As a blogger and a reader I don’t realise how much time I devote to getting my posts up, reading other blogs and engaging in social media related blog activity. It only becomes apparent when I have other demands on my time. So I decided to keep track over the last week or so. My blogging, although time consuming, is definitely not simply nine to five.

I found I spent between 4-6 hours a day writing posts, reading review request emails, organising my book review list and reading other blogs. The majority of this time is spent reading other blogs. Particularly time consuming are blog awards where you need to pass on the honours to numerous fellow bloggers, but I believe these awards are at the heart of the spirit of blogging.

I have no set hours so this time could be spent any time of the day, and more usually the night, online. There are days when I have spent around ten hours reading other blogs. I also do not cease blogging at weekends or holidays. So I spend about 28-42 hours a week blogging. It’s certainly not all I do, but it is an ersatz occupation, which is what I have made it into to be productive on my own terms. I’m not a huge fan of watching TV and I needed something to focus on and work at when I discovered blogging.

This does not include the time I spend reading books to review for my blog, nor the time I spend looking for books on various social media platforms to read and review. I use my social media mainly to find other book lovers and bloggers and connect with them. I am certain my propensity for routine and the familiar is responsible for my compulsive blogging.

After realising just how much time I devote to this blog I took Sunday and Monday off to go do other things: watch the film Deadpool and inadvertently ending up in bookshops looking for more books to review. Since the start of 2016, I have made a point of going out weekly to the cinema and or brunch to make sure I don’t find myself in the familiar depression of having not left my home for days on end.

I am sure I didn’t spend this sort of time blogging three years ago and have put more and more time into this blog and posted more regularly as time has passed. As much as I enjoy blogging and reading, I am torn between my compulsion to do both and also do things outside my home for the sake of my own mental clarity and wellbeing.

With my wellbeing in mind I think I need to spend more time doing other things, but I’m so used to having a book in front of me or my tablet glued to my hands I am not easily persuaded to leave either in the pursuit of other activities. So I have decided I need one or two blog and book free days a week.

I’m not sure I can successfully stay away from blogging or reading without feeling at a loss, however, I feel it necessary to have days off to maintain my enjoyment of and enthusiasm for both.