This past week officially marked one who year since I launched my blog! It’s taken me some time to truly get into the swing of things, but I think I can say I’m starting to find my footing in the blogosphere.
To celebrate, I’m sharing a handful of things I’ve picked up in this first year of blogging.
Nothing Happens Overnight
This something we hear a lot about many things, and blogging is no exception. Between setting up my WordPress profile and hosting, creating my social media profiles, tinkering with the website’s appearance and format, and of course writing articles, it actually took several weeks of work behind the scenes before the site went live.
After things were up and running, it took some time for me to get a grasp on running a blog. I still feel like I’m figuring things out even now!
As I’m sure you’ve gathered, I’m an aspiring author with several ongoing projects at various stages of the writing process. But I also have a day job in retail and other obligations that take away from how much time I’m able to put into them. I’ll sometimes refer to writing as my second job or the job I have on my days off, and that’s honestly pretty true. Blog included, it’s a lot more work than I had first anticipated.
To paraphrase Jurassic Park, “Life always finds a way to get in the way.”
I touched on this a bit in my post about things I’ve learned about writing through working in retail, but adding a blog to the mix was a bit of an adjustment.
Trying to keep up with it all can be overwhelming at times. Maintaining a balance is key.
I’m slowly figuring out a schedule that accommodates everything going on in my life that won’t have me feeling like I’m spreading myself too thin or being pulled in too many directions, while also making sure I’m getting everything done.
Getting Ahead, But Not So Far Ahead
One of the ways I’ve employed to tackle the issue of time has been writing posts a few weeks in advance. That way, when life does get in the way as it so often does, I can be sure that content is still going up; it makes the stress a little less.
However, I’ve also learned a thing or two about scheduling too far in advance.
At any given point, I’ve got a handful of ideas for possible blog posts, and most of the time they will be writing-related.
However, sometimes I’ll see something that will spark another idea, and I’ll rearrange those plans.
Notable examples include the post I wrote after the creative team behind The Good Place announced the show would conclude with its fourth season, my opinion piece on Disney’s live-action remakes and reboots after the announcement of a Home Alone reboot for Disney+, and the post on perspective inspired by (finally) getting to see Jesse McCartney in concert.
With the post on The Good Place example, I ended up rescheduling two or three articles I had already written so that post could go up the weekend after the announcement about its final season was made. One of those didn’t go up for about two months after initially intended, as a result of other topics coming up and certain posts that needed to go up at a specific time like the “chronicle of thoughts” log I kept while reading Twilight for the first time (which is by far the most popular post on this blog).
While it’s not too big of a deal, it can be a pain to reschedule posts because of WordPress’s system. At this point in time, you have to go into every post you’re going to reschedule and do it individually. There isn’t a way to just do it from the Scheduled Posts tab all at once as I would wish (of course, if you have any tips to make this easier, I’m all ears!).
Don’t Force It If I Doesn’t Work
Some of my long-time readers might recall something called Soundwave Wednesday, in which I would share a track from one of my writing-themed Spotify playlists and how it fit into one of my projects or my writing routine.
However, after a few months, I did away with this series and went down to posting only on Sundays.
There were a couple of reasons behind this decision.
Firstly, between coordinating other writing-related posts that were more important to the blog and having a day job that takes away from the time I can devote to working on my books, trying to produce two quality posts per week was becoming less and less possible.
Secondly, Soundwave Wednesday had become less fun as time went on and was almost starting to feel like a chore at times.
The latter was the thing that finalized my decision to end the series.
You Don’t Have To Be Full-Throttle Full-Time
I referenced this in my post on taking breaks from writing, but this year I finished yet another round of edits on my “main project,” Guises to Keep.
I say it’s my “main project” in part because it’s the one I’ve been working on the longest, but it’s also the one most of my attention has been on for years (and that’s not an exaggeration by any means).
The only time I ever really allowed myself to take a break from it was when I had to put it on the backburner to write the first draft of Bound to the Heart, which was part of my research project for a travel course during my final semester of college.
However, after this most recent round of revisions, I’ve decided to set Guises to Keep aside to focus on Bound to the Heart again and editing that project since I’m hoping to send it out to beta readers in the coming months.
And you know what? I’m really glad I did.
Taking a break from things, even your passion projects, is an important step in growing. I did open the Guises to Keep document recently to double-check a term and I couldn’t help but start taking notes on things I need to fix when I return to it.
It’s also a form of self-care, which I really started to see when I came down with a bad cold in early November. Constant coughing, sluggishness, aches, chills—really feeling like I needed to call out of work but deciding not to (shout-out to the assistant manager for making me some tea that day).
Balancing my writing time with my retail job can be hard, and my days off are usually spent hunkering down in The Hollow (my writing space) and working on my books.
I didn’t want being sick to stand in the way of that despite my mom imploring me to, and I quote, “Call yourself and call in sick,” my day off became a writing day.
And I still felt like absolute crap going back to work.
The following day off, I spent mostly sleeping and watching Poldark, and I felt a lot better after that.
It’s been an interesting year to say the least. I want to personally thank each and every one of you who has stopped by this blog as I’m working to grow as a creator. In the coming weeks, I’ll be wrapping up 2019 and looking ahead towards 2020.
Check back soon!