I get asked frequently, "How do you find time to blog?!" Mostly from other moms who have children around the same age. I know they don't mean it condescendingly, so I don't take it that way at all. I realize we live in a society that puts high demands on women to have their homes in order, to volunteer at church/school, to be involved in community groups and on top of that - work a full-time job. If you are one of those women who are blessed to be able to stay home, than the expectations are even higher for you, because of course "you have the time." So, I'm not offended that women ask where I find time. I get it. Time is short and valuable and how (or better yet, why?) do I spend precious moments writing to a space on the internet where I happen to own my own url?
Today, I thought I would address this. And maybe offer some tips to encourage other busy woman out there.
Let me preface this by saying - this could be applied to any hobby you enjoy. Writing has always been something I've loved to do. I once tried to write a book in a text document when I was a little girl, but once my parents upgraded our computer to Word - we lost it all (it was truly devestating).
It all comes down to one simple rule in life: whatever you enjoy doing, you make time for.
1. I don't blog every day.
The easiest way to stop doing something you enjoy doing, is to overdo it. Overdoing it may look differently for each person. But for me, blogging everyday (like I did in this challenge) was definitely too much. Did I have my all-time, highest viewed month when I blogged everyday? Why, yes I did. But in order for me to keep my love for blogging and more importantly, my home and family in order, I have to allow some days to breathe. This brings me to my next point…
2. I blog when I'm inspired.
The best advice I can give to someone who is trying to maintain a blog, but not necessarily grow one, is to blog only when inspired. Like I mentioned, if high stats and viewership are your goal, than this may not be the best advice for you. But if you are like me, and you just want an outlet to write and share the things that are weighing on your heart and mind - than blog when you feel compelled. I call it the "leading of the Holy Spirit," and if I'm not at a place where I can sit down at my computer and start writing, I jot down a few thoughts in the "notes" section of my phone. I'm not trying to over-spiritualize my blog here, but there have been several times when what I've written has come from an overflow of what He had been teaching me in that moment.
3. I blog during naptime/bedtime.
Now, for you moms who are wondering how you will ever find time to sit down at a computer and write when you have a child (or ten) that you are chasing around most of the day, this is the secret - blog when they sleep. And if you're like me, and nap time is also lunch (and dinner) time and laundry time and dishes time and clean-up-everything-in-your-house-that's-been-destroyed-by-sleeping-child time... than good luck! No, seriously, this is where the priorities have to come in. Truth is, I don't always have mine in order when I blog. There have been times when I've decided to give into "blogging inspiration" over the very strong need to vacuum my bedroom and put away my clothes. Why? Because I know that inspiration only hits me every so often, and let's face it… I'll never be inspired to put away my clothes, so that will have to be done regardless.
4. I schedule posts.
You want to know something funny? I am adding this point after this post has already been published! I almost just skipped over the number one thing that helps me "appear" like a regular blogger. SCHEDULE POSTS! I wrote this post yesterday during "nap time" when I felt inspired to sit down and write. I had already written a post for that day, so I went ahead and scheduled this one for "tomorrow" (i.e. why you're reading it today). You can do this as often and as far out as you like. I'm usually spontaneous in my writing, so I like to have my posts scheduled no more than two days ahead. But my husband is so good at this, that sometimes he schedules posts WEEKS ahead! It's super convenient to do in Wordpress and Blogger. So if you are looking for places to sign up to blog, those would be my two recommendations (I am sure there are others!)
In conclusion: Moms, you need time to yourself to do something you enjoy. Whether that's writing, reading a book, running, shopping or going to eat with friends. And sometimes you will leave your house in an unearthly state to do them. I'm not saying to neglect your home, but I know when I take time to do something I love to do - it gives me the energy to come back and do the things that need to be done.
And I have to admit, it helps having a bloggy-hubby who not only understands and appreciates my love for writing, but encourages it.
He also encourages me to put my clothes away… and yes, my love, I am about to get right on that. Right after I publish this post. ;)