I started blogging fulltime about 2 years ago, a couple of months before Robin and I got married. WOW, I can’t believe that! It’s strange to think that Whimsy Soul is over 4 years old and has been my fulltime gig for over 2.
Working for myself has been like one big life lesson. Of course running a business is hard, it always is, no matter what industry you work it, but what surprised me the most was all the little things I learned about myself along the way. For instance, there’s nothing better than a 3pm La Croix pick-me-up!
But also more serious lessons. I’m trying to be better about being more personal here on Whimsy Soul, so I decided to share my top discoveries with you in this super personal post. These are the things I learned about myself after blogging fulltime for 2 years! Be nice 🙂
I’m a workaholic
I’ve always had a strong drive. Did you know I started my own photography business when I was 17? I worked as a wedding photographer for about 8 years, all throughout college and for a few years after we moved to San Francisco.
I find fulfillment by creating, but I’m also a hardcore type 3 enneagram personality type. It became really apparent to me over the past 2 years that I’m a workaholic. The problem is, I really love my work! It makes me happy. Combined with my inner drive, I can easily find myself happily chugging away on Whimsy Soul things from 7am to 8pm, all 7 days a week.
But that’s not healthy in the end. I’ve been practicing work-life balance, which is hard when you’re work is all about your life! Some things I’ve been trying to implement are daily walks and a set “turn off” time each evening, where I put the computer in my locker and I’m not allowed to touch it again. I also schedule get-togethers with friends around happy hour time, so I’m forced to not work late and I make myself take (most) weekends off now. Baby steps so I don’t burn out!
I could easily turn into a hermit
I’m serious! I’m equal parts introvert and extrovert. Thank god for my friends, especially the ones who take charge in making plans and then reminding me about said plans, otherwise, I think I would spend way too much time in my apartment! This is a side effect of said workaholic-ness as well and from working at home without an office to go to each day.
This may sound really off-base for someone who loves to travel and go do things, but for all the time I spend outside exploring, I love the balance that out with time at home with Twyla and Robin, just relaxing in my pjs. But, I’m aware of this so I make sure to schedule at least one friend date outing a week!
I do my best writing in the mornings from bed
It took me honestly almost 2 years to finally nail down a really good daily workflow. I used to struggle a lot with time management. A big thanks to our manager Lydia who has taken a huge load of emails off my shoulders – I used to just spend my days trying to keep up with my inbox and then 4pm would roll around and I would try to write all my posts then, but it just felt too forced.
But I write my best at 7am with Good Morning America in the background, pjs still on and a cup of coffee in hand. (Yes, I’m low-key a 50-year-old women, I realize.) I’ve been known to pump out a 5,000-word blog post all before 9am. These days, I write every morning until I don’t feel like writing. Then I’ll tackle the inbox, go for a walk, and come back to do more work.
In the evenings we shoot photos because we love that natural light, but I also try really hard to not work too late, as I mentioned above. This new workflow has helped us more than double our page views on the blog in the last quarter (which is a huge win for us!) and it has also just made me really happy to get back to writing!
I don’t want to go back to an office, ever
I was worried that I would get bored working from home every day, but I love it. I love the freedom it gives me. I love being able to grab wine with a friend on a random Tuesday afternoon at 3pm if I wanted to. I love being able to take trips during the week and being able to sleep in a bit if I’m hungover from said wine date.
“If you don’t build your dream, someone else will hire you to build theirs”
But most of all, I love the feeling of knowing that I get everything out of my job that I put into it. My hard work directly impacts my life – unlike in an office where you are building up someone else. And those budgets can get cut, projects delayed and like a hundred other things that cause all the energy you put into your work to go to waste.
When I worked in an office, I felt like I was giving part of myself to a mysterious CEO but now, I am the CEO. I feel whole.
I want to do more than blog
I can’t imagine Whimsy Soul not being in my life, but I do know that I don’t JUST want to blog forever. I have some pretty big goals. Robin and I have already started laying the foundation for one very big dream project.
More on that later – not going to spill the beans yet! But, my other pipe-dream is writing a book. Especially, a murder mystery. I keep a note file on my phone and it’s full of novel ideas. I hope I never get arrested because it’ll probably look really bad to have an entire note full of murder plans!
It is not the time in my life to write a book right now, I’m too busy. But, one day our lives will be a little slower and when that comes, you can find me plotting up some grand murder plot in a little house in the countryside. With 3 cats, at least.