Whenever I blog about blogging I try to answer the questions and concerns that I have about blogging. More often than not I find that my questions aren’t any different than those you have.
If you want the dime store explanation for why I blog the answer is because I am a writer. Blogging isn’t a choice for me, it is a part of me. I cannot conceive of a world without words.
What is funny to me about this is that I have always been a storyteller but I haven’t always called myself a writer. Read through the blog and you’ll find mention of how my preschool teachers told my mother that I had the most active imagination of any child in my class. Ask mom about it and she’ll tell you it is true and then shush me when I say that I went to a school with three kids and two of them were deaf and mute.
Somewhere around the time I was 12 or 13 our school teachers started requiring that we keep a journal. I hated it. I didn’t want to write about my feelings or what I did last summer. It didn’t stop me from joining the school newspaper in 7th grade or my continuing on all the way through college.
And then life happened.
I graduated and discovered that I couldn’t afford to become the next great sports writer or at least I didn’t think I could so I stopped writing and did other things. I sold advertising, worked in construction, spent time in marketing/PR and helped launch a few businesses.
Blogging was something that I fell into. Didn’t intend to become a blogger but in May 2004 I jumped into it on a whim and never stopped.
Take a look at the words above and you can’t help but notice the ones that stand out:
Continue, Want, Interested, Reading, Sharing Things, Know and Like.
My interpretation is simple. It is a message and a reminder that blogging is about sharing things you know and like with others. It means that you should read other blogs as well as books, newspapers and magazines because they will help fuel your love.
That is what I have been doing. Read the old stuff here and some of it is absolutely horrible, but there are nuggets of gold too. You’ll see that I spent a lot of time writing about religion, politics and parenting.
Flip through and you will find my fiction and assorted odds and ends that caught my eye at one time or another.
Sometimes I look back and wonder what would have happened if I did nothing but write about one particular topic. What would have happened and where would I be today. It is a rhetorical question because I can’t go back in time to change things and I don’t know that I would.
What I know is that a few years ago I decided that I wanted to use my blog to do more. I wanted to take something I loved and monetize it. The short term goal was to do so in a manner that didn’t destroy what I had built. I wanted to maintain a certain level of purity.
Not really sure what that means other than I didn’t want to be the blogger that gained an audience solely by doing reviews and giveaways. But I wasn’t entirely against doing some of those because a man has to eat and I saw that as a potential path for creating a revenue stream here.
I think that somewhere around then was when I started calling myself a writer. It was when I began to recognize that the universe had been slapping me in the face with 1,938 messages saying that this is something I love and should focus upon.
Ever since then I have found myself chasing after a different set of dreams but with a sense of purpose and confidence. I don’t have any doubt that I am going to find the place I have been searching for. It is not a question of if, but of when.
It took a bit of time and effort for me to move all those rocks, but I did it. So let’s circle back to our headline.
This post isn’t about establishing a mission statement or metrics that you can use to measure success. Both of those things are important and useful. If you want to figure out if you are getting the job done they can help you determine that.
I wrote this post as if you and I were walking on the beach, hiking in the mountains or sharing a cup of coffee. That is what I saw in my head, just two friends spending some time together.
When you asked me if I consider myself to be a successful blogger I said yes. It is not because blogging has helped me make a million dollars because that hasn’t happened yet but I have rediscovered what I love, who I am and what I want to do.
Nothing is more valuable than that.
Thank you again to all who have been a part of this journey. This fellowship continues to evolve but I remember all who have been a part, those who don’t visit any more and those who do.
You have all helped and I am grateful. I hope you will continue to walk with me or share that cup of coffee because this journey isn’t even close to being done.