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WordPress threw up a reminder that I’m knee-deep in 2 years of blogging.
I still remember floating in the bathtub wondering if I had the nerve to become an active member of the web instead of a passive consumer. Memories continue to stream as I feel the heady giddiness of pushing publish and knowing that my creation is no longer personal, but a vessel shared. I still feel uncertainty swell when I need to take a few words on a blank word doc and inflate them to a thousand.
In two years, everything has changed and nothing. In the 2 years of blogging and slogging through prose and praise, this is what I learned.
Do the Thing
My comfort zone suggested I wait until the time is perfect. Wait until I’m a better writer, know more about personal finances, and I’m successfully retired.
But I didn’t wait.
I hate waiting because I know some inaction leads to more inaction.
A lifetime ago, an opportunity for scuba lessons arose. I was excited about the opportunity but didn’t want to go alone. I didn’t want to make a fool by myself; it’s more fun when all my friends look foolish too.
Instead, I waited. I waited so long that the opportunity evaporated. In place of excitement, I was left with a hollowed regret. I use that painful memory as a reminder of what happens to the girl who waits.
That’s why I didn’t wait to start a blog. There was a crowd of excuses to not start. If I waited for the perfect day, hour, and hair, I would never start.
I’ve written 77,702 words in the past two years. I’m a better writer, but perfection is a moving target. To combat lofty perfectionistic ideas, I did, and continue to do, what I did 104 weeks ago, just start.
Support Your Cohort
Initially, I only promoted my content.
It was logical in a self-preservation way, but it was a lonely slog. I read plenty of blogs, but outside of a well-worded retort, I didn’t offer much support.
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.African proverb
Times changed and I learned healthier, happier ways. I enjoy reading well-crafted words and one way to celebrate my cohort’s efforts is by sharing them on the sliver of space I own. Meaningful words deserve support and I comply with backlinks.
My frequent shares come from my favorite authors:
And the gaggle of daily brilliance on All-Star Money
Sharing is caring.
It’s A Journey, not a Destination
Wistfully, I want to relax with a final product. No deadlines to meet, grammar to check, or comments to fret.
But that is the exact opposite of blogging. Its word after continuous, occasionally frustrating but always illuminating, word.
The words need to flow whether I feel like it or not.
Sometimes it feels like a heavy burden that I’d rather drop kick than carry. Sometimes it feels brilliant, and I learn about myself and how I view the world in ways that are unexpected.
Just like the ebb and flow of the seasons, oceans, and chocolate cravings, the highs and lows are just another step on a long journey.
Blogging is a ride with no destination, it’s a never-ending vocation.
I’m many things: full-time park ranger (when I’m not furloughed), everyday all-day wife, and avid list collector.
I’m a part-time blogger too.
Part-time is a strong word for how often I write for BuLL. Many distractions come up with blogging that have nothing to do with writing, from social media responses to improving the written craft to supporting the blog through articles on other sites.
There are a million different ways to be distracted. This year, I cut some distractions. I didn’t realize how many websites were distracting, until I culled them by putting them in a folder with no name.
I rarely open the nameless folder. Seeing less has turned into distracting less.
My focus has been writing or editing what I need to do or have done. I do a splash on Twitter, but I try to put limits on that time because I quickly get captured in the never-ending scroll like the addictive social media slot machine it is.
Instead of getting tangled in nuances, I focus my limited bandwidth on keeping the vital areas going – writing and maintaining what I have.
Everything else is just clutter.
What I Learned In 2 Years of Blogging
- Do the thing
- Support your cohort
- It’s a journey, not a destination
- Distraction subtraction
I don’t have all the answers.
What a relief.
In my day job, I’m expected to have all the answers. People shake me with questions like a personal magic eight ball-shaped in a talking meat package. As an ambivert, their inquires fill me up with laughter and light or drain away hope and humanity.
With blogging, there are fewer expectations, questions, and messes. Just a blank slate in the wild web of thoughts, words, and posts.