On Being A Poor Community Member

I am probably the worst community member in the world. I remember mentioning that to Alexander (Dream Fantastic) via email once.


One of the things I've wanted to do is start reading and following other stories and to review them on my site so that my readers could find some of the other interesting stuff out there. Problem is, my day job is... ahem... demanding. I've been working 16 hours days in long stretches, and it's all I can do to update my own webcomic and make sure Pay Me, Bug!'s publication schedule doesn't waver (and in fact I've had to neglect my webcomic(s) quite a bit -- and the only reason PMB stays on schedule is because it's pre-written, it's just the podcast that is erratic).


So how do you guys do it? I've managed to read a little of Guts & Sass, Stuck Station, and of course Diggory Franklin, but I haven't been able to read any of them regularly. Carving out time to do anything these days is difficult and when I do have free time there are usually other neglected projects that are demanding precedence over anything new.


Do you all have reading schedules? The easiest answer is probably "get a job that doesn't demand so much of your time" but that's not a practical answer right now.


There's all this stuff out there I want to read and I can't. It makes me nuts!


Anyway. Thoughts? Suggestions?


I have three kids and my own writing to work around, so I strategize. Legion of Nothing comes out 2 or 3 times a week, so it's read on schedule. Intimate History has a lot of chapters, so I read an entire big chunk every few months when I have an hour or two to dedicate to it because the intricacy of the narrative requires that I read a lot at once so I get a sense of characters and plot, instead of drifting chapter to chapter on a weekly/daily basis because it's History, not so much like intense cliffhanger action like Legion.


I'm similar with Castle Terribel -- the narrative is like a complex chess game so I read an entire Book and then think about it for a few weeks before reading the next book. Dead Too Rights is action so I read a new chapter when it updates.


(I'm detecting a pattern of serious/heavy stories getting chunks of reading, and fun/fast action stories being easier to keep up with). Not that the "fun" stories don't have depth, too, but more that the pace is quick enough that I can read one chapter and be good with the overall picture, whereas the complex character-driven stories I need to sit with the characters for longer to absorb.


So yeah, read light fast cliffhanger stories a chapter at a time during the week when you have 10 spare minutes, and save big reading for when you have a big section of free-time.


And read Diggory Franklin almost every day, because I update pretty often. :P


That is one of my problems -- I'm very inefficient with my free time (partially due to resentment at the idea of having to be efficient with free time) so my use of it is not... optimized. I am extremely organized when it comes to writing, but very disorganized when it comes to everything else...


So scheduling reading may not be a bad idea. I have to make sure that's what I do though -- none of this "let me check some email/google+/twitter feeds first" since that leads to hours of your life disappearing in a puff of digital smoke...


To be honest, web-fiction is hard for me to read. ebooks, very handy. But reading on the web was much easier when I had a full-time sit-at-a-desk job. Now that I don't...


I usually wait until people are done with their serials and then request an ebook version. Unfortunately, a lot of web serials aren't finished or don't seem to end. :,


I have the same problem. Heavy full-time job, my own serial to write and publish, and my other 'free' time spent doing things like organising the writing group I run, trying to remember to update my blog, attempting to write non-serial stuff, or editing old-serial stuff for release....


I have a list of webfiction I want to get to (and I would love to get into reviewing them, too), but I struggle to find the time. When I'm not doing the above, I'm usually taking a break from the computer. e-books would be a nice compromise! If they are available.


It's a conundrum. If only 'quit my job and spend all my time doing writing-related stuff' was an option!


yeah, that was me you mentioned it too. honestly, ive been just as bad. Hell, i havent read YOUR story for about 10 updates, and yours is my favorite out there right now. sigh. things got busy at work.


My favorite webcomics and weblit tend to go on hiatus, so then I forget about them for a while, and by the time there's a backlog I go and read that. But I've been reading a lot more non-fiction lately.