[I met Mona when she requested a blog review. I loved her personality and hilarious take on being a single mom. Since then Mona has worked her tail off building a blog that makes me smile every time I visit. A week ago I suggested that she write an ebook and a guest post to jumpstart her blog’s growth. I promised her that if she completed the ebook and guest post in a week I would promote them on Pushing Social. Frankly, I didn’t think she would follow-through. I was wrong. She’s an example of what you can do when you burn the excuses and take action. Take it away Mona]
There’s no denying it. Us single moms have busy schedules. We bring home the bacon, fry it up and then clean it up. No one can argue the fact that we take care of business – day in and day out. And when I say “business”, I mean the kids, the household chores, the homework, the day job, the laundry . . . The never-ending to-do list that is the single mom’s life.
And then there’s that other, non-mom side to us that we rarely have time for anymore. The side that holds our personal interests, goals and dreams.
For me it’s writing. Writing has been my best friend and therapist for over 30 years a really long time. And yet after I became a mom, I struggled with maintaining a regular writing routine.
Then I discovered the fine art of blogging, which has turned me into something I’ve always aspired to be: a “prolific” writer.
One question I get asked often is, “Where do you find the time to write?”
Listen in because I’m about to share three little secrets with you.
Blogging inspires me to not only “find” the time to write – but MAKE the time.
Admittedly, it wasn’t always that way. Up until a few years ago I did a whole lot of “thinking” about my passion for writing. I would entertain a constant flow of ideas for stories, articles and even poems but never really got down to the bones of writing.
Lucky for me, I’ve always been bestowed with a continuous stream of ideas. Seriously. All I need to do is look at a solitary man sitting on a park bench or even a garden hose and BANG! – a seed for an idea instantly comes to life in the deep corners of my mind.
Sadly, many an unattended idea has simply dried up, never to flourish into a fully thought out story or article.
And then I discovered blogging.
Blogging has become my life-line to writing regularly. Partly because of the instant gratification that comes with sharing and partly because it keeps me accountable. My blog has become both my “baby” in that I can hear it crying out to me when it needs a little attention (read: nurturing) and at the same time it has become my “boss” – a silent, yet forceful voice that reminds me when it’s time to sit down and write.
My blog – both as my baby and my boss – encourages me, inspires me . . . gives me a purpose for my writing, which is much better than the dusty shelf my brainchildren used to end up on.
Thanks to blogging, I now get to share and connect with other like-minded single moms, which in itself is motivating.
Even when I’m not writing, I’m writing.
A huge part of maintaining a continuous output of writing is to pay attention to the constant flow of material from everyday life. Whether I’m washing the dishes, folding laundry or sitting in traffic, I’m working on a blog post – in my head.
Hard to believe? Not when you consider that single moms have their black belt in multi-tasking. With that said, fitting in working on a blog post while managing any other item on a mile-long to-do list makes perfect sense.
But I wasn’t always the best at managing my time.
I can remember when getting two things done at the same time meant folding laundry while watching reruns of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Blogging has reinforced my ability to prioritize, plan and schedule my time.
I break up my time into bite size portions.
Since I don’t have big chunks of writing time at my disposal, I break up my writing into 20 – 30 minute segments. The following breakdown gives you a glimpse of my 8-step process for realizing each blog post:
- Write first draft
- Work on the title
- Find a visual
The other benefit of breaking up the writing process into smaller chunks of time is that I never feel overwhelmed by what I want to accomplish.
Of course no process is ever written in stone. Some of these steps are combined and some ideas for a post even begin with a visual.
There you have it. My three little secrets for finding the time to write and blog.
Hopefully, I’ve inspired you to get some writing done today. But before you run off to get down to the bones of writing, I want to share one more thing with you. It’s not a secret really, but a confession:
While it’s true that I get asked a lot about how I find the time to write, the truth is that deep down inside of me there’s a procrastinator that’s just dying to take over my life.
Here’s a typical writing session – early in the morning or after I’ve put the kids to bed – my quasi-ritual is always the same . . .
I gather up the notes I’ve been taking throughout the day and walk over to my computer. Always with a focused objective of what I want to work on and with the best of intentions, I turn my phone on silent and settle into my writing position:
Butt on chair.
Elbows to sides.
Fingers on keyboard.
And then, seemingly on its own, my mouse lands on the Spider Solitaire icon and POOF! – I’m in the middle of a game.
Happens every time.
At first I would chastise myself with a bunch of negative self-talk. Telling myself how the likes of Seth Godin and The Bloggess NEVER give in to such time wasters.
But have since learned to follow Jung’s advice (“what you resist, persists”). I now allow myself a quick ten minutes of Spider Solitaire before I turn to my real objective: writing that next blog post.