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Weblog-land’s wild ride

First published on March 19th of 2012, this post retells the story of why I’m blogging. Starting over again with a baby and the blog, it bears repeating why we are compelled to do anything to do.

Did you know that I have absolutely no idea what I am doing here in weblog-land? I started kinda sideways and I then fooled myself into continuing. Now I barrel on because I wholeheartedly believe in the “fake it till you make it” maneuver. The alternate, “never do anything because you’re scared you’ll do it all wrong and be seen as a fool” method never worked out well for me. What’s the “it” I’m faking and making? Here’s the real story.

I decided writing was something I wanted to do. Had to do. Couldn’t not do. So I pursued it by publishing online at Divine Caroline, a free and easy writing site. I also asked fellow working writers why and how they did what they did. One became a friend and insisted my style was “blogger”. I then needed to make it official and make money and not have others making money off me on their sites. OK.

“What do you like to talk about or do?” she asked.

I said, “Well I like to garden and cook”.

“So write about that on your blog.”

“But I like to ponder and talk about my kid and designing my house.”

“Well then write about that”, she said.

“But really I just like to write.”

Apparently, people have specific subjects they write about in blogs. I felt lost before I started. I was niche-less. I knew she was right. And I wanted to be liked.

I spent months over-thinking this endeavor as I beat the why and wherefore bushes for answers. I knew I had a talent but I couldn’t see it clearly. I was unclear about who my audience was. And then my friend disappeared. I had looked forward to a mentor. Now I was a single parent to a blog.  Unknown technological factors terrified me. Anything computery  made me nauseous. This was Mt. Everest for me.

And then a couple life happenings led me to a new less fear-based  perspective. Of all the things, joining Facebook gave me an amazing perspective of myself. So many people, who knew and remembered me from my past, wanted to “friend” me. Maybe they were curious about my life now or they still hated me for that thing I did back then.  No matter, my existence had been acknowledged.

The second event involved a particularly earth-shaking discussion that blew up my perception of who I thought I was. After I got over my anger, I realized this was an opportunity to redefine myself. No longer allowed to choose dysfunction, function was becoming my default option.

I rediscovered that the writer in me is funny. She likes to laugh a lot and wants everyone to join in. And the positivity is constant. My niche is the positively funny. And my tagline,”A Humorous and Unabashed View of the Mundane.” was born. And, as I read an article on SEO optimization, I was reminded there are still humans behind the machines. The article’s author said no amount of headlines crammed with key words is going to help you if your voice isn’t sincere. Your tone and content must reflect and fulfill your audience’s needs. Or they just won’t return.

On her OWN network, Oprah restates what every great teacher has said all along, “Be yourself”. There’s no doubt that this is the person people enjoy hearing from. They’ll tolerate the puppet person and admire the true you.. Jack Black is unmistakably himself. And successful. Martha Stewart began her empire by being her control freaky self. The opinions and tastes of a real person are what people want to follow and emulate. Not the same as watch in horror and say thank God that’s not me. You can smell a fake across the internet. I am OK and relieved to just be me.

Bigger still, I dare to make comments on other people’s sites. Every comment I make online needn’t be a Nobel Prize winner. Although I have no trouble talking to strangers, before now, I wouldn’t just randomly “friend” unknown people on Facebook. Now, I am feeling a little more daring. Because I am beginning to trust that the person they see isn’t too different from the person I’m kinda liking being. And although I am not lazy, I am also not so crazy. It takes a lot less effort to just enjoy who and where I am now. Positively, this is where and who I want to be.

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2 Responses to “Weblog-land’s wild ride”

  1. Tania says:

    I blog because I like to write. I also have a hard time sticking to a narrow niche. If I had to write about a very narrow topic each day it would drive me crazy.

    It’s easier to make friends online in my opinion. I’d never go up to a complete stranger at a party but it’s so easy to engage on a blog. They shared something, left the comments open so we could respond back.

    I know many bloggers who blog with an end game in mind for business but my favorites are the ones who started blogging because they just had “stuff” they needed to get out whether that be rambing, passion or observations. Don’t worry too much about a niche, I think you’re doing just fine.

    • Shalagh says:

      And again, we are very kindred souls. I like to write, or hear myself talk via words in type. And I know that being a person who’s interested in the world means that I’m interested in diverse subjects. And yet I think most people aren’t single topic minded.
      You were one of the first people I got to know online and through the BYW blog course, I connected with so many other really swell women.
      I have no idea what the end of my game will look like so I think I’ll just enjoy the process. I don’t feel like I’m in a hurry anymore. I have a baby and a blog and their going to have to play nicely.
      Thanks for your encouraging words Tania.
      Love,
      Shalagh

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