Trying to Remain Sane as a Writing Travel Blogger

Trying to Remain Sane as a Writing Travel Blogger
Dust storm in a village and in my mind.

Trying to Remain Sane as a Writing Travel Blogger.

April 4
I really love writing on this website.  I enjoy all of this so much…being a writing travel blogger…

I have been a doing this for 11 years now, though only about 12 months of it is on this website.  But, I have about 10 other years of daily writing that is just like this, as I have travelled and roamed the planet.

It is a heavy load as a travel blogger to try to run this website and keep on moving.  It was easy to do this when I used to just write in my journal.  I could write as I was eating my breakfast and 20 minutes later I was ready for the day.  Now I am trying to write and at the same time the photos for the blog are being uploaded to try to save time. So I am doing two jobs at once.  This is happening while travel blogger with the worst internet most of you have ever encountered in your life (developing country internet is often the equivalent of dial-up).  Then, it all has to be linked together.  Then, caption the photos.  Then, insert them into the blog.  Then, SEO.  Keywords so that people will find you.  Tags.  Cover photo.  Get it ready to publish.

I can barely describe how great I feel as soon as I am finished with an article and it is ready on the website, to be launched to you!  That part feels so so good…

I am on the internet for about three hours a day…

The travel blogger workload is crazy.  I think I am on the internet for about three hours a day.  It is a lot when you are trying to travel and get from place to place, but essentially you do not even get on the road until about noon because you were getting the blog ready all morning before you could leave.  And if you did not get the blog ready, you will have to put in double that time the following day because now there will be two blogs to catch up on.  And that is stressful because as you are accumulating information for the next day, you are worried about memory leaks from the first day, while piling new information on top!

And that is just writing the blog.

Behind the scenes, there are a travel blogger things going on as a travel blogger.  You are looking for new website “plug-ins” because you know that your photos are too big to load properly.  You have to research to see why the numbers of your blog are not where they are at and how you can improve them.  There is a Top Ten List you want to build.  There is a newsletter sign-up option that you want to open on the screen as soon as someone comes to the website for the first time.  There is a video that you want to link to a page.  Remember that photo of the town with your friend Caroline’s name that you wanted to send to her.  Try to get that out.

Some of your friends are complaining that you do not have any time for them anymore
Oh, you forgot to write your friend Rob back.  Wait, you need to get back to Marc as well.  What about the book you were supposed to send to German friend Mark?  Instagram is moving along great.  Oh yea, what about Twitter, that social media account is terrible.  What about another Instagram account dedicated to beer now that you have the idea worked out in your head?  You are signed up for Pinterest but you have no idea what is happening there.  How do you get your stories to go through Google+? You downloaded Snapchat, but you have no time to learn how to use it.

Oh man, the day is getting away!  You will have to look at it tomorrow.  I need to call my family.  I am missing their voices.  Now you are signed up for some social network called Path.  What is this thing?  Some of your friends are complaining that you do not have any time for them anymore…

Just as soon as you start catching up on things that have been plaguing you, which you know you need to do, and you get on top of them, you realize there are four other major things that you should really be looking at and tackling as a travel blogger.  It is like you can never ever feel like you can get ahead and get comfortable and prepare for clockwork smooth sailing where you can just write, put up your photos and keep moving.  Because, now that you have done the little jobs you needed to do, you move forwards and now there is another tier of jobs that need to be touched up and dealt with.  Tomorrow there will be more.

I am crazy busy myself.  I am sure I could keep six employees busy as well as I try to slug it out and climb from the bottom of the pile.  It is a lot of work as a travel blogger.  I love the writing part of it, but what else is starting to come with all of the writing is really exhausting…  I am doing the best I can though.  The amount of productivity I am capable of really makes me have to do a lot to keep it all in check.  It is an insane amount of work.

I really need a full team behind me to help to make this move.  That requires money.  Oh yea, you are running out of that…  Make it or break it…

Nothing comes from nothing and I am pouring my soul into this

I am aware of it all and I deal with it the best I can.  I am picking up a few grey hairs.  I know where it is coming from.  I want this to work and travel and write for the rest of my life.  Nothing comes from nothing and I am pouring my soul into this.  I sure hope something comes along.  What else am I going to do….?

Hard work always turns into something.  I have had a few approaches of people who want me to write for them, but it is always an upstart travel application group who want free writing.  It might help if I did those, but they take so much time that I just do not have.  But, I am working my ass off for this right now.  I want this to work more than anything in the world.  The fact that I was in a traditional-healing/witch-doctor store and…women that I want, ex-girlfriends who haunt me, and a couple of people who have tried to make my life uncomfortable did not even cross my mind while I was in there shows how much I want this to happen as a writer…  I sure hope for it.  The entirety of my mind is focused on how to try to get this writing into the right hands of someone who can help me…

I love being on the road.  I love culture and humans.  I love to educate.  This is all I want to do with my life.  This has to happen…!

This website cost me a very beautiful woman last night
All of this plays out in my mind, and it is okay, but then this website cost me a very beautiful woman last night.  She was a top-five that I have seen on my trip through Africa.  Her beauty sucked my eyes into hers and I found her incredibly distracting as I was trying to write.  When she came to talk to her friends, who were next to where I was sitting at the bar, I ended up talking to her and teasing her so hard.  She was giddy and giggling at me, touching my arm when I talked, and leaning into me.  She kept on saying, “You are crazy!” and laughing at me.

I have been so well behaved lately and she was perfect.  Her friends were pointing to another part of the bar that they wanted us to go to so that we were sort of alone because things were nearly developing on top of them and they did not want to be caught in the middle.  I told her that I had some work to do, but that I would be finished in about an hour.  She said she would be back and forth.  Two and a half hours later, as I was finally finishing up yesterday’s blog, the bar was about to close and I watched her get into a taxi van and she was going home.  She did not even say goodbye.  I was too busy for her…

I was laying in bed after and that got me thinking about everything that I have written above.  Things like that will get you thinking about things like this as you lay in bed awake at night, knowing the cost of it all.

Anyhow… behind the scenes of the life of a travel journalist running a website because he loves to write…

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23 Responses

  1. Noreen Mittelstaedt says:

    Just keep grinding it out. You are doing great.

  2. Harley Lawer says:

    Very good blog, thanks you very much for your effort in writing this post

  3. Derrick Maddox says:

    Excellent post. I am also a writer. I know the feeling. Thank you and best of luck.

  4. Ottley Winster says:

    Wonderful blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo News. Cheers

  5. Natasha Velma says:

    Been there! You express what I have felt so many times…

  6. Kristopher Salcido says:

    I love your website. I really like reading your posts. Tyvm!

  7. Jenny says:

    Ah this sounds like me. A thousand things going on in my head all at once. My blog tends to kind of go on hiatus when I’m on the road though, with posts just getting published once in a while (usually when there’s a rainy day or something!) and then when I’m staying put somewhere I end up trying to play catch up and remember everything….maybe I need to work out some better kind of system but I don’t know what it is yet! Good for you for keeping up with it while you’re actually traveling!

    • harrishog1 says:

      Thanks Jenny, and thanks for reading. Yes, it is crazy amounts of work, but then I get into a rhythm. I get really stressed when I do not get to post every day and two or three days go past and I know I will have to catch them up on the website. Because, then that is serious time consuming work. So, as long as you can just keep on sailing, it is not too bad!
      Thanks for much for taking the time to write on here! I wish you excellentness on your voyages! 🙂

  8. Betsy says:

    People think working in your pajamas isn’t working. We work longer and harder than we ever have doing this thing. But we do love it, so most of the time it doesn’t seem like “real work.” It does take lots of time, every day.

    • harrishog1 says:

      I like the ‘working in your pajamas’ line. You are right Betsy. I can not think of anything else that I would rather do! It is hard work, but it sure makes me happy to do even though there are some tough times! Thanks so much for reading! 🙂

  9. Amanda says:

    Great post. I think lots of people assume that is’ easy and all fun and games but there is a lot of work behind the scenes too!

  10. Marie says:

    As with Ivana’s comment, I’m still very new to blogging. But I already feel it’s taking over my life! My last few weeks have been an endless stream of different cafes, since I like to work outside my apartment. But if it’s something you love, it’s all worth it in the end! (Right? :P)

    • harrishog1 says:

      It takes crazy amounts of time Marie. You are seeing that! But yes, there are few things that I enjoy more, and it is for sure worth it. Especially in that moment when you finish a post. That is a very rewarding feeling!
      Thanks a lot for taking the time to stop by and read! 🙂

  11. Ivana says:

    I totally get it. My blog is still just a baby, but it’s incredible how wearing it is on my body and brain just to keep up with everything. You’re right, the joy of publishing a post is unmatched, but all the other work that comes along with it is so time-consuming.

  12. christine says:

    Loved reading your article. I had a good laugh and at the same time I can relate. I still keep my journals but you really need to stay connected. It is so time consuming though and so much effort and yes, I can see how it can make you crazy!!!! and sometimes it is good to get back to “real” life and connect with people that are right in front of you. We are humans not robots after all!

    • harrishog1 says:

      Thanks Christine.
      You know, the writing, no problem. But this age we live in, where you have to do all of this extra nonsense to get anywhere with what you do…that is the hard part. The writing is easy and natural.
      And then you get back to real life with humans in front of you and they have a conversation with you with their phone in their hands! Maybe we are becoming robots! 🙂
      I really appreciate the comments and that you took the time to read! Really awesome of you!

  13. Amanda says:

    Totally understand what you are saying. I often feel the same way. I wanted to pursue travel blogging for the freedom and now I feel like I work hard than ever. We wouldn’t do it if we didn’t love it, right?

    • harrishog1 says:

      Well, that is right Amanda. It is a lot of work to chase. People who have never done such work can not imagine, and they are amazed that you do not have all of this free time that they assume that you must have. “I can’t. I am busy.” “What? You don’t even have a job!” 🙂
      Thanks for taking the time Amanda!

  14. MariaAbroad says:

    This is exactly why I like to be a part time traveler, because I hate blogging while on the road. I always feel like I can’t do anything as good as it should be. So I take notes during the trip and then blog about it when I get back. Kudos to you for juggling it so well!

    • harrishog1 says:

      Yea, it sure takes time, but I feel the opposite of you Maria, and if I do not write it immediately and even if I take two days to get it down, I feel like I lose too many details and it is not as fresh for me. And my mind gets exhausted trying to hang onto all of this information while keep it all tidy and in order while I am taking in new information from a new day! It is a crazy thing! I am tortured by this passion! 🙂
      I appreciate the read Maria! Very excellent of you to stop by!

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