1. Blogging is harder than I thought.
It’s harder because there is more that goes into it than I first thought. And, well, I didn’t really think through what went into it at all. I just kind of…started. Like I do most things, I just up and DO without overthinking or talking myself out of it. My wing and a prayer mentality has caused a few hairy situations in my life, so it didn’t come as a surprise that over the next few weeks, I had a little reality check. There is a LOT more that goes into this blogging thing than I first thought. The pictures, the prep work, the technical website stuff, the business side of this, all the things that I’m not great at actually matter a whole lot when you blog. So, I bought a few books and I’m learning bit by bit. It’s a slow process and I have fits of red rage when it takes me two hours to link a page to my website menu, and then I get the same error message again, and then I yell foul things, and go to bed thinking this was my worst idea ever, how dumb was I to start, now I’ll be a quitter and I hate everything. And then I wake up and I get an itch to share a recipe I think you might love or get some feedback on a new project I’m working on, and I sit down to write something again and I think:
2. Blogging is easier than I thought.
Despite this steep learning curve, I am enjoying this experience more than I imagined. When I sit down, open up a document, and start to write, it just feels easy and right. The words seem to be there, right at the surface, and I usually have to delete a few paragraphs because I have TOO much to say and I know ain’t nobody got time for that. When I’m done writing, I feel a big sigh go through me as I close my computer and go about my day. “There,” I think. “That felt good.” I was a little afraid at first that I would be hesitant to share my thoughts or projects with the Scary Internet World. When it comes right down to it though, I hit that publish button like a boss because it feels good to connect with other like-minded people.
3. Photography is hard, you guys.
Way, way hard. Many accolades and praise should go to photographers. I have a nice fancy camera and most of the time I click and shoot with much more wing and prayer than skill and ability. But, surprise, I bought a book: Photography for Dummies. You can tell me how I’m doing with that soon, okay? Gently, please.
4. Time management gets blurry when you work at home.
This one is tricky for me. Between my family, taking care of my house, my part-time job as a teacher, starting an Etsy shop, and blogging, there isn’t a whole lot of time left in the day. Since my family will always come first, this translates into late nights and early mornings. I probably need to plan my time better. The good news is that anything that I do for this blog, simply put, doesn’t feel like work. That’s how I know it’s good and it’s right (Unless it has to do with websites. Ugh.).
5. There are encouragers in this world, and there are distractors. Surround yourself with the encouragers and be one yourself.
6. Blogging takes thick skin
Everyone has an opinion about what is written publically, (including me!) and feedback is a good thing. The teacher in me is always looking to improve and modify things to make them better, and I need feedback to do that. However, sometimes when I ask for feedback, it can be an ouch moment. I’m learning to accept that and move forward and I only cry once in a while. Kidding! Really, I can never please everyone. It’s not possible, and I would be spinning my wheels trying. I am learning to listen and take in the feedback, but ultimately, blogging – writing – is intensely personal. What comes out is what’s in my heart and sometimes it’s lighthearted and funny, but sometimes it’s tired and frustrated. It’s, well, it’s just me.
7. It’s OK to be vulnerable
Writing for the Internet can be a scary feeling. Writing is an intimate thing. Instead of the polite smiles and small talk with strangers, writing strips that away and leaves you in a position of baring your naked heart in a roomful of fully clothed people. It can be disconcerting. It’s also liberating and exciting, and worth being explored.
8. We all want to connect in some way.
In the month that I’ve been blogging, it has become clear to me that we all have a need to connect to others, and the Internet is the modern “neighborhood” to do that. We all are looking for our tribe, someone to learn from or be inspired by, and the internet is the perfect place to do that. In just a short period of time, I have met complete strangers, from different countries and states, that I have connected with and exchanged ideas and thoughts with. It’s pretty amazing when you think about how all that would never happen just a short time ago without the technology we have today.
9. Blogging creates ideas and opportunities
When I first started blogging I was worried that I would run out of things to write about. This is far from the case. Actually, it’s the complete opposite. The more I write and share, the more ideas I have and the more I have to say. It’s like a floodgate opened and there are not enough hours in the day to write. Writing for my blog has given me a chance to try out fun things like Periscope and YouTube. It’s give me the opportunity to start a little family Etsy shop where I can be creative and do what I love, and the blog helps connect me to other people who share my interests.
10. And, finally, the last thing I have learned in my month of blogging is something I hear my dear husband says often: As soon as it stops being fun, stop doing it.
That’s how I know this is right for me right now: because I’m having a doozy of a time on this wild ride with you, and I can’t see myself getting off any time soon.
All my love,