But we may eventually find ourselves overwhelmed by the number of blogs we follow. We find ourselves in a hectic race to simply keep up with repaying visits to those who kindly leave comments on our blog.
On top of that, we struggle to make our writing a priority amidst the demands of all our other life responsibilities. We juggle family, jobs, and outside activities—all the while wishing we could have more uninterrupted writing time.
Soon we find ourselves slipping further down the slide of despair, growing frustrated and unhappy. We throw up our hands and yell, “How can I handle all of this?”
As a mother of five children, one of the most common questions people ask me is, “How do you handle so many children?” Sometimes a parent may even say something like, “I only have two children and it’s hard enough, how can you possibly manage five?”
At first the question threw me off. I’d shrug and reply, “I dunno. It’s not easy, but somehow we manage.” But after years of getting the same question, I think I’ve finally realized one of my “secrets” to survival.
With the exception of my twins, I added one child at a time. In other words, my foray into motherhood came in gradual stages. I had one baby and got all of the first-time mommy-jitters out of my system. Then I had my twin daughters and got even more practice at motherhood.
When my fourth son was born, I’d already built strong mommy-muscles of patience, tolerance, love, and knowledge. I’d grown by leaps and bounds in experience, wisdom, and character. By the time I had my fifth sweet daughter, I’d developed into a much stronger mother than I’d been when I’d had my first.
What’s the point? Several, actually.
1. Take things one step at a time. We can’t look at those ahead of us and think we need to be like them. A writing career, like parenthood, comes in stages. If we jump in and try to handle too much all at once, then we’ll lose out on the process of slowly building the writing muscles that gradually prepare us for what’s to come.
2. Let the hardships push us to become stronger. It’s all too easy to let the difficulties of parenting discourage us and zap the joy from being with our children. And we need to guard against the danger of letting our writing hardships discourage us so much that we lose out on the joy of the creative process as well as the potential for growth.
3. Adjust our expectations. With each child God's given me, I’ve had to adjust my expectations of the cleanness of my house, my free time, or even how much I make for meals. The closer we move toward publication, the more we need to adjust our schedules and priorities so that we have room in our lives for the new responsibilities. Sometimes that means saying no to really good activities, setting boundaries, or sacrificing hobbies and friendships.
What about you? Have you ever been overwhelmed by blogging and writing, finding yourself sliding down into despair? What are ways you keep yourself from hitting the ground hard?
*Part 3 in the series Writer Emotions: Overwhelmed