Earlier this week I talked about the reality of working full-time and trying to blog full-time. The comments on the post still amaze and astound me– so many wonderful women sharing their struggles of doing it all. I think that's often a problem for women nowadays, feeling that we need to do it all in life and commit 100% to doing so.
It's easier to say than do (and I say this with very personal experience): but it's okay not to do it all. It's okay to want to blog professionally, but need to devote less time to doing so. It's okay to take your time or need to take years to do so, and it's okay to not find success overnight (frankly, I'd be skeptical if my blog exploded overnight).
So for those trying to balance work, school, families, and blogging–all full-time, here are some tips. Some are mine, some are yours. All in an easy, inspirational, and guilt-free serving cup (if only cupcakes were so good!).
- Remember that real life comes first. Vahni made a great point when she said, “Also, I find that taking snaps and Instagrams as I go along, regularly, is not only rude if I’m with others, I miss out on being IN the moment while I’m trying to capture it.” Two days ago was my birthday. I tried to take photos throughout the day as I could to show off the fun I was having… but at the end of the day, I forgot to get an outfit post! That's okay– because being in the moment with my boyfriend, eating chocolate torta and drinking wine was more important than an outfit photo (and it's not like I won't wear the dress again).
- Have a realistic idea of what you can accomplish. I've stopped trying to write 5 times a week. If I can get 2-3 posts on my site each week (on top of the 1-2 I write for IFB each week), I'm thrilled. If that means I won't become a super blogger while I'm working full-time, that's OK–I can define success by my own terms. Neahle Ize` Jones recommends setting up an editorial calendar to help you with this– if you can't find time to schedule it? Take it off your plate!
- Recognize where your strengths are, and where you enjoy spending your time. There are so many social media platforms, and as bloggers, I think we end up feeling like we need to use them all. Focus on what you enjoy most and what works best for you. For me, I tend to stick to Twitter. CCA agrees saying, “I have not entered the world of Facebook yet because I don't think I can handle that. My blog and twitter seem doable for now.”
- “Stick to my fun outlet but be honest with my expectations,” says Cady. Yes! We may not become superstars and famous, but there's enough room for us to all reach our goals, especially if we are supportive of other members of the community.
- Realize no one is putting pressure on you but yourself. Thank you, Crosby, for this great reminder! Let's face it– our readers won't start writing hate mail if we go from 10 posts a week to 5, or from 5 to 3. They'll still be around to read what we post and when we post it. That pressure? That's coming from YOU. That's coming from an effort to keep up with other bloggers who don't have the same schedules, lives, or goals as yourself. So cut yourself a break and treat yourself well.
- Make a list of what gratifies you during the day, whether it's blogging, tv-time, snuggling your cats/dogs/partner, or going for a run. Replicate those things that make you feel good as often as possible. Decrease the ones that don't. Check out Do You Keep a Universal Grocery List? (it's a fabulous read!)
- MJ, all remind us: Sometimes you have to work hard and put in long hours to make your dreams come true. Many people mentioned time management as the tool that ultimately helps keep them balanced. Frankly, I'm REALLY bad at time management… it's something I need to work on more and less following of my muse!
- dignityzine.com says, “[Remember] that you are human. Go outside, breathe fresh air, take a day off!”
- And above all– remember you started doing this because it was fun. So many of you mentioned this, and it couldn't be more true! If it stops being fun, figure out what it needs to become fun again.
Image by Lukey Dargons.