Disclaimer: This post is part very calm rant (over my predicament), part probe (asking advice from you the reader), and part self-help (just getting this out of my mind and thinking it through so I can move on).
(I’ve actually never seen standards for what classifies someone as full or part-time. I just assume that because I’m not posting every day of the week that makes me part-time.)
This July 3rd, I’ll celebrate my one-year blogging anniversary. I’ve consistently posted twice a week for the past year. (Which actually was my personal goal.) On a great week I can sneak in an additional post or maybe compile a weekly roundup of awesome posts I’ve read.
I haven’t done many additional posts and no roundups recently because I have lacked the time. That’s frustrating. I LOVE reading what other people write and sharing comments in their blog world. And I love passing on what I think is good content to my readers.
I’ve seen an even more disturbing trend happen in the past month. I’m really having trouble keeping up with my writing schedule. I learned from John at Frugal Rules the importance of putting a blog calendar together. That’s been a ton of help. I’ve got a slew of stuff planned out to write on for months to come.
But keeping up with that calendar with all my other personal responsibilities is the challenge. As a part-timer this is what I’m up against:
I have full time responsibilities at work. I teach middle and high school for a living. This takes up all my time from 7:30 AM to 4:00 PM Monday through Friday.
I have the equivalent of full time responsibilities at home during the week. After school, I oversee homework, dinner prep and cleanup. This usually lasts from 4:30 – 7:00. I get the kids to extracurricular activities like rec-soccer or basketball practice. On weekends, I do laundry, grocery shop, clean the house, work in the yard and spend time with the kids. We also invest 3-4 hours at church on Sunday.
(I need to stop for a moment and say I’m not complaining…I’m OK with all this. Two years ago, this was the deal I struck with Mrs. Luke1428 so she could pursue CPA licensure and an MBA. By taking on these responsibilities I’m helping her live out her dream.)
Then there is my health. I spend 4-5 hours a week running, usually early in the morning before work (between 5 and 6:30 AM). Consequently my bedtimes are usually early (9:00 pm) the night before a morning run. That really cuts into one’s evening.
I also am property manager for our side business – rental real estate. I absolutely love doing this but there are times when it just eats you for lunch. Like this past month when I was in between tenants on a property and had to complete a fairly substantial renovation before we could lease it out again. What a time hog that was!
Then there is writing for Luke1428 and all that goes with maintaining, developing and promoting an effective blog. With all these things going on in my life, you can see how this could easily get dumped off the backend of my daily schedule.
Look, I know that your life is as busy as mine. How are you scheduling your writing time? Do you pop a movie in for the kids and lock yourself in the basement for three hours? Do you call a babysitter and head off to the local library for the evening? What tips do you have? The blogging community wants to know.
Before you offer any comments or suggestions, let me tell you what I won’t do to find more writing time:
1. I won’t blog on the clock at work. I would consider this stealing time from my employer. I don’t believe that is honoring.
2. I won’t sacrifice my health. I can’t stop running. It has benefited my life greatly and my future goals have become too big and important.
3. I won’t neglect my families’ needs. “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith…” (I Timothy 5:8). I take that verse from the Bible seriously.
4. I won’t cut out church.
5. I won’t go back on my word to my wife. She has enough responsibilities trying to complete her professional degree requirements. That’s where her focus should be for the next 8 months until she is done.
Hopefully this is just a short season of my blogging life I’m going through. It feels like it’s the blogging equivalent of the marathon “brick wall” (the point around mile 20 where the stores of glycogen in one’s muscles are depleted, leading to severe fatigue and causing many runners to quit the race). I’m not one to quit, especially when I enjoy doing something. But finding time to produce a quality part-time blog with all of life’s other demands staring you in the face is a bigger challenge than I anticipated.
Anyone else ever feel this way at some point in your blogging career? When do you schedule your writing time?
Next Post: Hey Parents…It’s OK to Create Cheap Memories
Prior Post: Budgeting Series, Part III: How to Make a Budget