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It’s not easy turning 3. It takes learning and practice, patience and dedication, a healthy dose of time and energy, and quite a generous dose of support and commitment. It’s often confusing and overwhelming, stressful and joyful, and rarely do you get a chance to do exactly what you want.
Much like a child growing up and turning 3, blogging encounters similar trials and errors. Often, when attempting new things, I find what I like, learn to solve problems, learn to branch out, and ways to hone my skills. Each new achievement or milestone comes with added responsibility, commitment, and dedication. It also takes more planning and organizing.
Blogging overall, is no easy feat. Rather, it’s a continual process, a real journey.
In the meantime, life is still happening all around you. Life which needs capturing, savoring, enjoying, and participating. Blogging has, in many ways, it’s own life. Blogging may not be understood by others, yet the sense of achievement and personal satisfaction I get is immeasurable.
I didn’t fully understand or grasp all of these things when I decided, almost on a whim, to start a blog 3 years ago. I haven’t always been sure I’m up for the commitment. I’ve had many unplanned and unexpected blogging breaks. I’ve extended a hiatus just because. Through everything, I kept coming back to blogging. I keep putting myself out there as I struggle in Motherhood, Homemaking, and the changes that both of those things are for me.
I’m really happy I do. I’m happy to have a 3 year old blog. I’m excited for what I’m creating, how I’m honing my skills, how I’m exploring myself and the world around me, as well as the future of this blog. I’m glad to have met so many people and started curating relationships with others from all over.
When I first started blogging, so many changes were happening in life and I didn’t always know how to handle anything. Many of those changes were so brand new and they came with their own challenges. Blogging was another one of those changes, but somehow it also helped. And, admittedly, the blog was a mess that first year. Yet, somehow it also wasn’t.
Again, like a child’s first year of life, everything is about change and growth, patience and building. Some of my early life changes and challenges can be seen in the blog, but looking back, I mostly see the growth and accomplishment.
These are a few of the posts I’m proud of, from that first year:
But then I entered year 2 and I wrote this. I remember still not knowing what I was doing. I remember still wondering if I’d ever be “good” at blogging and how I’d move forward.
Then, somewhere along the way, I started to gain confidence in being a blogger. That sense of confidence grew and blogging started to feel like an important relationship in my life. It’s a relationship that only comes through dedication, commitment, hard work, time, and patience.
My second year didn’t end with any grand announcement (despite wanting it to). I didn’t move forward with plans I had. But, I give myself grace and I kept moving forward. Honestly, most of this last year of blogging didn’t really happen. Between pregnancy, physical issues resulting from pregnancy, birth, the holidays, and then my Dad’s unexpected death I was away much more than I was here in this space.
Even through all that, I still considered myself a blogger. I still had ideas and plans and desires and hopes about my space on the internet. I acknowledged where I needed to spend my time and energy, so that’s what I did.
Honestly, it wasn’t always easy being away and I wanted to be here, sharing, connecting, and building. Yet, it was a season of change and growth, so I allowed myself to be present in that change and growth. Afterall, we all only have so much time and energy to put out in the world without leaving ourselves so depleted we can barely function.
So, in honor of all of that, and to maybe help another blogger or potential blogger out, I’d like to do 2 things. First, I’m going to highlight what has really worked for me in blogging. I’m also giving away 2 sets of planning pages. These planning pages are one of the simple tools I use to keep myself on track, not just in blogging, but in life.
So here are things that really have worked for me, in no specific order.
I find that the more comfortable I am physically, the easier it is for me to work. Yes, blogging is work. Even if it’s only a hobby, it takes work. Of course, if you want to build and make something of your blog, it’s even more work. Physical comfort isn’t the only thing though, at least not for me.
I also need a comfortable space. In other words, I need a space where I feel comfortable, mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually.
This isn’t always at a desk, sometimes it’s in the car on a drive, sometimes it’s when I first wake in the morning, sometimes it’s not until after I’ve talked through some life thing with someone or drafted words that don’t seem to make any sense. So, finding and having an actual space is helpful.
But, it doesn’t need to be perfect.
Engaging with others
Blogging is a community and much like raising a child, it takes effort and involvement with others. Meeting others online, sharing stories, struggles, accomplishments, encouragement, knowledge, and truth, are the hallmarks of any relationship. So, too, it is with blogging.
Reach out to others if you have questions or need encouragement or advice. Read other blogs. Comment on others’ sharings, let them know that yes, they do exist and yes, their words and feelings are heard. Just as you want to be seen and heard, so do others. The more you share with others, the more they’ll share with you. Just the same as a good or great personal relationship.
Know your limits
There are a ton of things out here in the blogging world. There are all sorts of ideas and ways of doing things. There are social media platforms. There is monetization. There are niche bloggers and not-so-niche bloggers, like me. There are opinions and perspectives.
Some of these things may work for you, some may not. Some may be things you’re not interested in, some may be. Some may require more time, energy, or commitment than you have to give. All of these differences are OK.
Unlike working for an employer, the guidelines and rules are not set in stone, there is no one right or best way to blog and be a blogger. Everything is merely a suggestion (baring actual thievery/plagiarism and general unkindness). Yes, even this post I’m writing is a mere suggestion. This post is what’s worked for me, but it may not work for you.
Create your own
Make your own schedule. You don’t have to follow others’ schedule. Different things work for different people. Cultivate your own niche, if you want. Create your own content. You might even want to make a guide or write a book. You might want to print some planner pages or buy a customized one.
The point is, everyone’s daily life schedule is different. Just like everyone’s needs are different. There may be similarities, but it’s all different.
Children grow in similar ways and (hopefully reach similar milestones), but not always at the same pace or in the same time frame. This is true about blogging, as well.
A niche may not be important to you, but it may be, so go with what works for you. Create your own content and be flexible enough with yourself to allow your content to be what it is. Comparing content and styles with someone else is fruitless and energy sapping.
And as for a planner and planner pages, it’s a way to keep organized. Put whatever you like in it, use it how you see fit for your needs and life.
I’ve created customized planners. The page versions differ, based on your needs. In other words, the planners are not designed for you and require the purchase of a set package or style. There are various actual calender styles, weekly planning styles, lists, notes, and even goal sheets.
I also make a cover from sturdy fabric. It works for me. It’s stylish and cute and has colors that make me happy.
Because I have found my personalized planner and planner pages incredibly useful, I’m giving away 2 sets of pages as part of my gift to you, the readers of this blog.
Just use the rafflecopter form below and don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter, where I’ll be announcing the winner in 2 weeks.
Are you a blogger? Have you ever considered blogging? Which of these suggestions is most helpful? What suggestions would you add?