It’s been about one month since I started this whole blogging journey- nutso! And though I’m still a total newbie and will be for a while, I think it helps to reflect on my experience, even if it’s only been a month. No matter how little or grand, growth is growth! I guess I’m doing this as a reminder to myself to keep going (there will be and already have been times when I wondered what the heck I got myself into), and as a shout-out to others in the same boat or who are thinking of starting one up themselves! The ups and downs have been a little crazy, but I think I’m getting to a place where I’m a little more comfortable! ::knock on wood::. Here are some things I’ve gone through my first month:
The Learning Curve
As with anything new, there’s a lot to figure out and lots of information to dig into, which I’m still doing though it’s calmed down a bit. I did research on SO many blog how-tos, both technical (what the heck is a plugin?!) and otherwise. Even if overwhelming, learning things I thought were beyond me has been empowering. I know there’s a ton more to discover, but I’m at a place where I’ve learned what I needed for now. I’ll take it. And when I need to figure something else out, I’ll figure it out. Articles like this one were really helpful to someone like myself trying to make sense of it all, as well as some words of encouragement from other moms who blog! It is doable, after all!
I Need Breaks!
While parts of writing and creating content are fun, others are definitely stressful and to be honest, a pain in the butt. It’s very easy to spend hours at a time working on some aspect of blogging, whether it’s writing, trying to figure something out, taking pics etc. and sometimes you just can’t help it! Especially when you just want to finish something and you’re in the zone. However, I’ve learned quickly that breaks are necessary. Otherwise I go into some weird blog-zombie mode and lose touch with reality, and I don’t want that. Breaks help me stay motivated and renew my outlook if I’m getting particularly burnt out or stressed, which leads to my next point:
Keeping it Joyful (when possible)
As I said, it’s not always joyful and it’s something I have to keep working on, but I haven’t thrown the towel in just yet which is an accomplishment on its own. And I guess that means something -I realize that no matter what, I like writing, I really enjoy makeup, and I enjoy connecting with others who feel the same way! That is why I chose to do this. It was something I needed to try. If I start getting resentful or unmotivated about any of it, I need to take step back and remember why I started, and also remember that there are so many people out there going through the same exact thing.
Depending on the day or my mood, some days I write more, and other days I write nothing. As long as I meet my personal schedule and goals for myself, that’s what matters. This isn’t my full-time job, no one’s paying me anything (at least not yet!) so I don’t want to get too worked up because it’s not worth it. Sure, I’ve been plennnnty frustrated. But so far the good has outweighed the negative, and as cliched as it sounds- what doesn’t kill you does, in fact, make you stronger!
Finding a Balance
Both my husband and I are teachers and I’ve had time to dedicate to blogging this summer. However, I’m a mom before anything else and starting up a blog while mommy-ing at times was a little tricky (and this is a hobby right now!). Motherhood is something I cherish and totally not something I take lightly. But for my own sanity, I do try to have a life outside of being a mom and for me it’s very important to try and keep in touch with that part of myself.
The hubs has been very supportive and gets that this is something I want to do, so I’m very fortunate. But I still want to be present for my family and NOT miss out on what’s going on. A month in, I’m finding when and where blogging works best for me. I’ve moved my laptop down to where all the action is so I don’t feel as isolated- contrary to what I was expecting this has allowed me to write even more, and stop more frequently so I still play and engage with my son. Some people need to be alone when they work (and I totally get that!) but this has helped me personally and cut down on the mom guilt (which exists – too much sometimes!). You do what you can and make time where you can!
My Blog Process
Right now, I’m learning what blog schedule works for me. I try to post once, maybe twice a week, but that is subject to change especially when work starts up again. Who knows what my schedule will turn into! I don’t want to create an unrealistic schedule I can’t keep up with, but I do need some sort of goal to adhere to. I like flexibilty, but I also like structure. Go figure. I also learned other things about my blog style- I like writing first before taking the pictures (I think?), I prefer keeping notes for posts on my phone, and Twitter,which I rarely ever used, has become one of my main blogging tools! So much support and ideas on there! Speaking of support…
Support is always appreciated
I’ve been lucky enough to have family and friends support what I’m doing. Not that I’ve been screaming it from the rooftops that I have a blog or talking about it non-stop (I’m so not there yet), but from what little I have mentioned here and there, reaction has been positive which really has meant a lot to me. I know there are definitely those who probably don’t get it at all, and that’s OK. I’m not really writing for those people anyway. I write for myself and for those who want to read it! It’s like any hobby or activity you enjoy- working out, collecting, crafting- you gotta do what ya gotta do- for you! But having people stand behind me has been very valuable and great for boosting the morale. Whether through social media outlets or elsewhere, I’m all about community and positivity, wherever you can get it!
The Learning Never Stops
One thing I learned off the bat is that there’s always something new to learn in this whole blogging business! Something can always be better, which is part of what makes blogging great and part of what makes it
annoying challenging. It forces you to grow and do more- something I normally struggle with. If you try out something new, anything, that’s one step further than you were before. Since I’m not one to go out and try new things often (unless it’s with makeup lol), this has been very beneficial for me and has encouraged me to stretch myself a bit! Not that it’s always easy, but at least it’s effort I’m willing to do- (I can’t say that about a lot of things) and I’m slowly growing as a blogger and, interestingly enough, other areas of my life.
Reinforcing What I Love
If I thought I loved makeup before, this only makes me love it that much more. Some things can kill a passion or bring it to life-this has certainly kept that fire going and growing, and I hope it will continue long past this blog post. It’s funny how I never knew what to do with this love of mine until a light switch went off and I started to blog about it. Who knows where this may lead? And no matter where it does lead, I can always say I started something I never thought I would, about something I always had a deep love for! Finally!
Are you new to blogging or have you been at it for a while? What are some things you’ve learned through the process?