“Each week the hop will start on a Friday and end on Thursday. There will be a weekly prompt featuring a book related question. The hop’s purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog.”
This week’s question:
For all of you worker bees out there! How do you balance having a day job/career and managing your blog at night? Is it hard or easy to do, and what do people in your work life think of your blogs?
(submitted by Danielle @ PoetryBooksYA)
Oh boy, this is going to be a long one (apologies in advance!)
This is something I still struggle with. When I first started working it was only part-time, so it was still pretty easy to keep up with posting. Fast forward nine years and I’m working full-time, looking after my two-year-old daughter and trying in vain to keep up with household chores and maintain some semblance of a social life. There isn’t as much room in my life as there used to be for blogging, reading and other creative hobbies.
When my daughter was newborn, I had to take a hiatus from blogging. Motherhood was a huge adjustment for me and I struggled to function on the few hours sleep I was getting. Something had to give and it was my blog that I put on the back burner. I unplugged and enjoyed my time with my little lion cub, I wouldn’t change that for the world. Family always comes first for me.
But when I returned to work after my maternity leave, I began to feel a little lost. I get satisfaction from my job, but it isn’t a particularly creative role. After playing with my daughter and putting her to bed, I would do the chores then spend my time aimlessly scrolling social media before falling asleep. I began to crave a creative outlet again. I needed somewhere to express my thoughts and I wanted to do something for myself that would help me reconnect with who I was outside of working and parenting.
So, earlier this year I decided to switch my blog to WordPress and completely reboot it with a new name and design. I got excited about blogging again and since then I’ve been blogging fairly consistently. It’s such a great outlet for me. However, I can’t commit to posting daily or reading several books in a week. My reading time is limited to about half an hour every night, so it often takes me more than a week to get through just one book!
But I’ve changed my whole attitude to blogging. It’s not my whole life anymore, it’s a pleasant addition to what I already have. I want to be present for my daughter as much as possible, so I try to reserve blogging for when she’s asleep or at nursery. I also don’t stick to a strict schedule, I give myself the freedom to post as often or as little as I want to. I read whatever books I feel like and I rarely sign up to review books. If I miss meme posts like Top Ten Tuesday, I just accept that it was a busy week.
One thing I would like to improve is the organisation of my blog. I’m participating in Blog Ahead at the moment and hoping to finish it with a lead of at least 15 posts scheduled. Getting ahead would take some of the pressure off and I’d have time to post more interesting content, such as creative writing. There never seems to be enough time in the day to do everything I want to do, but I’m hoping that my upcoming break from work will give me a chance to catch up.
I do think running a blog alongside a full-time job or parenting is a hard thing to do, especially if you want to make money from it. It’s not just writing content that takes time, it’s all the other stuff: making graphics, replying to comments, visiting other blogs, promoting your blog on social media, tweaking the design, updating plugins…the list goes on!
So in summary, my answer is that I’m still working on finding a perfect balance. As for what colleagues think about my blog, I’m not sure. Most of them probably don’t realise I have one, if they follow they’ve never mentioned it. I don’t mind this in the slightest, as I quite like to keep my blogging life separate from my work life. I feel like I can express myself here without worrying about being professional; I can unleash my true nerdiness without fear of judgement!
What about you? Is it easy for you to manage work with blogging or other aspects of your life?