Reading, Writing & Awards – Trying to Keep up (but Failing)

Last Week I Saw a Tweet

In case you don’t know what tweet I’m talking about, take a second and look at it here. Arthifis explains that he is having a hard time keeping up with reading everyone’s posts. I can totally relate. Around the same time I was thinking of writing an article addressing why I haven’t been reading as much as I used to as well as responding to the (many) blog award nominations I receive. Seeing how this is an issue we probably all face, or will at some point, let’s have ourselves a discussion on the topic.

Reading Content

First and foremost, this discussion isn’t meant to make excuses. I actively want to read everybody’s content, I am just struggling to do it. In some cases, I’m just not able to give proper acknowledgement that I’ve read something, which I’ll discuss shortly. Either way, I hope that my explaining this will explain what’s been going on and my thoughts on said topic. Additionally, maybe I’ll be able to help others who feel overburdened by the amount they have to read each day.

Let’s start with my personal hurdles to reading. For starters, I genuinely do not enjoy reading. This is a side-effect of going to university that turned a pleasure activity into a work activity. That being said, I like hearing everybody’s thoughts on stuff but I have to really motivate myself to actually sit down and read.

This is where a schedule comes into play. You may notice I do a lot of my reading during the mid-afternoon or evening time. For me, this is the best time to be reading and the time I set aside for it. Still, I don’t always manage to do so everyday. On average, I read about 3-4 times a week at most.

That number probably seems low, and well, that’s because it is. During the week I face several interruptions to this schedule. Namely, Wednesday through the weekend. During these times I am out and about doing things. Wednesday I help run a church program as well as dancing and then during the weekend I take personal time to do things with people or spend time with family.

So I don’t read at all during these times? No, I actually do read most of the time still but there’s a problem. I have to use my phone. When I read on my phone I can’t always like or comment on whatever I’m reading, which means I forget (often) to come back and give proper acknowledgement to the author. This is actually the case a lot more often than you probably imagine. Sometimes I can work around this but not always.

When this is not occurring I follow a set of rules for reading posts. They are as follows:

  • Is the WordPress reader working? Sometimes it just breaks and I can’t read any posts. I don’t know why. If it is working I check for the rest.
  • Am I personally interested in the post? If yes, I generally read it.
  • Have I seen/read/listened to/played whatever the article is about? If yes, I typically read. If not then I might decide not to in order to avoid spoilers (for stuff I plan to get around to). Otherwise, it may just be that I have no interest.
  • Who wrote the article? Now this sounds mean, but I care about some people’s work more than others. There are people that produce content I want to view almost every time and others that I’ll look at something maybe once a month. I follow A LOT of people so this is one of the ways I deal with the volume of content that comes my way.

While I might miss out on some great content doing things this way, it does seem to make reading less stressful at least. I know I’m always bummed when not everybody reads my content, so I really would like to be able to read everybody else’s (especially those who regularly read mine) but if I did that then that creates a new issue.

Creating Content

If I were to focus on reading everything, which I tried for exactly one month, I noticed that I couldn’t produce content. Sure, I was producing content, but not at my accepted standard or frequency. There needs to be a balance between the two. If one or the other is just eating all of your time then you need to step back and reevaluate.

When I did this I virtually stopped reading. I felt really bad about that though, which in turn made me feel really guilty about producing any content. I’ll be straight with you here, I often feel like I should stop writing altogether and just disappear from this blogging community because I don’t think I’m doing enough. My content is just average if I’m being frank, and after getting Jon’s Creator Showcase up and running, I feel pretty good about having “left my mark.”

I don’t plan on going anywhere but the amount of stress involved with this non-existent balance between reading, writing, and life, that’s what I wanted to do for awhile. I think it is only just now that I’m finding a balance in what I’m doing.

As I mentioned, real life stuff is also playing a role here. While I have “lots of free time” I’m just not all that motivated a lot of the time. Between looking for work, managing all the projects I’m a part of (both online and offline), and trying to still enjoy myself it is starting to take a toll. Money is a constant worry for me, I only make $56 a month and I can’t find work even with the help of the government and a job developer that they are paying for.

From experience, I know that when I’m not worrying about that and have settled into a more secure schedule for general existence, that finding the reading/writing balance to be a lot easier. I can do WAY more of both. So that’s my advice here, make sure that you are taking care of yourself first. Then work towards finding a balance, this may even mean that you just don’t read a lot of what comes your way and that’s ok. Unless your livelihood comes from blogging and interacting with people on here, you can afford to take a step back and you shouldn’t feel guilty about it.

You don’t owe us anything.

Any way, maybe that was too personal? Still, I think this is something we all get caught up in and forget about. You should come first, then everything else. I have one more tiny blurb to mention and then that’s it for today.


I receive a lot of award nominations. A lot of folks I know do too. Many people respond to them and that’s awesome! However, I just can’t. I appreciate them, like I’m sure everybody does, but if I were to respond to each one I get then all my content would turn into responses to them.

If you nominate me for an award, I’ll occasionally make a blog post here. More likely, I’ll come and thank you on the post itself and answer any of the questions (or whatever the tag wanted me to do) on the post itself. I don’t want to cheat you out of getting to know me better but these nominations should not come at the sacrifice of the content I want to create.

Some of you may notice some irony in what I’m saying since I created the showcase. Totally fair to call me out on that, but I expressly designed that to be a one time deal on Twitter for a reason. Very low effort to participate and the real work is for who’s hosting (which is voluntary). Just thought I should clarify that here since I’m sure somebody will have thought about that.

Keep Doing Your Best!

No matter what, I hope that you all continue to do your best. Even if you can’t read everything or only post sporadically, just keep at it. You can do it and I’m sure there are so many people who support you. That’s all I had for today so I hope you got something out of this and I look forward to seeing you back here again soon!



19 thoughts on “Reading, Writing & Awards – Trying to Keep up (but Failing)

  1. Very relatable post! Honestly, I think I’m less stressed out about my blog nowadays than I was before? I think it may be because I’m not forcing myself to do as much. I only post when I really want to or need to (when I sign up for blog tours), and reading, well, who isn’t behind? That’s kind of one of the reasons I also don’t really go around looking for more bloggers to follow because I feel bad if I follow someone and then can’t keep up with their posts. I’m also the same about what bloggers have priority in my reader, which does sound mean but also realistic. I’m sure everyone does it

    I don’t really have a schedule or anything for when I read. Some days I have almost the whole day to devote to blogging and that’s when I try to read as much as I can while other times I’m rushing from one job to the next or knocking out as soon as I get home or maybe I need to adult or maybe all of these combined! One thing I try to do though is give priority to bloggers I enjoy reading from but also people who frequent my blog. I feel like if they took the time to check out my content I can at least do the same 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy to hear you got something out of this 🙂 what you are doing sounds vey reasonable to me, we are all so busy! To the last point, I’m the same way and I always feel better when I cane manage it :/

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Blogging shouldn’t be a obligation ever. I have trouble keeping up with people posts. Generally I’ll like posts I’m interested in reading then come back to them later on . This works well for me then when I’ve read it I’ll comment XD great post 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I used to check every post written by my followers. Now that my audience has grown that just isn’t possible. I dedicate an hour to blogging a day and will focus on the people who comment/like my stuff. If there is any time left, after that, I skim the feed for articles that look interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for the post! I definitely find it hard to keep up with everyone with a full time job in the mix and needing to read to be able to post reviews for my own blog. But, I really enjoy everyone’s knowledge and input, so I try my best! (and I’ll try not to take the ‘who writes the post’ comment personally! 😉🍻)

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha ha! I wasn’t trying to call you out! You just seemed to be apologizing so much that I had to make waves. 😉 💖 I would hope no one would ever blame you. I’ve commented on other people’s blogs saying that even parents pretend they don’t have favourites. Lol! We’re better than that. 😉😄

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post! As I said in the original twitter thread – even though I am incredibly grateful to everyone that takes the time to read my posts – I would hate to think people are forcing themselves to do so. Besides if you approach it as a chore – even if it’s a fantastic post – you’re not likely to enjoy it much. That’s why I really don’t mind if people just read posts on my blog when they come across something that really interests them. (This is where my lack of naming skills starts to worry me but that’s neither here nor there). I have found myself at times sick over a weekend or just extremely busy and not able to read posts and I know I feel guilty and just as if something’s off so I definitely understand ho one would feel obligated. I know that my ongoing reader issues that make me occasionally skip posts from some of my favorite bloggers also drive me crazy.
    So yeah – no one can keep up and you shouldn’t have to.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Irina! I really need to drop by your place and read some stuff. I know you have published some great content recently but I keep missing it >.<

      Sometimes you just need that reminder to take a step back and remember that nobody is expecting you to read or comment on every post, that would be silly. So I hope others find this article and all these comments insightful.

      Thanks again for the kind words and for reading! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Blogging and reading blogs shouldn’t feel like an obligation. This is supposed to be fun and a way to enjoy your interests and connect with people. Some people will do it everyday because they enjoy it, whereas others will spend less time. I don’t think there’s any right way to go about reading or creating content as each person is going to decide what is fun for them and what they will enjoy.

    Though I agree that reading on your phone is awful. I’m usually forced into when I’m on the road for work and I can’t see all the posts that have come out, I can’t always comment, and I know I can’t write anything on my phone so if I haven’t pre-scheduled a post I’m out of luck. Fortunately, once I get to my destinations, I usually have computer access again.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree with you. The minute something feels like work when it is supposed to be fun means there is a problem.

      I can’t imagine ever writing on my phone. I gave that a go a whole one time, and that was just for an edit, which was too much even. Same though, outside of weekends, I usually have my computer handy.

      Thanks for reading and the comment 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  7. This was a great post Jon, and it’s a topic which I think most of us can all relate to. As you know I am one of those people that just reads a lot, but also loves placing comments, because I love the interaction with everyone (It’s really one of the best things that I have liked about blogging). But there are lately days where it can get overwhelming. I have a very demanding and currently very busy day job. Sometimes I just get home exhausted and love to relax a bit, winding down and watching some anime or other stuff.
    But I also love my blog a lot..and it’s always nice to check out the content of other blogs too. I now have pretty much this ritual. Before I am going to work I usually spent about an hour checking out the reader, and replying to comments. And after work is where I spent the most time usually 2-3 hours reading, replying to posts etc. That leaves about an hour or two for other stuff on weekdays.
    So can get demanding (even though I love it). As for awards…I just saw it over on Kings’ blog where he wrote a post that he could not keep up anymore with those and just said he would not accept any more awards. I can really understand that. I am not kidding when I say I now have over 50 awards post that I haven’t written a post for yet, and as much as I would want to..I just would not know how I could ever write all of those.
    The thing is: I think everyone that blogs regularly also understands how sometimes you just can’t read every single post out there. Nor leave a comment on every post. (As much as I am still trying to do that lol). But seriously I totally understand it. That is why I think this was a great post that is a big help to bloggers both old and new. Thanks for sharing this: and happy blogging to you! 😀

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Happy to hear that this was a meaningful post 🙂 It’s good to have a routine for this kind of thing too. As for awards, no kidding! Trying to do so many posts, eventually that’s all a blog would be which isn’t exactly interesting. Any way, thanks again for reading and all the kind words 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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