Blog Report Card

Melissa Sugar's Blog Report Card

Oh this ain't gonna be pretty.

No, I have not submitted my blog to one of those sites that will grade you on each area and tell you what you are doing right and what needs improvement. I don't have to do anything that drastic to concede that I am not doing what we all know we are supposed to do. This is an unofficial blog report card.

I wish I could tell you that my lack of posting, commenting and participating is because I have been overwhelmed with work or busy with family obligations, but that just isn't the case.  

First of all I want to apologize to Sharon Bayliss and Court Young. They are hosting a really cool and unique Buccaneer Blogfest and I feel that I have let them down. I read about the blogfest and I was excited about participating so I signed up while I was out of town with my kids (I signed up late) and so I was already off to a bad start. So, I sincerely apologize to both of these amazing bloggers  for my lack of participation. I am going to have to withdraw from the blogfest, but I still intend to visit all of the other bloggers who are participating. 

The boys are away at summer camp for four weeks and the girls have just returned from the Bahamas and I had a lengthy To Do list of everything I was going to accomplish while the kids were away.

It looked something like this:

Melissa Sugar's To~Do List

1. Participate in the Buccaneer Blogfest
2. Visit all of the other participants
3. Make daily blog post/ Write weekly book review
4. Write two- three extra blog post per week so I can have my advanced post ready to go
5. Put in extra hours on work projects
6. Write 4000 Words per day
7. Work on revisions & edits for two hours per day
8. Clean out & organize closets/ Hang shelves in the girls room
9. Finally learn how to better use Twitter/Google Plus and other Social Media Sites
10. 45 Minutes of exercise daily

So, how did I do?

What grade do I make on my blog report card?

I did not successfully complete even one item on said list. I posted two out of three of the first week writing assignments for the Buccaneer Blogfest (and that was late).  But, I did visit some of the other blogs and met some new friends. I did zero hours of revisions. I did write almost every day, often using the very functional and motivating website for writers, I recently discovered, that is all about writing and getting into your brain, called If you are not familiar with the site, I highly recommend it. I did not come close to 4000 words. My house is messier and just as unorganized as it was two weeks ago.

This is what I actually did:

1. Nothing
2. A lot of swimming
3. Spent much needed time with my mom & dad
4. Drank wine with friends
5. Spent all day Saturday & Sunday, in bed with hubbie watching movies
6. Read three novels while sitting out in the sun (sans sunscreen)
7. Neglected email and loved it
8. No exercise, (well swimming is exercise & movie day might have involved some fun exercise- not the kind at the gym though)
9. So basically, I did nothing and I loved loved loved it!

I realize that I cannot continue doing nothing and that the vacation is almost over and the kids will all be home soon. I know that I will have to resume family and work obligations and that I will never even have a chance to have my query letters rejected by dozens of agents if I do not finally finish my revisions. I also realize that my current NIP will not write itself, but I have learned a valuable lesson or two or ten.

My New To-Do List.

1. Stop making To-Do list & just  Do
2. Stop taking on more than I can possibly handle as it only sets me up for defeat and feeling like a failure in addition to the horrible dread and sadness I feel when I let my blogger friends down.

My New & Revised Plan Of Attack

Nix the To -do list.

I will remain committed to finishing my revisions and I will set a reasonable date for my query letters to begin.

I will make a huge effort to blog more consistently and I will continue to read and comment on all of your blogs because I really do enjoy reading what you have to say and I love our interaction.

I will make more time for fun and play so that I will not feel like a teenager whose parents are out of town when I do finally do something for myself.

In a nutshell, I will find a way to balance all of the the things  I love including, but not limited to  family, work, friends, writing, blogging, reading your blogs, reading books, swimming, traveling and of course drinking wine with friends and finding time for all day movie marathons with my husband when the kiddos are away.

Now I will quit feeling sorry for myself about my blogging  shortcomings & work to improve. In fact, rather than giving myself a Big Fat F on my report card, I will give myself an incomplete.

For motivational purposes; that's okay, right?


  1. Oh, don't be too hard on yourself sweetie. You're not the only one who gets a blogging F this month, lol. At least you did some super fun stuff! I'm so jealous!

  2. Um, don't know why just my email showed, lol, but that first comment is from me :)

  3. Oh my gosh, it did it again! What is up with this thing??? Maybe I should stop making a fool of myself. How about a comment F for me? :)

  4. Maybe you just made the wrong to do list? So in reality, you didn't fail, you just did the wrong list! Don't beat yourself up. If I had a chance to be alone for a few days, I would swim and watch movies and write.

    I'll miss you at the Buccaneer Blog fest, but I'll still try and drop by weekly to say hi!
    Enjoy your last few days!!!

  5. The way I see it, the moment you start feeling guilty about not blogging, it's time to go into rehab, because it's in danger of becoming more of a chore than the joy it should be.

    Rx: Give yourself time off, guilt-free, and give yourself permission to balance your own life. The blogging world will understand :)

  6. Hey, it's summer! No worries. Besides, movies, swimming and wine drinking sounds all good to me. I didn't see the Buc blogfest until it was too late, darn it. I was peeping around trying to find one and saw nothing, so I decided to start my own.

    If you're not doing anything, I am hosting a "Dog Days of Summer" 3-day blog fest if you're interested. It runs fromAug 10-12.  You can post about your wine "sampling." lol

  7. Hi Melissa .. families come first - summer definitely deserves to be enjoyed - guilt is a bit sweaty .. but that's life ... good luck with your next report card - but you know somewhere around we all live life ... and the planet doesn't stop -though the report cards do thankfully!  Enjoy some peace and quiet away from the franticness of life ... cheers Hilary

  8. There is no to-do list, there is only do!
    Hey, some of the things you did do sound fun.
    It is a balancing act. Sometimes we don't do so well. Don't beat yourself up. That was yesterday. Start anew today!

  9. I think you're being too hard on yourself. Sometimes we just need to step away from the blogging world for a while and recharge. Sometimes that means spending more time with family and friends and sometimes it just means taking care of yourself. Just make sure you don't do any swimming after drinking wine with friends, safety first! (; 
    Life is short, find time to enjoy it when you can.

  10. Swimming, reading, movies, and wine sounds like a nice vacation to me : )  

  11. It's a setup! All those years with those months off during the summer doesn't translate well into adulthood, I'm discovering, so no worries. We all need a writing break now and then. I could use a swim. :)

  12. But least you read three books!  :)

  13. Why are we so hard on ourselves? I like your second list much better! Your first one looks like the old ones I used to make. *shudder* 

    Glad you took time off and enjoyed your vacation--even if it wasn't on purpose. 
    Hope you're having a fabulous week! 
    Take care,~Jamie

  14. 4000 words is way too much!  My daily quota is 500 and if I get even that little done I do a happy dance.  Everything is harder when you're a Mom.  Even when the kids aren't around.  The only thing that should receive an F is your to-do list, because you're expecting WAY too much of yourself.

  15. Your first list makes me tired just reading it! :) But I do the same thing every Monday--only it ends up being my list for the week and then into the next . . . balance is so hard!! But on the bright side it sounds like you got a lot of recharge time--and that's so important.  I'm going to check out that 750 words site--sounds intriguing-or possibly procrastinating, we'll see :)
    Have a good week Melissa!

  16. 1. 4000 words a day? Eek! If I tried that, I'd be setting myself up for failure. 1000 seems pretty reasonable, to me. Anything beyond that is icing. :)

    2. I love the little tweaks you've made to your blog! It looks adorable. :D

  17. Melissa, that you for making me feel more productive and better about my lack of accomplishments this summer. Sorry you missed your list but that is the reason I finally stopped making them! As long as you enjoyed your time give yourself an A and move on!!

  18. When feasible (i.e., when operating without immediate deadlines), I prefer to have lists that read: "Get something done."
    Anything more specific than that, and my contrary self will nonsensically put off whatever tasks I set myself -- even if they're tasks I actually *want* to do! But if I leave it open-ended, and allow myself to hop around from whatever I feel like doing during any given hour to the next, then I look back and say, "Hey! This day wasn't a total waste! Stuff got done! Yay!"
    Huzzah for vague expectations. Flexibility is good for the soul. *nod, nod*

  19. I think it's ok to not achieve your todo list, I have one now, but it's in the form of an iphone app and it's great as it just moves things on to the next day if you don't complete them a few things hang around on there for a while but I don't worry about it to much. 
    life gets hectic everyone knows that and its good to relax so I wouldn't feel guilty and with your kids away its good to enjoy some relaxation while you can. 
    loved your post though love and hugs Joss xx

  20. Thanks. I can always count on you to cheer me up

  21. But you made it look like I have so many more comments so I give you an A+

  22. Thank you. I feel terrible about backing out, but I was overwhelmed with so much to do for so long that I had forgotten what it was like to do nothing. Now, the transition back, ugh. I will visit your blog often as well.

  23. Wow, you really nailed it. BTW is there a rehab for us when we finally it the problem of being addicted to blogs?? LOL

  24. Thanks Jeremy. It sounds fun and it is at the perfect time. The kids start school really early this year and I am always looking for "work or other productivity " related excuses to sample more wine, LOL.

  25. Thanks Hilary. I have been consumed with guilt, but once again, the fabulous people I have become friends with since I started blogging have rallied around to help ease the guilt. Ya'll are such awesome people.

  26. Thanks Alex. I always think of you when I get so overwhelmed. Much like the chick flick movie (sorry for the reference), I always find myself asking, "How does he do it" ? The "he" in that is, of course , you. How do you manage to do it all and make it seem so easy???? I want your secret code book.

  27. You are so right, Elise. Now that I am ready to return to the blogging world, I feel much more energetic and definitely recharged.

  28. It was. Thanks for stopping by. I am working my way around to all of you wonderful people who have continued to visit and offer kind and encouraging words.

  29. I like that. It is a set up. I finally get it. Thanks.

  30. Yes, and I did so while drinking wine out by the pool so I was still managing to multi task.

  31. Thanks Jamie. I have gone cold turkey and am off of the to-do list. I am feeling some withdraw anxiety , but I am looking forward to stress free days of getting stuff done during the time I used to spend making the dang list.

  32. Thanks Jen. I know 4000 words is crazy, right? I read somewhere that we should make our goal really high or we will settle for far less than we can truly accomplish in a day. That plan backfired on me. I can always write more than my goal (which is now the more reasonable 750 words per day) & when I exceed the number I feel like super mom & super writer combined.

  33. I really like, Coleen. It is free of distractions and it is amazing how quickly I can spit 750 words out. 750 is my new and much more reasonable goal.

  34. Thanks Carrie. I am still working on it. I haven't even had time to add the content to the stand alone pages and I have quite of few things left to change or change back. My new goal is 750 words per day and I feel like I have accomplished so much when I actually go over the allotted number. I wish I could remember who recommended the site, because I love it.

  35. Thank you Chuck. I can't explain the freedom I felt and the release of such a cumbersome burden , just by nixing my to-do list. I am getting so much more done.

  36. You have the right attitude and I admire your work ethic. Flexibility is good for the soul. I am slowly learning that and it feels good.

  37. Thanks  for stopping by Joss, and for the words of encouragement. Oh god, don't even get me started on the iPhone GTD apps and similar task or list apps. I am an app junkie and have probably purchased every productivity or organization or list app available. It is funny that you mentioned that because my next goal (not task or item on todo list because I don't have those anymore ) is to go through the multiple folders on my phone and get rid of all but one of the list or task apps. I need to do this so I can learn that I do not need to download a new app just because it is good. Instead of their intended purpose of simplifying my life, I overuse them to the point of making them a liability.

    I also need to delete them because my teenage daughter told me that I am getting close to running out of storage space on my phone. Now that is definitely a sign of an app junkie.

  38. lol, I hate to admit this, but I already hit my limit for storage a few months ago and actually had to go through my phone and do the very same thing. I'm glad to know I am not the only productivity app addict out there. Maybe we need a recovery group. :)

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