January 6, 2015

6 Ways Mom Can Balance Blogging With Family

Most of us experienced blog writers know that managing our writing time with our family can be tricky. But balance is essential to prevent stress and guilt.

My writing is definitely a creative outlet for me, but my family needs me too. For some, writing a blog is a hobby, and for others it is a job. For me, I am somewhere in-between.

Earlier this year I set some rules for myself that I think might help others. I don't have it all figured out, but I'm definitely working on it.

Imagine managing a blog while you are the wife of a great man, mom of 7 children, mother-in-law to 3, grandma to 5 and a 1/2, and Primary 2nd Counselor. Add to that a host of other roles I carry and you know I definitely need to be organized.

So, here are some techniques that I started this year to balance blogging with my family:

1. Don't Write On Sunday
That is a tough one for many, because it seems like we have more free time on that day. But my experience is that when you don't do it, you have time for God, service and family. So, I don't write on Sunday. And I've been blessed ever since.

2. Schedule When Posts Are Published
I love to do this! With Blogger, I can write two or three articles in one day, and post them a few days apart. That way my readers don't get bombarded with my posts. I sometimes publish two time-sensitive articles at once, but not regularly. Scheduling my posts takes away the guilt of not writing daily.

3. Write While My Family is Asleep or Preoccupied.
Ever notice your kids need you more as soon as you sit down to the computer? This is one of the most difficult challenges with my writing, because inspiration happens at the oddest times. But the nice thing is I can "hold that thought" and come back to it later. In fact, when I "hold that thought" it blossoms and the article is much better. The best time for me to write is when my daughter is at school and my husband is at work. That way when they get 100% of my attention when they come home, well . . . most sort of. :-)

4. Write In 2 Hour Blocks a Few Days Per Week
I've found I need about 2 hours to put together a post. This year I'm only writing two times per week. I'm a fast typist which helps tremendously. In fact I type so furiously and noisily, that you don't want to be in the same room with me. I actually set a timer on my iPhone, or I would write and edit forever which is never a good thing.

5. Answer Emails Once A Week
Eeeek! Can I do that? Of course I look at my emails every day, but I can't get to them immediately. Please be patient if you write to me. I love getting them, but if the sky isn't falling, I don't respond immediately.

6. Use a Monthly Blog Planner 
The one shown above is an old one I created by adapting Becky's brilliant idea. I use a monthly page on the left and several weekly pages on the right and keep them in a binder. It's a place to get ideas out of my head and onto paper . . . yes, real paper! I use computer programs for so many things, but not this one. More on this in another post.

Uh-oh! I'm hearing some stirring in the house. Time to sign off.

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