“Do whatever brings you to life, then. Follow your own fascinations, obsessions and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.’ Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic.
I published my first blog post almost 3 years ago. I have 2 loyal fans, my Dad and my oldest son, and a dedicated and patient editor, my husband Trevor. I am not raking in money with each post that I write. I am not famous. I write Every Treasure because I love to write. Since I was a little girl I wrote poems about ponies on my battered old typewriter, these then turned into poems about teenage heartache (such a cliché). I then went on to study journalism at University because I simply love words and I love to write.
I write because it brings me true joy and I thought it might be fun to put together a blog post about reasons why blogging is a good, possibly even great idea. Maybe you’ve toyed with the idea before but never really felt confident enough to give it a go. Here’s why you should!
A GIFT FOR YOU
While ultimately in writing a blog and publishing it online you are putting it ‘out there’ for everyone and anyone to read, writing can actually be a wonderful and generous gift to yourself. While it doesn’t come gift-wrapped in shiny paper with a sparkly bow on top or come with a gift receipt, and does require major time and energy, blogging is actually a lovely present to yourself. Pardon? I hear you say. Well, think of it this way. Everyone on the planet I believe has a little bit of a creative spark in them don’t you know? Love to do cross-stitch? You’re a creator. Love interior design? You’re a creator. Love to bake and decorate cakes? You’re a creator. Love to garden? You’re a creator. Love to write and play music? You’re a creator. Love to experiment in the kitchen with new ingredients? You’re a creator. Love to take photos? You’re a creator. Love to organise and take yoga classes? You’re a creator. Love to colour-in? You’re a creator.
Creativity comes in many guises but ultimately we all have something we love to do and love to talk about. Blogging is a great way to share your passion and also your knowledge with others. Right now someone might be typing into a search engine ‘How do I cross-stitch this or make that’ and you might be the one with the answer. Writing about your passions is a real treat and blogging is a great outlet for those things in whatever form they may be! Have fun with it. Write from the heart. Be real. Be authentic and don’t worry too much about your audience (to begin with anyway). Enjoy the ride as they say. It’s also fascinating how writing can enable you to know what’s really going on in that sweet head of yours. Sometimes I have an idea for a post, sit down to write it and it comes out completely different than I expected! What’s that all about I wonder to myself. There’s something about writing about my musings and my experiences that helps me organise my thoughts and helps me understand what I’m really thinking about deep down in the core of my being. That’s a rather nice gift ito oneself is it not?
I’LL BE THERE FOR YOU…
Since embarking on my blogging expedition into the wild and unknown jungle of the blogosphere I have met so many like-minded, encouraging, inspiring, kind and wonderful humans all seeking to live their best lives and to openly and honestly share about their achievements, experiences, challenges and everything else in-between. Staring at a blank screen for hours on end waiting for the lightning bolt of inspiration can get tedious and wearisome but if you reach out a little it’s really easy to make connections and build up a support network of inspirational people. And, believe it or not, there’s room enough for everyone! News flash – There’s no maximum capacity in bloggersville, everyone is invited to the party and even gets a complimentary cocktail on the house! It can be a really fun experience if you want it to be. At the end of the day, whether blogging about similar things, no 2 bloggers write the same way or have exactly the same experiences so there’s never any need to feel threatened or jealous. Just get on with writing about what you love. Tell others when you admire their work. Retweet it even. Shout out loud when someone inspires you and be the one to encourage whenever you can. I truly believe that what you put out there you get right back, so be nice, be kind, be supportive and be lovely. There’s a whole world of new friends to be made so enjoy them while you wait for the lightning bolt to strike!
FOLLOW THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD
A really cool thing happens when you start blogging about something you are truly passionate about. Suddenly, you find yourself pursuing it even more wholeheartedly. How cool is that? You make more space for it in your everyday life. You say ‘Excuse me, laundry pile, just shimmy over there a little bit, there’s fun waiting here for me and you’re getting in the way!’ No? Just me? I doubt it. Don’t believe me, start writing about something you are in love with and I bet all my blog earnings to date that you will suddenly start making more opportunity for it in your life. You begin to manage your time better. Even, dare I say it, set your alarm to beep an hour earlier. You say no to things you don’t want to do and a huge, fat, resounding ‘YES’ to things you do want to do, because it’s bringing you maximum joy and you want to write about this joy so you go looking for the joy, then you write about it, then you seek it out some more and so the beautiful circle continues. It’s quite a marvellous thing really! I love to blog about my outdoor adventures with my family with a little philosophical twist thrown in for good measure. Because, that’s what I love. That’s what makes me tick and feel brave and alive and free and full of purpose. Blogging about my experiences has made me more intentional about the things I pursue. Life it short, as we know. So, I try to stay focused on the things that bring us pleasure and fulfilment as a family and blogging about our expeditions has been instrumental in keeping us inspired to follow our own path and chase our own dreams.
We’ve all bought the fridge magnets/mug/keyrings/pottery/art that are on sale on every corner when you go on your holidays. We buy these things, not because we heart mass-produced, cheap, tourist tat, nay, we buy them, because holidays with our nearest and dearest are a special thing and in buying a little token from a street-vendor, we are vowing to remember that special time every time we open the fridge and the magnet catches our eye. Blogging is a little bit like a souvenir, and better still, it’s often free if you use platforms such as WordPress. Now that’s a good value memento! Writing a blog is a little bit like writing in a diary, albeit a very public diary, and when you couple your words with beautiful photographs, or in my case blurry snapshots (can’t be good at everything I guess!), well then what you create is a fabulous scrapbook of souvenirs. I often look back on old blog posts when trying to get into my writing groove, to find my voice, and it’s a great reminder of the things I have done and learned and also serves as a marker of how my journey in life has progressed and changed. It’s interesting to know what I was thinking about at a specific point in my life and also as a tired Mum of 3 crazy boys the amazing adventures we have had often slip my mind so looking back on old posts unlocks my memory bank and I get to enjoy recalling our times together as a family. Fun!
BLOGGING FOSTERS GRATITUDE
There are a lot of moaners about town! And moaners seem to encourage others to moan and so it can be so easy to become one big groany-moany-band-of-yaps who never really appreciate just how good life is at times. Sure, life has its ups and downs, everyone has their struggles to cope with. That’s just reality. But no need to harp on and wax lyrical about how tough it all is. One thing I have definitely come to realize since I began my blogging adventure, is that I am more aware of the good and great things in my life, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant they may be. Writing about my trips out and about with my husband and kiddos as well as delving into my thoughts and feelings about the connections we make with one another and the world around us, has caused me to sit up and notice just how much I have to be grateful for. Blogging regularly about something you love fosters within an attitude of gratitude. I’ll tell you why. There is so much suffering, hatred and uncertainty in this world we live in. It only takes you to switch on the news or go online for a few minutes to hear all about terrible atrocities, pain and terror that people around the world are facing on a daily basis. Sometimes I watch these horrific events and wonder how on earth we can still be seeing these things happening in 2018. Why? Why? Why? It’s horrendous. It’s scary. It’s completely beyond my comprehension at times. I feel guilty even for enjoying frivolity. But then, what should I do, live under a rock and hope to survive this world? No. It is my responsibility to live. To really live. To love, laugh, savour, explore, quest, dig deep, experience and live every flipping moment of this life that I have been given to the absolute max. How dare I not? And how dare I ever take for granted one second of my time here on earth? Blogging sure causes one to really think and for me one of the greatest things I have learned from sharing my life with anyone who cares enough to read my words is that I must always be grateful for the things I do have in my life.
AND ONE FOR LUCK…
If you are lucky enough to have a mighty band of fans and followers, good on you! You’ve put in the hours, made the connections, put your soul out there for all to read. Blogging requires hours and hours of devotion and commitment. From first draft, to edit and re-edit, to taking and uploading images, to sharing across your socials, to interacting with readers and responding to comments, it always takes a lot of time per post, and most definitely always longer than anticipated. It is so rewarding then when you get a notification to say ‘YOUR STATS ARE BOOMING’, it’s a happy dance moment to know that your words are being read, often all over the world. That’s sometimes followed by a quick surge of dread in case someone hates what you’re saying, or disagrees and wants to publicly tear you down! That’s just the over-dramatic, hyper-sensitive side of you coming out, and usually the fears are unfounded. Thankfully. More often than not you will receive some ‘likes’ and ‘shares’, some lovely feedback, ie: ‘Love this!’ and if you’re really on form people will say they really related to your words and that you inspired/encouraged them. That’s great. It’s rewarding to hear those things and have people take the time to acknowledge your tiny scratch on the giant canvas of life. It’s motivating to get positive words sent in your direction and when doubt seeps in, those words can be the very thing to keep your creative spark alive. I try to like and share and comment on other people’s words too because it’s good to be someone who encourages and supports also.
So, if indeed you’ve been considering putting pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, or have ever thought about it, what have you got to lose? Give it a whirl, it’s a whole lot of fun….I promise!