In January, 2012 I began blogging with zero clue what I wanted to write about or accomplish with my blog. I felt the way I imagine Michael Angelo felt when he was commissioned to paint the Sistine chapel. Put my words out there where millions of people could see… count me in!
Of course, the millions haven’t come round yet. I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you I’d hoped. Now I have a more conservative view of my future. Adulting does that to you.
Second to writing, my passion is teaching. I’m blessed to teach writing/literature classes to students ages 10 – 18. I wanted that same accountability and feedback for my students that I got from blogging, so I taught them how to set up and use WordPress, and it became an integral part of my 5000 Words Writing & Literature Class. Students, like the rest of humanity, put their best foot forward when at the end of the day they have to hit publish. My blog is still a place for me to think, to share, to not forget how I see the world in the present moment because perspective is fluid. It is the one who bothered to write it down who gives us history.
My blog is my whip or my shepherd’s staff. It’s my prod and product. I’m not out to become the best blogger out there. That’s not my goal. Once I recognized what my goal was, I could focus on what mattered and let the rest go. In a nutshell, that’s my advice to new bloggers: know what you want to accomplish with your blog.
If your ultimate goal is to get published, as opposed to self-publishing, then don’t be too concerned about shares, likes, follows, and views. At one point (ok, many points, stars-in-the-sky points) I got jealous of a fellow-blogger’s numbers. Jealous isn’t the right word. I get rivaled by people who are better than me. I study them to figure out what I can learn from their greatness. Know what I learned? A great blogger’s ultimate goal is to connect with others. Great bloggers write and post to a formula that will achieve those connections. Great bloggers take the time to find hooking images, post often, and organize their posts with headings and title their posts with numbers like, “The Ten Fingers You Can’t Live Without.”
I am more of an introvert blogger, a no-image or slapped-up-quick image, all-boring-words blogger. I love to hear from my friends and family, but if I suddenly got a thousand comments, I’d go bonkers. I don’t want to reply to a thousand comments. I want to write and publish a novel. *angels singing hallelujah* Watching my students use and benefit from WordPress solidified for me what I want from my blog.
So know your goal and use the platform accordingly. And bless others whenever it’s in your power. That’s what blogging awards are about: encouragement. Edward Dahlberg best captured the writer’s plight: A painter can hang his paintings, but a writer can only hang himself. Be that comment that helped a fellow writer stay the noose. That’s why I’m not an award-free blog, why I’m honored to be nominated for the Ewonderhub Blogger Award. It gives me an opportunity to encourage ten more bloggers with a nomination as well.
And I LOVE encouraging people.
Group challenges provide an opportunity to encourage fellow writers and make some friends along the way. Abu Amirah‘s encouraging comments during the A to Z Challenge were gusts of wind in my writing sails. His nomination for the Ewonderhub Blogger Award made me smile, as did reading his flash fiction. It was like having a little workshop sprout up in my inbox. Thanks, Abu. I’m honored.
If I nominated YOU, here’s how to accept:
Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to his/her blog.
Attach the award to your post.
Write a brief story / history of your blog.
A take down of advice to New bloggers.
Nominate 10 other bloggers.
Comment on their blogs to notify them of the nomination.