Last week I published a post on how I was struggling with my blog-life balance (you can read that post here: Do I need more blog-life balance?). I was 6 weeks into this new blog and feeling a little overwhelmed. I love writing and starting this blog is one of the best things I have done. However, I had completely underestimated how much time blogging takes! When I started this venture, I knew that I would need to find time to write posts but I really hadn’t given much thought to the other blogging activities that take up so much time, like commenting, promoting posts, discovering new blogs to read, finding my way around social media and unfamiliar blogging tools. Hootsuite, Crowdfire and even Twitter were completely new to me. As a result, by the end of my the first 6 weeks I was already feeling a little swamped by blogging. Fitting blogging around work and family life meant that I was spending most of my evenings, and a lot of my weekends, in front of my laptop with not much time for anything else.
So what’s the best thing to do when you feel that blogging is taking over your life (or taking over the little bit of spare time I once had)? Write a blog post about it! And I’m really glad I did. It turns out finding blog-life balance is something many bloggers suffer with. The comments and messages I’ve received since writing that post highlighted that I wasn’t alone in my plight. Not that I really thought I was the only one struggling with this, but it was comforting to hear from other bloggers that were going through this too and from others who have struggled with finding balance in the past but have now found ways to get the balance back.
From the feedback I received, it seems that blog-life balance does get easier with experience to some degree as bloggers find ways to manage and prioritise blogging activities (though some more experienced bloggers also mentioned they suffer with this challenge too). It’s easy for us newbie bloggers to get drawn into the excitement of joining the blogging world and starting our new blogging journey. That was certainly the case for me. I became a little obsessed with my WordPress stats, reading tips on how to increase reader engagement and in learning all about this new, unfamiliar world of a personal blog. Maybe it was a case of information overload, or the realisation that writing content is only one part of blogging (and from what I was reading, a small part of blogging), but I started questioning whether this is something I really wanted to do. With a career and a young family, could I commit to this blog? Then I gave myself a shake, took a step back and tried to remember why I started this blog in the first place.
There were two main reasons why I wanted to blog. Firstly, to allow me to do more writing. I write as part of my job, but I wanted a project where I could be a little more creative and write from a personal perspective. I wanted to experiment with my writing and really focus on finding my own voice and writing style. Secondly, I wanted to log my journey to finding a healthier, calmer and more balanced life, and hopefully share tips and experiences with others through my blog. In the craziness of those first few blogging weeks, I had lost sight of those goals. If I was going to continue on my blogging mission, then I needed to ground myself and be realistic about what I was trying to achieve. I don’t have the time to create a stream of daily posts, and I’ve barely looked at my Facebook page in the last couple of weeks. But does that really matter? The important thing is that I’m enjoying the blogging experience.
So armed with this realisation, and the tips I had been given by other bloggers, I have an action plan to try to restore my blog-life balance:
- I’ll stop obsessing about the numbers and concentrate on the reasons I started this blog
- I’m going to focus on learning – about health, fitness and finding my own balance as well as learning more about the blogging world
- I`m going to be realistic about the number of posts I can write – 2 or 3 posts a week is manageable so that will be my goal for now
- I’ll plan my blogging activities but will also accept that life has a habit of throwing things up that can disrupt those plans (and will try not to stress if that happens!)
- I`m going to accept that there may be times that I have to step back from the blog or miss a link up if other priorities raise their head
- And importantly, I’m going to write when I want to write and because I have something I want to write about. After all, there’s no point doing this if writing becomes a chore.
So that’s the plan. I have no doubt that I’ll have to keep reminding myself of these but I really want to continue blogging and for it to have a positive impact, so I have to remember to keep balanced in every part of my life, including blogging.
Is blog-life balance a challenge for you? What do you do to maintain balance when it comes to blogging? I’d love to hear your experiences and tips!