Over the weekend, I drove to Buffalo to hang out with my whole family, and most especially my three-year old nephew, Max, who is currently in the Why phase of life. Why Aunt Meghan? But why? Why don’t you eat meat? Why are you wearing those shorts? Why is your hair white? Why do you have something hanging from your nose (that wasn’t me by the way).
It seemed quite fitting since I spent the two and half hour drive to Buffalo finally reading, Food Blogging for Dummies, where they ask you a lot of why questions as well. The Hubby drove just in case you thought the title of this post was really to define my fabulous multitasking skills: I can read and drive at the same time, all while prepping food with one hand. The book asked some hard-hitting questions, at least for me since I don’t like to explore my reasoning too deeply. It’s far easier just to do it and figure it out later. Some of the tough questions were, why did you decide to start a food blog? Why are you still doing it? How would you describe yourself to a perfect stranger (three phrase or less…quick, go now)? What do you want your url to say about you?
Let’s just say I learned…a very very lot and I’m less than half way through. Did you know the average word count for a post should be around 250 words, give or take a verbal diarrhea day. I’m pretty sure I’m batting closer to a thousand every time, so I’ve been botching that since day one. No wonder it takes me two to three hours to write a single post. And while I definitely didn’t know before, I am slowly learning about the many different hats food bloggers wear: writer, editor, chef, researcher (I do research the crazy things I spout off about McDonald’s like their 75 ingredient McMuffin – bastards), nutritionist, web designer, photographer, and technical guru just to name a few.
I’ve also been reading a lot of different food bloggers, partially because I really enjoy them and also to learn the business. There are some amazingly talented people out there. They write really well, they make me laugh, and their food pictures are like soft porn. Seriously, these ladies (and gentlemen) are amazing, and they might in fact be Super Women. You can check out some of my favorites here, here, and here, and these are but a few I’m currently reading. In addition to their blogs, they maintain Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, Pinterest profiles, Instagrams and god knows what else, and I find myself struggling just to keep up with my blog, let alone all the other social media networks. Holy crap, the thought of balancing them all makes me twitch. I have no idea how these ladies do it all, especially the mothers (talk about a crazy juggling act), but Kudos to you. You are a Ridiculous, in a really great and phenomenal way.
As you know I have a tendency to do things to an extreme, and it’s kind of the same with my blog. When I started, my goal was to post Monday through Friday. Five days a week, no exceptions. Since I spend hours (yes plural) on each post, my goal is becoming harder and harder to maintain, and I’m stretching myself really thin (and not in a good way). My days are starting to become endless loops in front of a computer screen. I get up and fine tune my post from the day before hitting the powerful Publish button. Then it’s off to the office for the morning, hitting up the gym at lunch time (my saving grace) before heading back to the office for another four plus hours. After work, I head home, where some days I don’t even change out of my work clothes before sitting down and working on the next day’s post. I stop only to plan and make dinner (and take pictures) before blogging again for another couple of hours. Just when total exhaustion sets in, I get things ready for the next day before curling up in bed, where I either pass out hard or more often than not, toss and turn thinking about things I still need to do.
I’ve lost some of my happy balance and am working myself too hard (Mom – you are not allowed to say I told you so). Sadly sprinkling more flax powder in my smoothies isn’t enough to boost my mojo, but I can do something about it. Awhile back, I blogged about happiness, and my belief it’s a choice and requires serious effort. If things aren’t working, you have to change them, so I’m going to have to make some changes. I’m going to have to write shorter posts (starting tomorrow obviously) and I may have to post less often ( 🙁 ). If I’m tired, exhausted and simply need a break, I’ll have to Go Fishing again (not literally, because I could never touch a live fish without recoiling in utter terror…and the worms, gross). While I love blogging, I like my sanity more. Since I can’t cut anything else out of my life right now, I will have to scale back, even if it’s with things I really enjoy, just so I can enjoy them all the more in the long run. Still with me? Yeah, me neither.
In any event, I’ll see you tomorrow or maybe the day after, and I will try to keep it short, even though that one’s going to be really hard (“that’s what she said.”). I might even share my reasons for starting a blog; some of which surprised even me.
Does anyone else struggle with juggling everything? If so, how do manage it?