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I Do Not Have It All Together

  September 9

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I do not have it all togetherAbout two weeks ago, I wrote about getting some new freelance gigs and building a new website, and your comments were so supportive and sweet! Many of you wondered how I do so much work during the day. Michelle called me a machine! Grayson said he had no idea how I write for so many websites. Many other people have offered the same sentiments over the past year or so.

I definitely appreciate all the kind comments and the compliments, but at the same time, I feel like I should probably clear something up:

I do not have it all together!

I do enjoy my online work, but any serious blogger will tell you that we have our own setbacks just like any other job. We have slow months and we have times when we’re not very into our blogs but we have to keep them going anyway. So, if you’re wondering how I work so many hours in a day, how I blog so much, and how I write for so many other sites, here’s what usually goes through my mind every week.

It’s Temporary

The one thought that really helps me keep going and helps me stay up so late every night working is that this is temporary. I know that in just a few months time, all my hard work will pay off. I will leave a job that I have loved for the past two years, and I’ll wake up the next day as a full-time blogger. On that day, I’ll probably wear my favorite yoga pants and watch TV during my lunch break but for now, please picture me apologizing profusely to the hubs that the house is a mess and promising him that it’ll get better eventually.

(Update: I now work from home! I wrote an update on my transitionΒ and how I was able to increase my blog incomeΒ so I could be self-employed. )

Let me repeat: I do not have it all together! My house is messy, and the very neat and tidy hubs is not often amused by it! πŸ™‚

Other People Rely on Me

This past Friday, I was sick. In general, I was nauseous and completely exhausted. Because of this, I didn’t post my own writing wrap up here on Catherine Alford, and I took a two-hour nap after work. Basically, I had trouble making it through the work day; however, I still submitted three blog posts to other bloggers that were due that day. Now, I could have easily asked David or Lance or my new client for a break since I wasn’t feeling well, especially David and Lance because they are my friends. But, that’s not how I work. I try to make sure that every post I have due for others is on time all the time. That’s why people hire me because I’m reliable. If I take a break because I’m feeling a little tired, what’s going to happen when I’m really, really sick or I’m dealing with some serious personal issue? I’d rather power through the little setbacks and only ask for extensions if I really, truly need it. That way, when I ask for it, they’ll know I really mean it!

The point of telling you that story is to say again that I don’t have it all together! I let my own blog slip at times because I have other jobs to do. I read dozens of blogs every day but don’t have the time to comment on them. There are several updates and glitches I need to fix on my site, but I don’t fix them right away if I don’t have too. So, while I am getting a lot of work done every day, there are still many more things and projects and e-mails that I haven’t gotten to yet!

You Never Know What’s Going to Come in the Mail

Lastly, what really keeps me going is how exciting it is to be a blogger. You never know what’s going to come in your inbox. It could be a normal day of spammy people offering me *Totally Free Content* if only I’d link to their site or I could get asked to interview on the Huffington Post going live in 12 hours. Or it could be a great day where I pick up a new client or have a post go viral. Plus, I enjoy talking to my blogging buddies during the day, and it’s always fun to get an e-mail from them. I also like the challenge of coming up with new, creative, and fun topics.

Even more so, I just love to write.

So what if I don’t have it all together? I’m lucky because I love the work that I do both online and in my day job. Sure, I get tired of writing even though I love it. Sure, I feel burned out from time to time. Sure, I’d rather eat soup and watch a movie when I’m sick instead of format posts. And yes, I do stare at the computer screen wondering how I’m going to create 20 brand new topics every week.

At the same time, I’m a big believer in the principle that nothing worthwhile comes easy, and the truth is, when it comes to blogging, the good far outweighs the bad. In my opinion, it’s the best job in the world, and I plan on typing until I can’t type anymore every single night until my dreams of working for myself become a reality.

Do you have it all together? Let’s get real here today!

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58 responses to “I Do Not Have It All Together

  1. I appreciate the honesty Cat. No one could have it all together, but you do very well with everything you do. I think you are a rock star. If you need help with any of those glitches, let me know!

  2. I can definitely relate! Up until recently I was going like a maniac and never taking any time to relax. Finally I just cracked and didn’t want to handle it anymore, I’ve scaled back a bit and it truly is awesome to have free time and a CLEAN house for once!

    Like you said, it’s temporary, you have a goal in mind, which is good!

    1. I know. I can’t wait. I had all of July off and it was amazing how much better the house looked and how much better I felt. Only a little bit more to go!

  3. While I don’t have it all together by any means, I do try to find balance in my day. So I could probably squeeze out a couple more hours to make side income, but honestly I don’t. I don’t want to get sick or burnout. The downside? I don’t make as much as my counterparts and don’t have as much success as they do. We are all hardwired so differently and we all have to keep ourselves in check with what works best for ourselves! πŸ™‚ Hope you feel better!

  4. That makes a lot of sense.

    I think we all work in some way to deal with the variability of life. For me, that means working extra hard right now to squirrel a higher proportion of my salary because I don’t know if the good times are gonna last.

    But I would still argue that you “have it all together” far more than most πŸ˜‰

  5. You seem to have it all together, all the time! Is is bad that I really like this post? I get frustrated when I cannot keep all of the plates spinning, but I guess what works for me is to prioritize a few things that MUST be done, and let the other fall the the wayside for a few hours (or days πŸ™ ). It is nice to know that others struggle with this as well.

    Happy Monday!

  6. Great post, Cat. It’s refreshing to hear that all of the successful PF bloggers out there are still human!

  7. I love your honesty Cat! Sometimes I think other people misunderstand that blogging and writing still takes work, and sometimes you don’t have the time or energy to do it. However, even with your few unorganized things or long to-do list, I still feel like you’re doing amazing things. You still know what’s a priority and when it’s time to take a break to recharge — and that’s what matters!

  8. Thanks for your honesty Cat! It is good to hear that even a rock star like you doesn’t have it all together. πŸ™‚ I’m struggling through a bit of blogging burnout right now, but I just need to push through it!

    1. Haha you’re very sweet to call me a rockstar. We all go through blogging burnout!! I get reenergized when I make a new friend or get a new client. Then it gets fun again. Keep going!

  9. I appreciate your honesty and candor, Cat, although I don’t expect anything less from you either! πŸ™‚ It is a lot of work balancing blogging (and your extra writing too!) with a full-time job. I’ve learned that somedays I don’t read and comment as much because something has to give. And I used to beat myself up over it, but now I realize that was just a waste of energy that I did not have. I’m so excited for you to move to full-time blogging and achieve that goal!!

  10. Glad you’re human, too! I think too many people assume that since so much of our lives are on the web (especially bloggers), then WYSIWYG. But I like to remind myself that since I don’t post pictures of piles of dirty laundry, other people probably refrain from posting those as well. We’re all human, some of us are just better at faking a super-hero stance than others.

  11. I definitely do not have it all together, either. I am feeling particularly drained after my hike and the notion of catching up on blog posts is a little daunting right now. Like you noted though, this too shall pass.

  12. It takes someone with real character to be so honest. I have been meaning to comment on your blog for weeks now, but have not been able to find the time. As most will agree, we are the lucky few to have found our true passion so young in life. However, a downside to that is we end up spending more time “working” than doing anything else because we enjoy what we do so much. I can relate to wanting to do so much more, but not being able to find the time. Sometimes, we have so many plans for the future of our career, we can’t even see right in front of us and enjoy what we are working on now. There is this new idea in psychology as Facebook depression, or even social media depression, but don’t quote me on the term. Anyway, the theory is that everyone always posts about positive ideas, days, lives, careers, and even husbands online and leads outsiders to believe these peoples’ lives are perfect. You say that you “do not have it all together”, but I disagree. You have the ability to publicly admit you’re not perfect and have flaws, allowing your followers to see you as more human. You eloquently explain how you cope and get through these tough times as well as inspire others in their own goals toward the end of your post. Girl, you may not be perfect, but you certainly do have it together more than you think!!!

  13. I think you expressed the sentiments and experiences that many of us have in the blogging world. It’s tough to keep this up with family and full-time work and I’m only writing three posts a week. I feel so many things slipping around our house and I know that some of them are because I dedicate time to blogging. I have felt bad recently about now being able to read as much from other blogs or post weekly updates with links to articles I like. But we can only do as much as our time allows and just have to be content with that.

  14. I’m going to repeat what everyone else is saying – You have it way more together than most people your age Cat! Everywhere I go on the world wide web, I see your name. Pretty soon it will be Cat’s world wide web πŸ˜‰ Hope you are feeling better now friend!

    1. Actually, it’s quite the opposite! Lately, I’ve been really fed up with the Internet especially as a woman where there are so many blogs and Pinterest to make us feel like we should have perfect houses and perfect crafts and perfect lives. I really do try to do everything to the best of my ability, and it can be argued I am a natural perfectionist but I feel like every time I am honest on the blog and every time I share a frustration or a little extra piece of myself, my readers really appreciate it and can actually relate to it. So, this post was really spurred on by a lot of comments from my readers saying nice things like like “You rock! I don’t know how you do it!” I wanted to make sure that people knew that yes, I am accomplishing a lot every day, but there is not an apple pie baking in the oven along with it!! There are sacrifices I make every day to get things done, and I want others to know it’s possible for anyone to do, but it’s not necessarily the lifestyle they idealize if that makes sense! πŸ™‚

      1. Gotcha. So something like a hedge to your readers that although there have been posts on your success and progress, that folks shouldn’t get too wrapped up in it because there’s been a lot of difficulties too?

        One quote from the movie “One Hour Photo” I remember is that nobody takes pictures of themselves sad.

        But I think if bloggers did, it would add a fantastic dimension to one’s site.

        1. Exactly. No success story comes without a few stumbles or lessons along the way, kind of like how some of your negative experiences fueled the Yakezie Challenge. And that’s an interesting quote about how no one takes pictures of themselves sad. It’s definitely hard to be vulnerable, but I do think people appreciate it!

  15. This post makes me feel better because I was feeling a bit like a slacker!! We don’t need to be perfect and that’s awesome. You are a Rock Star don’t doubt it!

  16. Love it!! I had to stop spending time on Pinterest because I felt like such a bad wife. Even macaroni and cheese from a box was soufflΓ©d and brΓ»lΓ©ed and picture perfect. I was complaining to my husband the other day and apologizing for not being a Pinterest wife and mother. Then he asked me what Pinterest was. Phew. I can’t remember where I was going with all that except to say thank you for being honest, lady. It’s always nice to know there is a human on the other side of the screen.

  17. You might not have it all together, but you still do great, most likely a lot better than most of us and certainly a lot better than what I am doing. Don’t get yourself exhausted, though. This is the only thing that I have learned in my professional blogger career and the only thing I would strongly suggest staying away from: at one point, all the sleepless nights and countless hours spent in front of the computer will hit the top and it will be SO bad. I was there and it took me a couple of months to recover to an acceptable level. I am still not happy with the level I am at now, but I manage to keep things under control. Don’t get there!

  18. What! You didn’t have to finish the post by end of Friday night if you were feeling sick! One of the positives of hearing that, though, is that you are obviously really committed to working hard to get to where you want to be. It’s so true that nothing worthwhile comes easily.

  19. That’s great that you still managed to hit those deadlines for other bloggers even though you were sick! I can only imagine the amount of work that needs doing to maintain a blog at this level as well as write for other blogs!

  20. Back in 2009 I was starting freelancing full time, after losing my ‘normal’ job. I was in serious debt and desperate. So I worked like crazy for 3-4 months. We’re talking 14-16 hours a day, with breaks to use the toilet and sleep. I’d eat at my computer. Just as in your case, it was TEMPORARY and I made it clear to myself and my family that I will not be doing this for too long (I’d have probably driven myself to the ground). As soon as the business started picking up, I stopped ‘killing’ myself and now I have a pretty nice work schedule and make sure I rest.

    So, keep it mind that it’s not something you can or should do for too much time. As a temporary fix, it’s gonna work and get your business running nicely, but do try to rest πŸ™‚

  21. I appreciate your honesty! I definitely don’t have it all together – I couldn’t imagine having the work load that you do and still working full-time, so I think you’re doing very well! I think a lot of people talk more about the upsides of blogging and freelancing, and the downsides/sacrifices that bloggers make aren’t really at the forefront of people’s minds. It’s definitely not an easy balancing game.

  22. I love this. As someone who is just starting to grow her blog, I honestly get a little overwhelmed when I see the progress of other bloggers such as yourself. I understand that blogging is hard work and sometimes I beat myself up when I run out of creative juice or energy. I’m glad to hear that it’s totally normal!

  23. Mama said there’d be days like this… And she was right. Sometimes life, especially as a blogger, can really just seem like a chore. Writing for me, always comes in spurts. There are weeks where the words just flow from my fingertips and I just have more to say than there are hours in the day.. But other times, I can’t write a sentence without wanting to rewrite it 50 times, or even worse– just can’t seem to find something I want to write about. But the key is to stick with it, and the bad days will pass..

  24. I don’t have it all together, either, and I can’t think of anyone who truly does. It’s nice to see honesty, though! Sometimes it’s easy for new bloggers to be completely star-struck by successful bloggers, and its refreshing to see that you are a real person, and not a superhuman who never has any issues!

    1. It was all I could do to power on the computer after and my daughter’s swim team practice this evening but so glad I did. It’s nice to know others feel the same way about trying to hold it all together, and I only worked three days in the office this week!

  25. I love this post so hard Cat!! I have no doubt that you are going to totally rock at this full time blogger career! At the risk of sounding like a cheesy and incorrectly quoted movie quote, you make me want to be a better blogger! xo

  26. I don’t think anyone’s got it all together, I for one surely do not. But you do make it look easy. I know that it’s not… definitely. But you are indeed doing a great job. Keep on inspiring others. Great post!

  27. Wow, 20 brand new topics every week? I’m blown away.

    I started blogging just over 3 months ago, it’s a hobby and I’m not sure it brings any cash in or not. It’s okay either way. I blog when I have free time and I comment on other blogs when I free time. I don’t, if I have no time. I like writing and I like the idea of freelance writing, but I am still to look through my options. Good luck to you with all your projects, Cat!

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