1. When it comes to prioritizing your life, in what place does blogging fall?
Blogging has been a preoccupation for the past six months...because I've been a baby blogger and wanted to see Rags against the Machine grow. Last fall I set myself the challenge of seeing if I could blog EVERY day of the semester. It was a sort of test to see how well I could balance the blog with my professional life. I managed it, but I was definitely ready to regroup over the holidays. I resolved to set a more realistic challenge of blogging just five days a week, although the habit has become ingrained and most of the time, I still manage 7 days a week. However, blogging is a hobby. My professional life must come first and on days when I miss, it is generally because I have a more important professional commitment. I do think one day a week just to visit other blogs and not post myself would be ideal.
2. We all wish we had more free time to dedicate to blogging and all it entails. What are your tricks for taking advantage of the time you do have to be as productive as possible?
I try to give forethought to my blog a month at a time and plan out possible posts and different things I could feature. I generally take my photos in two or three grand dress up sessions over the course of a month. During the winter, I've had to do this because I often don't have good light to work with. In that sense, Rags is not an outfit of the day post, but I do often wear the same outfit to work. Also, I've been known to schedule posts as far as seven days in advance when I know I'm going to be going through an especially busy time, like grading several stacks of papers in a week's time.
3. Have you discovered any short-cuts that makes blogging easier or more time efficient?
I'm drawing a blank here. Blogging is hard work if you want your blog to grow and if you want to have real relationships with your readers. That is one thing I'm struggling with now...the blog has grown and I'm beginning to wonder how many relationships with fellow bloggers I can realistically maintain. Ideally, I want to visit all my blogger friends on a daily basis; realistically I'm finding that is either not possible or not possible in the thoughtful way I want to maintain.
4. Do you have an editorial calendar or something similar that helps you plan ahead?
My "calendar" is a legal pad. Early in the month, I will scribble in planned posts that are part of Feminist Fashion Bloggers, Fashion/Beauty Friend Friday, or the Every Body, Every Wear. I have several features like Fashion Memories, DIY posts, interviews, and the Sisterhood of the Traveling Book that I want to maintain on a monthly basis. It has helped to set a theme for the year. Sampling a different color scheme each month has greatly focused my shopping and it also reduces the possible combinations I can come up with. But, by the end of the year, I will have worn everything in my closet.
5. If time wasn’t an issue what you would be doing on your blog/for your blog that you aren’t doing now?
I would be doing more research for one. I have some minimal training as a journalist and as an academic. I often wish that my blog posts were digging out the answers to questions I wonder about--on presentation, on our consumer culture, on the phenomenon of aging. For example this week, I could have gone to hear a presentation by Susan Bardo, offered free by the Kansas City Public Library. I would have loved to hear her thoughts on "how society's perception of beauty has changed over the years." Last night, I missed an opportunity to attend a drag show sponsored by the Gay/Straight Alliance on my campus. That would have been great material for the blog and a lot of fun to boot. In my research on dots, I learned of a habit called "patching"; women in the 18th century would cover facial blemishes with patches of black cloth and wear them out in public. Who knew? I also wish that I could do more locations photos. Wish I knew more about photography and about html!
Fashion Beauty Friend Friday is a group of over 500 bloggers organized by Katy Rose at Modly Chic. The group is open to anyone who wishes to join. Weekly participation is entirely voluntary. It is a great resource for bloggers at all stages of blogging. Click on the link if you are interested in joining.