This post is a little bit different. There’s a lot of information online about the technical aspects of blogging: how to build links, how to do SEO, and stuff like that. And there’s tons written about lifestyle design and blogging, and how you can create a business that you can run from anywhere in the world.
But what about designing a–for lack of a better word–normal lifestyle through blogging? For example, how is it possible to blog full time and do everything that needs to get done and still have meaningful relationships?
In answer to that is this guest post… by my girlfriend.
Below is an email conversation we had on Sunday night.
A = Amy (her), and T = Tristan (me).
A: I’m really bored. Everyone in my house is asleep [she’s home for the holidays]. I should do productive things.
T: I’m sorry you’re bored. You should… write blog posts for me [I was tired and sick of writing].
A: Unless you want your blog to fail horribly, I probably shouldn’t write a post for you. Although it might be kind of funny to have a guest post, “The Life of a Blogger’s Girlfriend: An Inside Look and Tips for Significant Others.”
T: I actually think that a “Life of a Blogger’s Girlfriend” post would be awesome! You should start writing down ideas for it and see if you’ve got enough to make a post from.
A: I’ll see what I can do. Also, how many words would we be talking about here?
T: Doesn’t really matter. I’d say the more you write, the better, though. And you could talk about what I was like (and what our relationship was like) before and after the birth of Blog. You could write about things I could do better, and also have advice for girlfriends/wives of bloggers.
A: Hahaha. I’m laughing out loud. This is funny.
T: No. This is serious.
So that’s how the idea for this post came around. Half an hour later, I checked my email and saw that she had written the following 800 word article.
I hope you enjoy this post, and I hope you’ll leave a comment. I’d love to hear how your blogging is affecting (or not) your relationships!
[One more thing; Amy’s got an in, but I’m still not accepting guest posts here on Blogging Bookshelf.]
The Life of a Full Time Blogger’s Girlfriend, and Tips for Significant Others
Good news! I’m the proud daddy of a bouncing baby blog. No, you read it right. I couldn’t call myself the mother, because I had no part in the birthing process, but I was there for moral support along the way. You know, the mostly-annoying-but-also-endearing-in-its-own-way kind of support, where you can’t really offer any useful advice or input, but gosh darnit it you try.
Tristan and I used to have “debates” about who was a better blogger—my argument usually consisted of, “But I have drawings and pictures on my blog. Your blog is boring.” Of course he added infographics to his blog, just to render my already weak selling-point completely obsolete. I knew I didn’t stand a chance, anyway, since the only person who really reads my blog is my mom.
So, we don’t really have those “debates” anymore.
Being the girlfriend of a full time blogger does require sacrifice—but not anything that I’m bleeding from every pore about. I usually have no idea what he’s talking about when I venture past the cursory query of “How’s blog?” (It’s not “the” blog anymore. It has become a living entity, and thus no longer necessitates the use of a definite article.) This generally results in me feeling like an idiot. But I’m starting to pick up on some things, mainly to assure Tristan that I’m not actually learning disabled. And I’ve even dared a comment or two. Mostly I’m just happy that he has found something that he’s passionate about—not many people can say that they stay up working until 4:00 in the morning multiple times a week because they want to.
Tristan’s life is pretty much blog, much as a mother’s life is pretty much her children. (Not that I would really know, but that’s what I’ve heard….) He takes it seriously. He loves it. It stresses him out. He carries around a little notebook and can often been seen scrawling writing illegible to anyone but himself (believe me, I’ve tried). When he says that he works 10-14 hours a day on his blog, he means it. A common conversation in our relationship has become:
T: “I’m going to take you home now. I need to work on blog.”
A: “Ok. Maybe get some sleep tonight, though?”
I’d like to think of myself as a pretty low-maintenance girlfriend. I don’t demand to be entertained for hours and hours (mostly because that stopped being socially acceptable after the age of 6, I think), and I make a conscious effort to be considerate of Tristan’s busy schedule. I did get mad at him, once though, after a weekend of spending almost no time at all together due to the demands of Blog. I voiced my complaint; he apologized and said he would do better. And he has. I’ve stopped trying to set up little dates where he can work on his blog while I do something productive next to him, because both Tristan and I have realized that when I’m around, he has ADD. What can I say, I’m just too charming. [Insert pretentious laugh.]
Another fun routine we’ve gotten into is the one where I ask how much sleep he got last night, and then roll my eyes when he tells me that he went to bed (yet again) at 4am and somehow rolled out at 8:30. This, to me, is ridiculous and incomprehensible, because I need 7-8 hours of sleep so that the citizens of earth are safe from my fiery sleep-deprived wrath.
It would be one thing if he actually wasn’t tired–but when I see him with those bloodshot eyes, I can only think of two possibilities—either he’s developed a pot addiction, or he’s exhausted. And then when he falls asleep on my shoulder after sitting down for 5 minutes, I rule out the pot addiction. But he loves it (the blog, not the pot). He can’t get enough of it. And I think that’s one of the things I admire most—his drive to do more, be more, learn more, create more.
Sometimes I jokingly say that blog is Tristan’s real girlfriend (the jury is still out on that one, actually). But I’ve learned to not try and compete with Blog–I wouldn’t try and lure my boyfriend away from his 9-5 bank job, so why would I try and do it with Tristan and Blog? It’s his job. It’s what he does. We’re still both trying to figure out how to balance life and work, and we’re doing it the best we know how.
Amy teaches French and is an expert at drawing amazing pictures in Paint.
Ok, back over to Tristan now
Here’s a chart showing things that bloggers and their significant others can do so that both the blog and the relationship remain intact :)
Let me just finish up by saying that it’s really hard for me to balance things in my life. I’m either 100% into something and putting all of my effort into it, or not paying attention to it at all. When it’s summer, I consistently rock climb 6 days a week and sometimes forget to eat. When I’m working on a new blog, I often stay up till 4 in the morning. When I’m at Subway, I can never, ever get a six inch sandwich, even if I’m not all that hungry.
Go big or go home, right?
With this being the case, it’s always been a struggle for me to balance my passions with my relationships. And it’s still something that I suck at. So I need your help! I’d love to hear your input on this, and I’d really appreciate it if you left a comment!
- How have you been able to balance blog time (or really any kind of hobby time, I guess!) with relationship time?
- Have your relationships ever suffered because of your blogging?
- Do you have anything else to add?
Thanks for reading, and be sure to come back on Friday for an awesome post about best blog design practices for non-designers and non-techies!