Even though I have had a blog for over a year, I started active blogging in the summer of 2020 when I was in grade 11. While many find blogging easy to balance with school and life, it wasn’t necessarily the same for me. My classes would stretch on for hours and that, coupled with homework would leave me exhausted at the end of the day, leaving no time for quality blogging.
As a student, I can relate to the struggle of juggling between priorities, feeling helpless when you want to give your best to both spheres and ultimately succumbing to choosing one over the other which potentially ends up to be blogging at a great personal cost. Last year, Diamond wrote about how she balances blogging with life and mentioned some great tips.
So, what can you do? How can you study and blog peacefully and productively?
If you haven’t started your blog yet, I’d suggest you wait before jumping into it. Evaluate a regular day of your life. How many hours do you get after school and chores? Are those leisure hours that are flexible or are they scheduled too? Once you feel like you can make time for blogging, either an hour or so a day or two hours a week (like I do), decide the general theme of your writes.
Why are you starting a blog? What are you going to write about? How frequently are you going to post?
Then, bulk write. Write two to three posts a week over the course of the subsequent days and once you have 5 or so posts ready to be published, launch your blog. Schedule these pre-written posts, space them out and then you can spend an hour every few days for blogging because you already have a post for the next posting day. All my initial posts were poems I’d written ages before I’d actually started a blog. LTBL was kickstarted in a similar way.
Let’s say you already have a blog and you’re not content with it. Blogging is a gradual process and discovery takes time, so don’t rush yourself. Evaluate your life, how you’re doing at school and then take a look at your blog from a stranger’s perspective.
What does someone see when they come by my blog?
Incorporate your life into blogging. This doesn’t mean getting personal or giving away your private details. Emphasise on the little things that make you happy on your blog. Write about that experience that changed you. Talk about why you don’t do something that almost everybody else does.
The key to authenticity is being true to yourself. Readers see the you, you write into being. And the more far away it is from real life, the more heavy blogging will seem. This is why you have to write honestly, sure, feel free to add story telling elements like sarcasm and exaggeration, explore all the weird possibilities of your life, make use of writing prompts – let yourself run wild here. The few hours you spend for blogging according to your schedule will feel incredible if you make it as positive as it could possibly be.
Because readers are looking for relatable, funny, honest, interesting and informative.
Make a schedule- one for your life and one that incorporates blogging, it’s going to be hard to follow but you’ll eventually fall into rhythm. Decide on how you’re going to spend the 24 hours you’re given everyday. I was at this point sometime in September 2020 and while I didn’t have the best possible outcome, things did improve with a concrete schedule. Make friends with schedules and lean heavily on scheduled posts.
Depending on the frequency of your posting, allot a certain number of hours to blogging per week. For example, I post once a week and spent two hours writing for my blog and interacting with other bloggers every week. Once you have that part planned, stick to it. Blogging must always feel fun, relaxing and interactive. The moment it feels like a chore is when you’re being too harsh on yourself. Producing content isn’t easy with a tired brain.
Have fun exploring different styles, genres and creative ideas.
You could either have little brainstorming sessions on a drive home or an evening walk or a few minutes before you fall asleep. Or you could check out blog post ideas posts bloggers write every now and then, to spark one’s inspiration. (Evin, Maggie and Eeshani have you covered!)
Don’t feel pressured to stick to a niche you’ve chosen just because you feel like you have to. Since its inception, my personal blog has grown from 2 to 7 categories. Or just tell us about your life, what you’ve been thinking about recently. Show us a photo of that dandelion you saw on the roadside. If nothing seems right, post that essay you wrote for school. Because why not?
As a student, blogging is where I satiate my creative thirst.
My school, family or friends have no need or time to read what I write because they don’t need/want to. But here, I’ve discovered several like-minded people, made friends with several and genuinely feel the mental growth and openness I’ve been exposed to. I have several reasons for not wanting to give up blogging but I have even more for prioritising school.
School is education, you need it to navigate the judgemental and competitive world we live in. Blogging is catharsis, it’s where you have fun with your creativity, where you write about whatever you want, where you combine art with life. As a student, academics is my top priority and hence, I tend to maintain blogging as a hobby that doesn’t overshadow school.
At the end of the day, it’s all about learning. The blogosphere can be a sort of school expanding your mindest at regular school, if you follow the right kind of blogs! Be kind to yourself and have fun with experimenting various creative avenues because there’s always something for everyone!
Thanks so much for reading! Feel free to open up about your blogging experiences and how you deal with it!
D is a teen blogger @ Random Specific Thoughts who loves reading, drawing and anything Science. She adores poetry and enjoys writing essays and creative non-fiction as well!