Confessions Of A Lazy (And Shy) Blogger

by derek on May 1, 2008 · 61 comments

I’ve got a confession to make – I am a lazy and shy blogger.
Now that is quite a confession to make, so please bear with me as I try to explain where I am coming from and where I want to be. When I explain to you what a typical day in the life of Derek Semmler is like, you might not agree that I am lazy but I will tell you why I feel that way in a moment.
With a schedule that has me waking around 4:00am in order to make my 65-mile commute to work a little more bearable (did I mention that I am not a morning person?), I work a full-time job as a software engineer. Leaving the office between 5:00pm and 6:00pm on most days means that I arrive home in the neighborhood of 7:00pm each night.
Once I am home, my wife and two kids are the first thing on my mind and my evening is spent sharing dinner, discussing our day, goofing around with the kids, and then reading bedtime stories.
Before my mind turns to my blogs, I need some time with my wife. Three minutes later (I kid, I kid) it is time to start thinking about blogging.
This is where I start to get lazy.
Being the author of three blogs can be very time consuming, as many of you are well aware. With the desire to post on a daily basis for two of the three blogs, I know that compiling a wealth of draft posts is in my best interest. However, I find that I am usually flying by the seat of my pants and writing off the cuff in the time that I do have.
When I read and/or talk with some of the well-known and respected bloggers, I continue to hear that it is quite common to spend hours, maybe even days, on a post.
Wow…am I ever dropping the ball in that respect!
I’m ashamed to admit that most of my posts are written rather quickly. As an idea comes to me, I blast it out in a post and publish. To give you an idea, I began drafting this post at 6:01pm with the plan of leaving for the Fuel My Blog meet-up at 6:30pm.
While I should probably begin immediately drafting the next post for the next day, I have two more blogs to write for and the 125+ blogs in my RSS reader to catch up on and share my comments. Not to mention that by this time it is usually pushing 12:00am or 1:00am – remember that part about waking up at 4:00am, ouch!
So where is all of this going?
Good question!
You might recall that I will be attending SOBCon this weekend. This will be my first blogging related conference, and much like Chris Garrett, I am both excited and extremely nervous.
While this characteristic doesn’t come across on the Interweb, I am a very introverted person. When I am in a room full of people that I don’t know, I am most comfortable standing off to the side and basically keeping to myself.
That is going to change at SOBCon, whether I want it to or not.
Earlier today, I came across a post from David Dalka that asked new SOBCon attendees what they hope to achieve this weekend.
David, your question inspired me to share this confession with everyone. By attending SOBCon, I hope to step outside of my comfort zone and set the foundation for long-lasting relationships with a room full of extremely talented people. Not only that, but given that SOBCon08 is being described as Biz School for Bloggers, I am hoping to learn more about taking my blogging from a hobby and turning it into a business – how to stop being lazy and maximize the time that I do have for blogging activities.
That might be asking a lot of the SOBCon08 event but I believe it can – and will – happen. After looking at the list of bloggers that are attending this event, I am confident that there will be an abundance of learning and sharing.
It is now 6:26pm and I need to wrap this up before someone says that I am not lazy. Before I go, I’d like to reproduce the list of SOBCon08 attendees as it won’t be long and many of them will be helping me work on overcoming my shyness as we set the stage for learning together.
SOBCon08 Chicago Attendees:
Cliff Atkinson
Shashi Bellamkonda
Chris Brogan
Harry Brooks
Anita Bruzzese
Dave Bullock
Mark Carter
Brian Clark
Tom Clifford
Valerie Combs
Chris Cree
Lisa Cree
Thomas Croghan
Donna Cutting
David “Chicago Mobile Marketing” Dalka
Kevin Dixie
Tim Draayer
Andrew Dubber
Monica Duncan
Easton Ellsworth
Kevin Ferrasci O’Malley
Jonathan Fields
Sarah Filipiak
Mary-Lynn Foster
Annie Galvin Teich
Brian Gardner
Chris Garrett
Jon Gatrell
Phil Gerbyshak
Jared Goralnick
Karen Hanrahan
Joseph Hauckes
Vicky Hennegan
Scot Herrick
John Hong
Stephen Hopson
Robert Hruzek
Timothy Johnson
Sara
Pete Jones
Todd Jordan
Bob “Internet Advertising” Kakoliris
Christine Kane
Adam Kayce
Kristen King
Jen Knoedl
Stephen Koernig
Bryan Kress
George Krueger
Amy L
Tammy Lenski
James G. Lindberg
Eli Litscher
Rick Mahn
Sim Margolis
Michael Martine
Becky McCray
Maria Meadows
Cory Miller
Ann Michael
Dawud Miracle
Debra Moorhead
Matthew Murphy
Paul O’Flaherty
Tim Padar
Jesse Petersen
Melissa Pierce
Wendy Piersall
Sandra Ponce de Leon
J. Erik Potter
Karen Putz
Susan R Quandt
Levy Rivers
Barbara Rozgonyi
Jeff Sable
Sheila Scarborough
Mary Schmidt
Derek Semmler
Maria Sharon
David Sherbow
Steve Sherlock
Brad Shorr
Louise Silberman
Sonia Simone-Rossney
Julien Smith
Stephen Smith
Michael Snell
Derrick Sorles
Terry Starbucker
Liz Strauss
Jon Swanson
Ruth M Sylte
Windsor Tanner
Michelle Vandepas
Lorelle VanFossen
Colleen Wainwright
Denise Wakeman
James D. Walton
Randy Windsor
Joanna Young

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{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

Todd Jordan May 1, 2008 at 5:47 pm

Thanks for sharing the links and sharing your story.
I’m a lazy blogger too. I rarely plan ahed much, unless I have a really good idea. Usually then I just dive in and write it before it slips away. πŸ™‚
One of the things I’m hoping for as well is to form lasting relationships with these bloggers. Not just tech centered bloggers, but bloggers of all walks. I was thinking a lot about SOBCon while trying to work today. Not a good mix.
Beyond forming relationships, I’m interested in learning about growing my blog and blogging skills. I’m humbled even now, knowing all of the prolific and wonderful bloggers with whom I’ll be sharing space. WOW!!!
And best of all, you’re one of them! I’ll get to hang out with you perhaps, even if for a few minutes.
Speaking of SOBCon, I so need to get my stuff together tonight. See you there.
Todd Jordan’s last blog post..SOBCon Spotlight – Todd Jordan

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derek May 6, 2008 at 9:28 am

I’m sorry we didn’t get a chance to connect while at SOBCon. It was such a great experience though and I did have the chance to meet quite a few great people. Next year I will take another step outside of my comfort zone and meet even more people.

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Robert Hruzek May 1, 2008 at 6:07 pm

Derek, you’re not the only introvert in the pile! Last year, I was exactly where you now – about to enter a crowded room with a bunch of folks I’d never actually met before. But I can tell you from experience, it’s worth it!
This year I’m much more excited about seeing the friends I’ve made, and can finally look forward to meeting new folks too. So if you need a slap on the back, come over and say “howdy” – just look for the hat!
Robert Hruzek’s last blog post..Coming Soon, to a Screen Near You!

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derek May 6, 2008 at 9:29 am

Robert, it was absolutely worth it! While I didn’t meet everyone, the people that I did meet and chat with were absolutely amazing.
Next year I will feel even more comfortable and hope that you will be there as well so we can connect.

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Michael Kwan May 1, 2008 at 6:08 pm

You’re not the only one who writes blog posts “by the seat of your pants”. I usually complete a blog post for Beyond the Rhetoric in a single sitting, very rarely taking more than about an hour on a post (some are done in about 10 minutes). That doesn’t make you lazy; it makes you efficient, because the quality of your posts are still very high.
But a 65-mile commute every day? That’s 130 miles in a day. And on three hours of sleep at best? You’re crazy. It’s times like these I’m glad I work from home.
Michael Kwan’s last blog post..Beyond the Call of Duty

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derek May 6, 2008 at 9:32 am

But you’re a professional! πŸ™‚
Seriously, I truly appreciate your comment about the quality of posts. That means a great deal to me.
As for the commute, yes I am crazy. If I could afford a home closer to the office that would actually be comfortable for my family, I’d move but I work in the neighborhood that the likes of Michael Jordan call home (or did.) That is one of the driving reasons that I am pursuing the opportunity to make a living on the Interweb from the comfort of my home.

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Tim Draayer May 1, 2008 at 6:30 pm

Derek, like Robert, I felt the same way last year. I also have the natural tendency to be introverted. Just be yourself and don’t try to force yourself into being something you aren’t.
Yes, explore your limits but give yourself permission to take a break if need be. Introverts also need time away from commotion.
In regards to blog posts, it really depends upon the subject for me. Typically I’ll have ideas for 5-6 posts rolling around in my head for days, sometimes weeks before I sit down and write them.
Once I do write them I get it written out in 30-60 minutes and go over it, looking for the major boo-boos (since I typically write my posts at about 2am, and I’m tired I’m prone to make errors), then I publish.
So you aren’t alone.
Enjoy the conference. You’ll walk away forever changed. I was. But then again a hug from Liz Strauss will do that. πŸ™‚
Take care.
Tim
Tim Draayer’s last blog post..Wal-Mart Manager Unknowingly Teaches a Lesson in Leadership

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derek May 6, 2008 at 9:35 am

Tim, I did explore my limits but also moved back into my comfort zone quite a few times.
It seems that there are quite a few people that follow a posting routine similar to my own, so I am not feeling quite as lazy anymore. πŸ™‚

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Karen Putz / DeafMom May 1, 2008 at 7:27 pm

You’re not the only one. Last year, I hardly made a peep at the SobCon. This year, I hope to step out of that comfort zone too.
Also, we’re neighbors– I’m not too far from Wendy too. πŸ™‚

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derek May 6, 2008 at 9:37 am

Karen, I hope you were able to step outside of your comfort zone as well. While I didn’t jump into the deep end, I did get my feet wet and it was great to see how welcoming everyone was.
It seems there were quite a few people in the Chicago area, it would be fun to try and coordinate a quarterly (monthly?) dinner meetup or something.

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Lisa May 1, 2008 at 8:12 pm

I’ve always had an inferiority complex when it comes to reading that people spend hours or days on a post. As long as you have quality posts, it shouldn’t matter whether you spend 10 minutes or 10 hours. Just tell yourself that you’re talented because you can organize your thoughts and articulate your posts that quickly. And maybe next time your wife can get 5 minutes of your time instead of 3 wink wink.
Lisa’s last blog post..My Attempt at Making a Miracle Happen

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derek May 6, 2008 at 9:40 am

One thing that I took away from SOBCon was how much our minds can hold us back. After hearing all of this feedback from everyone, I have realized that this concern about not spending enough time on posts is more my own mind trying to limit myself. But no more!
After being away from my family for the weekend, my wife got a good deal of my time when I got home. πŸ˜‰

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David Dalka May 1, 2008 at 8:24 pm

Derek – thanks for sharing that! Please reach out to me when you see me. Thanks!
David Dalka’s last blog post..Search Engine Journal Adwords Quality Score Scoop!

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derek May 6, 2008 at 9:41 am

I don’t know how it happened but the only time that I actually saw you was when you presented on Sunday. Where were you hiding? πŸ™‚

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Kelvin Kao May 1, 2008 at 8:29 pm

I think it will be interesting for you. You are not exactly in a full room of people you don’t know though. There are some of them that you sort of know, much like the way I sort of know you.
I really don’t plan my posts unless it’s one that features a video I made or a bunch of photos I took. The one I recently wrote (see CommentLuv link below) was probably the one that I did the most planning with, since I’m trying to condense 20 years into a post.
Kelvin Kao’s last blog post..20-Year Progression of One Puppet Character (Picture Series)

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derek May 6, 2008 at 9:44 am

It was absolutely an interesting experience and I did have the opportunity to meet quite a few people that I have known online for some time.
Your post covering the 20-year progression of the puppet immediately brought the movie Being John Malkovich to mind. Very interesting.

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Stephen May 1, 2008 at 8:58 pm

There is no such thing as lazy. There is only Me Time and then a little more Me Time =)
Stephen’s last blog post..Wolfking Warrior XXtreme Game Pad Review

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derek May 6, 2008 at 9:44 am

Me time is a beautiful thing!

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communicatrix May 1, 2008 at 9:52 pm

Aw, come on–you don’t *really* think you’re the lone introvert in a sea of extroverts, do you? Introverts invented the internets! Or at least, got the situation to traction/critical mass.
Thanks for pointing out the other SOBCon link. I’m’a head over right now to throw in my 2 cents.
communicatrix’s last blog post..Stop! Sucking! Day 21: You-be-do-be-you

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derek May 6, 2008 at 9:47 am

Lol, that is very true. I would have liked to chat with you more, as we were only together for a brief moment at the FuelMyBlog meetup on Thursday, so hopefully you will be in attendance next year as well.

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@Stephen | Productivity in Context May 1, 2008 at 11:51 pm

Hi Derek, it was great to meet you earlier tonight, and I am looking forward to collaborating with you this weekend.
@Stephen | Productivity in Context’s last blog post..Airport Blogging

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derek May 6, 2008 at 9:52 am

Stephen, likewise! I loved your enthusiasm and your commitment to do whatever it took for you to get to SOBCon. BTW, I saw that you have the new layout working well and it all looks great!

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Wendy Piersall May 2, 2008 at 12:31 am

I FINALLY GOT TO MEET DEREK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I’M A HAPPY eMOM NOW!
(And yes, I meant to shout)

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derek May 6, 2008 at 9:55 am

Lol, shout away Wendy as I felt the same way! It is funny that it took as long as it did but it felt like we had been friends for years.
Your presentation rocked, your hugs rocked and I appreciate your efforts to push me out of my comfort zone.
{{{Wendy}}}

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Ling May 2, 2008 at 1:15 am

LOL! This is the second introvert-on-the-net confessional that I’ve bumped into in this week. Maybe there should be an ‘introverts online’ conference or something. πŸ™‚
Ling’s last blog post..California Rules TripAdvisor 2008 Travelers? Choice Destinations Awards

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Home Recording Studio May 2, 2008 at 3:59 am

Derek, now that you have got that out of the way, you will find everything falling into place in the future. Writing this kind of a blog is easy but difficult to post. You have done that and the juices will flow, want to bet?

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Get Camping May 2, 2008 at 5:46 am

Interesting to read about how your day goes, very similar to mine to be honest. I am up about 5-6 ish and have a 60-90 minute commute, arriving home at 7ish and then getting the kids to bed, having something to eat and spend time with the wife. By the time I get on the PC its normally 22:00 or so and then by the time I get to bed its gone midnight.
The bit I hate is setting my mobile phone alarm and it telling me I have 4-5 hours left till the alarm!
You definately fit alot in during the day, I do 1 blog for fun and you have 3 big blogs thats a great achievement. I see great things coming for you in your blogging future as you continue to do what you do and make more contacts.
Get Camping’s last blog post..Scarpa Nitro XCR Walking Boot

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seo blog May 2, 2008 at 9:12 am

I have spent a year at uni doing core skills. Every now and then I had to improve my presentation skills by pretty much standing in front of 1000 or so people and talking. I must say the first time I have done it my legs were shaking lol I guess shyness is just like anything else in life. You just need to push yourself, get out there and do it. Eventually you will start enjoying it.

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Paul May 2, 2008 at 9:56 am

It was nice reading your post. I’m glad I’m not the only one who blogs quickly. I have three blogs as well and most of my posts are posted within a half hour of starting them.
Paul’s last blog post..Russian Street Racing

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Futon-Matt May 2, 2008 at 10:25 am

Yeah, I tend to write fairly quickly but I guess that doesn’t necessarily mean their quality posts or anything.

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Toto May 2, 2008 at 10:47 am

I feel the same way too! I really enjoyed reading you’re post.. Thanks for the insight!
-Toto

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danze May 2, 2008 at 3:45 pm

I can empathize with anyone getting lazy when it comes to keep up your blog and trying to influence people… it is very hard work

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grohe May 2, 2008 at 3:50 pm

Thats the bad thing about shyness – is that the best way through it is practicing and meeting the challenge of talking to people

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Akavar May 2, 2008 at 4:07 pm

I rather meet a shy person than an obnoxious one – too many popular extroverts are really obnoxious…

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Sleep Aid May 2, 2008 at 9:13 pm

I hear ya. I’m like you. I hate spending a lot of time blogging but have a lot to say and I generally just highlight my ideas and put up bullet points.

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Furniture Store May 3, 2008 at 2:51 am

I totally did not think of you as being introverted. And as for being lazy, you lie! No one who works the way you just described can be called lazy.

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Airsoft Guns May 3, 2008 at 8:37 am

Wow, you work a long time every day! Plus, with the wife and kids, do you even have any time to yourself anymore (besides the blogging)?

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Greenville NC Events May 3, 2008 at 1:47 pm

You are not even close to being lazy! Blogging is a hard work to keep it up and updated regularly!

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Lisa Marie Mary May 3, 2008 at 5:25 pm

I hope you were able to have a great time and take a few tentative steps outside your comfort zone. You’re a great guy, and I know you have a lot to offer fellow bloggers – so I hope you came out of your shell! I know exactly what you mean on both the shyness and the laziness – it’s so hard to overcome both of those things! I think maybe blogging is like serious therapy for people like us, you know? πŸ˜‰
Lisa Marie Mary’s last blog post..I Am A Labrador Retriever

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pauletet May 3, 2008 at 8:42 pm

Im also guilty of being a lazy blogger.Its good to know that you can write quickly. There are seldom like you whoc an do that compared to those taking couple of hours before making one blog.

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Asia'h Epperson May 4, 2008 at 9:37 pm

I am not sure if you are shy, but, I think you are pretty hardworking. Your posting frequency is quite consistent ever since I found your blog.
Asia’h Epperson’s last blog post..Asia’h Epperson Going For Vacation

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Eva White May 5, 2008 at 5:15 am

I have been reading about this conference on many blogs. I am sure you guys are going have a great time. I like such conferences as they make you learn a lot of new things and meet a lot of new people. All the best.
Eva White’s last blog post..Celebrity Buzz?.

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Nicole Price May 6, 2008 at 2:05 am

Lazy is the last thing I’d call you. You sleep at 12 and get up at 4, work all day, spend time with your family and also maintain 3 blogs. It’s amazing. How on Earth do you manage with such less sleep? I have been trying to cut down my sleeping hours without any success. I am pretty useless at my work without my 7-8 hours of beauty sleep.
Nicole Price’s last blog post..Freebies (Again?)

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Michelle Vandepas May 6, 2008 at 7:08 am

And I thought I was busy. Geez. You are lazy or introverted…my my world it’s called overwhelmed! A great post though. I’ve taken away a lot of confirmation that where I’m doing is where I want to be, and all the connections I made were more than worth it. The first audio podcast is up, (check out the link above)…. Thanks

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derek May 6, 2008 at 10:12 am

@Ling :: Lol, do you recall where you saw the other confessional? I’d love to read it.
@HRS :: I’m in full agreement with you!
@GC :: We do have very similar schedules from the looks of it. Last night was a night where I was up way too late and had that moment of contemplation about just jumping in the shower and skipping sleep completely. But my pillow won out and I did grab a few hours.
@SEO :: You’re right, although a crowd of 1000 might cause me to literally fall over. πŸ™‚
@Paul :: Thanks for joining me in the ranks of the quick posters, lol.
@Matt :: That is true, I guess the goal is finding that balance of time to quality ratio where you can still publish good content in a reasonable amount of time.
@Akavar :: That is a really interesting comment. Shy people are some of the nicest people that you will meet. πŸ™‚
@SA :: I like spending a lot of time blogging, I just don’t have the time to do it as much as I would like.
@FS :: Gosh, I am completely introverted. Just ask the people at SOBCon, lol.
@Greenville :: Thanks for the kind words!
@Lisa :: I think you’re right, blogging is great therapy for being introverted. It eliminates the fear of having that face-to-face interaction, but I did take a few steps outside my comfort zone and loved it!
@pauletet :: Appreciate the comment!
@Asia’h :: Thanks, I do my best to stick with the same posting frequency and it seems to be working pretty well.
@Eva :: It was an amazing conference and I highly recommend it if you are considering attending a blog related conference.
@Nicole :: I function pretty well on little sleep. The hardest part is actually getting out of the bed, but once I am up, I am ready to go all day.
@Michelle :: Thanks for stopping by. Given the topic of this post, I have to admit that I had hoped you wouldn’t find your way over to me while you were recording but I appreciate the fact that you did! Thanks!

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Michael Kwan May 6, 2008 at 5:53 pm

Comment #46. This post has certainly become popular!
Michael Kwan’s last blog post..Asian Heritage Month: Famous Canadians

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Eva White May 10, 2008 at 6:12 am

If you have a full life and still manage to blog so regularly, you should congratulate yourself.
Eva White’s last blog post..25th of May : Contentismissing @ Angelklub HH

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truckertom May 20, 2008 at 4:44 pm

Good for you – the only way to become extroverted is to practice – but for introverts, this is very painful!

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On Hold Music May 27, 2008 at 2:59 pm

These are both tough and common issues. For both of them – I agree with tom (the above comment) – it is nothing but hard hard hard work. This can be learned, however. One can truly build a habit of changing from an introvert to an extrovert and being lazy to being a hard worker. I’m working on the hard worker one myself :).

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Johnnie@Auto Insurance June 26, 2008 at 6:01 pm

Man..After reading about your daily schedule, i don’t see how you have ttime to even do anything, especially blog..lol. It must takes alot of effort and determination to juggle so many things at once.

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Hendrik October 17, 2008 at 12:16 am

You are providing the links that sharing your story first of all thank you very much for that I can tell you from experience, it’s worth it! How on Earth do you manage with such less sleep? I have been trying to cut down my sleeping hours without any success..
Hendriks last blog post..Upcoming on CV

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nate June 24, 2010 at 2:48 pm

Thanks for sharing this..guess im not alone…I have a heck of a hard time getting motivated to write a blog post…I guess it’s mostly fear or something or maybe im just LAZY!
I am trying to get a system setup so I can produce more blog posts. Weeks turn into days when I am so busy. I got several blogs too that I am trying to maintain. It’s so hard yet so easy…just need motivation haha
Thanks again!
Nate.

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Scott March 11, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Funny post, I just started blogging, I have only 1 post at this point. I get in quite a bit and read other posts, lots of good information.
Good Luck

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Saladin@overcomingmyshyness September 19, 2011 at 12:48 am

When I read your article I had to laugh, because your busy life almost mirrors my own. When I was working full-time as a systems administrator I worked many long hours (often late in the night as you do, because lets face it, no one wants you to touch their system until after 2:00 am) and would go through the same routine in coming home late and trying to connect with the family. Well, I haven’t had that problem for the last 5 months because like many, I’ve been down-sized. Nevertheless, I’ve been breaking into internet marketing, and have been successful in overcoming my shyness and have even created a blog about it.
PS
Funny blog by the way.

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