A Tale of Preparedness or a Lack Thereof – Lessons from 1 Year of Blogging

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Ms. Fiology was born one year ago at CampFI Mid-Atlantic 2018 on the weekend of April 13th – April 16th. I owe a big thanks to Jonathan for introducing me to Kevin Clack and to Kevin Clack for pushing my blog past the goal line.

#Grateful Photo by Courtney Hedger on Unsplash

Happy 1-Year Boggerversary to me!

My first post went live on April 19th, 2018. Okay, okay so I’m releasing this post one day early so technically you can wish me a happy 364 days of blogging. 😉

However, I did start blogging for ChooseFI in January of 2018 so if we want to get technical I’m at a year plus.

Lessons Learned From 1 Year of Blogging

I think the first thing I’ve learned is that this is work. For me, it’s enjoyable work but none-the-less it’s work.

Treat it Like a Job Unless it’s a Hobby

Here at Ms. Fiology, I am my own boss! Oh dang, that means I’m in charge. Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

From day one, I’ve decided that I wanted to treat this as a job. This has helped me with my goal setting and being disciplined. Initially, I committed to posting every Monday.

Once I was comfortable writing posts once a week, I upped it to twice a week. Now I post on Mondays and Thursdays.

I’ve heard over and over from veteran bloggers that if you want to grow your readership, consistency is key. This way your readers know what to expect from you.

Preparedness

Some lessons we learn early in life and they can carry us far. I feel like most people should have learned the value of being prepared by high school. Not this gal!! I was too busy partying and having fun so unfortunately, my studies often were on the back burner.

Actually, I did prepare for one set of classes. And those were in mathematics because I enjoyed doing math problems. Obviously, I recognized that if I did my homework, I did well in class. I saw the correlation but I just wasn’t motivated to study for the other subjects.

In college, I started to appreciate all that the world had to offer in terms of education. I found a love for reading and additionally doing more math problems.

Furthermore, I found the value in taking the time to be prepared but occasionally we need to be reminded of the basics…

A Lesson in Preparedness and a Lack Thereof

Scene 1

Imagine this, it’s 9:00 PM on a Sunday night and I’ve committed to releasing a post every Monday. Furthermore, my email service is scheduled to send out my newest post by 7:00 AM so it needs to be live on the blog by 6:59 AM in order to be emailed.

I’ve gained a little following so I don’t want to let anyone down. Additionally, I like to produce quality content, so I don’t want to disappoint.

Formulating my thoughts into a cohesive article with clear takeaways takes time. Let’s get to writing.

Okay, I think I have something good going.

Oh, crap now it’s midnight and it’s still not done. Maybe if I go to sleep now, I can get up at 4:00 AM and put on the finishing touches.

That would be me throwing my alarm clock because it’s going off after 4 short hours of sweet sleep. Photo by Malvestida Magazine on Unsplash

The time of Reckoning

What the heck?? How am I supposed to operate on 4 hours of sleep?? Snooze for another 20 minutes. Rise. Make coffee. Sit down & drink it. Oh crap, now it’s 5:00 AM and I only have two hours to finish and edit my post before I must get ready for work.

Write. Re-write. Edit. Oh shoot, I have to add images because everyone likes a picture, right? Right. Find some pics.

Add words to the photos on Canva. Who said I have to add words to my photos anyway?? Oh yeah, if I’m going to promote on Instagram I need a square photo…with words. And if I’m going to pin it on Pinterest, I need verticle photo….with words. Stupid words! Who invented words anyway??

And my theme on my blog looks best with a banner style photo.

Okay, screw it I’m not putting words on my theme photo. They’ll see the title.

Oh no, it’s 6:45!! Okay, hurry up and edit the piece, dang it. Now check all the links. Good, good everything looks kosher.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Okay, okay, I”m ready to hit publish.

Seriously, I’m gonna do it but one more glance. Oh crap, it’s 6:58, I cannot glance over it again.

Okay, I’ll hit publish and then I’ll review it again, I can always edit it after it goes live. Right? Right.

Alright, it’s live!

Dang it, I spelled “affect” wrong – effect is the noun and affect is the verb, girl, don’t forget it!!  Okay, edit, publish again.

The Socials

Now before I get ready for work, let me tweet it out. Okay, done. Awe but some of my friends are making funny tweets. I gotta comment on a few…20 minutes later.

Now let me get this thing up on insta. Okay, what cool hashtags can I insert?? How about – #FinancialIndependence #DoHardThings #Sober and #MsFiology? Perfect!

Okay, now let me pin it to Pinterest and write a little blurb. Good, good only one more platform to go…Facebook. Ugh, if I go on FB, I’m going to see notifications and get distracted. Stay focused, girl, stay focused, you got less than 30 minutes to shower and get ready for work.

Arrive at work exasperated.

Good times. Photo by Abbie Bernet on Unsplash

Scene 2

Okay, let’s try this again…

Serenity now. Photo by Harli Marten on Unsplash

I walk into my apartment on Sunday around 9 PM after a lovely dinner with the family. I turn on my laptop and review my articles for the week one more time.

Perhaps I make a few edits. I check to ensure all of the links work. Yep, great.

I crawl into bed with my book. After reading a chapter or two, I give in to sleep for a glorious 7-8 hours.

This time when my alarm goes off, I don’t want to throw it.

I get up and turn the hot water on so I can make my french press coffee. Next, I curl up on my favorite couch with my favorite electric blanket and read my bible. I pray.

The coffee is delicious and I have extra time so I read another chapter in my book.

Now, I promote my freshly published article on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook. I say hi to a few friends virtually, make some comments on posts. I even read a personal finance article or two that catch my fancy. Additionally, I promote those on twitter.

I hop in the shower, get myself ready, and I’m out the door to walk to work a little bit early.  Life is good.

Closing Thoughts

Which would you choose? Yeah, me too. I’ll take the latter one every time, but know that it does come at a cost. The cost is to take the time to prepare, block off time, sacrifice, and be disciplined.

Truth be told, I’ve experienced it both ways and my strong dislike for scene 1 is what inspires me to remain disciplined and re-create scene 2 over and over. Sometimes, it means I have to say no to social functions so I can achieve my goals.

However, it’s also about balance as you can see my Sunday night was spent having a leisure dinner with my loved ones.

Okay, are you ready to give it a try? It doesn’t have to be starting a blog, but what is the next thing you’re dreaming of doing? Are you ready to take the leap? Whatever it is, may you remember this tale of preparedness or a lack thereof and chose to prepare wisely…

 

 

 

 

 

24 thoughts on “A Tale of Preparedness or a Lack Thereof – Lessons from 1 Year of Blogging”

  1. Preparedness is a great life hack for sure. Reading scene 1 was exhausting. I think I actually felt my chest getting tight 😉. My first hubby use to tell me that “You’re a hurry up and get it done yesterday kind of person”. Just the idea of waiting until the last minute to do anything makes me uncomfortable. I totally get you Deanna 😁 Happy anniversary!!

    1. Haha, it made my chest tight just to write it.

      I love what your husband called you, “a hurry up and get it done yesterday kind of person.” I must admit there have been a few weeks like scene 1 and they were awful so I lean as much as possible towards scene 2 as I can. Progress not perfection, right?

      Thank you, Shari!

    1. Thank you, Fred! I will say, at times, I’ve wanted to give up. I’m so glad I’ve pushed through and am learning to make it more turnkey.

      It’s lovely to be amongst the veterans…like you 🙂

  2. Happy 364th day of blogging! And also happy 1 year tomorrow!

    Scene 1 seems to happen way more often than I would like. Although Scene 2 is starting to increase its appearances for me.

    Right now I’m spending most of my organization and discipline to focus on starting a side business that deals in woodwork.

    1. Hey Ms. FI Seeker! Thank you! Yeah, a kind friend let me know the post said 464 days (oops!). I adjusted it now. I so appreciate you coming by.

      I totally get it. I think when we take something new on, we don’t really know all that’s involved in it. There is so much more to blogging than just writing which is what I signed up for. Haha! I’ve had many scene 1’s in the process. Even now as I have more scene 2’s there are some weeks where I fall behind. My goal is to have a backlog of posts so that I have a cushion. It’s just taking a while to get that built up.

      Exciting about the woodworking business! Will you share the details on your blog?

  3. Congratulations on your blogiversary! I’m so glad you started because your content is really inspiring.

    I can so relate to scene 1. Been there, done that, and try not to do it often. Usually I get my post scheduled for Monday late on Sunday night and then do all of my marketing Monday morning before heading to work. It’s kind of exhausting but also a nice way to start the week.

  4. Abigail @ipickuppennies.net

    Happy blogoversary! I’m impressed that you’re as organized as you are. Probably due to other life demands and such, I feel like my blog has been haphazard from the get-go. I was always figuring out last minute what I wanted to write about for the post going up the next day. Life has calmed down, and I’m finally a couple of posts ahead, which is exciting. It sounds like you’re already there, so go you!

    1. Thank you, Abigail! Hey did I tell you I have a niece named Abigail?

      You know if I could do it all over again, I’d wait to start my blog until I had like 20-30 post drafted but alas I started with 1. Haha! Trust me some weeks I fall behind & it looks like scene 1 but I do work hard to keep it closer to scene 2.

      Yay on being a couple of posts ahead! One thing that helps me is I keep a list of possible topics as ideas pop into my head. That way when I need to come up with something last minute I have possibilities. Additionally, I keep a list of posts I’ve written & that idea came from ESI Money. Now maybe if I could categorize them…

  5. Happy blogaversary! I can so relate to your scenario 1 at the moment, haha! It takes me ages to think through what I want to say then write then edit … You are an amazing person – thank you for helping a newbie like me! Keep writing – we’ll be here 💕

    1. Thank you!! Haha, I get it, trust me and that is how I was able to detail it out. However, with practice I’m able to move more and more towards scenario 2 each week. You don’t seem like a newbie!! When did you start writing?

      1. Started writing in late August 2018 after a late night of ‘oh no, I’m too late for FIRE’ crisis meltdown, haha! Been inconsistent with post schedule though – not as organised as you. And wasn’t prepared for the non writing parts of blogging … Still very much a newbie!

        1. Well you aren’t far behind me. Haha on the too late meltdown – you & me both! So glad we’ve “met” on this side of the meltdown and can encourage one another. 🙂

          Ugh on the non-writing sides of blogging. I keep saying I only signed up to write. Haha! We both know it’s about a lot more. Though, my first love it to write!!

  6. I believe the dictionary (do those still exist?)…Ok Wikipedia should change their definition of “Blog” to be a link to this article. You described the journey of blogging as if you were living in my brain. Glad to know it’s not just me feeling the pressure of all of those pieces of blogging. Keep up the good work. I like your writing style!

    1. Haha, they do but Google is the new dictionary of choice for most!

      This article flowed so naturally because I live it. It seems to resonate with many bloggers. Thanks for stopping by, commenting and giving me a lovely compliment! 🙂

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