The View From Here: How Much Time Do You Spend Blogging?
It’s time for my weekly collaboration with Shayla, and I hope you’ll feel free to suggest questions or topics that interest you. It’s our goal to continue our discussion for a while, and maybe we’ll inspire some creativity or ideas in you, too.
Today’s question is: How Much Time Do You Spend Blogging?
And my answer is: Too Much! Just kidding, but I do work regularly on my blog, and when I’m not actually writing, I’m thinking of ideas, taking pictures, or looking for inspiration. I’ve told you why I started blogging and about my transformation last summer, and since my blog is essentially my third child, I will admit to spending several hours a day on it.
My routine is to work in the afternoon before dinner, when Ryan takes the boys for a walk, and then again in the late evening, once James and Rhys are in bed. On Monday evenings, Ryan goes out with friends, and I have my weekly Blog Trends Twitter chat (little plug there!) from 8-9, and then I try to get in a couple of posts for the week. I usually have more time to write on the weekends, depending on our family activities, so I will write Monday’s post (which is now this awesome collaboration) and continue working on other posts, while also taking, sorting, and re-sizing pictures.
I keep a running list of possible post ideas, and I’m always on the hunt for more. I prefer to stay a day or two ahead of my blogging schedule, so that means I have several posts ready to go, but sometimes life gets in the way. Last week, my mom had knee surgery and it was a busy week in general, so I was writing each day’s post the night before. It wasn’t bad, but that’s not my ideal blogging situation.
Since I’m an admitted control freak, I like to think that I craft my posts, which means I take a lot of time writing them, revising, and editing. Normally, I write a post, getting it all out of my head and onto the page, and then I will leave it for a few hours or even a day before I come back to look at it again. That’s the English major in me, I guess, as well as the perfectionist.
There’s that delicate issue of work/life balance, and since I’m not getting paid to write (yet?) and I’m technically what you’d call a lifestyle blogger, I need to make sure I’m not replacing actual life with blogging. As my boys are getting older, I’m getting out so much more, and this year especially, I feel like the real life opportunities coming from my blog have exploded.
It helps, too, that I’m married to someone who is as passionate about something as I am, and it was Ryan’s interest in homebrewing that really sparked my desire to start blogging seriously. When he isn’t working, Ryan lives and breathes brewing, but he still makes time for the boys and for me. He gives me lots of time to work, especially on the weekends, and I try to reciprocate, especially on his twice-monthly brew nights. (In fact, this post was written last Friday night, after I bathed James and Rhys and put them to bed. It’s a little weird writing in the past-tense, about the present, which will be read in the future, but I figure magazines do it all the time.)
Since I don’t write often about time-sensitive issues, I have the luxury of writing at my own pace and by my own schedule. I enjoy the writing aspect most of all, and that’s the part I really focus upon and try to perfect, so I take my time. I think blogging would be more stressful for me if I had to churn out material quickly, so I try to keep to a regular routine. And some nights, I don’t feel like blogging at all, so it’s great to have a bit of a cushion, just in case. Overall, though, I try to work or write something every night, just to keep my ideas coming.
It’s a job I love, and I hope to keep this rhythm for a long time. Shayla is an incredible inspiration to me, because she’s been blogging since 2010 and is still going strong, posting every day. I hope to continue doing that, too, with as much joy as I have now.
I hope you’ll check out Shayla’s response on her blog, and also read this wonderful interview she did for 33 avenue Miquelon. This is a shameless self-promotion, but Shayla mentions me in the interview (I had no idea!) and it literally made me tear up when I read it. I feel the same way about her, and I love that our friendship is growing across the continent. I hope you’ll continue to follow our conversations.