For almost two years now I have been slowly building this blog to hopefully showcase some of the amazing authors I have had to pleasure of reading and in some cases getting to know. Being a book blogger, Bookstagramer, reviewer as well as maintaining a full-time workload (I am a store manager for a women’s retailer and absolutely love my job) can be challenging. There are plenty of times when I get home at the end of a long day (especially during the holidays) and all I want to do is shower, throw on sweat pants and crawl into bed. I think we all feel like this at some points during out week/and our lives, but the one thing I have realized over the past few years is that we must continue to push thru and do what we love. The outcomes are always worth the effort we put in.
I decided for my first post this year (let’s face it I have been a little MIA the past 5-6 months) should be answering some of the questions I commonly get about how I balance it all. Which is always a work in progress and evolving. I know this will be completely different for everyone, and I will include some of the tricks I use to keep myself on track and continually pushing towards my goals.
How on earth do you read so many books?
Let’s start off with I do have my moments. There are times when I will take a week or more to finish a book due to that thing called life. If it’s a busy work week and I am exhausted, making time for the gym/yoga, events with friends, etc. then I may not have as much time to physically pick up the book and read. If I pick up a book that I enjoy and can’t put down, then I can finish it in 1-2 days.
Also, second part of this answer is I read fast. I have always had the odd ability to fly thru reading material and retain it. I don’t know how, where or when this developed, but over time I have realized it’s such an amazing gift for me to have. (especially since reading is a huge passion)
How do you balance a fulltime job with reading and reviews?
I actually got this question from a relative during the holidays and it really hit me hard. The way the question was presented it was made to sound more like an insult then a curious question. So of course, I got defensive. (Holidays bring out the best in us, right?)
I relate this to anything people are passionate about. You enjoy going to the gym for hours a day? How do you do that with work? You go before or after work, you go in the middle of the night.
You are someone who enjoys going to concerts? How do you manage with a full time job? You adjust your schedule or take time off.
How do I make time to read so much? I wake up earlier, stay up a bit later or just take a half hour to step away from everything and just read. I turn my phone to silent and enjoy my peace. Sometimes on my day off I will say no to plans so I can take time for myself.
The last one is always hard for me to do, but over the past few years I have become very aware of my tendency to take on everything and leave little or no time for myself. I am now getting to a point that I understand that saying no is not a bad thing, but a necessary one.
As with anything in life, you make time for things that bring you joy and happiness. Balance.
How do you afford to buy so many books?
This one makes me laugh. Similar to the prior question we save or spend money on things we like and enjoy. Also, as a book blogger and reviewer I receive a good number of books from the publishers and public relations agencies for free to give honest reviews. I also have many authors I love who I pre order anytime they have a new release.
If you love something you buy it!
**Side note: I do lend my books to friends, family and coworkers. This way many people are able to enjoy these incredible works. I also a few times a year clean my shelves and donate books to the local public library or local women’s shelters in the area.
Where do you keep all these books?
Another question that always makes me laugh a bit. Where do I keep them? Well on shelves, I have two book carts where I keep my ARC’s (advance reader copies) so they don’t get lost in the shuffle of other books. I even have a few books on my nightstand, one always in my car (have to have backups) and my kindle is always fully charged as well.
How do you keep track of reviews and book tours?
I love this question! Organization is a huge part of my life and always has been. I am a planner by nature and knowing what is coming down the line gives me peace of mind. In perfect planner fashion, I have a physical date book that I write in any ARC when I receive them. I write in onto the publication date while including the publisher, where I received the copy from (PR agency, Author, or publisher), and keep all book tour dates and posts scheduled out in advance.
As with anything in life it is always a work in progress that will evolve as we learn and grow. When you find something, you love and want to dedicate time and effort to then there will be no stopping you.
I would love to hear from all of you how you balance your passions and life?