You may or may not have noticed that I’ve been absent from the blog again. I think about it all the time, several times a day even, but can never seem to set aside the time to work on it. I love doing it, and get great enjoyment out of writing, creating, and sharing my ideas with you guys. I’m also hopeful that blogging will lead to some other opportunities, and let’s be honest, it would be nice to actually make some money. It’s totally not going to happen on one post a month though, and I know this. I know other bloggers with more kids and less time than me, who somehow manage to pull out several posts a week. Why am I always crying that there “aren’t enough hours” in the day? How do I make time for this thang?
Another local blogger, (dahlhouseinteriors), posted a few weeks ago that she was challenging herself to one post a day for 30 days. I commented on her blog that I would take on a similar, yet not so ambitious challenge, and post 2-3 times a week. Well, that was like 3 weeks ago and I have not published so much as a photo. I needed help, and it found me by way of the public library. I was signing Rosie up for the summer reading program, when I passed by the reference section and found some books about writing. I checked out a book with a funky, 80s style cover called, “Writing from Personal Experience” by Nancy Davidoff Kelton.
So far, I’ve only made it through the first few chapters, but reading it has been the boost I’ve needed to make the time and get motivated. Here are some of the things I’ve learned and tried out for the last week. I’ve gotta:
1. WAKE UP EARLIER. Getting up an hour earlier and writing before what Kelton calls the “superego getting in the way.” Forcing myself out of bed before Rosie, and prior to the demands that hijack my brain. I’ve been setting my alarm for one hour before I usually get up, (which has been whenever Rosie shows up in my face and begs me to “go downstairs and turn on a show”), and after a few hits of the snooze, ends up being about 40 minutes before my usual time. So far, it’s been great. I sit and enjoy a cup of coffee by myself, open the computer, go straight to my blog bypassing Facebook (see #2), and start writing. My head is clear and I’m typing like a maniac. I wrote this entire post in about 30 minutes, when normally I would be dragging it on for days, writing a little at a time and never finishing. I must admit, this step has been really difficult for me. Momma loves to sleep.
2. CUT DOWN ON TV & FACEBOOK.
Kelton recommends cutting out the late night shows to fit in some writing. I don’t watch a lot of TV (just Downton Abbey and a few Netflix shows), so I don’t think this is a huge issue for me. The major problem is Facebook. This book was published in 1997, Mark Z. was probably in diapers, and we weren’t wasting hours on the Internet yet, so there’s obviously no mention of it. But I know it has, at least for me, taken the place of camping out in front of the television.
Every night before bed, I scroll through, burning 30 minutes or more. The other night, I clicked on and read a poorly written article about a serial killer on the loose in Kentucky. I did some further research, (wasting another 10 minutes), that led me to the origin of the article, a satirical website. So there you go, I wasted 20+ minutes on this ridiculous, made up garbage. Time I’ll never get back.
I haven’t totally quit Facebook, (I did that once for 9 months, and it was really hard), but I’ve limited myself to 10 minutes a day, bypassing photo albums of people I haven’t seen in 20 years and skipping most of the “news articles.”
3. BE HONEST AND WRITE WHAT I WANT TO WRITE.
I’ve read two blog books and both stressed how important it is to be yourself, write from your heart, and not try to please everyone. And for the most part, I feel like I’ve been doing that so far. It’s only occasionally when I’m trying to come up with topics that I think, “no, that’s too personal, or nobody cares about that.” I think sometimes worrying about what I should write gives me a case of the good ‘ole writer’s block, and I move on to something else, like the laundry. Now I say, fuck it. Yes, that’s right, in real life I say “fuck.” A lot. I’m not going to hold back and make this thing I enjoy so much, become less enjoyable because I’m not being myself. I will write what I want to (tastefully, of course. I’m not going to start dropping “f” bombs all over the place now), and not conform to attract more “traffic.”
4. CLEAN MY MIND AND BODY OF TOXINS.
Kelton talks about exercising everyday, and how she believes it is important to be “mentally, spiritually and aerobically fit.” Our bodies need to be well, in order for our minds to work well. I was already exercising a couple of days a week, but lately I’ve picked it up to 5-6 days a week and I’ve never felt better. I definitely feel like I’m getting more accomplished in one day. Also, for the last year I’ve been battling some pretty intense PMS symptoms and I’m certain that working out has caused them to almost completely diminish. Jeff might tell you differently, however, I think I’m doing much better.
I’ve also cut way back on the alcohol consumption. Not that I was boozing it up every night, but the older I get, the longer the hangover seems to last after only a couple of drinks. I’m tired of having “fuzzy head” on Tuesday, after having cocktails on the previous Saturday night.
And finally, I’m not letting negative people or their lives consume my thoughts. I’m not going to waste any more energy on “THEIR LIVES.” I took Kelton’s advice and wrote a letter to someone who was stressing me out and then tore it into a hundred pieces. This exercise reeeally works. Go ahead, try it.
5. MAKE TIME FOR ME AND MY DREAMS.
I’m going to stop putting so much time and energy into household chores. I don’t need to have very single load of laundry washed, dried, folded and put away in one day. It’s not necessary for us to have a gourmet meal every night, and so what if the grass hasn’t been cut in two weeks? I spend a lot of time with Rosie, which I immensely enjoy, but it’s fine for Jeff take her to do something fun every once in awhile without me. I need to set aside some time for myself, and work on accomplishing these goals of building my blog and having a successful design career.
So, there it is. Expect some serious blogging in the coming weeks. What do you wish you had more time to do? Are you happy with your job, or do you want to be doing something else? I love, love, love and consider myself very lucky to be able to have this stay-at-home mom gig, but I think I can make room for the creative, design stuff in my life too. Wish me luck!