Running from the Law: One Year and Beyond - Making Time to Blog

Thursday, June 19, 2014

One Year and Beyond - Making Time to Blog

Oh, well isn't this topic appropriate right now...two days after I published my last post that was nearly a week late.  Ugh.  Does that automatically disqualify me from giving anyone advice on finding the time to blog?  Maybe.  Anyway, this week's "One Year and Beyond" blogging series topic is on Making Time to Blog.  As a full-time attorney, mom, wife and blogger, this topic is near and dear to my heart and still (nearly seven years after starting this blog) something I struggle with all the time.  

One of the most frequent questions I (and a lot of other bloggers I know) get asked is how do I find time to do it all?  First of all, that question assumes that I'm actually "doing it all," which is absolutely not the case.  Every time someone asks me that question I cringe and get a bit worried that I'm portraying a life on this blog that's actually different than the one I'm living.  I certainly don't want to come across as someone that has her shit together all the time, doesn't have emotional meltdowns occasionally or has super powers.  That's not me.  Don't worry, I'm a mess!  My to do list is always pages and pages longer than I will ever have time to get to and I constantly feel like I can't keep up.  There is NEVER enough time.  Reality is so much different than the tiny little snippets of life that get presented on a blog or social media.  I hope that makes everyone out there feel a little bit better about themselves, because I can guarantee that life is never as together or easy as you can make it look online.  We're all struggling.

So how do I make the time to blog?  Well, the easy answer is by prioritizing.  I know that's probably not what you wanted to hear.  You wanted to hear that I have a secret time machine or a staff of elves that blog for me, right?  Because that would be awesome.  In reality, I have to find the time, which means that something else gets pushed aside.  There are only so many hours in the day and I (unfortunately) do not get any more than everyone else does, so the time I take to sit down and write a blog post is time I'm not doing something else.  So, when I'm blogging, what am I NOT doing?  Here are a few examples:
  • working out (ever)
  • watching TV 
  • reading books
  • trying new recipes 
  • going out to eat with friends
  • having date nights with my husband
  • cleaning the house
  • doing laundry
  • sleeping
If you are doing any of these, I'm SO jealous.  Whether you realize it or not, we each deliberately choose to make time for the things that mean the most to us.  If you can find the time to do it, it's because you WANT to do it and you want to do it more than you want to do other things.  Yes, of course I could also find time to work out or read a book, but then something else has to give (like spending time with Mac), which I'm not ok with doing right now.  And yes, I occasionally do find the time to go out with friends or do projects around the house, but those are probably also the weeks where I'm light on blog posts or when Mac is visiting his grandparents or I'm getting extra help around the house from my hubby or nanny.  There's just not time to do it all.

My time (as well as everyone's) is very limited, so I try to spend it doing what I love most.  Right now that's spending time with Mac and documenting my (and my family's) life on this blog.  It might not always be this way.  A year from now I may decide that I'd like to start running again and this little corner of the internet may not get updated as much as it does now, because that will take priority.  And that's ok.  I blog because I love it, but my love for this blog may not always be my priority.  When I'm extra busy at home or at work, this blog is one of the first things to be cut to find time to do other things.  And that's ok too. It'll still be here when I get back.  I may have to dust off the cobwebs, but it'll be here.
What most non-bloggers don't realize is what a huge commitment blogging can be.  It definitely takes up quite a bit of my time these days, which leaves less time that I'm doing other things.  A blog post can take me anywhere from 30 minutes to write to a couple hours, depending on how much research needs to be done, how many photos need to be edited and uploaded and how thoughtful I want to be on the subject.  This spring I put together two posts that each took around 10 hours to write (here and here), for different reasons.  The "baby gear" post took a ton of time to research, add links, make photo collages, give opinions, etc.  The "Working Moms" post just took a lot of time to write because I wanted to be so deliberate and thoughtful in what I wrote and then I edited and revised the hell out of it to get it perfect.  And writing the posts themselves usually isn't the hardest (or most time-consuming) part of blogging.  Blogging is a community which requires reciprocation.  It's a wonderful place to "meet" other moms and be a part of something amazing, but it also takes time to respond to readers, keep up with other mom's blogs, read and comment on their posts, stay up to date with social media, etc.  I may not be great about responding directly to comments, but you can bet that if you leave me a comment, I'll visit your blog and leave you one back.  I love reading other blogs and being a part of this community, but it also takes a lot of time.

As for blog maintenance, I keep a running list of topics I want to cover that month (I never get to them all) and  I have a monthly calendar that I use to plan out my posts and try to schedule them ahead of time, if I can.  I write a little bit of posts all the time, a paragraph here and there (especially Mac's monthly updates, etc.) over weeks and always have 5-15 drafts of posts sitting in my queue waiting to be finished/published.  Editing photos takes a LOT of time for me, but this blog has been wonderful in that it forces me to stay on top of my photos so I can also have them for baby books, year books, calendars, gifts, etc.  If I didn't need photos for this blog, I'd probably have thousands of them just sitting in my computer gathering dust (who am I kidding, I still have thousands of unedited photos on my computer - there's just not enough time!).  I definitely don't blog everyday.  I try to blog 2-3 times a week, but I don't beat myself up about not hitting that goal (because it's a hobby, not a job for me).  If I have extra time that week and post more than that, awesome!  But I try not to put too much pressure on myself to blog (because I want it to be fun) and I try not to impose firm deadlines on myself (unless it is a sponsored post or a guest post where I need to stick to a schedule).

So, when exactly do I have the time to blog?  Mainly in the evenings after Mac is asleep, on weekends or on my lunch break at work.  I think about blog posts all the time (while I'm driving, at work, when I'm playing with Mac, etc.).  Actually, I do a LOT of brainstorming in the car while I drive to and from work.  That's around 40 minutes of uninterrupted time a day to get ideas for posts hashed out.  I find that a lot of my writing happens internally and I usually have a good idea of exactly what I want to say in a post in my head before I ever sit down to the computer to type it out, which usually makes the process go much quicker.  My husband is also great about giving me some "alone time" with my computer to write or edit photos.  I'm not sure he's always a huge fan of the blog, but he is very supportive of my photography and documenting.  He loves having our stories written down and photos of the kid(s) as much as I do.

Well, that's how I do it.  I'm so curious to read what everyone else has to say on this topic.  I'm always in need of ways to find more time to blog (and do other things).  Feel free to check out the other co-host mamas listed below to find out how they "do it all."  And, of course, we'd LOVE to hear from you!  If you're a blogging mama, how do you make/find the time to blog?  Please link up with us below!

From Here to EternityWords About Waverly
my delicious adventure Photobucket
My Delicious Adventure                  The Life Of Faith
Running From The LawThe Olive Tree

May 8:          Taming the temper tantrums
May 15:        Weaning from breastfeeding or from formula to cow’s milk 
May 22:        Dealing with "Mommy Guilt"
May 29:        When people share their opinions and how to lovingly handle it
June 5:         Traveling with your toddler
June 12:       How to get your toddler to eat their veggies…or their food at all
June 19:       How to make time to blog in the busyness of motherhood
June 26:       Bedtime battles (nap or bedtime)

An InLinkz Link-up

How do you make time to blog?


  1. I use an editorial calendar -- and I sometimes try to write a group of posts in advance (which works out like .005% of the time, ha). I think I need to designate a night for it, like Sunday nights after Kiernan's asleep I will work on posts for a couple hours instead of zoning out and watching TV like the hubs and I usually do... I also find it helps to get down the barebones of posts ahead of time and fill in details/pictures later. For instance, my monthly updates for Kiernan, I have saved way ahead of time and jot things down that I don't want to forget throughout the month...

    *fist bump from another girl who doesn't have her shit together all the time and tends to have the occasional emotional meltdown* xo

  2. Oh my gosh I love this. I can't for the life of me get on a schedule. Do you know how many "blogging planning/calendars" I've pinned? At least a million, and how many have I used? None! I want so badly to get more than a few days ahead, but then life happens. Sometimes it stresses me out that I don't have a post ready, etc., but then I just remind myself that this is a hobby, a hobby I love and value, but a hobby nonetheless. I feel really bad if I'm not doing the "other" things because I'm blogging. You've got me thinking I need to give one of those calendars a try though!

  3. It's one big game of give and take right? I feel the same way, making time for blogging means I am not doing something else that needs to be done. Like cleaning the kitchen, folding laundry, the never-ending lists goes on and on. I have never tried a blog calendar, but it seems like a great idea!!

  4. It's so true that you will find and make time for the things you love, but something will usually be pushed to the side. Like working out. I don't enjoy it in the least so I don't make time for it and I don't make myself do it. Or cleaning like a mama who has it all together. No, instead I push those things to the side and play with the boy or blog or something else that I want to. Thanks for sharing this and your ideas! :)

  5. Who knew blogging was such a balancing act? I had no idea when I started my own little piece of blogland. Now, I find I watch a lot less TV, and spend most of my free moments (when Little Man is asleep) editing photos and composing.
    I've heard a few other bloggers mention having a calendar of topics to post... Maybe if I attempt that I'll find a little more organization???

  6. It's like you took the words right out of my mouth! I feel so scattered sometimes when I blog and I never have enough time! I've tried keeping a paper calendar with ideas and dates of what to post and when, but I still have yet to find that magical organizational tool that will help me do better in this area. So much to do, and so little time! Sometimes I wish I was a vampire so I wouldn't need to waste time sleeping... :)

  7. I love this post! I love that you're upfront about it being a matter of priorities, and I love your list of things you're not doing as a trade-off. It's so easy to get caught up in comparing myself to the best parts of everyone around me - since people naturally showcase their strengths - that it's easy to forget that there must be trade-offs. Love how honest you are here.

    ~Someone who would like to blog but doesn't ever prioritize it high enough :)

  8. I loved this post. The whole "how do you find the time?" question bugs me, and I find myself deliberately trying to never ask anyone that! We all have 168 hours in a week, and as you said, the key is prioritizing. We all make choices. And all those things you DON'T do while blogging are the same things I don't do while blogging! But I, like you, find it totally worth the time and effort!

  9. Oh yeah, meant to say that, too - SO true that we all compare ourselves to the teeny little snippets people provide on social media, even though we KNOW that we're not seeing the whole picture. Heck, I sure look like I have it together and my life is "perfect" based on what I share on IG usually - but it sure ain't the case. ;) I try to remember that about other people, too.

  10. I've been anxiously waiting for this topic to come up!! Thank you for posting and sharing, as it's helpful to me, a new blogger/wife/momma/full-time worker. I appreciate the insight, tips, schedules of how you 'make it work' as I often wonder how it's done.. :)

  11. I go in cycles when it comes to blogging--and I'm finally realizing that that is OKAY! Like you said, other things take priority at certain times. Great post!!

  12. great post and so so so relevant to me this week! You took the words out of my mouth - it takes time and if you do it you don't do something else. My time at bloom last week forced me to do some major goal setting and priotizing this week and it's all about choices! Thanks for all your honesty here I loved it!

  13. Girl kudos to you! I often wonder how I am going to keep up blogging while also being a new mom. Especially because I really enjoy the little outlet blogging has given me in addition to all the advice and support! I know as long as I do it for me and don't allow it to take away from anything else it will be all good!
    My friends tell me all the time about wanting to start a blog especially after seeing how much I enjoy it. The first thing I say is it's time consuming! Especially because you want to support all the people that support you. Which can translate to reading A LOT of blogs per day!

  14. I keep hearing the idea of an editorial calendar coming up for blogs and just haven't gotten around to doing one for myself. Maybe that would help keep me on a schedule? I feel like I go in spurts, but don't know how best to address that. Blogging does take up a lot of time, regardless if you have a little one to run after or not! :)

  15. Word mama. I agree to all of the above and live by the same code.

  16. So much of this hit home for me! I love blogging, it's my creative outlet and keeper of memories but it definitely takes a back burner to other priorities. Sometimes I wonder if I will even be able to keep it up whenever we have another baby... We shall see!

  17. Girl, you took the words right out of my mouth! This whole post is exactly how I feel. I have a love/hate relationship with the "how do you do it all" question. First of all, I love that they assume that I am doing it all. It's very flattering, but so not true. If they came to my house and saw the mess of papers on my counter and table, they would know that I am not doing it all. Second of all, I'm not doing it all. There's no way. Being a full time mom with a full time job, it is impossible to have enough hours in the day. I try to keep organized with a planner and try to schedule some posts ahead of time when I can, but I try not to stress about it. If I miss a day, I miss a day. It's a hobby, not my job, and though I love it, my real job and my family comes first. And everything you said you aren't doing when you're blogging, ME TO THE T. Not working out (ever), watching tv, reading books or magazines, sleeping, etc. It's all about priorities. I love the community that blogging creates, but like you said, it takes time. I feel so bad when I am delayed responding to comments (this week has been especially bad and I just responded to things from Monday) and when I don't have time to read/comment to others.

  18. I LOVE your honesty in this post. I think I give up cleaning the house and doing laundry most of all when I need to blog...but I'm never sorry for it!

  19. Love this topic, it is SO hard to find the time! I am like you in that I normally know what I want to say before I write, and I keep a running list of ideas on my iPhone but I'm terrible about planning ahead. I like the idea of starting several and keeping them in draft form and writing on them as I can. I don't know if my OCD would allow me to do that, I normally can't stand to not finish things, but it's worth a shot. Great post!

  20. One thing people often miss is that blogging is closest to the formal writing disciplines and should therefore be more subject to the rules of the latter. It's not a mere status message or a tweet. It should be planned and outlined and must have a clear structure, along with a throughline. There are rules, but rules all the same. That's part of building branding and personal capital. It's all about justfying your priorities.

    Layla Stabile @ Sacramento Marketing Labs

  21. Exactly! can't do it all, so I do what is at the top of the list and then shift to something reading. I'm not sure how I'd fit more than two things in though, ha. I'm still trying to work on Aria's first year scrapbook thing!

  22. It's SO hard to find the balance with life and blogging. I had NO idea about the work I would have to put into it. What takes most of my time, isn't the writing- but the connecting. I just spent three hours tonight messaging back and forth with a dear friend (I met through my blog) ministering to her as she suffers through a broken marriage and is on the edge of her faith.

    I also read a TON of blogs... in order to connect and get to know them and follow the people who read me. I spend most of my time in the mainstream world, not too much in the christian circles. I truly feel I belong there...even when I feel like a fish swimming upstream! It's where God has called me to be, and I LOVE the women I have met!

    I spend my late nights (way too late!) reading and sharing other people's posts. I think that kind of giving is a blessing when people read and share my stuff, so I try to return the favor.

    And much like your list (SO true!) I feel I sacrifice too much at times for blogging. But it's my passion and my 'on line ministry' I call it. :) I have a passion for this purpose!

  23. This is such a good post, love your honesty!! And this series!! :)