Monday, 11 April 2016

Blogging: Succeeding At The Things That Don't Matter

“Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don't matter.”  - Francis Chan

I first started blogging in 2007 when my husband and I first decided to adopt.  I began a blog called "Carpe Diem, Gorgeous!" and simply wrote. That was really all I did with the blog.  I didn't worry much about stats aside from thinking it was great fun to see the various countries those who visited it came from.  I didn't spend time on blog promotion groups, I don't even think they existed then.  I may have occasionally shared a post to my personal Facebook page but rarely.  Getting things shared on social media wasn't yet a "thing".  I never heard someone mention "going viral" or having that as a goal.  I never heard of blogging goals at all.  I never thought about my blog "making it big".  In fact, the main reason I stopped blogging at Carpe Diem was because I felt I had too many readers (in reality, not a huge amount!) and I didn't want it to become more about the readers than about the actual writing.  This isn't vanity speaking, this stems from the fact that although I love writing and publish many personal things, I also have a deep, contradictory need for privacy.  

Looking back, I think that we had more fun blogging then.  Blogging was more relaxed.  Many wrote simply for the pleasure of writing.  This can be argued of course since it is only a personal opinion but it's how it felt.  We all connected then through browsing and truly enjoying other's blogs, commenting and building strong relationships.  After a couple years of blogging, I had a good readership and a strong, close group of people that I interacted with (and interact with still in may cases) and many of those people became friends.  

I took a break from blogging (not writing) for several years and came back to discover blogging is business now.  Blogging is serious and competitive.  Blogging is less than ever about personal interaction and more about numbers of followers on social media.  Much (not all) content has become quite bland or on the contrary, purposely controversial.  Less about actual writing and more about succeeding at blogging itself.  I find that I have trouble making myself care about all these things blogging is now supposed to be.  I just want an emotional and creative outlet.

I care about writing and authenticity.  I care about reading what other people are genuinely concerned about or what touches their hearts.  I care about beautiful, interesting, clever, creative writing.  I care about the people behind the words.  I care about interaction and sharing.  I care about reaching people.

I like to write serious things and I like to have fun with writing.  I like a little, unprofessional, non- trendy blog.

The articles I send out into the world for publication are one thing.  I write them because I want people to share and read them.  What I write here is different. Sometimes I want to write things here that are more private, that I don't want to be shared many times or seen by many people. Things that are just for me.  

In the end, people may like or dislike what I write but I am the one who knows whether I am satisfied with what I have written.  That knowledge has to come from inside myself.  

Writers need to have a combination of assurance and uncertainty to maintain authenticity and vulnerability.  Blogging is one thing.  Writing another.  And sometimes, people manage to combine the two.        

Happy writing!  I'm still having fun!:)