From those that don’t blog, I get this bewildered look when I tell them I write a blog. A what? What do you do exactly? Why? How do you make money doing that? All great questions I certainly had as well before I started to write a blog. Ever notice how the vantage point changes when you begin to walk around a place?
I write because I must and blogs are a fabulous format to dither on about whatever you’d like in whatever fashion you want. Like an onion, there are layers to their development and purpose. After blogging for two years, which have felt long and short depending, I have come back around to the Why. Why am I writing a blog?
I again have asked myself what I need/want from this experience. The differentiation between need and want will require deeper thought later.
And here’s my list.
Why Do I Blog ?_______________
Esteem and Self-Esteem
To Make A Difference
To Meet New People
To Show and Tell
Bigger Writing Opportunities
Collaborate with Creatives
To learn new skills
So there you have it. From the deeper pages of my journals, an official list of the whys. We all have our own brain hurdles that lay in our paths. Mine include being shy, not wanting to act like an egomaniac, and thinking what I say makes no difference to anyone. Add your own dysfunction here.
I had to showcase this profile picture I found on twitter. She’s doing all the right things to work this social media system. So please don’t think me unkind when I say I get the feeling, if she spoke to you, you could smell the desperation of being acceptable and perfecty perfect on her breath. I want to get work and I want people to like what I do but not this badly. What I really want is to make genuine friends and connections with people.
Blogging can bring this feeling of constantly needing to be ‘on’ for the public. A continual performance on the social media stage. But it can kill the creative that feels the need to step off the stage and spend time in uninterrupted silence creating and comprehending oneself. I spoke of this struggle for popularity vs. creativity on a past post called Jimmy Crack Corn and I Don’t Care. “Getting caught up in numbers takes you away from the reason to blog in the first place”. And Sandra of Raincoast Creative Salon started the conversation in this post, Never Enough “Likes”.
Yet, I’ve noticed with myself and my fellow bloggers, there’s a drive to do all that we can to be heard and make the most of our efforts. We sense that this is just a necessary means to accomplish our further goals. I rather though make these efforts not out of fear but because they make me happy. Yet, I’m overwhelmed by the infinite possible tools (apps and social networking) to become better and more popular. And I am exhausted before I even go to the places I’m supposed to be online to do all the infinite aforementioned tasks. Google Plus, ahem. Sad.
With any direction one takes, you have to get down to the nitty-gritty. Figure out exactly what to stand for, what that will take, and find people of like minds who dig that. And then to get someone to pay me to do what I already do and honestly believe I’m worth the effort. Did I say “one”? I meant me. You can include yourself if you want but this is me doing a talk through.
So I’m going to ask the Universe for some more specific help. What I specifically need. Manifest destiny. Here goes.
I Need The Following:
1) To be more debt free. Having half of my mortgage paid off would be nice but I‘d settle for not feeling overwhelmed every month.
2) Two days of baby help.
3) A friend who wants to help me redesign/ redecorate my house.
4) A new prettier reformatted website that I love and reflects me.
5) Garden help.
6) A blogging mentor.
7) A magazine submission mentor.
Notice I didn’t say ‘getting the work’ because I feel like that will come. And that would certainly help with the debt. The two marked in orange are wishes that I have been granted already, even before I publish this windy little post. I had them in my head and I asked for the help and I got it. I have put in requests for a couple others so we’ll see. Apparently, you need to ask for the help first before you can get it. And you have to know what it is you want to then know what help is needed.
So to those who continue to read my drivel, thank you so much for humoring me. And if you have any thoughts on how I might achieve any of my other goals, do tell. Eamon says I ought to play the lottery more often. Good call Eamon. That would be one way of increasing the opportunities for number one to be fulfilled.
I feel like we are kindred spirits. I found myself in a similar place to where you are now. We recently just paid off a huge chunk of debt. We were in crisis some years back when the economy tanked. We had some very dark years.
Since then, we’ve worked towards becoming debt free. We still have a little ways to go, but it’s the steady, chugging along that’s gotten us to where we are today.
As far as “selling yourself” don’t EVER do anything that makes you feel squeamish. But do remember that people don’t mind you sharing all the wonderful things you’re doing. So toot your horn. By doing that, you give others the permission to feel confident and good about what they’re doing too.
Yes, there may be haters, but you can’t control how you make others feel. Sometimes they have baggage that makes them feel inadequate. As long as you operate from a place of genuineness, you should never worry that you come across as an egomaniac.
I know this flies in the face of “convention” but I’m a crap hashtag user, my blog is not a power blog and I’m not actually that huge into social media (other than facebook) and I have worked with some of the biggest companies around. The first time a brand approached me, I was like, “wait, are you sure you want to work with me?! Why?!”
I think the reason they want to work with me is because I have an audience that knows that I’m not going to bullshit them. I’m not mean (I won’t blast anyone on my blog or smear a company that I don’t like) but I won’t do something that doesn’t feel authentic.
You are on the right path. And I can’t wait to see you step out more and more so we can see you more clearly! You have a beautiful soul that deserves to have its voice heard.
Wow. And Golly. And thanks so much for your support because I think all of us could use a gal like you cheering us on. (In fact you earned a special thank you headed your way even before you wrote this.)
I am currently working on being OK for being paid for my talents. I think once I get out of my own way, we’ll begin the chugging too.
I am with you on the authenticity. I’m not good at lying and selling out. But if I’m behind something, I’m there 100%.
And what a sigh of sweet relief to hear you say you aren’t up with the social stuff either. Makes me feel better. I have promised myself to work on one media channel at a time, learning and using it to it’s potential this next year.
Hurray for your copious workload. And here’s to my voice being heard more. I’ll raise my glass to us on Friday at wine-thirty.
What struck me here is that “to dither on” has to go on a list of Shalagh signature phrases.
You know I’m infamous for making words up too, right? I have a negative relationship with spell check. Thank you so very much for assuming you know me because you really do Dig. And I dig that you do. Do wa diddy. Dither on my friends.
I guess blogging for me is simply a creative outlet, and I never plan to make money on it. I’m not entirely sure how people make money blogging without compromising their creative goals. Of course, there are success stories, but they seem to be few and far between. Maybe this would be a great post to chew on. Whatever you do, just be sure to not lose yourself in the process and be true to your authentic voice as a writer. I know you will.
If for nothing else, we’ve had an opportunity to hone our writing skills than it was worth it. I always saw it as an ongoing resume. A place I could tell magazine editors to view my writing and get a feel for my voice. As for the compromising, I won’t be endorsing random products. But if I loved it I would. And ads on the side bar only junk it up unless they’re really pretty. And I don’t have a following fat enough for that anyways. I hear e-books are big. But I’m just getting to feel alright with scheduling the auto-publish of some posts. So that may be a far far away thing. Not impossible, just not there yet. I continue to feel around for what I want to stand for here. And when I figure that out, I think you’ll see me make changes to be paid for my awesomeness.
Thanks so much Amy.