As bloggers, no matter the focus, we are still human. We still experience every day life like our readers. We still pursue careers, attend school, pay bills, experience tragedy, and the other things that come with this thing called ‘life.’ We go through the ups and downs. We experience fears and triumphs, particularly moments of insecurity and confidence. We go through it all and still strive for consistency. I think that deserves more than just a pat on the back. In fact, we deserve a round of applause.
We can all agree that blogging is more than writing, it’s a journey. No matter the content, we pour ourselves out to our readers in an attempt to communicate, engage and connect. It is a brave feat and sometimes we don’t give ourselves the credit we deserve. Truthfully, that just comes with the territory. However, in an attempt to create the “perfect” post and accomplish our goals, I think sometimes we forget our humanity. We tend to forget how much our blogging practice has truly developed and shaped us.
It’s quite mind-blowing the amount of things we have learned on this journey, especially if we pause to think about it. Who would have thought that what seems like a simple endeavor would become such a life lesson? At the end of the day, I can only speak for myself. However, as I share what I learned as a blogger, I also want to start a conversation amongst us Brown Girls so that we can all learn from and encourage each other.
How Blogging Helped Me Personally
Whew! Where do I begin?
(1) I’ll start with the word confidence. Blogging has, in a matter of speaking, curated my belief in myself. Initially, I doubted my every move. I was that girl who needed a panel of friends, family and colleagues to approve a decision. Crazy right? Now, I don’t identify with that girl anymore. From the ashes has arisen a very firm, outspoken woman with gumption. I found my voice.
(2) The other tricky thing about blogging is learning how to share the essence of who you are with people you have never met. Let me tell you, that is some scary ish right there, particularly for an introvert. You begin to think about all your quirks and perspectives that may offend or scare your audience. [shaking my head]. This was big for me but last year I learned that my weirdness is one of the keys to my success. No one can write a blog like me. I needed to be confident in my beautiful.
How Blogging Helped Me Professionally
(3) Man did I hear the word content and SEO a million times in 2014! It was so repetitive that I became annoyed. Yet as the year came to a close, I realized how important these 2 words were. Now how in the world does that help professionally? Hang tight, you’re going to love this :) As much as these words irritated me, they taught me to be concise and use the appropriate vocabulary when communicating at work. Mind-blowing right? You have no idea! My work emails and meetings became shorter, which saved time, which then increased my productivity. Who doesn’t want to be more productive. These days it’s all about working smarter and not harder.
(4) Connections are key. Since I’ve joined the Brown Girl Bloggers community and other Facebook groups, I have talked with various professionals and it is insane how much of a positive impact they have had. My blog and social media engagement has increased but, most importantly, I’ve been able to form bonds with others that go beyond a comment or like. The relationships I have built include, brainstorming ideas for each other, starting ventures together, encouragement, key contacts, business coaching, and the list goes on. It’s the little things that matter the most. I know that I could not have made it without this kind of support.
How Blogging Helped Me Spiritually
(5) Like I mentioned, there are so many ups and downs that we don’t share with our readers and yet we write through it all. During tough times, blogging reminded me that life is hard but it is also beautiful. Even if I had a crappy week or day, I learned to be thankful and derive joy from an outfit, a smile, a song, a quote, anything lovely. Spiritually, that opens you up to truly tap into a depth of contentment and gratitude – something you might not necessarily embrace if everything was continuously hunky dory.
(6) Here’s the most important thing I learned: everyday I wake up, I’m swimming in an ocean of grace. Sometimes I would get hung up on mistakes I had made or, how much I detested a previous post I had written. Finally, I learned to let go. I corrected the error and moved on. I accepted the truth that every morning is a new beginning.
This may seem a little late since we are already in February 2015 but it is truly never too late to reflect, assess and grow. Overall, I learned that I am a fearless woman.
What about you? Do any of my lessons resonate with you?