It has been just a little over two months since my blog went live, and it has… wait what? Only two months? Sorry, I got a little bit side tracked for a second. These past nine weeks have flown by quite quickly and while so much has happened in such a short amount of time, your girl has definitely experienced some personal and professional growth. One big question that people keep asking is where I find the time to create content while juggling all of the other responsibilities in my life. So instead of responding to each individual person, I decided to gather my thoughts, analyse my approach and put it all in writing. If you are an equally compromised mommy looking to fit in some writing, I’ve got you! These are the few things that have helped me stay sane while still be emotionally and physically present for my family, job and social responsibilities.
- Write only when the inspiration hits
If you are anything like me then I’m pretty sure there will be days that you won’t want to get out of bed, let alone open up your laptop to start typing. Don’t worry, that is completely normal… or at least I assume it is! It is perfectly fine to have bouts of inspiration followed by long periods of writer’s block, or ‘whatever-you’re-trying-to-fit-into-your-life’ block (try saying that ten times, really fast!) What is really important is to take advantage of the times that you have your bursts of energy to get through as much as possible so that when the rainy days hit, you’re well stocked in your cosy corner. For me, that usually means speaking into the recorder on my phone if driving, jotting down some notes if I’m busy or scribbling on the notepad app on my phone when seated on the loo (shhh!). Other times, like today, I sit and write as many posts as my heart- and toddler- allows because I know that the week will be a bit busy.
2. Read, proof read and then re-read every single post
When my blog went live, it had 6 posts that I had thrown together as very rough drafts. I’m not sure if it was all the excitement or the urge to get everything launched by the end of May, but I ended up publishing the not so carefully written posts. The week after all my friends had gone through the site and politely praised my potential, I found quite a few grammatical errors, incomplete sentences and redundancies. Was it worth the rush? Absolutely! In hindsight I most likely would have taken more time to perfect the grammatical side of the blog before making it public, but as my husband has kindly pointed out, you learn from your mistakes. His advice to me going forward is to finish writing and close off for the day, then revisit my masterpiece on a different day when I am in a completely different mood. What this has taught me is that when that writing persona comes out, she may not necessarily be conveying the message clearly … or at all! I’ve also learnt that it is very hard to spot mistakes when you do everything in one sitting. Why is all of this relevant, you ask? Well, some bloggers are able to churn out new material several times a day, but as a mommy blogger, it takes a few days of occasionally skimming what I’ve written in between my toddler’s bed time and my evening herbal tea for me to ‘okay’ something for publishing.
3. Spending time with the family is more important
So here’s the thing, I’m a mommy blogger writing about life as a young, millennial, working mom. If I don’t actually do my job or spend time with my family, what exactly will I write about? My husband helped me very early on to realise that I don’t have to post something every day since this blog was created in my recreational capacity. What that means is that when something interesting pops into my mind, it goes down on paper and gets left alone until a more convenient time. I have several drafts saved up for those busy weeks but none of them were ‘built in a day’, so to speak. I find it very easy to get lost in something once I start and I have vowed to never put my blog above my family. So when spawn asks for my hand, I close the laptop, hop on all fours and let her ride on my back like a good
horse mommy does.
4. If it is feeling stressful, close the laptop and relax
This is one that I struggled with initially but have managed to improve significantly. Writing is my passion, something I was born to do even though I chose a different professional path. So if I’m already stressed out from a long day of dealing with corporate clients, why on earth would I sit down and allow the writing to stress me out as well? Believe it or not, there are days when my free time is saved for a Netflix binge of Queen of the South, other times it is spent on the floor, crawling around the house after a busy toddler. I learnt that it is really important to put everything into perspective (kind of like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs) and focus on what is absolutely important before dealing with the rest. What this means for me is that I will feed and bathe my toddler even when I don’t feel like it and regardless of how much stress it is causing because that is priority number one. I will also show up to work because that pay check at the end of the month is essential, but I will not meet with friends or write if my anxiety is begging for a time out.
5. Write about what you love, there will always be a niche for it
Quite a significant amount of advice I’ve seen online is that you need to find a niche, understand what they need and write helpful posts in order to have a relevant online presence (#influencerstatus). That may be accurate for anyone looking to make a living off their work, but for someone like me who just does this for fun, there is no pleasure in only writing what I think others want to hear. What works for me is to write about things that I am experiencing or things that I love and while it does not bring in any money (for now), it definitely is therapeutic and adds immense value to my life. That for me is priceless! I’ve actually played around with the idea of writing a book which I will self publish, but even if I don’t, I will be satisfied knowing that there is at least one book in the world that speaks to me. Guys, it doesn’t always have to be about money.
Hopefully that answers a few questions! Drop a comment below and let me know if you are also juggling the world but still managing to fit in some time for your passion.