I ♥ blogging

Heart Mobile (created in PowerPoint)

Last October I started this blog with the help of “Complete Guide to Set Up a WordPress Blog and Make Money“. Several things precipitated my desire to start this blog. My freelance product design work had slowed down. I needed something to take my mind off my miscarriage. I wanted to write some product and book reviews but wanted more control over the output than is available with online retail review formats. I love learning and sharing my thoughts and ideas especially family related. My attempts at sharing this kind of content on Facebook were unfulfilling. I wanted a creative outlet. And honestly, I was intrigued by the idea of affiliate relationships and maybe, down the road, making a little side money!

Something happened – I did not expect to love it as much as I do!  I feel like “Doodles and Jots” is my little universe or company or nonjudgmental paradise where I can experiment and explore and trust myself with all decisions. I honestly have never had something like that in my professional life! I also did not expect to learn as much as I have, actually be able to WRITE without embarrassing myself, “meet” so many interesting and talented fellow bloggers (especially through BlogHer and Nablopomo), develop REAL friendships, and discover such an incredible world of amazing content within the Blogosphere (check-out some of my favorites with my “Good Read” sidebar widget). I haven’t made any money and that is okay although it does mean I will have to take that big six month design project offered to me (and I know I am lucky to get the work).  It also means I will have to significantly cut back on my blogging activities.

I do have somewhat of a strategy for how to do it all. It means cutting back on everything! I will have to visit other blogs less often. I am going to try to restrict my visiting to 2 times a week (or else I will get sucked right back in).  I haven’t missed a day posting since I started and love the idea of continuing this but realize it is just too ambitious. I am going to cut back to 5 times per week and see how that goes. My posts do not tend to be long or elaborate now but I am going to have to simplify them even more during my project (which starts next week). My biggest goal for blogging during my big-work-project is to not LOSE ground and not LOSE touch.

Please share ways you have been able to keep up your blogging activities when work or life gets in the way.  I could use some tips!

 

Ann

I'm a practical mom inspired by nature & I enjoy sharing ideas that encourage kids' innate curiosity & creativity. Interested in subscribing? Check out the blue box at the top of my sidebar. I'm also a wannabe author/illustrator & product designer by day. Let's connect! doodlesandjots@hotmail.com. If you purchase through my Amazon links I get a small commission at no additional cost to you (thanks for supporting Doodles and Jots)! And remember to always credit your source here & elsewhere on the internet.

28 comments

  1. Oh! So much stuff here- Congratulations on the job; what products do you design, anyway? I bet you’ll find a good groove for blogging and working once you start the work. You won’t be able to tear yourself away from blogging…. it sucks you back. I’m so sorry to hear about the miscarriage. Not sure if I have any good balancing things tips, because I sort of suck at it. :(

    • Thanks, I work on all sorts of stuff… small appliances, kitchen tools, baby products, consumer electronics, medical, whatever – we will see what happens. I will probably be relying on that magic babysitter a little more than I’d like ; ) Thanks, & blogging is so addictive isn’t it?!

  2. Ann! Congratulations on the work! My tip is this: write posts about the work! I’d love to follow along in the process of whatever the project is, ESPECIALLY if it’s graphic/visual at all. When I am deep into costuming or whatever I love being able to take a few photos and make an interesting post out of it.

    We will miss you! Sometimes I feel like we would be disappointed not to hear from each other on every post, but I think we all know that we’re there reading even if we’re not responding, and also it’s probably better to keep a little distance from having to check in all the time. I have really enjoyed getting to know you and reading your blog. Your posts are always so full of simple creativity, beauty and information. I hope you can keep it up. I bet you will find a way! 😉

    xoxo,
    Tiffanie

    • Thanks for your confidence! I might be about to blog a bit about work but it will have to be creatively because I always work under a confidentiality agreement – I bet you are super curious now ; )

  3. My sentimens exactly! I knew blogging would be a good outlet but I had no clue how many non writing skills I would develop and new friends I would make.

    I always feel a bit ridiculous giving mothers time management advice because I have NO idea how it is to have someone to take care of who doesn’t have fur & a tail. But then again…I work way longer hours than most so maybe some of my tips might help?

    I mix up time consuming versus less time consuming posts. I do a certain number of short quick posts per week to balance out the more time consuming ones. Almost wordless Wens or a quick blurb about a community event.

    I put less pics up now, my earlier posts used to be very pic heavy. Now I do less and will often put together a collage of pics which allows me to add more images with one upload.

    I try to combine my life and my blog. If you share a meal for me, get ready for picture taking and I might want to sample a bit of your food too because you can bet I’m gonna blog about it. Same for attending events or even just simple everyday things.

    Day in the life of…some days I’ll do a series of shots on my phone on a day out, road trip, day to the beach, etc.

    I keep notes on “inspiration”. Anytime something comes to me, I log it in my iphone. I don’t spend a ton of time thinking what I’m going to write about because I’m constantly front loading and prepping for future posts.

    I break up some topics into more than one post. An event could be three posts. A blurb with the event flyer, pics from my actual time at the event and another on why the event means so much to me.

    I watch very little tv now and I don’t spend entire days watching the BF do things any more (surf, ride motocross). He doesn’t like it but if I want to write a novel and have a great blog, it has to be. I do spend time with him but just don’t sit around for 8 to 10 hours at the beach/track admiring his athletic ability while my butt gets bigger, the house gets dirtier and no writing gets done. Writing is impossible at these events…I tried.

    I schedule my social media time (a little better on some days, other days I’m on too much). Check my blog post went up ok each morning. Write at night after work and check twitter during a work break.

    Sometimes I’ll write more than one post at once and schedule them out over several days (I’d like to do more of this in the future).

    That said, I’ll prob cut back to 5 posts a week to make time for learning photography, exercise and novel writing. It’s tough…but I find the more I learn the easier it gets. I think because I was blogging every day, I have developed skills and have gotten faster, much quicker than someone who was sporadic.

    • Great tips in here, thanks! I like combining life and blog. I think I do that but I could rely on it more. Also like Almost Wordless Wens – I might try that too! I feel like I was more efficient with my time when I worked even after I had my first because I had to be so maybe I will be able to be now too. I like to know you have ambition to write a novel – that is awesome – good for you!!!

    • These tips are GREAT!! You sound like you are on the go-go-go all the time, but still manage to post 5 days a week?! Kudos!

      I’m fairly new to blogging, but I never caught on to the idea of creative pre-planned posts ahead of time. I suppose that would eliminate some of my writers block, and keep readers coming back :)

      Social media is my biggest problem, now. I’m still a newborn with Twitter, Bloglovin’, and BlogHer, but I’m trying my hardest to ease into it without feeling overwhelmed!

      Your tips are surely going to help! Thanks for sharing!

      Shannon :)

  4. sorry for the numerous spelling errors, typos and messed up phrases (should say…i watch very little tv)…and I call myself a writer, geez…

    I’m very sorry to hear about your miscarriage…hugs Ann…I’ve had a rough two years too for different reasons…

    • Hugs back at you, Tania! Honestly, I am dyslexic and don’t notice mistakes, mine or anyone else’s… However I am super self-conscious about it so I will edit for you ; )

    • Thanks – it is a good thing : ) I never would have imagined it would be hard to cut back – I never thought I would want to post everyday but I think I got addicted to the feeling of accomplishment…

  5. I love your blog!

    My main tip is to write multiple posts in one day and then schedule them. That way you can post every day (if you want to – certainly not necessary) without having to write every day. I also find that I’m much more efficient that way.

    I was surprised at how much I love blogging, too!

  6. Good luck with the new job! Hopefully once you get into the swing of things it will get easier to balance it all out. as a fellow mom though, I know how every spare moment goes to them.

    I am still kind of new to this whole deal, but I have come to treat my daily blog post as a job. Like you said, a blog feels like a mini-business, and since I want to write and illustrate, blogging is a way to work on some of the skills I will need, (Including networking). In order to do this, I sometimes have to prioritize blogging above things like a sink with no dishes in it, or perfectly dusted shelving. (Which is not hard since I enjoy it more.)

    I try to do what others have said, where I blog about little things, and have shorter posts on the busier days, and when time does allow it I spend more time.

    I also always keep my camera around, wherever I am, and try to let the days pics, even if it is only one, dictate what I write about. If I thought it was worth capturing on film, then I probably have at least one or two sentences I could write about it.

    • Thanks Krista – really good ideas about having camera ready and being about to write a few sentences about!

  7. Tania, great tips, they are really useful. I especially like the one about writing a few posts and scheduling ahead. I do that often.

    Ann, I am sorry to hear about your miscarriage, too. I hope you are healed from that experience. :)

  8. Hi Ann! Gosh, I wish I has some wise words of wisdom here..
    I didn’t start blogging for money. It was more like therapy to heal a hurt. Then, I found so many friends, so much encouragement, knowledge, and creativity. It’s vast ocean of greatness! I lagged in blogging this summer and decided to post every day in November. I’ve been going every day since. I write completely on the fly. When I sit down is when I decide what I will write and post. It is definitely NOT the best schedule. But it is from my heart.

    I took pressure off myself and allowed a post to be imperfect. That helped a lot. I wish you much joy in your new endeavors and I am really glad you are sticking around. :-)

    • I wonder if it helped you heal… That a great tip thanks! – allowing a post to be imperfect – they are anyways ; )

  9. What a heart-felt post! SO much of what you’ve written about blogging, I feel are my own sentiments! I kept thinking – exactly, exactly!

    This blogging journey has been incredible – so many friends around the world – such as yourself. The magical part is – you connect instantly because you resonate with the thoughts and work of that blog and hence the person!

    It truly is a paradise where you can take your own decisions, risks without the fear of being judged or having to prove as it happens in the corporate world. I was DONE with the corporate world. And, now the blog is my calling!

    You’ve posted every single day? Wow! That’s a BIG deal. I keep to three times a week and sometimes falter.
    I think a lighter schedule will keep you from getting burnt out.
    And, I was also thinking today, during my evening walk that it’s a good idea to do 2-3 posts in a day when you have time and then schedule them. For you who’ll be doing a project simultaneously or for a homeschooling mom like me – this might be a good solution…
    The money part – ha! I’ve trying to earn some, too. I guess it will happen eventually…. :)
    All the best, Ann :)

    • Thanks and I love that you can relate – that feels amazing since you are one of my blog role-models! 3 posts seems like a reasonable schedule.

      About the money, I know it is possible, some do and others do indirectly by promoting a shop or a service. Frugal Family Fun Blog posted about it – http://www.frugalfamilyfunblog.com/2011/12/post-number-1000.html. Even if I don’t it’s fine because I am getting so much out more out of it but I am not give up on the idea of it yet!

  10. CONGRATS ON THE JOB. I LOVE YOUR BLOG, ATTITUDE, CREATIVITY, SENSE OF HUMOR..ETC, ETC. I BET YOU WILL COME UP WITH SOME GOOD “SHORTS”, A THOUGHT, A SENTIMENT, A FUNNY, A PIC, THAT YOU COULD REVISIT IN DEPTH WHEN YOUR JOB IS FINISHED. I WILL KEEP READING D&J WHENEVER I GET THE TIME. IT’S ONE OF THE BEST THINGS ON THE WEB.

  11. Ann – you are a rocking blogger! I just noticed your new archives widget on the sidebar! You are absolutely cranking on your posts and they are all so good – useful, fun, whimsical, delightful! Congrats!

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