It feels a bit awkward to feature an interview with myself on my own blog, but I figured some of you might be interested and it’s less awkward to hide it in the archives than feature myself for a whole week once the blog is live. So, for those of you curious about how I blog…here you go. 🙂
1. Give us a quick intro to you, your family and your blog.
I’ve been married for 15 years to my college sweetheart. We have three kids ages 10, 8 and 6 and we live in Texas. I write at inspiredtoaction.com, where I am passionate about encouraging moms and making sure they know they’re “kind of a big deal.” I started ITA in 2010 and have just recently started HowTheyBlog.com.
2. Tell us your blogging story.
My first “blog” was actually an html site that I created for the grandparents shortly after my first daughter was born. By html site, I mean that every entry was an html page that I had to handcode.
My how times have changed. I soon moved to WordPress and had a personal/family blog called TheSecretLifeofKat.com (no longer active) that had a couple hundred readers. I wrote about everything under the sun there and I made some wonderful friends that I still connect with today.
At one point I also had a blog called BloggableMusicNetwork.com (no longer active). It was a site all about music, specifically Christians who make music. I’d find artists and then ask them to record a little video for the site and then I’d spread the word to my blogging friends. Having featured only 3 artists, one of whom went on to win a Grammy and the other have a hit single on national radio, I’d say it was a success. But I felt like the site pulled me away from my primary work of motherhood. So I shut the site down.
Note: Ok, so I’m pretty sure the blog had nothing to do with the Grammy, but I like to think I found her first. 🙂
Then, in 2010 I started Inspiredtoaction.com and it has been the perfect fit for me. My blog life and my home life are symbiotic. Blogging about motherhood helps me be a better mom and being a better mom helps me blog about motherhood more effectively.
This site has far and away been the most popular blog I’ve worked on. It currently has about 16,000 readers subscribed to receive posts via email with another several thousand signed up for my regular mailing list.
I never would have set out to write a blog about motherhood, but it is the place that God has led me and I am so glad I followed His leading instead of my own. InspiredToAction.com has opened doors I never, ever, ever would have imagined possible, including meeting my mother’s family and my sponsor child for the first time because of Compassion International.
The process of laying it all down, trusting and following God (who was I to start a motherhood blog?!) was the single most important factor in any growth I’ve had personally or professionally (blogging, speaking etc).
3. Tell us about a blogging “success” or “failure” that taught you a powerful lesson.
Well, I think the BloggableMusicNetwork.com site was a good example of both a blogging “success” and “failure.” The site was relatively successful. I had good readers, connections and ideas for the blog. It was headed quickly toward success, but I knew in my heart that I didn’t have time for it if I wanted to also be the best mom I could be.
So, in a sense, what looked like a success on the outside was a failure in integrity. Then, when I shut the site down, what looked like a failure on the outside was a success in integrity.
4. What are the intangibles (perspective /determination /character /planning /supportive family etc) that have helped you succeed?
Right now, I’m learning so much about perseverance and focus. I am learning about the importance of having a plan and sticking to it no matter how hard it is.
There are so many things we can be doing each day as bloggers. We can fill our days quickly with “stuff.” We could work 10 hours a day and not move our dreams forward OR we could work 1 hour a day and move forward massively.
It’s about doing the RIGHT things and not just doing something. The right things aren’t always going to be easy or fun, but they will be effective.
So, I’d say, learning to recognize the “right” is something that has helped me. It’s definitely still a process, though. (Hello, youtube music video binges…)
5. How do you keep your blog and home life in balance? What does a “typical” blogging day look like for you?
Frankly, it’s much easier now than it used to be. This is the first year all my kids are in school each day. My son only goes half days, but I can get quite a bit done in three hours. So, I don’t have as many late nights as I used to when I had all the kids at home 24/7.
I usually get up at 5:30am and spend time with God reading the Bible and praying. (Sometimes I get up early and just spend an hour surfing Instagram, but let’s not talk about that…) I’ll (usually) do some kind of workout at this time as well. At 6:30, I wake up my kids and get them ready for school, make lunches and such. I take them to school at 8:00.
When I get home, I head to my cozy little office/closet, pour a cup of tea or coffee, put on my headphones and get to work.
I also, plan my work time the night before. I’ll list the key things I need to do and then put them on the calendar like an appointment. I try to estimate how long each thing will take me and when I sit down to work I look at my list and do my best to stay on track.
If I don’t plan and calendar my to do list like that, I have a tendency to get distracted very easily.
The one thing that keeps me (somewhat) in balance most of the time is a motto I adopted a few years ago:
Do as little as possible, as well as possible.
I’m the sort of person who is interested in and gets excited about anything. I have a million ideas a day and I love starting projects. Finishing them, is another story.
I decided that I need to do as little as possible…as well as possible. I want to harness all that energy and creativity into doing just a few things as well as I can.
- Following God.
- Being a loving wife.
- Teaching and having fun with my kids.
- Staying healthy.
- Encouraging others (this is where blogging fits in).
Those are the things I want to be good at and if they are out of order, then I’m off balance. When I feel overwhelmed I retreat to item #1 until that relationship is right, then I move down the list until each of these areas are well tended.
That might mean that my kids watch an extra tv show while I read my Bible or catch up with my husband. That might mean that I don’t blog on a day when I normally would because I spent that time reading to my kids instead of writing. That might mean not staying up late to finish a post because I know that I need my rest to do anything well.
Having those clear priorities and not adding to my plate until I’ve done those well, really helps me stay sane and, hopefully, be a blessing to those around me. It’s not always perfect, but it helps me to know exactly what I’m working towards.
Read All of Kat Lee’s Interviews
Q & A with Kat Lee
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