17 March 2017

5 Tips for a Blog & Work Life Balance

I love to blog,  It is a way of putting a small piece of yourself out into the world.  Whether it be your thoughts on a subject, your personal style aesthetic or just a window to crawl out of your daily life; blogging is wonderful way for those who love to write to put their words out to a wider audience.

The trouble with blogging, is finding the time to do it.  Whether you are a full time worker, trying to fit in your writing with a 9-5 job and your after work life or a full time mum, running after children and organising a household; trying to add hours into your weeks to encompass blogging can be a challenge. 

You know those memes that go around the internet?  What my friends think I do, what my parents think I do, what society thinks I do?  The idea of blogging to many looks a lot like this.  



Calm, organised, scheduled.  The reality is more than often more like this.



The reality is jotting notes down on the bus to work, writing bits and pieces in your lunch hour; formulating a blog post on your journey home; writing it at 11pm when the house is finally quiet enough to write (it is 10.45pm when I am writing this).

But when it comes down to it, we love to blog.  So here are some tips for working a blog into your life.

Data on the Go
The majority of people have broadband in their homes.   Working from home is the ideal, but when you need to blog, jot down ideas and research issues on the hop, you are going to need a good and reliable internet connection that is not going to run out.  

My phone package include mobile broadband with a portable MiFi device so that I can easily get onto the internet anywhere I am, on my tablet or laptop, without having to worry about the security of public WiFi.  This is particularly useful in the summer months when you can go and sit in the sunshine while you blog!

Making Time for Yourself
Whether you are a full time worker or a full time mum, finding time for yourself is not easy at the best of times.  Add blogging into the mix and that time is cut down even further.  But it is important to set some time aside for yourself, even if it is just half an hour soaking the bath or a walk in the park.  If you burn yourself out, both you and your blog will suffer as a result.

My go to is a Lush bath bomb, a couple of candles and a glass of wine at the end of a busy day.  45 minutes later and I am refreshed and relaxed.



Blog Ideas
I often have several blog posts in draft.  When I get an idea for a post, I write down the bare bones in a notepad or my tablet, in time moving those ideas into a draft post; ready for writing properly when I have time.

When you have notes written down for a post and some key words and paragraphs ready for you, it is much easier to write and formulate your blog post when you have some time.  Having several in draft form at the same time gives you options of what to write when the mood springs and time allows.  I often find my opinion pieces decide to come out of me late at night so it helps to have a basic starter to work from.

Scheduling
Because I write most of my blog posts later at night when I have a little time, by the time I am finished I am often too tired to think about sharing on social networks and promoting the piece as I wish.  This is where scheduling comes into play.

The last thing I do when I finish a piece is schedule it to be published just when I am getting onto the bus for work in the morning.  Then during my journey I use the Buffer app to schedule publication on Twitter and Facebook throughout the day, as well as sharing on Linkedin and Google+.

Finally....

Don't be Afraid To Write What You Want
Ever had an idea come into your head that you wanted to write about but didn't, because you thought you shouldn't?  If you have as many opinions as me, the answer to that question is probably yes.  It might be an opinion piece on a hot topic (I write a piece about the Grand National every year which always gets flack).

Perhaps you have a political leaning or a social justice cause that you want to share.  Goodness knows there is enough to talk about on that front at the moment!  I have written about everything from prisoners on death row, to feminism and police violence against black people.

The point is, if you do not write what you want for fear of others opinions, your passion for writing is not going to be there.  In the end, you are writing for yourself and sharing a piece of yourself with the world.

Don't let that piece of you be muted.  If people want to read your blog, they want to read who you are, not the sanitized version of yourself that you think that people want to hear.  


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