As a blogger, there are some perks and some drawbacks that come with blogging. The perks can be having my own hours and being able to report about the wonderful world of technology that I love so much. However, the drawbacks can be the unexpected hours and not always having the one on one communication that many office jobs come with. This can be a disadvantage for those who prefer to work alone. However, for many others, it is not a bad thing to have human contact. This guide will help you on being social while still being a blogger.
Meet Up With Friends
Everyone has their mental map of their groups of friends. We have childhood friends, work friends, friendly acquaintances, and more. As bloggers, our work friends may be a little different than those who have work friends from an office job. Many times, my friends that I have gained from blogging are mostly digital. Out of the few that I have been friends with, I’ve met only a couple in person. This makes it more important than ever to continue to make plans with our “real life” friends as much as possible. Take them out to dinner on their birthdays, get involved in their life celebrations, and more. This will keep friendships fresh, without having to think you must make friends from work alone.
Take (Many) Breaks
When you are in front of a computer answering comments or planning out that next article, it can be quite easy to forget to take a break. If you make the time to have a least a good break every hour or so, you not only have a fresher mind when returning to the computer, but you also reduce the possibility of carpel tunnel and strained eyes. When you take a break, make it something active. Walking the dog or doing 10 pushups will wake your body up from being in front of the computer to being with the “real world”.
Look Into Shared Office Space
This is my favorite tip. One way to get over the lonesome slump is to look into working with other people. You don’t have to be apart of their company to do so either. How is such a thing possible? Through shared office spaces. One of my favorite websites that offer shared office space is Loosecubes. The website offers listings from individuals offering high quality office spaces where individuals can rent rooms and tables that allows them to work with other individuals. The most listings are available in larger cities, with Los Angeles having over 40 wonderful choices. Most options in the area are between $10 and $25 a day, with a lot of free options as well, the most costing $1500/month. These are perfect for individuals looking for some company during a day in the week when they just aren’t enjoying working alone. There are many office spaces that cater to various vibes, including some for writers, artists, developers, photographers, and more. If you can’t afford this, going to your local Starbucks or location with WIFI can be a great free option.
Join a Class or Club
You can get some human contact by joining a class in your local area. The newspaper classifieds and local newsletters can outline great social opportunities. The ability to join a language course or cooking class will allow you to learn something and meet cool new people. In addition, doing more in your daily life can be great inspiration for your writings. For example, taking a surf lesson this summer allowed me to get the inspiration for a successful article a week after. Classes during the week are also more likely to include many freelancers than those on weekends, so you may even find individuals in a similar work field.
Know Your Limit
Above all else, know when you need to take a break. Four years ago, a sobering article by the New York Times titled “In Web World of 24/7 Stress, Writers Blog Till They Drop” outlined a trend of a couple of bloggers who suffered from stress and even heart attacks at very young ages due to their strenuous lifestyles. Even though I wasn’t a blogger at the time of the posting and I read it a couple of years after its publishing, it hit hard to me personally and definitely pushed me to make more time for rest and relaxation. Especially when I noticed myself experiencing weight gain and times of little/no sleep. It’s an article I urge any blogger to read. Even after rereading it again for this post, I will be sharing it with a family member after I finish this article. When you know your limit and when it’s time to slow down and not go on writing sprees, you’ll realize how much your health is way more important than blogging. Here is a key quote from the article authored by Matt Richtel that, while funny at first, makes you think.
“The fact I have a few thousand people a day reading what I write — that’s kind of cool,” he [Matt Buchanan from Gizmodo] said. And, yes, it is exhausting. Sometimes, he said, “I just want to lie down.”
Sometimes he does rest, inadvertently, falling asleep at the computer.