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Currently Browsing: Blogging Along

Sorting Out Blogging and Kory Woodard’s Advice

Starting something that you’ve never done before takes courage. When I began this blog I had no idea why I was doing it except that I would have to write more. The technical stuff was terrifying and draining. It takes time and energy to worry. But I could only take it one step at a time. And fortune favors the bold.

Little by little I’ve learned about how to do this online blogging thing. I’ve had to sort out what everyone else is doing from what felt right for me. I took two online blogging courses from Decor8 creator Holly Becker to understand more of the basics and build the aesthetic of my blog. My first online friends, people I’m still in touch with, I met through those courses. (Hi Jennifer, Jane, Sheryl, Seraphina, Sandra, and Mariana.) The more I watched, the more I wanted to do it “right”. at the grocery store on Shalavee.com

There were blogging events and conferences people were attending that I thought I needed to go and find myself at. I felt alone and sad that I could not afford to join. There were people making money promoting stuff on their blogs. Maybe I needed to do that. My contemporaries were suddenly creating projects and groups and communities and I felt like I was standing still for lack of inspiration or courage to do the same. But I was growing up. And I am finding that all of this has been just as it should be.

In taking your time to choose your path, you listen to your own needs and not those “choices” forced upon you by society or family or peer pressure. When I acknowledged that my strong unique voice was more important than any other element in my blog, I felt sooo much better. When I recognized that I didn’t want to sell or promote anything on my blog, I felt better. I would if it was something I adored but those offers haven’t come.

When I recognized that I was using the blog to find myself, have fun and connect with people, make community, find out what my purpose was, and what all that exactly feels like, I gave myself permission to go at my pace and do it in my way. That numbers can’t always show the truth of a situation. Thousands of followers doesn’t mean they all get you. find yourself, be that on Shalavee.com

And attendance to those conferences is great if you know your niche and want to connect with like-minded bloggers to work on future collaborations. But nobody there was going to be able to tell me who I was. There’s no like-minded until I have a mind. This may not be the best activity for me now or ever. I’ve taken the conference attendance off my goal list until I have another great reason to go. Like I’m speaking at one.

I have never wanted to feel like I was forcing my thoughts upon anyone, selling them on something. The online world constantly says you need an email list to use to sell future stuff. But when I was invited to comment on this subject by Kory Woodard, a very smart young woman who coaches online strategies, I noted she’d mentioned “build a community”. She wrote back and said yes and then wrote a follow-up post that was brilliant. Art comes in all forms on Shalavee.com

Kory says that she doesn’t think everyone needs a list. It’s up to you and here are a few reasons you may want one other than building a psycho sales tunnel. Number one was ,”Help you build a community around your blog or business. It’s sort of cool to feel like you’re part of this group of people who are seeing exclusive content. It’s even cooler when you realize that many of your current followers want even more from you. They want to support you and learn more. Having an email list allows you to create a great community of people who want to be active with your content.” I liked her vision much better.

And number two was ,”Allow your audience to get a greater glimpse of who you are – thus leading them to trust you even more.” delivering more information about yourself makes your community stronger by allowing for trust. I disclose so much anyway that I don’t mind doing it. I have sent out only a few newsletters to my subscribers with positive results. So I think I’m now encouraged by this young woman’s sage wisdom in that I won’t feel like I’m invading as much as offering more of what people already like about me. Finding a how to solidifying my community feels righteous. Saturday morning with a happy clementine on Shalavee.com

On blogging Kory’s advice is,”Above all, be yourself. The blogging world is literally packed with thousands of blogs – really great ones and terrible ones. However, you’ll never stand out or gain ground if you’re just copying what other blogs do. Instead, be yourself. Write about things you love and are passionate about, and people will like what you have to share and follow your blog because they like you and your take on things.”

I feel privileged to borrow the wisdom of such smart and intuitive young women online. My younger self had such a hard time that it feels so healing to receive needed wisdom from young women. Because when a thought feels like home, you need to adopt it. Especially when it leads you to community. I am ever grateful for the ones I am involved in and credit much of my climbing out of my dark secluded hole to these people, mostly “strangers” who have given the gifts of self sight and esteem I never realized I was missing.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

2015, A Year In Review-ish

About to step into the new year and I think, 2015 wasn’t that bad. There were a few promising moments which made it not suck so much. There were a few times when I said, this is really great being me. And there were a few moments when I was painfully aware of our collective humanity. Fiona Marie Peaach in her jammies and green tutu on Shalavee.com

Gift Exchange on Shalaveee.com

Homemeade card on IG from Shalavee.comHomemeade card on IG from Shalavee.com

Brazillian ham and bean soup on Shalavee.com

We all have our perspective to wrestle with. Mine is suddenly suspect as I roll into 2016 with a new word and consciousness. But that’s the next post.

26 April Workshop badge on Shalaveee.con

Mosaic butterfly on Shalavee.com

Enjoy 2015’s  beautiful photos. Most have been collected under my daily practice of the ‘year of making’ I started at the beginning of the year. A great way to collect my pictures every month.

 

At the beach on Shalavee.com

Fiona's Birthday decorations for 2015 on Shalavee.com

 Silouettes in Fionas room on Shalavee.com

This post is about what I’ve captured, those irrefutable moments we shared. This year was lovely. Two year-olds aren’t really lovely and yet, she takes a wonderful photo and leaves you thinking she is. Magic

Lisa's tree on Shalavee.com

 

Peaches on Shalavee.com

26 Oct Mommy and Fiona on Shalavee.com

15 Aug Eamon and Fiona on Shalavee.com

I look at these and think, there was more here than I gave life credit for. And I am grateful again to have lived it.

Steve with Fiona and Eamon on Shalavee.com

Me in my chair with my kids on Shalavee.com

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Monkey Mind

I worked through a bout of plummeting self-esteem today. I’d reached out to someone to connect but they truly didn’t have the time. I wasn’t going to be an asset to their life. And when I came away empty-handed, I sorta spun out. Why had I even risked the ask for the rejection. I was hoping to have a connection, perhaps some help. Now there was nothing. I felt embarrassed and shaken. I know I have something to give but they don’t. I was cool but it was weird.

To combat the sudden bad feelings, I went upstairs and got to work on the next piece for my floral design project, multiple pieces for a Christmas house-tour. I listened to myself as I worked. Maybe I want the legitimacy or the validation of the collaboration with people who are already doing something. But I don’t really need other people to confirm my work for it to be truly valuable. Just as I don’t need my writing published to know it’s good. Or to sell artwork to be an artist.These would be nice but aren’t necessary.Monkey mind on shalavee.com

For fifteen minutes I heard my inner voice as it swerved and careened around and headed straight into “I can’t do any of this”. Then it climbed up on top of  “I can do anything I decide I can do.” I was almost amused as I heard my esteem bouncing up and down. The brain is spastic and fickle like the monkey mind analogy. I am what I decide I am until I decide differently. Why not decide on the side of capability. That I am an island I am still exploring instead of a small craft in a stormy sea.

Thankfully, I am just self-aware enough that I stood there with those wiggly weird feelings. I allowed them to be there and I watched them roll out and around and back in. I kept working on my floral designs and my sad furtive feelings gradually receded. I had not overreacted. I’d allowed them their time. And I’d been wise enough to recognize that. Hope this gives you permission to do the same.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Blogging For Self-Esteem

My husband has an event lighting company and we were at a wedding vendor ‘meet and greet’ recently. He introduced me to a professional woman who spoke about her event venue very seriously and pragmatically. And as the subject turned to social media, maybe I mentioned my blog, I spoke of how I’d entered into the social media world having no idea what it was about, mostly dreading it. And that I was surprised to find my self-esteem had bloomed through its use. And her stoic face spread in a smile and she said, “Good for you.” It was an unexpected response and that’s why I valued it. Because she knew the value of adding to one’s self-esteem. And I liked her.

See there’s a lot of us “older generation” who’ve resisted this social media “trend”. We’ve needed to be beaten over the head to consider our use of  social media. It was “new fangled” and we never even had a problem with rotary dial phones. But some of us had to concede to its use as necessary. I had a blog that needed promoting. Some others have books or personal causes that need exposure and support by sharing. But those are truly small whys compared to the bigger benefit. When you are on social media, community is almost inevitable.

===Fear Fears Community”===

— Jon Acuff —

We are community oriented beings. We get a sense of worth and gratitude and grounding when we are in a community. All of my life, I had never truly felt a part of one or maybe I didn’t believe I was deserving of one. And I totally did not expect to find mine online ! Yet it turns out there are so many like-minded people all over the world and if you speak honestly and from your soul-truth, you’ll bump right into them.

I’m loud and talkative when you meet me but I wasn’t like that online at first. So when I got a little less shy and began to ask questions and comment and speak up, I became a student of socialization. I saw that most people were nice to you and would respond. I saw that if you were truly kind to people they appreciated it. And I saw that the only way to have a friend was to be one.

cobalt door in Annapolis for Blogging for self-esteem post on Shalavee.com

And the gift I received in return was the knowledge that I have value and am worthy just because I’m here. Because I’m nice and have valuable points and views to add to the world. The people who aren’t invested in me, who aren’t my blood or need something from me, but have willingly given me validation, support, and kudos? They have been the blessing to my self-esteem and pulled me up off the ground. Them and a good therapist have taken me from a 4 to a 7 on the self-rating scale of self-esteem.

I’m at a place now where I’m ready to step out a bit more. I’d like to continue to inspire and spread kindness and support. If there’s a cause I should know and lend my support to, let me know. If there’s a question I can answer, ask. If there’s a community I can create or a service I can provide, I’d love to hear about it. I am stacking my aspirations up and next year promises to be an even better one. Thank you for reading dear people.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Most Importantly, Why?

You may remember, or I’m informing you now, that last March I taught a blogging workshop. My premise and guiding theme for this was “Your Why is your How”. Because sometimes we get so bogged down with the how of a thing, we forget that the why will get us through all the hows we ever meet. What I said in my post-mortem about my workshop was,”(the hows) are secondary. It’s your whys, or maybe your why nots, that will lead you to or will thwart you from starting a blog. We acquiesce to our bossy fears claiming it’s our hows. ‘I can’t because I don’t know how’ is subterfuge.”puddle hopping on Shalavee.com

And ironically, I hit a wall with writing submissions a while back. I had continued to submit writing pieces to the types of sites that weren’t quite me. And I kept feeling that loser outcast sting every time I was rejected. It was like some horrible self-denegrating loop and then I was just done. I’d proven that I was in fact not a good enough writer and I no longer even understood why I’d wanted so badly to be published in the first place. Not worth the pain and agony, time and effort. Until I saw a site that really did fit the type of writing I do. And then I was even more terrified.

Minnie at the playground on Shalavee.com

What’s my Why? Why do I want to write? Why do I want to publish? What is the pay-off for continuing such painful torture? This was the subject I decided to mull and discuss with myself while I had a long drive to make the other day. And this is what I came up with.

I thought , why can’t my Why be altruistic? To share my thoughts and hopes for the sole purpose of inspiring someone, anyone. Helping someone out of a life rut. And then I asked, what is my own why for reading and following the people I do? And this is what I answered (out loud in the car where no one could hear me but me):

  • To be inspired

  • to find answers

  • to spark process

  • to learn a step

  • to gather the “aha” knowledge

  • to connect and make friendships that provide inspiration and validation

So I then thought, switch those around and claim them.

I write and create to :

  • Inspire

  • Offer my answers and solutions

  • Spark others’ process

  • Learn, while I’m writing, what I think or feel about something

  • Offer my knowledge for others to then gather

  • To validate and connect with others

To be of service to a community is a great thing. And that is truly where my heart lies. So much so that I think that I don’t want to spoil that by selling anything. That somehow my selling would cheapen my altruism? But the next chapter to learn is about valuing myself enough to appreciate that others are always valuing me even when I don’t. And often they have wanted to be supportive of me if only I’d give them an opportunity to do so. And everyone, except me, understands that bills need to be paid…with money…that you earn.

Stick around lovely people and see what happens with that.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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