Network with bloggers—without feeling skeezy

The internet gets a bad rap these days, with hateful trolls mobbing people’s Twitter feeds and cyberbullies toppling kids’ confidence like a tower of stacking blocks. But online I’ve found a welcoming, encouraging and supportive community of bloggers. It’s no wonder I’ve been wanting to network with bloggers in person, face-to-face, in real life.

Giving online high-fives, hugs and fist bumps is all well and good but, as I’ve written about before, meeting up with internet friends—and yes, even network with bloggers (it’s not a dirty word!)—off the computer feels even better. Plus, meeting up IRL is a wonderful chance to share ideas, collaborate, give advice and learn from each other.

It can feel awkward or even intimidating to meet other bloggers face to face, though, especially if you don’t know them well. So here’s a little advice to help you feel confident, prepared and excited to network with bloggers in real life.

So you want to network with bloggers—but you hate networking. Here's how to meet up with online friends and colleagues IRL without feeling skeezy. Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

How I organize my blog with a bullet journal

I’ve always been one of those people who has to write everything down; that need has become even more vital since I became a mom and all my brain cells were sucked, zapped and fried out of me. So when I thought of a blog post I wanted to write, I jotted down a note in a to do list notebook.

I got more ideas. And more ideas. And soon enough, my ideas were so cluttered that the blog post list wasn’t helpful. The disorganization took a toll on my productivity.

When I actually had a chunk of time to write a blog post, I didn’t know where to start. I’d sift through messy list of ideas or click on the many drafts in my WordPress dashboard to figure out what I needed to do to complete a post.

By the time I actually got to work, I’d have wasted a half-hour. Busy moms and bloggers feel me: We do not have a spare half-hour to waste. 

So when I started bullet journaling a few months back, I knew I wanted to keep track of my blog posts: ideas for future posts, posts in progress and scheduled posts. (Don’t know what I’m talking about? Read this beginner’s guide to bullet journaling. You might get hooked, too!) So I started to organize my blog with a bullet journal spread.

Voila: my BuJo blog post page.

When I started this bullet journal page, my blogging productivity and organization skyrocketed! This is some serious BuJo inspiration. Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

A portrait of working moms

I am honored to be a part of A Well Crafted Party‘s series about working moms! Writer Jenni Bost’s story about me is up on her site—check it out!

Catherine Ryan Gregory portrait of working moms
Beautiful photos by the inimitable Mary Boyden from Momma Bear Magazine

As I told Jenni, I want my girls to see me working—for the ups and the downs.

“I want them to witness the excitement, passion, even frustration it sparks in me,” I told Jenni. “Because no relationship is perfect, including the one with your work. Seeing that I can be angry or aggravated by work but push through it and stick with it is a great example of how life works.”

I also want my girls to grow into the independence and creativity I had when both my parents worked when I was a kid.

“When I grew up, both my parents worked. Having a lot of free time on our own made me and my siblings invent fun for ourselves. We spent hours imagining ourselves as fairies or orphans or alligator wrestlers. We dedicated weeks to turning our play room into a haunted house. We made up songs and ran around outside and skinned our knees and broke windows (though not too often, thankfully),” I told Jenni. 

“I want my girls to have a similar childhood – one that’s not micromanaged by me.”

Are you a working mom or dad? How do YOU make it work? If your parents worked, how did that color your childhood?

Blogging IRL

Over the weekend, a new acquaintance asked me why I blog.

I was a bit surprised by the question, but after I collected myself, I think I rambled off an answer that may or may not have been coherent.

I blog because I am a writer and I love to write. I blog because I want to collect the everyday stories that form a portrait of motherhood. I blog because I don’t want to forget the fleeting, sweet, frustrating, precious moments that fill our days. I blog because I need to vent about the moments I desperately want to forget.

And I blog because on the internet—a place more often populated by trolls and bitter forum-members—I have found a community that makes me feel heard, understood and supported. 

Last week, I got to meet some of these witty, creative, driven, passionate folks in real life.  Read more