Thursday, 4 November 2010

My name is Jane and I'm a blogoholic

I’m serious, lovely PB friends, all 147 of you (and hello to all the new faces – welcome to life on this crazy planet!). Dead set. This post has been brewing for a while and now I’m ordering an ‘intervention’ for myself. So what’s going on? Well, I think (er, know) I’m finding this bloggy caper a tad (make that very) addictive. It’s having a real and detrimental effect on my life and I need to take some action. So, are any of you nodding away there, thinking “Oh, yes, Jane, I hear you”? Maybe some of you are scratching your heads in disbelief, wondering “What is she talking about?”. Well, my bloggy friends, let me explain myself. A self-diagnosis, if you will. Or a public service announcement – take your pick!


So, back to basics to start. Is ‘blogoholic’ even a word (you all know how much I love words)? Well, Mr Wikipedia says so (‘a person addicted to blogging’. Hmm, original.). Hey, there’s even a quiz to determine whether I’m one. The result?
I do quibble, however, with the reference to StumbleUpon (I tried living in that universe and soon fled back to Planet Baby, chastened. It’s so unrewarding, infinite and soulless. And no, I didn’t insert the hyperlink for it!). I’ll settle for ‘82% addicted to blogging’. Woops!


I have so many, it’s hard to know where to start. This post mentions 100 symptoms of a blogoholic (I scored 46. That makes me feel a teensy bit better!). Here are a few of mine:


Obsessive monitoring of my statistics. I didn’t choose just one statistics site, like other bloggers. No, too many stats are never enough for a blogoholic. I signed up with SiteMeter, Lijit and StatCounter. Here's the kind of information I've been poring over.

For the longest time, I even had all three widgets on my sidebar. I have no idea why. Maybe I was trying to compare which one was the best so I could dump the others. But then I found they all had different, yet excellent, features. So I was torn between them. And kept them all, flitting between them, trying to meld the information into something useful. A fruitless task. I’ve now settled for one. And it really doesn't matter which one I chose.

Leaving the computer on all day. Before blogging, I would check my e-mails and Facebook a few times a day. Each time, I would turn the computer off. Now turning it on the first thing I do when I get out of bed and turning it off is the last thing I do before going to sleep.


I am exhausted. Before blogging, I used to go to bed at about 10.30 pm. Now it’s mostly midnight, at the earliest (maybe you’ve noticed the strange times of my posts and wondered if they were for real. All real.). I wake up in a haze of sleep deprivation and stagger through my day on PB.

I sit at the computer for most of the day. I don’t spend much direct time with the pixies anymore. I initiate activities for them which will maximise the time I have to blog. Oh, and maybe incidentally, minimise my efforts to engage with them properly. Sigh. Here I am, caught in the act.

I have hardly had any proper contact with my family and friends lately. This is particularly disturbing. I am so tired, I can’t even remember who I need to contact, let alone write a list or even follow it. I have cards and presents waiting to be sent (or even purchased) to babies who were born weeks, if not months, ago. I forgot to go to my friend’s dad’s funeral (she was very gracious about it). A close friend has a sick father and I can’t remember to ring her. My girlfriend just remarried and is pregnant and I haven’t a. bought her an engagement present, b. bought her a wedding present or c. even rung her. And I feel terribly guilty. But as soon as I remember, I forget again.

I haven’t read my magazine subscriptions for months. Before blogging, I treasured reading my favourite magazines such as Notebook, Country Style and Home Beautiful. Now I have a huge pile which is about three months’ old, lying there, unread. Unopened even. Hmm. What is going on?

I hardly read my Sydney Morning Herald anymore. I adore this newspaper and used to devour every word. Now I barely have time to scan it each day.

I haven’t done any cross-stitch for months. Before blogging, I adored my cross-stitch. I have almost finished Sam’s Beatrix Potter birth sampler but I haven’t touched it for months. This is where I'm up to.


My sleep deprivation has exacerbated my PND. Before blogging, we’d finally made a breakthrough with my medication after over a year of trying all sorts of combinations. I was starting to feel a little more human again. Now for weeks, I’ve been on a downhill slide (I’m going to do some separate posts on my PND sometime soon).

I have bloggy brain. Do you know the sensation of walking around constantly composing posts in your head? Or thinking as things are occurring whether they are ‘post-worthy’ and if so, which angle you should take in the post? Or taking photos purely for your blog? Or staging photos to take for your blog? Hmm, guilty as charged.

My brain is addled. As in mentally confused or muddled. These analogies fit:

1. My brain feels like mud.

2. I can’t remember to even write a to-do list, let alone use it (so unlike Ms Virgo me). Even this is beyond me at the moment.

3. I feel like I’m swimming through treacle.

4. My brain is like alphabet, no make that word, soup. This image sums it up best.

Take a peek inside my head
How did I contract this condition?

Don’t get me wrong. I adore this bloggy caper. I wouldn’t change things for quids. I’m so delighted to have found you all. To have connected. To have been transported to faraway lands. To have shared in life’s challenges with you. To have discovered brands, shops, websites and groups I never knew existed. To have formed friendships. To have helped connect people with similar interests. To have had private e-mail conversations with a multitude of people spread all over the world.

It’s just that I’ve overdone it. The tireder I get, the more obsessed I’ve become. I’ve forgotten that the main reasons I blog are for my personal satisfaction in recording moments on PB for posterity (particularly given my PND) and rediscovering ‘Jane the person’. I’ve become caught up in worrying about unimportant things. I fret over the tiniest details. My posts take hours to draft (that comes with the territory with 3 under 5, I suppose, but I really do preview my draft posts too much). Okay, maybe I don’t have many typos or errors, but at what cost? I don’t want blogging to feel like a chore or an unpleasant task. I want it to be joyful, satisfying and liberating.


Right. So, where to from here (she asks somewhat nervously)? Here’s my plan.

Reduce the number of blogs to which I subscribe. Last night, I was horrified to see in Google Reader that I was following 532 blogs! Yes, no typo. 532. After concentrating on the task for 30 minutes, I’d reduced my list to 222 - see? I’ll cull some more tomorrow.

Unsubscribe from the dozens of search engines, blog networks, shops and other companies who send me their e-mails and newsletters. My life functioned quite well before I knew all these things existed. I simply don’t have the time or energy to waste on reading them, let alone thinking about them or acting on them.

Instead of posting most days, I think I’ll change to every 1-2 days. I need to actually have a life outside Blogland!

Stop purchasing e-books and downloading PDFs about blogging. I have 16 waiting to be read. I am not joking. I’m sure they will be useful. It’s just that I’m not in the right space to use them at the moment. I need to step back and think about what blogging really means to me.

Respond to comments on my posts once a day, probably at night. I know I’m a bit unusual in that I respond to every comment left. But that’s important to me. You’ve taken the time and effort to connect with me and I want to return the courtesy. But as the readership of PB grows, that might become a bit too much. I’ll just wait and see. But for now, I’m going to try to only do it once a day, not pouncing on comments as soon as they arrive.

So there you have it, my lovelies. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Does any of this sound familiar? Are you conflicted like me? Have you been down this road, too? Do you have any advice for me? I’d love you to share – surely I can’t be the only one (she asks rhetorically, in a high-pitched voice)?! Oh, and should I join Blogoholics Anonymous?


  1. Jane this blogging thing is addictive, I agree but roll with it, the blog love and freindships are amazing. Letitia x

  2. Well that is a very honest post Jane. I think the trap is that you say 'I will just have a quick look' and then that becomes half an hour or an hour. I actually thunk all. Imputed messing around activity is addictive. My suggestion is to have Very Strict computer times and stick to them. I am sorry you have had / had PND you are not alone xoxo

  3. Right blossom, we need to have a serious chat! I used to have many of your symptoms (apart from the stats thing...I don't do numbers!)so I completely relate to all the things you say and while I'm better (apart from the nervous twitch - joking) I'm by no means cured! And I'm sure I'm not alone. I know it gives you enormous pleasure, but the pleasure isn't diminished if you do it a little less. I promise :)

  4. I hear you... the short sharp shock of my sister being seriously ill snapped me out of it... I don't recommend that though! I'm just disciplined now and only have the laptop on first thing in the morning and last thing at night... Now I have a new craze... sewing... the hubby asks when I'll fit him in! Take care. Lx

  5. You're so funny. I wondered how you managed such wonderful blogs and so many entries, so uesful and long, with 3 kids under 5. (I have the same) and I nodded with you :-) I have introduced Friday night - family fun night. One night whereby after dinner I stay AWAY from the computer and we all get to choose one boardgame or idea or thing to make and do that night ;-) So I feel slighty less guilty. hehehe But yes still sleep deprived ;-)
    Please keep at it. We love your blog !!!

  6. *Giggles* I'm going away for the weekend for some blogging addiction relief!

  7. Oh Jane, I hear you! This blogging is addictive!! I think it all comes down to why you blog. Do you blog for your own pleasure or do your blog for others with the plan being to gain as many followers as possible?

    When I first started blogging I must admit I felt a thrill every time a new person followed me as surely that meant I was doing something right!! I probably blog on average 1 - 2 times a week (although having said that I haven't blogged for about two weeks). I read others blogs and comment more frequently than I myself post. I blog whenever I have something interesting to post and although I only have 40 followers I find it's mostly the same 10 or so people that leave comments. I like that as I get to "know" these bloggers better.

    Whatever your reason for blogging I do think you that if you're finding yourself 'addicted' that you set aside times for blogging and try to stick to them!

    Good luck! xx

  8. oh janey....this thinking is all to familiar...

    i think in the early days blogging is like a *fix* of your favourite vice...
    it takes you away from your kiddos and friends...
    it fills your every thought...
    you direct your day *around it* not *it around your day*...
    but dear friend all addicted behaviour catches up with you at some stage...
    you need to sit back & enjoy the ride of both your *real* day and your *real bloggy day*...
    you need to think about why you it the thrill of having people read your it the buzz of gaining followers...
    or is it the communication with other wonderful talented people around the globe that makes you smile...
    for me...with the three kiddos and hubster and I living abroad on our own , without a support network, it can't ever be about disappearing into the blog world more than the real...nor would i want it to be...although I will readily admit I love it more each day...
    you are an incredible writer & your posts are brilliant...but I, for one, love to think you *BALANCE* this with creating real memories with your little ones...
    go have a wine sweetie, pour me one, put your feet up and just enjoy the moment....bloggy & real.....

    melissa xx

  9. Wow Jane, honest and I am so sure you are not alone.

    Now I'm going to get bossy (remember my bossy side?)
    Firstly DON"T reply to this comment! Get a little lazy about it... write less and comment less we'll still love you!

    Remember my lazy side? I have to be a bit lazy as a blogger or it would take over. I post a couple of times a week and don't follow oodles of blogs (much as I'd like to) I am finding it hard enough to keep up with the small number of followers I have and the comments people make as it is! Otherwise it will turn into the job I don't have (and don't want)... chin up my dear. Take a day or two completely for PB (the real one) and leave the virtual one - it's quite nice to do it. x

  10. WOW you are hard core! What is an ebook? Oh and sorry to be the barer of bad news, But NoteBook Magazine has folded.:-(

    Yes it can be addictive and well done for pointing out all the issues you are having with it. Go and enjoy. xo

  11. Jane you are too funny and very true..i think everyone has a little or a lot of blogging obsessiveness..i used to be so bad too and have so many on my site list to see and i'm always finding new ones i love,as long as i balance it all with family life it's ok.

    have a loving weekend sweetie.

    p.s so glad you are are part of my giveaway ..good-luck :) xx

  12. Happy happy hugs today for you from me, another blogoholic ;) xoxoxo

  13. It is totally addictive. And I now feel blog guilt as well as mummy guilt, everything guilt etc etc. I love blogging but the last few months I've realised that there are times I just have to take a few steps back, away from and concentrate on life a bit more. It's hard but I think it's just like anything in life, there has to be balance. I love your blog Jane and it's sooooo cool watching it grow in leaps and bounds and I think it's your honesty like in this post that everyone loves!
    Hugs from Sydney,

  14. OMG, I'm exhausted for you Jane. I suspect you're generally a bit of an 'all or nothing' sort of gal like me. I could definitely get addicted to this game, but I've really made an effort not to go there. It's a bit like any sort of online caper - games, second life, all that stuff - you can get sucked right into your own head if you let yourself.

    Good on you for honestly getting to the bottom of all of this. You'll feel much fresher.

    I don't think the majority of us expect a personal answer to the comments we leave on our blog. I only really do it if someone asks me a direct question and even then I'm pretty slack. They know I love them anyway. No one has complained.

    Love your blog, Jane. But not as much as I love the lifestyle and family you blog about... x

  15. I see you have joined me this week Jane in hitting the proverbial wall. Perhaps we Virgo's are having one of those weeks.

    I have nearly an identical post that I wrote about three months into it. I think you are doing the right thing by taking a reality check. It can consume you and as others wisely said, you need to keep reminding yourself that your family and friends come first. This little blogging thing we do can be so much fun a times...the ideas flow, you look at the world around you with greater interest and before you know it you are hooked.

    I have to constantly make changes to keep myself same. I find posting every 2-3 days works better than every day. It gives readers a chance to take sit back and enjoy and I found I received more comments as a result. I do not get to hung up on the numbers anymore. If I worked my life around feeding the numbers, I would not have a life.
    I am sure I follow over 700 blogs by now and many I never get to read at all. That is ok. I tend to stay with the people who take the time to comment on mine and occasionally I will go in and have a look at what other people are doing. I like to follow whoever follows me as I think it is a nice gesture and I like to return the compliment. You have to be careful not to worry to much about the numbers.

    Write when you can, comment when you can and be sure it all comes after your family and friends and the other things you enjoy like cross stitch and reading magazines. I have found, after a year, that people often take little 'mini' breaks to get themselves back on track and then come back when they are ready.
    You might find you need to do the same...take a few deep breaths and remember that whatever you decide to do it is ok. Give the kids a hug, take long walks, kick your feet up with your husband and relax. If needed, you can do what I do and keep a journal close by to jot down the thoughts that come to mind and take comfort knowing that they are there. long a post I know but that is one of the things I enjoy about this. Short and sweet isn't my thing. You give it your all or nothing at all :))

    You take care Jane..just remember sometimes we just have to let it go..take the worries, wrap them all up and toss them out. If only it was that easy but every once in a while it does work.

    xx Jeanne

  16. Oh Jane, that post hit home. In the last couple of weeks I have been out of blog control. Last night I looked around the house and thought, no more tomorrow I clean. Guess what? here I am for "just a minute" I tell myself one more and then I'll stop.
    Okay now I will just do my post then STEP AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER. Thanksf or the virtual wake up call.

  17. He he he, i got into blogging this year as my husband was away for 9 months. It's handy adult contact at night with the mummy/ craft/ business world for me. Now he's home he monitors me & it works. As a housewife who works from home (all children in school) i leave the laptop in another room (i know, waste of Wifi) so i can sew & not skip a heart beat every time a comment arrives in my InBox to approve. So i check before school pick up & after dinner, then little pockets on weekends. I don't do anything other than blog (no FB or Tweets) so that helps, plus 4 children's homework is a handy distraction. Love Posie

  18. Oh Jane, what an honest and thought provoking post. I think the reason that your blog is so successful is because of the issues and stories that you share with us. Whilst it's also obvious the work that you put into your posts we would still read even if they weren't so amazingly put together.
    Try giving yourself permission to blog less and self impose a time limit on how long it takes to put a post together - see how it goes.
    You have set up a truly great blog, it's OK to take a step back and move into management mode now. Time for a self care check. x

  19. Oh Jane! I am exhausted for you! There is some wonderful advice above and as the others have said, blog less and comment less! I love reading your blog and know that I will love reading any future entries, regardless of whether they come everyday or infrequently. I also know that I would be much happier reading your wonderful posts knowing that you are not overdoing it! Thinking of you and take whatever time off that you need to. xx

  20. Oh, you sweethearts! Thanks ever so much for your heartfelt comments, sympathy and empathy. I'm a lucky girl. Note this is the first time I've commented today ☺. Just quickly, I'll say a few things. Promise.

    Miss Melissa, fab idea about pouring a glass of wine. Just waiting for Mr PB to bring some home!

    And thanks, Mrs Woog, the (sad) folding of Notebook had actually pierced my brain in the middle of all this! I now have my last two treasured editions to read.

    What is it about us Virgos, Jeanne?! Thanks so much for your thoughtful insights. I'm going to hunt down that post of yours (quickly, of course!).

    Bethan and Emma, thanks so much - I really appreciate the sentiments. They will reinforce my resolve to find the right balance. J x

  21. Oh dear! Oh so familiar. The fan goes constantly on my laptop (it never gets turned off). Great post!


  22. Love your post Jane! I've lost count of the number of times I've read posts by bloggers putting their hands up to blog-addiction, me included! It always seems to follow a similar timeframe, don't worry, next thing to look forward to is the first "blogging break" or "losing your blogging mojo". I loved your post though as anything I read which affirms I'm not alone in my blog maddness is always welcome!

    MD xx

  23. You are not alone. And I love this post.


  24. jane - awesome - you sound like my snowballing problem - the steps you mention i am nodding to all the way through the post.
    i agree - a programme of management is just the thing - before it gets messy and someone gets hurt. i'll be following - just not past bedtime and after a bit of craft and only when playschool is on.

  25. A great, honest post Jane - I often find my 'just half hour of blog browsing' dragging on and on as I get sidetracked and led onto new sites and blogs and Etsy finds :) I turn the computer on first thing in the morning before everyone wakes and I enjoy a cuppa and check emails and perhaps one or two blogs. My main blog time is when Grace sleeps. I try not to go on the computer outside these times unless, like tonight, hubby is out and Grace is in bed. I try not to go on the web late at night as I find I end up lying in bed with things buzzing around my head :) I too have had to be ruthless with the blogs I follow and had a little 'cull'. I must admit I was a bit shocked the other day to see I'd been 'unfollowed' by two bloggers but now I totally understand the need for people to keep their blogroll more manageable. I've also had to come to terms with the fact that I can't read every post that every blogger writes.

  26. yup, I'm an addict too! and feeding a hungry baby doesn't help my problem!

  27. Oh, ladies! Now I don't feel so unusual ☺. It's heartening to know - thankyou. Taking a step back this weekend has really changed my perspective for the better. J x

  28. There really should be a Blogology 101 Manual out there with caveat emptor 'Blogger Beware - addiction likely'.

    Knowing that you possess both a lively mind and sparkling personality, it seems likely that the blogging world is a terrific forum for you to connect with others like yourself and to be productive/creative in a totally 'Un-PB' way.

    Like many of your other responders, it is likely that I too will have to start a sentence with ...

    "Hello, my name is Felicity and I'm a blogaholic."

    ... x Felicity

  29. I espouse to the 'A little bit often' theory in blogdom. And someone once told me 'More pictures less words Millie' & I got the hint very quickly! I've never once bothered with the stats stuff, although Son #3 in Melb. keeps tabs for a laugh & gives me an up-date when he comes over for his annual Chrissie vist. I'm very remiss at answering comments, I do my best & don't fret if I fail. Remember you are a sum of all your parts, & blogging should be just one of those parts, not the entire thing. I learnt very early to push the chair back from the computer after 20 mins. I'm sure you'll find your blogging equilibrium Jane.

  30. Oh Jane, you see, you definitely are not alone. And there is such great advice in all the comments above. I'm a Virgo like you, and relate to so much of what you say and where you're at. I'm taking heart from so much of this advice too. Balance is key. Blogging is such an inter-connected world and that is such a big part of why it is so enjoyable. But sometimes you do have to consciously pull back. Like Jeanne, I follow lots of blogs, but I tend to stay with the people who take the time to comment on mine and occasionally I will go in and have a look at what other people are doing. I like to follow whoever follows me as I think it is a nice gesture and I like to return the compliment. And like you, I like those numbers!
    Take some time out for you! Amanda xx

  31. Oh, my! I never expected this post would elicit so many responses. I suspect I may have touched the odd nerve here and there. So comforting I'm not the only one ☺.

    Felicity, you sweetheart. You're exactly right - that's how I feel. I just have to get the balance right, as both Millie and Amanda point out. Thanks, ladies! J x

  32. Jane, I hope you get this post still since it's older, but I read this a couple of days ago, and came back to read it again. I'm new to blogging, and I've laughed and laughed because I'm starting to do the same things. I'm having to pull back and it's been less than a month. I'm crazy, obsessed! I turned 42 in December so I started my blog as a pick me up. I have two children under five so I admire you for the three....You work even harder. I will keeep coming back to this to remind myself that I need to remember it's a hobby...but for the first time in five years, I'm pretending I have a writing career and it keeps me somewhat sane on those days that it's nuts. Thank you!

  33. Hi Leigh

    I'm so delighted you stopped by here and that you enjoyed it. In all my 40 years, I had no idea this side of my personality existed! At least you can laugh about it.

    Feel free to jump aboard and become a Planetarian. I'm now following you and look forward to following your life with littlies. J x

  34. I've just been looking around your lovely blog and found this beauty. Oh, this was me a few months back. I've been quite ill the past 5 weeks and it's been my reality check to cull the time I spend on my computer. Good on you for identifying the issues and making the changes. And I'll never be offended if you don't comment to my every post. I know I try to get to everyone too, but sometimes there's just not enough time to stay on top of it all! (especially when you have 222 subscriptions. Whoah! And now that you've stepped back for a couple of months, how do you think you are with it all now? I only blog at night and check personal emails then too. I've had to be disciplined or hubby and the kids miss out. And they're too important for that. Thanks for sharing your journey. I really appreciate this post and could identify with all of it! xx

  35. Oh, Kymmie, I hope you're feeling better now, you poor thing. Er, and I think it might be 387 now - better than the 528 I had last week before a big cull ☺. J x


Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, you gorgeous soul. You've just made my day! J x

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