Blogging: I’m Coming Back to the Heart of It

Blogging: I’m Coming Back to the Heart of It

I started blogging because I had something to say, and I liked to write. Somewhere between then and now I lost the IT.  The WHY THE HELL am I doing this.  I’m taking it back.

If you’re not in the blogosphere, you may not know that there are literally THOUSANDS of articles out there on how to create the perfect blog/post to receive views.  Tips to go viral, build readership, etc. The more views you get, the more followers you get and opportunities to write PAID sponsored posts and advertisement.

That’s all great.  There is nothing wrong with this; everybody should learn about their craft AND pay the bills.  Nobody wants to do a lot of work to get only 5 hits on your new blog post.  But I had slowly felt inundated with feelings of inadequacy when reading about these algorithms to get high views and followers.

Things like:

the exact way to phrase a title to make it totally Pin-able

the exact way to create images for Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest

the exact group to join to boost your comments

the fonts and hashtags to use and not use

the phrases and topics to use and avoid

the way to format your paragraphs just right for optimal reading

the need for writing 6 posts a week that are all the “correct” word count

the exact way to become a social media master

I couldn’t keep up.  I had SO MUCH anxiety.  Instead of enjoying writing about topics I’m passionate about, I was freaking out and spending SO MUCH TIME putting out these “perfect” posts that followed x, y, and z.  Some did go mildly viral.  My following even grew some.  But I lost the IT of why I wanted to blog.  I wasn’t always being fully true to myself.

All this info on blogging is valuable and may be the exact way I should be doing things to make money, grow, and extend my reach.  If you’re a blogger, it may be some of the most solid advice you can take.  But I’ve come to my own personal conclusion since I can’t keep up anymore:

To put it eloquently, F*CK IT!

I’m tired of trying to force my words and ideas into a certain box that’s considered the “way to do it” even though it truly may be the way to do it.  I’m doing it MY way. I want my \ blog to be so incredibly…me.

I sat in bed this morning and looked at some of the blogs I adore that got me into blogging.  These are all HUGELY popular.  I noticed something.  They aren’t all the same or following the same “rules.”  Not by a long shot.  And they don’t always have perfectly cropped and edited images.  Each of these blogging women simply have interesting lives and ideas, and they share them with their readers. 

On one of her “Big Magic” podcasts, Elizabeth Gilbert (my idol and author of Eat, Pray, Love) said that in order to be interesting you have to be interested.  I want my blog to be interesting.  Instead of spending all my time studying how to make a Pin on Pinterest bring in thousands of views, I want to soak up all the things I’m interested in.  That interest I have will seep through and make my blog interesting.

And you guys – My life IS interesting.  For example:

I woke up this morning (Sunday) in my studio in Tamarindo, Costa Rica, not knowing what I was going to do today.  Hours later I was belly down on the net of a catamaran and three dolphins swimming RIGHT underneath me!!!!  I could almost touch them!!!  They would jump in and out of the water as if they were putting on a dance.  It was rad.

Maybe a better blogger would have had a camera right there to capture the moment to share it with their readers.  But GUYS!!!!!   I was too busy seeing the dolphins to think about getting the perfect shot.  And you already know what a dolphin looks like!  If not, here is a stock photo:

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BUT WAIT!  THERE’S MORE!

Then, with snorkeling gear in hand, I went down the catamaran’s slide and into the Pacific.  I saw schools of yellow and blue fish.  AND THEN I HELD A REAL LIFE OCTOPUS!!!!!!  Or rather, it held me.  It suctioned right on to my arm.  AND THEN I HELD A REAL LIFE PUFFER FISH!!!!!!!   I also didn’t get a picture of any of these instances.  Holding an octopus makes you forget to pull out your iPhone and decide on the perfect VSCO filter for your blog.  Here’s a stock photo (not me, obviously):

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I want to share that stuff with you guys.  To me, that’s what’s interesting.  I don’t have the time or the emotional strength to follow all the rules that are supposed to make your blog the latest and greatest.  I’m too busy being interested in other things.  But I promise to share those interesting things with you!

Here’s what to expect: I’ll be writing two or three posts each week that will probably be on travel, womanhood, faith/spirituality, creativity, love, and whatever crazy things/opinions I have up my sleeve.  We can talk about how not to just survive life, but to really THRIVE!  We can talk about the hard and controversial things.  It won’t always be pretty because my life isn’t always pretty.  I may cuss.  I’m not shying away from topics that would traditionally be considered bad for keeping followers.  I will attack the real oooey-goooey parts of life.

I have plenty of freelance clients who can use my knowledge of algorithms and creating viral content.  Here, this is just me.  All my opinions, ideas, and interesting parts of my life.  Without the fear of how many people will click to read.

 

P.S. If you’re a blogger choosing to do your blog a different way, I TOTALLY SUPPORT YOU.

P.S.S. Here is a pic we actually did take today.  Onward, fellow travelers of life!

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Guest Post: “If I could tell you one thing…” | Katie Visconti

Let me introduce you to Katie Visconti.  You know when you get lucky enough to meet somebody and think “She sees the world like I see the world” and instantly you have a sense of peace wash over you?  That’s how it was when I met Katie.  She loves writing, reading, beautiful things, and being ambitious.  She is passionate about women and the justice and joy they deserve.  She has a travel bug and a wanderlust.  And we seem to see God in a similar light  – a lover of human beings.  I adore Katie and her writing. When I begged her to let me share some of that writing here, she graciously agreed!  Her thoughts on self-love are so important, enjoy! -Tay

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On Thursday, I sat in my Creative Writing class, eager to get started, just waiting for my professor to say what our assignment would be.

School is hard, I’ve been going through a particularly dark season lately, and I find myself constantly holding on to tiny moments of light.

My creative writing class being ones of those bright, beaming moments.

My professor began to tell us about our free write for the day: What is the most important moment in a child’s life.

You could run with this in one hundred directions. So I found myself racking my brain, “Can I write about any child? Should I recount my childhood? Maybe I should write this for my future daughter or son? What do I remember as a huge moment of my childhood life?”

We’ve got ten minutes for the prompt. Nine minutes left after I begin to think about what direction to go in. I panic, naturally. How does one write something decent in eight minutes and 44, 43, 42 seconds?

Write your truth. The though came in a soft but strong whisper.

 

So I did.

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Free Write #4

 

For the child yet to grow big and tall, for the child being wished for & prayed for, yet to be in a mommy’s tummy, for the child that is already having a difficult time navigating the world, and for the child that still shines brightly in all of us, this is for you.

If I could tell you one thing, there are going to be many important moments in your life. There’s going to be a time when you discover how to walk, talk, run, and ride a bike. You’re going to have a time where you love so wildly, and your heart pitter patters when you have your first crush. There is going to be a time where you feel a little embarrassed, and when you are mad at someone who cares for you. I hope you don’t have too many moments of sadness of defeat. And if you do, I hope you have double the amount of moments that bring you happiness and laughter.

You are going to have moments that reveal your passion. You are going to have a favorite food, favorite friend, favorite book, favorite time of day.

You are going to have lots of moments, but I know the most important one, for me at least, is the moment you realize that loving yourself is essential to really loving and appreciating all of life’s other moments.

Loving yourself, and realizing you are a gifted individual that adorns that world, is the most important moment.

The moment you stop allowing yourself to nitpick over flaws, or wish you had a different nose, mouth, hip size, hair color. The moment you notice the way your eyes sparkle, or that no one else will ever be like you. The moment you realize the entire world and everyone you have ever interacted with would not be the same without you.

That moment may seem fleeting at times, and there may be hours and days that you don’t feel so in love with yourself, but I can promise you: this body, this mind, this heart of yours needs to run on self-love. You deserve to love yourself.

As children, we are too often judged on standards that are set for everyone. We are too often told that talent, smarts, and ability is based on a one size fits all scale.

The moment you love yourself, you love the fact that you could never really play basketball but could write poetry, or could barely handle public speaking but could handle calculus. For me, loving myself meant I finally accepted that I would never be the girl that could stay still, or not question, or make it through a day without reading and writing something.

If I would have known that the only thing that would bring me to a place of forgiveness, adventure, new opportunities, and acceptance was self-love, I would have granted myself that moment a long time ago.

That moment is now.

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