I chatted with Susan recently about blogging. Here's what life looks like for this blogger:
How do you organise yourself to make sure you have the time to blog and the ideas to post? What would a typical blogging week look like for you?
I had to cut and cut and cut down on blogging time, before it changed from an obsessive activity I did far too much of, to a reasonable part of life. I now blog for an hour a day during the early afternoon, which is a time my family don’t need me, and during the occasional evening my husband is working. I won’t pretend it doesn’t creep outside these times. I don’t blog much on weekends, I’m too busy with my family! As for ideas, I try to do Christian reading for ½ hour a day, listen to Christian talks on my iPod, and we buy newspapers now, to keep the input flowing.
What are the dangers of blogging and being immersed in the online world?
Obsession. Time-wasting. Stealing time, thought and energy from what’s really important: my family. One common criticism of online communication is that it distracts people from “real” relationships. Obviously the online world, like just about anything, can be a distraction and an escape, but it can also be a wonderful medium for maintaining contact with people and encouraging them in personal ways. I make sure I set aside a morning a week to go and visit someone, and another morning to pray with some very dear friends, so it’s not all online!! Plus I’m married and help raise 4 kids: that’s where my head really is. My family and friends keep me grounded.
How do you stop yourself from checking comments too often or managing your blog?
I make little rules for myself – “Don’t check comments until the morning. Only check comments once a day.” – then break them!! It’s important to respond promptly. But if I feel it’s becoming a time-waster or obsessive, I pray about it, repent, and put the brakes on. As for managing the blog: well, editing and re-editing is always a temptation for a perfectionist. Again, I try to limit it to short times each day.
How has blogging impacted on your family life/parenting/Christian faith/relationships?
It’s brought some pretty major godliness issues to the forefront, like how much I value people’s praise more than God’s. It’s helped me think more thoroughly through some issues. It fuels my Christian reading. I’ll be honest: on the family front, it had mainly bad effects until I learnt to keep it under control. It’s been a bumpy ride at times. But my husband told me the other day that he’d read the blog and that it was “quite well written,” which is a family in-joke for “really well written”. So that made me glad.
Look for the rest of the interview in the May issue of RedWhiteYou. Susan interviewed my bloggy friend Nicole from 168 hours as well, so you'll find her answers there too!