The last couple of weeks have been full of revelations for me. I don’t know why, but something has clicked in my mind. Last week I began seeing the benefits of my new mantra, ‘Done is better than perfect’ and this week I’ve realised whether in blogging or everyday life, I should go at my own pace. This is new to me because I’ve always been quite ambitious and worked hard to move up the career ladder, get our home looking lovely and bring up Tutti in a way deemed acceptable by all those sancti-mummies waiting to pounce. I’m always rushing to get things done and wanting everything to be as good as possible.
But the realisation that I should stop to smell the proverbial roses once in a while and go at my own pace, started to take root a couple of days ago when I just wasn’t in the mood for blogging. I sat down at my computer and no words came out. Zilch. I spent ages going through my ideas list, starting to write a post and then saving to draft. After an hour of self-admonishment for being so crap, I suddenly asked the question, ‘Why?’. Why was I killing myself trying to find something to write when I obviously wasn’t in the zone? Why was it so important?
The answer to me was clear. I was trying to keep up. Even at this early stage in my blogging life I was trying to maintain a blog post schedule like I’d read was so important to do. Consistency is the name of the game if you want to be successful in blogging and with that fact ringing in my ears, I was forcing myself to write. I don’t know what I thought would happen if I didn’t publish a post – maybe that the blogging police would arrest me for piss poor effort?
MAKE YOUR OWN RULES
So after talking myself down from my keyboard and eating a comforting piece of coffee and walnut cake, I realised the world had not ended. My blog had not exploded. My readers had not abandoned me. And that’s when the revelation hit; I should go at my own pace, not ‘theirs’. I read some fabulous blogs. Some of them written by pro-bloggers who’ve been honing their skills for years and some by rising stars. Many of them seem so ‘on it’, posting daily and always on every social media platform.
But I have to remember that everyone is at a different stage in their journey and I’m at the beginning of mine. Although I’m keen not to make a newbie faux pas, I’ve realised I don’t have to follow all the rules. I’m still working out where I fit in and finding my voice and audience. So I’m free to post because I want to, not because I should.
DOING IT MY WAY
I also have to remind myself I’ve chosen not to work full-time and in this phase of my life I’m a stay-at-home mum. I started blogging as a creative outlet and a way to connect with actual adults. Yes, I’d like to see if it develops into something more, but so far I’ve loved all the chat with fellow bloggers, reading and commenting on lots of blogs and feeling my quickening heartbeat when I see one of my posts has resonated with people. I’ve learnt an incredible amount over the last few weeks, from setting up a blog to managing multiple social media channels and endless amounts of technical detail. But I now know that to keep enjoying what I’ve started, I need to do things my way.
I don’t need 1000s of readers today or tomorrow. They’ll either come at some point or they won’t and I’m OK with that. It doesn’t mean I’m not committed or don’t care enough, it just means I’m realistic about what I can achieve with the time I’m willing to give right now. I get a real buzz when someone comments on my post or likes an image and I’d love to be getting more and more of this every day. So I’m slowly going to work towards it by doing little bits here and there. Softly, softly catchee monkey, as they say.
To anyone having a, ‘What am I doing?’ moment, I’d say just be honest with yourself about why you’re doing it, how much time you can happily commit and what you’re trying to achieve. We all have a different definition of success, so we must do what is right for us. Life is a balancing act after all.
I also plan to use this new approach in my home life. To be honest I generally do things my own way anyway, but there is always that bit of self-doubt that creeps in, leaving me wondering if I should be doing more or achieving more.
So today I’m saying, ‘Slow down Kirst. Get there in your own way and go at your own pace.’
Have you had any revelations recently?