The following article is a guest post from a fellow blogger and content writer, Sara Lancaster. In today’s post, she talks about how the birth of her daughter taught her to be a more passionate and more efficient blogger.
My daughter Maggie was born last November. I quickly caught on to the logistical aspects of new parenthood. Changing diapers, breastfeeding, and baby bathing came easy, but there was one thing that didn’t come easy: sleep.
Everyone says, “Sleep when baby sleeps.” What if your baby only sleeps for 30 minutes at a time? Even at night. That’s what Maggie did from the age of 15 weeks through 24 weeks.
She seemed perfectly happy with these short periods of sleep, but I barely managed. My maternity leave was supposed to be over. I had blogs waiting for me.
It was a tough time. I cried a lot, but I also learned to be a better blogger.
I wrote with emotion.
Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, was quoted as saying, “Your emotions are the slaves to your thoughts, and you are the slave to your emotions.”
As you might expect, a new baby, out-of-control hormones, sleeplessness, and a stale writing life made me a wee-bit teary. My fuse wasn’t short. It was non-existent. I felt everything, which translated nicely on the page.
I learned to tell the difference between good and bad blog content.
It’s a fact that sleep deprivation kills creativity. That’s sad news for any tired blogger.
There wasn’t much I could do to “get creative.” So, I committed to keeping my butt in the seat and keeping my fingers moving on the keyboard even when the ideas weren’t flowing. That led to a lot of crappy blog content, but there were a few gems in there, too. The trick was telling the difference between the two and being amenable to trashing the bad content.
I gave myself permission to be imperfect.
Once I returned to my personal blogs, I gave myself permission to post infrequently, whenever I could make time. I also gave myself permission to write shorter posts and to write posts that required less research. With the pressure off, it made blogging less of a chore and something I looked forward to doing.
I wrote in short bursts and at odd times without distraction.
It’s 8:47pm on a Tuesday night as I write this post. Seventeen months ago I would not have considered writing at this time of night. Now I sneak in my writing time whenever I can. Because I write in short bursts, I don’t let distractions wedge their way between me and my writing.
I post pictures of my new boss.
Some people choose not to publish information about personal spaces and family members on their blog, but I feel getting a little personal helps my readers to connect to me. Plus, when am I ever going to have a boss that looks cute drooling and giggles at the sight of me clapping?
I found company.
I’ve worked from home for the last four years. It can get lonely. In the past, I got around it by writing in public places and attending networking events. After Maggie’s birth, both of those luxuries went away. I needed another way to socialize, so I participated in a couple of blog carnivals and joined an accountability group. Both of these experiences helped me to feel part of a bigger community.
At the time, I thought I would be tired forever, despite people telling me that it was only a phase. They were right. Maggie sleeps better now, and I can say with confidence that I am a better blogger after my foray with sleep deprivation.
Sara Lancaster is a website content writer for hire over at No. 2 Pen. She blogs for several businesses and on two of her own blogs. For more blogging tips, check out Sara’s latest free download, 103 Ways to Create Sharp Blog Content