I’m at Day 15 of Whole30. Halfway there and I couldn’t be more excited or happy! I seriously almost cracked this weekend, but I’m happy I stuck with it. Starting the program was so stressful and the changes my body and mind went through the first week were tough. So I took a week off from the blog to get my life together and to focus on getting me adjusted to the program.
And speaking of a week off, that brings me to the point of today’s post.
If you were expecting some motivational post with tips on how to balance your career and your blog, well my darling, this is not that. Shoot, I should start reading those posts because God knows I need the help. Today I wanted to share my personal experience with balancing a full time job and a blog. I see so many amazing women killing it when it comes to balancing these two and sometimes I feel like I’m not good enough or work hard enough because I struggle with it.
So I wanted to share my experience of blogging and working a full time job for two reasons. One, if you feel like I do, but don’t want to admit it, this will hopefully help you feel less alone. And two, if you don’t have a blog, but just follow me, this will give you some insight into why I may miss putting up a post every now and then.
WORKING A FULL TIME JOB & BLOGGING AT THE SAME TIME
THE CONS: I always like to finish on a high note, so let’s start with the cons.
LAID BACK WEEKENDS DON’T EXIST
During the week, I’m constantly running around like a crazy person with my full time job. In the mornings, I’m rushing to get myself out the door, working full time all day, coming home and trying to prepare dinner and get my meals ready for the next day, trying to sneak in a quick workout and get enough sleep so I can function and do it all over again. So there’s pretty much little to no time during the week for me to start a big project or really be productive.
But, that’s just me. I’ve read posts where people have a full time job and then come home to work on their blog well into the night. More power to them because I am not one of those people. I definitely don’t function without sleep. So, I really need to take advantage of my weekends and if I don’t, I’m pretty much screwed for the week ahead.
Planning outfits, shooting photos, editing photos, writing blog posts, promoting those blog posts and working on the behind the scenes to keep my site running are all things I like to try to accomplish starting Friday night until Sunday night. Which is why most weekends I opt to stay in and work rather than go out. And if I do go out, I just feel as if I don’t get as much work done. Sure, I may be able to work on my post, but there’s so much more that I never get around to like marketing my posts and going through emails and doing xyz.
To be honest, there’s a slight feeling of guilt because I feel as if I should constantly be working on my blog. That’s not to say I don’t have my laid back lazy weekends, I clearly do, but when I do, I’m totally off my blog game for the week.
THERE IS LITTLE TO NO FREE TIME
When I’m on top of my blog game and have my life together, there’s pretty much no free time. When I get home from my full time job I’m working on the blog. When I wake up on the weekends, I’m working on the blog. Even if I do decide to go out, I’m thinking about the blog and what I can do for it, like taking pics and finding inspiration. So there’s pretty much no free time, which is why every now and then I just need time for myself.
I struggle because I see so many amazing bloggers who can pretty much go a whole year and post consistently, while I miss a post or a week here and there because I want some time to myself, time to binge watch and focus on a Netflix show and do nothing.When I started Whole 30, I was dedicating all my time meal prepping, cooking, cleaning dishes and researching the program and it truly took so much time that I had no time to work on my blog.
The point is, I think having a blog, regardless of how serious or successful you are with it, takes a lot of time and effort and its a job within itself. So you could say I’m balancing two jobs at the moment and it’s hard to have free time and still give myself to both so even though I can go out and have fun and binge watch Netflix, it might mean my upcoming blog week will be a struggle.
YOU HAVE TO BE SELECTIVE WITH WHERE YOU INVEST YOUR TIME
One of the reasons that I really admire bloggers is because they’re entrepreneurs and a lot of them do everything by themselves. From creating beautiful images and writing blog posts to the unglamorous side of dealing with tech issues and contracts and everything else that goes into a business, they pretty much learn and do everything themselves.
But since I work full time and still try to manage this blog, I know myself and I know I’m not capable of giving 100% to every single thing that needs to be done. I would rather give 100% to a handful of things that I know I can do rather than give 50% to every single thing. So I need to be selective with where I put my time.
It’s why this year I decided to work with an SEO expert and a tech company that keeps my site running and deals with any issues that may arise and its honestly been such a weight off my shoulder. I’m able to focus more on creating content and promoting it rather than constantly googling all these terms and figuring out how to do all these tech things that I swear is in a different language. It’s also why I’m not currently on top of my Instagram game. Instagram takes so much effort and I rather put that effort into my blog. Sure the gram is important and I do admit I still like posting photos, it’s just that given the choice of finishing a blog post or posting a photo and then having to spend an hour interacting on Instagram then I rather get my post done.
IF YOU’RE NOT A PRE-PLANNER, GOING TO AN EVENT MIGHT MEAN NO BLOG POST FOR TOMORROW
I’ve been making more of an effort to write blog posts in advance. The way I work now is, I like to get all my photos edited because I know those take a while and then throughout the week write my posts. I’m definitely one of those people that work better with a little pressure so pre-writing posts used to not be my thing. But, I’ve been making an effort to change that and I actually like getting things done in advance, but I’m still adjusting.
If I go to an event after work or pretty much take part in any activity and my blog post isn’t ready for the next day, chances are no post will be going up.I think we all know by now, but I love me a routine. So when I go to an event, the daily routine is thrown all out of wack. I get home later, I still have to eat dinner and prepare myself for tomorrow and since I didn’t pre-plan I still have to work on the blog, which for me is difficult because I’m usually running for my pillow from exhaustion. So again, it’s about choices and choosing where to put my time and energy.
IF MY FULL TIME JOB IS CRAZY, IT AFFECTS MY BLOG
When I started blogging, I was interning at a PR company. Blogging was an escape for me and something I was and still am so passionate about. Even when I was hired on full time at the company and made the move to Teen Vogue, I still managed to keep my blog going pretty consistently. But, when I started working at Cosmo, that’s where my blog really struggled. My hours were crazy and I was getting beaten down every day. I battled with depression and anxiety and my blog took a hit. And even now, I still struggle with maintaining a consistent schedule especially when work is crazy.
My current job is nowhere near the hot mess that Cosmo was, but I still have those really crazy weeks where I hit the ground running from the minute I walk in to the minute I leave. On those really crazy weeks, I find myself wanting to go home and just do something mindless like watch a movie I’ve seen a hundred times or binge watch the Real Housewives of NYC on Hulu and just relax. Even if I do pre-plan posts and manage to get something up, then I neglect promoting it for the week because I just want to relax.
THE PROS: But, as much as I just complained I really do love blogging. Having a blog is not something you HAVE to do, it’s not something I’m forced to do, it’s something I chose to do and something I really enjoy and here’s why.
BLOGGING IS THE BEST ESCAPE
I started Live Laugh Linda because I was interning at the time and trying to break into the fashion industry and I really wanted something that was mine. Something that I could control and put my ideas into and no one could say no. And to this day, that’s still what this blog is to me.
As much as I said I get tired and have a million things to do when I get home, I really do enjoy coming home and looking and working on my site even for a few minutes. When I hit schedule or publish on a blog post I feel good. When I feel inspired and have ideas for the site, I get excited. As an only child, I really need my me time to refresh. I thrive when I’m alone and blogging for me is my escape to shut the world out for a few moments and focus on myself and my ideas.
It sounds super cheesy, believe me I know, but I’m proud of my work and my site. I love that whether I’m feeling down or happy or stuck, I can just write about it and put my energy into this.
I GET INSPIRATION FROM BOTH AREAS
One of my favorite posts to work on for my blog are career/internship themed posts. I’m very proud of all the companies I’ve worked for and positions I’ve held and even though some were more challenging than others, I’m proud of everything I’ve done. And I get a ton of questions asking for advice and help and I really do want to share my experience with others.
So working a full time job and getting all those experiences really inspires me when it comes to the blog and what I want to share. And the organization, time management and different skills I learn from blogging and from my full time job trickle into each other and help me continuously grow and learn in both areas.
EVERYDAY I FEEL LIKE I’VE ACCOMPLISHED SOMETHING
I think it’s easy to feel down and feel like you haven’t accomplished anything every now and then. When it’s super slow at work, I don’t leave at the end of the day feeling like I really achieved something. In fact, I’m more likely to procrastinate and push things off when it’s slow because I know I’ll have time tomorrow to do xyz.
But, on those slow weeks, I’m able to put more energy into my blog. So even though I may not have accomplished a lot at work, I’ve accomplished something with my site. And vice versa. Even though I get down on myself when I don’t post to my blog or I’m not always at the top of my game, I know I’m accomplishing a lot at work. It’s just nice having two separate things that I can put my energy into so I always feel like I’m working towards something and accomplishing something everyday.
HAVING A CREATIVE OUTLET IS GOOD FOR THE MIND
Spoiler Alert. I take my full time job very seriously. So seriously that I get down on myself for every little thing. My boss one time had to pretty much tell me to take a chill pill because I’m so hard on myself.
Having a blog or posting on Instagram or whatever creative aspect I have in my life helps me put my energy towards something else other than work. When I worked at Cosmo, it was all I did and thought about. I would get up, stress over work, be at work and be stressed, leave at night and think about work, dream about work and do it all over again even on the weekends I would stress over work. It took over my life and it was so incredibly unhealthy.
Now that I’m active in my full time job and in my blog, it helps me not get too down on myself over just one thing. If I have a hard day at work, I know I can brush it off, leave it at work and go home to work on my blog. And if I’m feeling down on the blog, I know I can brush it off and put my energy into my work. And when I’m down on one and putting my energy into the other, it helps me build up that passion and confidence again to approach the other with a fresh mind.
Even if you don’t have a blog, but have a hobby or something you like to do, I just think it’s so important to have something creative to put your energy into or else you’ll just be going to work everyday, start dreading it and fall into this boring routine.
BEING ABLE TO CONNECT WITH OTHERS AND SHARE MY STORIES AND HEAR THEIRS
Making friends has never been easy for me. What do you say to someone? I’m just supposed to walk up and introduce myself? This is awkward. I’m also a shell of myself when I’m not comfortable with someone so I know my personality won’t shine through and I’m gonna be shy and quiet. So what I love about having a blog is that for the most part pretty much everyone is open to connecting and finding friends.
I’ve made some really great connections with people just by commenting on their blog or their instagram and it’s nice having that support. I also really enjoy reading about people’s experiences and learning about them through their journeys. From Rach’s battle with cancer and her amazing outfits to Jen’s experience as a new mom and a totally chic one at that to Kat’s move to California and how she got over a tough breakup to Kathleen’s amazing relationship with her husband and her incredible style to Krystal’s travels and her experience as an entrepreneur, I just love learning more about these ladies.
And again, I love having a platform where I can share my personal experiences and my stories that I hope you guys can relate to. As an only child, I do have moments every now and then where I feel alone so it’s nice to see that other people are going through the same thing that I may be going through and being able to share my stories to help others feel less alone.
I hope you guys enjoyed today’s post! You know I’m all about being honest and not just living my life through a pretty Instagram filter so I try to be as honest as possible so I wanted to share my experience today on what its like balancing a full time job and a blog.
Thank you so much for reading! Have a great week!