I’ve been at this blogging gig for a bit now and have fully embraced it as not only a hobby, but a stepping stone to regular sanity. I love my vocation as a wife and mother but the outlet of a blog, and the resulting community, has given me a great outlet when the little people don’t want to hear mommy rant anymore. I try to regularly schedule time to blog and while life will sometimes get in the way of my plans to post, my quiet mornings in front of the computer are an important part of my daily routine.
I thought I would share my writing process and give a glimpse into how the magic happens! Who is my muse? How do I tackle him/ her/ it and pull from its slobbering jaws a tasty bone of an idea? What is the secret to maintaining an awesome online persona while managing a home and family (hint: it only partially has to do with neglect!) I’d like to say you’ve all been bombarding me with questions on the whys and hows of blogging, but you haven’t, so thanks for nothing. Is blogging for you? Let’s find out!
It begins in bed the night before as I prepare to set my alarm and I ask myself, do I want to get up and run, write or sleep in? If I just posted, I usually choose to sleep in a bit because I still hate running. If I haven’t, I set an early alarm for between 5 and 530. Currently my alarm song is Intergalactic Planetary by the Beastie Boys and it scares the crap out of me every morning. Once I know I’m committed to writing I check through my list of blog posts ideas on Evernote and soundly decry each one as sucky-er than the last. Then I freak out about how I’m the worst blogger in the world and why does anyone read anything I write. Then a new idea hits me or I suck it up and decide to write about one of my lame topics and hope no one unsubscribes. I resolve to schedule my posts in advance so I can have lovely pictures, shot in natural daylight only. ready next time.
I sleep and usually dream about being really angry, trying to complete an endless Herculean task or going back to college and realizing I forgot about a class I registered for, and now it’s finals week and I need to find this class so I can take the final and pass. Plus, I’m probably topless.
My alarm goes off, and while being relieved that I have clothes on I’m now positive killer robots are attacking and I knock my iPod around trying to silence it quickly. I snuggle close to my husband for a few minutes and then wake up and realize it’s almost six and now damnit, if I don’t act quickly, I won’t get to write before the needs of other’s gets in my way. (Is there a dog on my lap while I type this? Yes. Is the cat staring through the door at me demanding food. Yes. Is the clicking of the keys somehow bringing Teddy and Fulton out of their deep slumber? Yes, holy cow, somehow it is.)
I brew the coffee, walk the dog and sit down to write. Some ideas I’ve fleshed out in my mind and I quickly dump those thoughts on the screen. If I’m lucky, I’ve even got some points I outlined in Evernote during random parts of some previous day. Maybe they’re coherent and maybe they’re not but we’re fine with the ridiculous around her so down it goes. Sometimes I just write on the fly and then go back and reread through lines and lines of text, most underlined in red because I spell at the level of a first grader while trying to use the vocab of an eighth grader, and edit.
Now kids start getting up and my husband pours himself some coffee and wants to spend time with me. I really want to sit on the front porch, sipping coffee and having intelligent conversation before he goes. Sometimes I sit, because my post is done. Sometimes I sit, and it’s not done, and then he leaves for work and I try to wrap it up while everyone is moaning about wanting food or some other basic need I’d rather not attend to right now because I just want to finish this post please and can’t you please just give mommy five more freaking minutes?! And then I say, sure have all the sugary cereal you want for breakfast. I love you and I’m sorry.
So now, the post is done. Maybe it’s a magical morning where everyone is still asleep. I love those mornings the best! But chances are it’s not and I need to decide, do I have time to find images to stick on this post? Maybe it’s one of those posts where at 4 pm the previous day, I did bribe my children into helping me take some pictures, shoot a video or generally, leave me alone so I can work on my obsession a.k.a hobby. (Who wants to stand here and hold this thing with a weird look on your face?? Okay, who will take a picture of mommy looking weird again? Someone? I’ll give you candy!! Seriously, we are not going anywhere or doing anything until someone takes a picture of me!)
Or maybe I need a button to pin on Pinterst. C’mon Picmonkey! Work your magic! Hopefully, with minimal cursing, I’ve made my post more visually attractive. I skim it again, missing several major typos, and hit publish. I share on Facebook, Twitter and walk away, thinking about comments and views only 495,394,388 times… that morning.
Did I mention I still in my pajamas? It’s time to ask the question, do I need to shower? Do I remember when I showered last? How much longer can I go without eating anything? Am I light-headed or just angry with hunger? And why is there no cereal left for me to eat??!! The day will eventually settle into its usual routine of school, parenting and neglect of housework. But the creative process is still going, taking notes, not being able to take notes then cursing when I realize I’ve forgotten a witty idea.
I know I make it look easy, glamorous even, but as you can see, being a mommy blogger requires dedication, hard work, a steady stream of wonderful ideas (as evidenced by my high-caliber of work) and very forgiving children. Plus a husband with a good sense of humor. Before you dive into the deep end of the pool, ask yourself if your creative outlet should be a blog or something easier and less anxiety inducing, like maybe rappelling or quilting. Your family will thank you.