Top five lessons on blogging in my first two months

1)  Blogging is more than a hobby.

I agree with my spouse that technically speaking, my blog qualifies as a hobby since it currently generates no income.  In fact, it’s costing me a little money and loads of time.  I’ve patiently explained to my spouse that unlike other hobbies, blogging is now a must for entering the professional world.  I want to be published; therefore, I blog.

2)  Blogging is a great motivator.

The likes, comments, and follows from complete strangers keep me writing.  When I’m typing away at my book that no one sees, doubts plague me:  Will anyone read this?  Is this relevant? Am I simply feeding my ego?  Blog feedback cancels the doubts and pushes me forward.

3)  Blogging is like gardening.

I reap what I sow with blogging:  The more posts I make, the more feedback I receive.  The more often I read other blogs and comment, the more hits I get.  I must post regularly, just like I weed and water my garden regularly to get the results I want.  Most of all, blogging requires patience, as with gardening.  I won’t receive a 100-views-per-day harvest overnight.  To succeed, I must cultivate my blog with daily attention.  Now if I could just find more time to write…

4)  Blogging is best when it’s authentic.

I’m drawn to blogs that tell real, messy, beautiful stories.  I’ve received the most feedback on my most vulnerable posts.  My hands sweat as I click on Publish Post.  But sharing my stories is exhilarating and addicting.  It’s one of the greatest rewards of writing.

5)  Blogging is hard work.

I haven’t posted in almost two weeks—I hit the burnout wall.  I needed time to rest and relax with my family and catch up on chores.  My goal is to post three times per week.  I’ve tried to do that by writing on the spot, but it’s too stressful and time-consuming.  Now I’m planning to use one day a week to write blog posts and then schedule them.  I haven’t spent any time writing my book for months, and I don’t want to neglect that any longer.  All of this juggling—serving as a mom and wife, managing my household, working 30 hours per week, writing and blogging—is difficult and exhausting.  I no longer wish to leave writing out of the equation, so I have to accept it as hard work.  As my mother said over and over—To whom much is given, much is required.

What are lessons you learned as a new blogger?

Pick two: from SAHM to working mom

pick two quote
I laugh bitterly at this Pinterest pin. Two months into the school year, I am STILL barely keeping my head above water as a working mom. I’m a little discouraged—will the chaos ever stop?

Ten years ago, I worked full-time for one year before taking a work-from-home, seasonal job as an event coordinator. I raised my babies and enjoyed a flexible schedule: time to read, visit friends, cook from scratch, and nap if necessary. As eight years passed, I enjoyed the job less and less, but the benefit of working from home outweighed the challenges. When my contract expired, I was a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) for a year-and-a-half, dabbling in a network marketing program with little success. The financial strain was tough, but I enjoyed the relaxed SAHM pace and the ability to be available for my children.

This January I started working at a school 20 hours per week. Every day I had about two hours each afternoon to shop, run errands, make phone calls, start dinner or throw in a load of laundry, or write. A major job perk is summers off with my children—a blissful 10 weeks of SAHM wonder.

In August, the school extended my hours to nearly 30 per week. I love my job, my colleagues, and the much-needed extra pay, since our children attend private school. But I despise the weeknight fatigue, my cluttered countertops, laundry on-the-fly, weekends crammed with errands, lack of reading time, spotty friend connection, no energy to exercise, and more-frequent prepackaged dinners. Oh, and my husband and I barely have time to connect at night before we crash from exhaustion. I am frantically dog-paddling in the deep end of the pool with ankle weights, struggling to keep my head above water.

And I’m trying to start a writing career on top of everything else. I feel torn between my daily life, my writing life, and my old SAHM life. I know I can’t have it all, and I want to move forward. I thirst for balance, but I’m not sure which choices on my board should stay and which should go, since they all seem worthy.

If any of you have been here before, please comment. How did you survive your transition from SAHM to working mom? Thank you in advance.