I talk for a living and I write on my spare time. Having them both in my life is how I actually manage to keep my sanity. I find that 'life balance' when I go hermit mode after a day or week of talking excessively at work. But that is how I pay my bills and buy food - talking. I know that I can communicate well through spoken words and I really love engaging in intelligent conversations, however, I think I can communicate better with written words. I do not get paid (yet) as a blogger, however, that is how I get more personal satisfaction. That is how I can express myself better without holding back. I do not fear making a wrong tone of voice or speaking too fast. It is up to the readers to catch up with my words.
Why do I blog anyway? Well, I actually made a post about that which you can find here.
But what's it like having a full-time job and blogging on the side? Well, I'll try to share something based on my experience.
#1 You have to have good time management skills
Coming up with ideas, drafting a post, writing them, editing them and thinking of photos that would go with them takes a helluva time my friend! You have to have patience and love for what you are doing if you want to do it right. No one is forcing me to write what I write on my blog. I basically write whenever I can or whenever I have a new idea. I came up with this plan of posting at least one blog post every week. That makes an average of four posts a month. Sometimes I can do it, sometimes I can't. It might not be possible for me to post everyday. Well, I read somewhere that it is better to have 'no post' than to have a 'bad post', so, I don't force myself to come up with just anything just so I could have something new on my blog.
Using a calendar to plan your post schedule is quite useful and it helps you stick with them especially if you see them near your working space all the time. I use a little notepad and sometimes the built-in memo on my phone to remind me of the things I want to write about.
#2 You have to keep on researching about things that fascinate readers
#3 You must be willing to be an open book
My blog is like my online diary (that I hope my future kids and grandkids would appreciate). I write about the good and bad things that are happening to me. I try to write in a way that people would realize I am just a normal human who goes through shits but that's okay. I have to show both my strong and weak side to gain people's trust.
#4 You should be interested in photography
Unless you have your very own photographer who would supply indefinite number of photos for your blog, I think you should take time to focus on this part. Photographs are very important part of a blog. There are people who would actually skip reading your post and just browse the photos instead and that's fine with me. If I wasn't able to capture their attention with my content, at least I'm glad they liked my photos! You know what they say..."A picture is worth a thousand words".
Posing and dressing up for your blog is also tough. It took me years to find my 'side' or right angle for taking pictures. You would also get 'the look' from people whenever you are in a public place, ready to shoot for your blog. You just have to get past that. If they look at you in a weird way, just smile at them. They don't have to know and you don't have to explain to them that you need that crazy shot for your blog.
#5 You should always have new ideas
#6 You need to stay connected to the Internet!
I'm a hermit, I accept that. But I'm a hermit who needs Internet connection. You can throw me up on a mountain, in an island or a cave but make sure I am connected to the Internet, otherwise, I'll go bankai crazy! This is how I've been living for the last 10 years. Since I am not always fond of real life socializing, I tried to build my own little world through the Internet. I have found like-minded people through YouTube, WeChat, Facebook, Instagram and other social media sites. They are usually halfway across the globe and I would never have the chance to know them if it weren't for the Internet.
Whether it's for researching, plain reading or communicating with other bloggers, you have to be online. It doesn't have to be 24/7 though. But the only way to get into blogosphere is to stay connected to the Internet.
There are days when I'd feel kinda bad because I spent too much time watching anime, reading Manga or sleeping like I'm competing for the Olympics and I'd totally have zero post for two or three consecutive weeks. However, I have to constantly forgive myself and redeem myself by working hard the moment I get my motivation back. I am human. As much as I want to stick with my schedule, sometimes, stress, anxiety, depression and real life events would kick in. Distractions are everywhere, but, you have to learn how to sort your priorities.
I am quite lucky because I do not have a very stressful job now. I only work within office hours. The moment I leave the office, my work is done. No take-home tasks! It is totally different from the classroom teaching I used to do when I was in China (or during my internship here in the Philippines). I know I can earn much more if I do classroom teaching (especially if I work abroad), however, I really need a good balance between personal and professional life. Being a classroom teacher requires about half of your day. Could be more than half actually. It's not just the actual teaching that you have to do. There are a lot of things to do before and after a class. I want to do my work at the work place and I want to be free to do what I want once I get home.
Actually, writing on my blog makes me feel like I'm finally HOME. You know that comfortable, let-it-all-go, you're SO safe now kind of feeling once you get home? That's basically how I feel when I am writing a blog post.
I know I am not the only one who is living this kind of life. There are other bloggers out there who have full-time jobs or maybe attending school or university but they can also find a way to update their blog. It all comes down to your commitment and passion. You will make time for it if it means so much to you, no doubt about that. All your lame excuses about not having enough time to write should be replaced by reasons why you want to start and keep a blog in the first place. When I first created a blog, I deleted it within two minutes. Why? Because that time, I felt like I wasn't ready for it. I got so scared of the commitment that I have to make. Nobody forced me to create that blog, but, I knew that I do not have the courage to squeeze myself in the blogosphere yet. I waited until I was finally ready. When I realized I was, I gave birth to Pink Pensieve.
Now, I call myself a part-time blogger or a weekend blogger since that is when I usually have more time to update my blog or schedule a post. I'm a living proof that it is possible to keep a blog and do a full-time job. You can do it especially if you don't have a very demanding and stressful job. Blogging is a very good outlet for me and I love re-reading my posts from a few months or years back. It helps me realize how far I've gone. If there's one thing I've been consistently doing for the last four years of my life, that would be blogging and updating my YouTube channel.
Do you blog too? If you do, please send me a link to your blog on the comments below because I love reading other blogs. I love learning anything new from other bloggers. If you don't blog, do you think you can ever give it a shot someday? Is there anything holding you back from creating a blog?