Rabid Reader Ramblings (11) Finding Balance: Blogging, Life, Writing, Self Employment

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Rabid Reader Ramblings is my “discussion post” feature here at Just Another Rabid Reader.  It is a post in which I discuss bookish or blogging related things!  Please feel free to comment, no matter if you agree or disagree because discussion and healthy debate are what these posts are for~!

 

It’s been a crazy week.  With the craziness of the last week, and all the changes in my life in the last two, I realized that my routine needed a revamp.  Therefore, I am actually sitting at my desk at 6 in the morning.  And yep, this is one of the rare occasions when my post is not drafted ahead of time.

I read a great article this week on how people can help their loved ones who are self-employed and that got me to thinking about how those of us who are self-employed need to help ourselves.  We need to set boundaries and stick to them.

This was the first full week where I settled into my official role helping to run the editing department of what is now a small publisher, but I have a feeling is not going to stay small for long.  We are now in a period of growth, having had the door open for only a few months and already with 8 authors officially on the books and several more writing, with a couple that TPTB are just waiting for the contracts to come in the mail on.  The editing department consists of me and three women, one of whom is on hiatus until after her wedding because she needs to focus on that now and not get overwhelmed.  I planned my wedding.  Twice.  I know where her head is.

I also work a day job full-time that feeds my family and I need to make sure that gets enough of my attention so that it continues to do so.  It is also a self-employment situation and once again, balance comes into play here.

Add to that, I am one of the 8 authors in the publishing house, with two books slated for publication between now and January.  One is already finished and sits ready for my editor.  One is not.  Again, balance.  Are you seeing a pattern here?

Then I run this blog, poorly most days; and a small book marketing company.  I wear many hats.  Before you ask, yes, I probably am crazy.  My husband and children have pondered that one for years.

The problem in all that in finding that balance, of course, is me.  I need to set clear boundaries with my friends and family and stick to them.  One of the things I do is make myself a schedule, and try to stick to it.  I did really well with this for about 4 months, but then summer came and that went by the wayside.  I need to get back to that and I have started again in the last couple of days.

This morning, and yes I know it is Saturday, but I had my alarm set for 5 a.m.  Of course, I hit the snooze until 5:30, but by 5:30 I was out of bed.  By 5:45 I was at my desk, with a cup of coffee, a cup of iced tea, and a pot of water brewed on my side desk for hot tea as the day went on for between the coffee cups.  In my coffee cup is a scoop of Muscle Milk Protein Powder.  I have already taken my morning meds, and I am ready to start my day.  I have written out this blog post, and it is only 6:30.

Now, on to those boundaries.  When I tell people I am busy and I have to work, I need to remember to stick to that.  I have an iPhone that has a ringer switch.  I need to turn that switch to off and if it is not a business call, I need to not answer during my working hours.  Just because I work from home does not mean I can treat my working hours like playtime and slack off.  As long as I treat my working hours professionally, those around me will too.

Yes, I work loooong hours. No I don’t get a lot of days off or down time; but if I treat my working time professionally and learn to respect myself, I will model to those around me that I deserve respect.  They will learn to appreciate the time I do give them that much more.  This is something we all have to learn when making this type of transition.

You won’t get it perfect a lot of the time.  I have been self-employed and working from home for over 15 years.  I still don’t have this down perfect, and some days I don’t even come close to getting it right.

I waffled back and forth for the last three months on writing a post like this, but after the last week I decided it was time.  I am sure someone else has been in this situation and could benefit from it, too. So despite my fear of putting myself out there, here I am.  It’s 6 in the morning and I am baring my soul to you so that you might learn from my mistakes and maybe get a few steps closer to that elusive work-life balance that we all crave.

What are some ways you balance your blogger life and the rest of your life?  Do you work from home?  How do you manage it?  Is your family supportive or do they constantly expect your attention because you “are at home so you must have loads of free time?”  Let me know in the comments.

 

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