Are You A Planner Or A Splurger?

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In five years of blogging at Didyoumakethat, I’ve never had a blog schedule. But I’m beginning to wonder if I should.

The aspects of blogging that I have always really loved are spontaneity and independence. I’ll write about what I want to, when I want to, if I want to. I do enjoy regularity of blogging – staying in contact with my readers. But this winter I’ve sometimes had to dig deep to support the hobby I love. And I do love blogging.

With about 30 minutes of natural light per winter day, the options for taking blog photos can be really limited. Plus, with a full-time job and a dog to walk, my midweek sewing time often contracts to zero. Which means that both blogging and sewing end up being weekend pursuits. As does having a life, seeing my friends, getting out of the house and sleeping in! So, you know.

I’m not alone in this dilemma. There has to be a solution, surely!

I’ve dragged a monthly planner home from the office. I’m going to attempt to use it to think ahead and plan a bit more. Within reason. I’m sure there’ll still be the spontaneous blog post written propped up in bed at 5am or 10pm. I just can’t help myself. I’m a splurger.

What about you? Are you a planner or a splurger? And do you have any tips for someone who’d like to be both?

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52 Responses to Are You A Planner Or A Splurger?

  1. I just started using an editorial calender for blogging and it really has made a huge difference for me. I love to blog but finding the time is a problem. The calender I use is just a simple month calender and what I did was write down all the ideas for the posts I thought I might want to write this month in pencil. Then as I actually sat down and wrote them and scheduled them to be posted (most in creative spurts with a cup of coffee and morning silence) I erased the pencil and wrote in pen the Title of the post on the day it was scheduled for. Hope that helps!

  2. Karen, if you ever manage to work this one out then please let me know. It’s really hard to fit in everything if you work and want to do anything else as well. I am definitely a splurger, some weeks I don’t even have time to post let alone make things. Some weeks I can post more than once. Maybe you could write a plan for the topics you would like to blog about for the year and then would know what fabric, notions, patterns you would need? Might take all the spontaneity and joy out of it though. Or do one of the sewing challenges like the Vintage Pattern or Wardrobe Architect? Keep up the mojo. xx

  3. Marianne says:

    Splurger! Deadlines and planning are for work, sewing and blogging are my creative outlets. I don’t sew for the blog, I blog about my sewing, or about sewing related issues. My sewing can be all over the place, from simple tees to jackets and evening wear so the number of posts varies, depending on my output. No news, no post. Personnally I prefer blogs with random posting over blogs with weekly schemes. Bloggers forcing themselves to come up with something just because it’s Monday can easily lose their authentic voice. Yay for spontaneity and independence!

    • Carolyn says:

      I second this! And I’ll add another point: I don’t restrict myself to only finished garment posts. I love blogging, and if I only blogged about my finished garments, I’d only have about 1 post per month. I think many bloggers shy away from garment-in-progress posts, but I actually really enjoy them – both writing my own and reading others. The in-progress posts are a great way to talk about construction details and technical stuff, which I think is really fun and a great opportunity for learning new skills.

      • Beth says:

        Thanks for writing that as that’s definitely something I should do! I agree it is fun to see something coming together. I’m currently following one girl’s creation of a dress and I’m looking forward to seeing the finished dress!

      • Jacana says:

        As a non blogger I enjoy your spontaneity and authentic voice Karen; but I’m sure it would help to make your life easier to have some sort of basic plan in place. Then you can throw it out if something better comes along. I also agree with Carolyn – garments in progress are really interesting – it is so good to see how others tackle construction details etc. Love photos with Ella so keep taking your photos while you walk the dog!

      • Carolyn says:

        Thanks ladies, I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who enjoys in-progress. More people should write them, I think! And yes, always more Ella! 🙂

      • Marianne says:

        Couldn’t agree more on the in-progress posts!

    • Totally with you on this. Sometimes I sew and blog a lot. Other times it’s not so much, perhaps I’m just too busy creating interesting stuff, rather than posting about it. Deadlines are defo for work. I much prefer splurging. Would love to meet up with other sewing bloggers. I often miss meet ups due to posting and reading erratically.

  4. Susie in MO says:

    I empathize, I decided that when my blog (although I enjoyed the writing aspect) became a chore and ate away my Sunday afternoons, I gave myself permission to back away; I haven’t posted an entry for months. Just can’t seem to go as far as to deactivate it. There are so many others, you included, who do a great job and I don’t have the oomph I believe I would need to make the cost/benefit analysis add up.

  5. I’m a splurger, not a planner! A lack of natural light is not the issue in Australia, but I still find it hard – and I imagine it’s hard for everyone – to fit sewing and blogging in. On average I probably post a few times a month, typically about garments I’ve sewn, and both the sewing and the blogging seem to entail late nights :). Have you felt more pressure to blog regularly as your readership increased?

  6. Maria says:

    I’ve had the same thoughts… whether I should start planning blog posts, posting about certain things on certain days, being more structured. But I never actually get round to doing anything about it – I post willy-nilly whenever I feel like it or have time! Although, then often I feel I leave it too long between posts if things are a bit slow in the crafting side of my life, or I just haven’t got time to sit and write a post. I’d like to be better, but I also don’t want it to start feeling like a chore. It’s a tricky one!
    Maria x

  7. Beth says:

    I blog when I can but don’t always post immediately otherwise I would have a week full of posts then weeks of nothing. Likewise I sew when I can – sometimes I’ll make several things in a week whereas sometimes I make nothing. So I draft and schedule posts, aiming to have one post up a week. Then on the weeks where I am too busy to sew or blog I still have something to talk about! 🙂
    I also picked one day of the week I tend to post on so that I have a deadline to ‘work’ to. Of course I blog for fun so if I don’t make the deadline I don’t beat myself up and I don’t rush anything to get a post up. But I feel organised in my head having it.
    It works for me 🙂

  8. KellysSewing says:

    Spontaneity please!! Sewing is my fun creative outlet. Blogging is how I share my fun. Scheduling is for work. I don’t want to blur the lines of fun and work, tends to make fun, less fun.

  9. Oh that sounds so familiar…I love to blog and being a sewer a crocheter and a person who has ideas all the time…I want to share it all.
    BUT my job as a wardrobe mistress has to come first and all the rest has to fit in including the dog , the 13 yr old and the other half.
    My big plan this year was to schedule!!? so far not happened but I have written posts and then taken photos to add later depending on the light.
    I also now have a blog notebook too so things are looking up,
    I am still planning on scheduling because I hate it when I have time to read my fave bloggers and then find they haven’t posted recently.
    keep us posted!
    bestest Daisy j x

  10. Liza jane says:

    Eh, I agree that deadlines are for work and I blog for fun. However, I do enjoy the connection that blogging brings and when you don’t do it regularly, you lose some of that. I guess there could be a happy medium. But yes, I am a splurger all the way!

  11. hearthie says:

    Splurger. 🙂 Sometimes I write a post a day, sometimes one every week or two! Blogging is a reflection of what is on my mind. And I’m hoping to have a conversation, not just a presentation – so it’s very hard for me to store up my nuggets and schedule them across a longer time frame. I’m excited, and I want to share – RIGHT NOW.

  12. Cherry says:

    This is entirely theoretical since I don’t have a public blog, yet. I’ve been thinking about it though and one of the issues I have is I would hate for it to become a chore. So I agree with the splurge camp but I’ve also had ideas that I would like to blog about when not able (driving!) or not got time to do it.
    I think I would keep an ideas book in pencil on paper ( as I’m the generation who can write fastest that way) and then I could work those up as and when and post when ready. Topical things (your great idea for a ‘je suis Charlie’ bag is a example) would be done in the moment.
    Deadlines I associate with work which I have recently retired from and am relieved to not have instead same way. So I don’t think I could be a really regular blogger and don’t mind when bloggers I like aren’t regular.
    My first thought though was please don’t give up. Yours is a favourite read.
    Hope you find the best solution that works for you.
    Cherry

  13. Amanda says:

    My blog has sat quiet for ages at a time as I always forget to take photos of the things I’m doing or I can’t come up with something to write about. I have however recently received a newsletter from the great people at Do What You Love with a free guide to blogging which looks like a good start to planning and improving blogs… http://dowhatyouloveforlife.com/blog/2015/01/introducing-the-free-dwyl-guide-to-blogging/

  14. Cherry says:

    Not sure what happened with one of my sentences – curse of predictive text! I hope it’s clear I’ve left strict deadlines behind and am happier for it.

  15. AGrayland says:

    I was recently sent a free guide to blogging by the Do What You Love team that looks quite handing with regards to planning posts etc http://dowhatyouloveforlife.com/blog/2015/01/introducing-the-free-dwyl-guide-to-blogging/

  16. Danka says:

    I have the same issue. Minus the dog. Plus a long commute. I typically leave the house at 6 or 7 in the morning and come home around 7 in the evening. In those few precious hours in the evening I can’t bring myself to sew. I’m trying to resolve my problem by learning to use flashes to light my photos, that way I can be a bit spontaneous about when I take them instead of trying to time it with a narrow slot of daylight. It’s proving to be a bit of a learning curve but it will be worth it. I hope!

  17. Emily says:

    I’m not really either, but I’m trying to be a planner. Been writing my blog a while but haven’t put the time and effort in I would like to, mostly just cos I’m pretty darn lazy. It’s my new year res though so got a editoral calendar going yesterday….shall have to see if it works out!

  18. Eliza-sew-little says:

    Splurger all the way. And remind me the benefit of planning is …

  19. Rachel says:

    Spontaneity is fun, until it morphs into not posting for ages and then guilt trips… That’s my house at least! From a reader’s perspective, you seem good at self managing your output Karen, so maybe the status quo is OK 🙂 The very idea of planning stresses me out though, so I may be more than a little biased! Definitely agree that it’s hard to juggle all the things one needs and wants to do!

  20. It seems to me that the balance depends on why you blog…I blog for myself. So, I don’t really feel compelled to post on a schedule. When I have time, I sew. When I sew, I blog. Sometimes there will be a daily post for several days running. Sometimes the blog is silent for a week or even 10 days. If your site is more commercial or has a different goal, then you probably need to take that into consideration. The blogging world can feel very competitive. Don’t get caught up in that, no matter what your goal. Just be yourself and enjoy the process.

  21. helen says:

    I do try to plan what projects I want to make and but I have to be realistic about time. I used to want to write a blog post once a week but I’ve eased off myself – I do this for fun so there is no point in getting stressed over it. I try and think about fabrics in advance so when I suddenly realise I have the time so start something new the fabric is there – and I try and pre-wash when I bring it home so it’s all ready to go.

  22. Alice says:

    I’m a natural planner, and don’t do spontaneity usually (well, let’s be honest, spontaneity stresses me out). But when I have ideas for the blog, or have managed to squeeze in photos of a few projects in those limited daylight hours, I do write them up and save them, but don’t post all of them at once. Judging by the comments so far, I think I might be in the minority!

  23. loribeilby says:

    I plan my posts because it forces me to make the time to do something I love, sewing. Otherwise I would be less likely to put the tasks of everyday life aside to do this just for me.

  24. Karen, I would never have guessed you don’t do any planning, you seem to manage to post on a regular basis very well. I must say that deadlines and organising are things I do at work and I like to leave them there! However, that doesn’t mean I don’t plan – it is one of my favourite day-dream activities on the train to make up the contents of my next post! So if you ever see someone on the platform with a glazed-over look, it may be me concocting my next post!

  25. Sheree says:

    As a reader, I am delighted that you post so often, but for your own sanity, I would advise you to take the pressure off blogging. The most important thing is to first enjoy living your life, together with your hobbies. Choose when YOU want to record that for us to read. It really doesn’t matter how regular those posts are. Keep splurging!!

  26. Hi Karen! We can also accept indoor photos, hehe… 😉
    For me, I need to sew every day, from 1 to 3 hours, but I have to say we are two in the house and my love prepares dinner for us, to be fair. Weekends off, unless I have some mad deadline crisis, imposed to me by myself. Then I start to do crazy hours… I’ve become to realise I am mentally sewing during big part of my day too… gosh…

  27. never plan… i get bored too quickly .. I pre schedule post when on holiday but i hardly resist posting one after another because its just there ready

  28. Chris says:

    Karen, I think you are doing just fine! You blog loads, given the schedule that you have on and I always love reading your posts.
    No advice from me otherwise – I don’t have the blogging balance that you have at all *Insert sorry face that I can seem to do on my keyboard*

  29. It’s interesting to read of your dilemma – as a new blogger I have really been inspired by your posts and would never have guessed they may be the cause of angst. The monthly planner sounds dreadful – far too work like – you can tell you don’t really want to do that by the verb ‘dragged’ – spontaneity all the way!

  30. SarahStar says:

    Splurgers and spontaneous types forever, I say! I always look forward to a new post from you, because they always seem fresh and interesting, and about what’s going on with you right now. Planning is fine if you’re doing something like a big tutorial or a sewalong, but the joy of a creative blog for me is that it’s about your creative life. So I think it’s good to just post when you feel like it, monthly planners be damned!

  31. I think it is possible to be both. I’m using a planner at the moment and it is working very well. I don’t look at it as creating deadlines and am happy to move posts around in case there is something more pressing I want to post or if I haven’t finished a particular project. I’ve found the planner has helped reduce the stress of finding something to say – I know what is on the horizon and have formulated my thoughts. The trick now is to find enough time ahead of posting to write and get photos!

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  33. I’m a major planner! Not that it always helps me to blog regularly because sometimes life gets in the way. But planning makes me feel more under control and productive.

  34. I’m a very new blogger and am just posting when I feel like it. Maybe if a blogger has lots of followers it can create pressure to post regularly. But as long as my 1 follower doesn’t complain about me posting at random intervals, I don’t see myself setting up a schedule!

  35. I am Splurger with a plan ;o) first of all I am amazed at how you always manage to have great post ideas, Karen. Maybe you are a splurger with a planner’s mind.
    I try to post weekly but I don’t do it on one specific day. Writing a post can easily take me few hours between prepping pics, writing text and translating it (I now have a bilingual blog). Sometimes I feel it’s taking away too much time. Yet I like being part of the sewing community and that’s why I keep on blogging. This weekend I didn’t manage to do any sewing…but took pics and wrote my next blog post.
    As many others I feel a proper schedule is for work…or if you want to turn your blog into a business. As for your blog…I like it as it is in terms of schedule or lack thereof ;o)

  36. Joyapple says:

    Only blog when you feel like it otherwise it may become mechanical or forced. Planning makes it sound like work – I’m definitely on the fun front!

  37. Janet says:

    I think you can tell when a blogger is stuck for an idea for a post and is just working to a timetable so I’d go with only very vague planning – like keeping a list of post ideas – rather than a full-on schedule. I like the way that people’s posts, and the timing of them, reflect what else is going on in their lives.

  38. fabrickated says:

    Your blog reads like you plan Karen – very well edited, high quality photographs and an apparently regular schedule, so I think you are more of a planner than you perhaps admit to. My standards are not so high but I do love planning.

    I find WordPress very helpful. I put ideas and notes for posts in draft so I have an idea to work on whenever I get the urge, or the time. I tuse my phone to take photos during the day when I see something interesting and photograph stages of making garments. And I upload them into the right posts when I am in the mood. Then I write when I want to, and have the time, and use the schedule tool to space out the posts. I like the regularlity of posting and I keep sewing and associated subjects in mind, even when I am doing other things like work, cooking, or playing with the children.

  39. Not a planner for my blog. I blog for fun, and making a schedule (however often we’re told we should do it) just feels like absolute drudgery to me. That doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes jot down notes or reminders for future post ideas, or just start a few sentences in WordPress to come back to later, because I totally do all of that! But I don’t think I’d ever want to have a blogging schedule or it would kill the fun and spontaneity for me, and I think I’d really start to think of it as a job.

  40. Elena Knits says:

    I’d like to be a planner but unfortunately there are other priorities in life, being work one of them, so I blog when I can and when I have something to say.

  41. Definitely not a planner! I do join in with one or two memes that friends run so that gives me a rough framework within any given month and in between I just post when I feel like it. A blog friend ran a series a while ago, which had some really good content. Might be worth a look when you have a few minutes to spare. http://notesonpaper.blogspot.co.uk/p/push-up-bra-blogging.html

  42. I understand the urge to plan but I’m definitely a splurger. Even back when I was still at uni and had loads of time, and much more so now that I have a real job… I know that means that some months, I only write one blog post and some months it’s four or five. And maybe I have fewer people who read my blog because of that. But that isn’t really the point for me, so I’d rather do without the added “stress” of planning. 😉

  43. StitchNSew says:

    I’m both. From the start I made it my goal to post every Tuesday and any additional posts during the week are a bonus. I write a lot of drafts both on my site but also a notebook that I keep with ideas or as I’m crafting I’m taking notes to include in that post when I write it. I schedule posts ahead of time when I get a chance to write them. I’ve gotten into the habit now of taking photos as I go or when I finish a project so that’s one task done. I can have other days when I get an idea and 5mins later I’ve published a post.

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