Consistency, planning, and working ahead are essential to having a successful blog.
One without the other makes it hard to stay focused. And as Paws for Reflection approaches its third year of blogging, this is our commitment for the upcoming year.
We often hear people say we need ideas to blog about. Paws has endless ideas, maybe too many, for upcoming blog posts. Sometimes, the mind is spinning with ideas. As Paws’ mom expands her freelance writing career – Paws’ mom had her first article published in a national magazine, The Cat Fanciers’ Association’s Cat Talk Almanac in July – we find the struggle even harder to be consistent, with 3 blog posts a week.
We also have an upcoming articles that are on tap for another national magazine in 2015, and have become a pet go-to writer for special sections at the Maine Sunday Telegram, writing articles about traveling with pets and home improvements for pets.
Paws also is affiliated with the BlogPaws Professional Blogger Network, and over the course of the past year have written several posts for Hills Science Diet, a product that we’ve been using for well over 10 years..
Those commitments and deadlines have to be met. Those obligations are must-dos, and take precedent even with a full-time job to pay the bills, and a big old farm-house to take care of. Blog posts can, but should not, go on the back burner. And we struggle to find the time to do it all.
There’s no doubt we have made tremendous progress with our pet writing goals, as traditional print and online mesh together. Next year, there are plans for a self-published book in the works. The writing and self-publishing is only the beginning. Then, it’s the marketing.
How do we do it all? That’s a great question, and the answer is through planning, consistency, commitment and working ahead.
The only way to not become super stressed is to work ahead. Otherwise, we are always trying to play catch up, and that’s just toooooo stressful.
With my mom’s passing, I have become more organized. But I do ask, how do I keep it all together?
This past weekend I decided to visit my friend, Mike. We were quite the couple about a decade ago. But a debilitating stroke and post traumatic stress disorder brought that relationship to a screeching halt. We have remained friends since. I try to visit once or twice a year, and we chat on the phone about once a week.
As I was making the 80 mile trip, I kept hearing this noise in the car’s rear get louder and louder. I made the trip, and it was great to reconnect. But I couldn’t stop thinking about the car. It was getting worse, so I cut the visit a lot shorter than I had planned. About 20 miles up the road, the car started shaking. I started praying that I’d make it home. that didn’t happen. Another 5 miles up a short cut, and I could feel the car being un-drivable.
I was approaching an intersection with a busy road, and I knew there was a gas station/convenience store. I’d be a lot safer there than on the side of the road. I went into the store and asked if there was a garage near-by. The clerk said yes, but it probably was closed. I turned around and asked the people behind me – there was a guy talking with some gal – if they knew anything about cars. The guy who was ready to pick up his pizza said no. The new ones were too computerized. So I went out to my car, and got down on all fours, checking to see if a wheel was coming lose.
He pulled over in his truck, and got out. He quickly spotted one of my lug nuts on the rear passenger side was broken, and 2 others had broken off. He had a tire wrench, took 2 from the front tires, and advised I go to VIP about 10 miles down the road to replace them.
Almost having the tire fall off the car was enough stress to put me over the top. The next day, I wanted to close out my mom’s bank account. That was on the must-do list. It’s a long story, but as an oversight, there was a small amount of money left in her checking account. She had no will because there was nothing left, except in the flurry of emotion of her passing, I did not close the account. This created more stress because I didn’t know if the affidavit would work. It did, and it’s done.
As I was recounting my weekend with my sister, her comments were you need to slow down and relax. Those comments give rise to this blog posts. I could tell, she thinks the writing is non-essential. But that’s the furthest thing from the truth.
The fact is the writing is my life. If I only had the job that I do not like and an isolated existence in the old family farmhouse in rural New England, I would go stark raving mad.
The people who I have met through writing have become friends. As I struggle with time and location, I can write for the betterment of cats. It’s a purpose and a goal.
Writing about cats is what I want to do. It’s more than a goal, it’s a lifestyle.
As I reflect on her comments, I find the way to make it all attainable is to work ahead, way ahead. Plan, develop a calendar, and develop a focus for each day we blog.
Not every blog posts needs to be stellar, jam-packed with research. Not everything needs to be breaking news or the most recent book review. Some can be anecdotal. Others can be something we may have written about before. Still others can be a review of something that’s been around for a while. What is important is to remain committed to blogging consistency by
- Working ahead
- Committing to a calendar
- Meshing things I read and do with blogging
- Becoming more organized
- Staying committed to our growing fan base
Blogging is an opportunity to work towards my goals, keep abreast of the latest happenings in social media, and market and promote not just my future, but also for the future betterment of cats, which are near and dear to my heart, and my bestest soul-mates.
Have you ever felt your goals and commitments meet in a head-on collision with life’s commitments? Have you ever let your dreams and goals go because life happens and takes control of your time? How have you dealt with the stressors taking over your life, and causing it too reel out of control? Please share your thoughts and comments.