, and thanks for stopping by!Delete
OH NO!!!! The dreaded 'Blogger refused to connect' came up and I lost my whole comment. DARN IT! I'm going to try again.ReplyDelete
I hate it when that happens!! Or if you forget to check the box on some blogs that says you agree to the data storage policy so your whole comment is gone...Delete
Okay, so imagine a very smart, witty comment and then also fill it with understanding and sympathy for such a hectic schedule plus a very healthy admiration of your work ethic! Then also add me hoping that we'll be able to catch up when you have some spare time either here or on bookstagram (which is my more regular haunt right now, let's be honest).ReplyDelete
Hope to chat soon!
:D Haha thank you very much! We definitely do need to catch up! I'm hoping to be on Instagram this weekend and actually post something/comment on some posts. Here's to hoping!Delete
Take all the time and all the break you need! University is completely time consuming and I can honestly relate and understand at the moment. I feel like a terrible blogger all the time :p But I hope things go well for you and I will look out for your posts when they can and do happen xReplyDelete
That's exactly how I feel! You are an absolute queen, handling your schoolwork and still traveling cool places and seeing people and doing nail art and yoga and blogging. I am in awe and bow to your greatness :) Thank you, Olivia!Delete
I AM SO GLAD I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO REFERENCES THAT SPONGEBOB SCENE TOO. It's literally the state of my mind ALL THE TIME as my wedding gets closer lololol. While I definitely know how it is to be overwhelmed with life and the struggle to balance blogging with it, I'm so glad to hear you'll still be sticking around Laura! I love reading your posts :) Good luck balancing everything, I know you can do it!ReplyDelete
Haha it's just so quintessential! Literally my life in one meme. I cannot even imagine planning a wedding while also doing all of the regular life stuff - you are seriously killing it, Cristina, and thank you for the confidence! :)Delete
Totally understand that life has to take priority over blogging for the time being. Fingers crossed for you finding time to fit in everything you're juggling and still have a moment to breathe as well. Please try not to overdo it all?ReplyDelete
Me too! Once May ends, I should have loads more time and I'm looking forward to it, even if it means I have to move (again) :) Thanks for stopping by, Stephanie!Delete
I completely understand with prioritizing blogging! University takes a huge load of time and uh, to be honest, I'm actually privileged enough that I HAVE the time to blog as much as I can at the moment and for the past few years that I've been in college. Sleep is definitely important - I just hope you don't overwhelm yourself completely and find a way! <3ReplyDelete
It does take so much time! I was so confident I could do all the things but that just didn't happen. Having just graduated (wow I'm so late to the party in replying to comments), I'm enjoying the time I now have to sleep :) I hope you're doing well, Sophia!Delete
Oh my goodness reading this makes me feel like I could have written this as well! My life has also gotten ridiculously busy - I'm doing my masters degree with a minor that requires classes I haven't been able to take, thus I have to study things like programming and mathematics in my spare time, on top of normal class loads and a very time-intensive internship. In my little free time I prioritized spending time with family and friends, because otherwise I can spend days locked up in my room working, barely taking enough time to go to the supermarket that's essentially next door. Because of that both my reading and blogging habits have suffered (although not as bad as previous years during which I took on many other priorities!). I also have a job that is... uncertain. I spend a lot of time editing videos for the Dutch Physics Association, yet my friends and I (who work with me) are unsure if the promise of payment will be fulfilled. Sometimes, life is a mess, and priorities need to be re-shuffled.ReplyDelete
Laura, please make sure to take time for yourself as well. Burnouts are scary and take a long time to get out of. Self-care should be in your mix, no matter in what form. And trust me, everyone will understand if that doesn't include blogging <3
Oh my goodness, Caroline, I hope you've taken some time for yourself too! Even if it's just ten minutes a day away from everything and everyone; I know intentionally making that a part of my day has helped me immensely. I've definitely experienced a bit of high level chronic stress and it's nothing to be trifled with. I'm sending many cookies and blankets your way because what could be better than a night to yourself with all the junk food and warmth that you want.Delete