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Old Blog, New Tricks

I created this blog in the Summer of 2011. I’ve experienced a lot of feelings as a result. And the number one feeling I keep having is that I am not doing this quite as well as anyone/everyone else. The fog may be starting to finally lift as continue to gather my lessons and grow my soul. Let’s start this story with last year’s blog.

I Was Lost

Not feeling like I was full of grace. More like full of it, I was bumbling about on my blog. I didn’t understand any of the instructions I was being given to improve myself and my blog. Confused and unhappy, wanting to know/improve/make a difference, I wasn’t scheduling, I was behind, not inspired. Not wanting to give up but…Stuck.

Stuff was missing from my life and thus my blog and I just felt twitchy and unhappy.

And then a couple of things happened.

Fiona's cake face

Yes, having a baby at 46 will change quite a few things as well.

I had maintained a few connections  from my first Blogging Your Way e-course with Decor8’s Holly Becker. You can read my Dear Holly: A Letter of Gratitude To My Teacher post to understand the positive impact of a good teacher. One of those relationships I kept up with was Raincoast Creative Salon’s Sandra Harris. I watched her like a hawk. On her blog and by way of her friends’ support of her endeavors. I knew I had been missing some very important lessons. On blogging, community, and encouraging my creative soul.

She was boldly up to a lot of stuff and I couldn’t keep my eyes off of her progress. Sandra was actively involved in a creative community, activities, events, and a lifestyle that I realized I’d been craving more than a little of too. She was off to the Alt Summit blogging conference as a newbie, scared and crazy and I was right there with her in my heart. She was talking about connections and creative endeavors and elevator speeches and I knew I wanted to be standing with her. Where she led, I followed. And she did the same for me. Turns out we mentor each other.

Two Things Came To Light

Through my friendship with Sandra, I met Jennifer Cooper when I attended an artist meetup held in my hometown of Baltimore. I then began to understand what had been missing in my blogging life. Absolutely, it had been community. Yes one person can make a difference but a bunch of people supporting each other can move mountains. Or at least convince themselves they can because they’ve got a community to rely on. Great stuff that I’d never had that before. I was raised an isolationist.

Shalagh on Shalavee.com

As I kept in touch and a watch as Jennifer and Sandra, two amazing inspiring creative women and Moms, I had an opportunity to be involved in the Bold. Brilliant. Beautiful. You. project. This community was created especially for us to support one another for these times when we need to climb but totally need to borrow courage and be inspired by each other.

And thanks to Holly’s second Blogging Your Way e-course I took in October, 2013, I realized that I was in need of and capable of creating an even better blog. And I wanted to go from a personal place to a more professional place. I could talk and make it pretty simultaneously. For. Real.

I had forgotten that I take nice pictures. I needed to incorporate ‘me the artist’ with ‘me the writer’ to be a ‘whole me’. And that wasn’t too far from where I was. The more I’ve practiced doing my best and letting go of the rest, the better I’ve been feeling.

I’m now scheduling my posts sometimes a week ahead of time. With a baby I can steal time here and there but it’s never a guarantee and I promised I’d keep up my continual streak of posting three times a week. The awesome side effect of interacting with other people and posting regularly is that I feel more creative. I want to write and take pictures. I want to weave these posts from the pretty thread I’ve got out at the moment. And I want to imbue them with wonder and enthusiasm and joy. And I believe I’ve started to do just that.

peek a boo Fiona from Shalavee.com

Next up, my blog intentions. A declaration of what I will be doing here and how. Accountability is so very important. State what you want and the Universe will help you get it. Some of us are just a little slower than others is all.

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10 Responses to “Old Blog, New Tricks”

  1. You’ve always been so encouraging to me with your kind comments. Thank you so much. It’s the people we meet through all of this that makes it worthwhile.

    • Shalagh says:

      Sandra, I was having a crisis of confidence this week. Over dinner tonight, my husband reminded me of what I said to him as to why I do this. It’s the people I connect with and the relationships I am creating. Yes, worthwhile on steroids at the end of the week. You inspired me to write these words the other day. When you live your life with Passion, Intention, and Sincerity, You are a role model.” Like it or not. Happy Passover my dear Canadian gal.
      Love,
      Shalagh

  2. Suzonne says:

    I am continually amazed by your energy and how much you’re able to put out there in the world. Scheduling posts a week in advance?! I hang my head in shame. 🙂 You go, girl!

    • Shalagh says:

      Suzonne,
      You crack me up. Here you are with the hustle bustle of several hard working creatives. Every post you put out is beyond pretty and thoughtful. Would it help to tell you I have absolutely nothing planned for next week? I hop your little boy and your family have a lovely Easter. Take lots of pictures and post them in Instagram! (ps. even if you think they could be a little better.)
      Love,
      Shalagh

  3. Thoughtful post Shalagh, sounds like you have it almost figured out! A lot of people do seem to anguish quite a bit over their blog – what are they doing with it, why are they doing it etc, I don’t seem to have ever done that with mine, not sure why, I’ve just ticked along quite happily with it without ever really questioning its purpose. I started out not really knowing what my blog would be about, and I still don’t, as you know, mine is pretty random, but I’m quite happy with that. I don’t have a schedule, I vaguely have a goal of writing one post a week, and generally that is what happens, but I never worry about sticking to that, or about what I will focus on. Things come to me and I write about them! But ultimately, it’s the interactions with others, on mine, and on their blogs that gives me the most pleasure.

    • Shalagh says:

      Vanessa-Jane,
      Your blog is perfect for you because you have another life. Those of us stay at home creative parents who started a blog have too much time to think who we ant to be otherwise. I envy your blogging happiness and ease. I appreciate your enthusiasm and your humor so much. You are a gift.
      Love,
      Shalagh

  4. Amy Reese says:

    Keep up the great work, Shalagh. You should do what feels right for you. Everyone has a blog for different reasons probably, but community is probably the thing we all have in common to hope for. I’m excited you’re feeling creative. That’s half the battle.

    • Shalagh says:

      Amy, you are an inspiration and I count you as one of my first community peeps. Thank you so very very much for your support. I think you are terrifically talented and too swell for words.
      Love,
      Shalagh

  5. Andrea says:

    Scheduling posts a week in advance. My goodness. I can dream i guess. Good for you. That’s awesome. I very much relate to this post of yours. I too am trying hard to shake things up in my blog. I’ve been blogging for years and it has been massive in terms of getting through rough times, and re-finding my head space, but now that I want to go up a notch and focus on art and painting.. I’m struggling. I keep thinking about the ‘treat it like a business’ advice from Holly in the BYW…I find that hard, because you actually need to know what the business is to start with right. That whole identity thing. And then, it’s not quite right is it, because you don’t blab about all the things that are going on in your head in a normal workplace either do you.

    I think you are right though, it really is about finding and creating the community …and that is the hard hard work. Especially if you are time poor!

    Keep blogging Shalagh, as Cari says, Onwards and Upwards!!

    • Shalagh says:

      Oh how happy I was to read your words Andrea.Because sometimes knowing someone else gets it makes a world of difference. Thank you so very much. And we are in this together, blog or no blog, community is who’s standing there cheering you on. Again, thank you.
      Love,
      Shalagh

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