Behind the Scenes of Blogging

It’s been about three weeks since I revamped my blog and committed to blogging more seriously.  It has already been a fun adventure of meeting new people and learning new things. One of my favorite aspects of blogging has been shifting into a writer’s mindset. I notice details I glossed over previously, seeking inspiration in static goings-on, and looking for beauty everywhere. I know I only have a small handful of readers at this point, but I thank you for allowing me to share with you.

I am trying to do my best with this blog with the limited resources I have available. This has meant reading up on all things blogging related. It turns out there are many “tricks of the trade” bloggers use to drive traffic. I learned writing a list post and commenting on other blogs really does work, giving me record breaking page views. I updated my About page to give visiting readers an “elevator pitch” of my blog in hopes of return visits. I discovered how counter intuitive it is for me as a Chinese woman to self promote, and how time consuming it is to stay active in the blogosphere.

There are many voices out there, words of wisdom and slimy sales pitches, on how to be a blogger. I decided I need to have some sort of manifesto to ground me so I am not swayed to and fro by the latest trends. Here is what follows:

1) Chase Passion, not Mastery. I found this advice helpful, especially in my chronic self-deprecation. I know I’m not very good, but I can get better. I may not ever become the best and that’s okay. I am blogging not for mastery, but because I love to write. I want to explore topics I am passionate about even when other writers tell it better. I pitch in my voice because it matters to me.

2) Family First. This is my mantra for everything in life. For parents, it’s always a balancing act. A yes to something is a no to family. I want my children to know their mother has interests and passions outside of taking care of them (I am a real person, after all), but the internet can suck you in and consume all your time unless there is some priority filter managing a balance. Yes to family game night. No to drafting one more comment, one more post, one more stats check.

3) Beeeeeee Yourself, says bumblebee Genie to Aladdin. The one consistent advice people have given about blogging is to find your niche. Focus on a particular subject and find blogs similar to yours to garner community. It makes sense and in a way I have tried to do this. But in the end, I am not a niche. I am a whole person with a wide variety of interests. I am not just a mommy blogger or a faith blogger. I am just me.

4) Flesh and Blood. Blogging builds a virtual community. I have spent more time on the computer in the last three weeks than I ever have, my eyeballs are starting to involuntarily twitch from staring at the screen. I believe to have something worthwhile to write I need to be reading books, sharing physical space with people, and being still. This is a TOUGH one for me, I’ll admit. That’s why I’m including it in my manifesto to hold myself accountable.

5) Have Fun. This is fun. I am loving learning new skills, creating new content, experimenting new features. I have to do some not-so-fun stuff along with the package (self promotion, ugh), but I need to be reminded of my first love as the honeymoon period wanes.

Anything else I should add to the list (see what I did there, I made another list post. *wink, wink*)?

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Dirty Laundry of My Soul

There are a billion reasons not to blog more often. Here are some of mine, in order of significance:

1) Nobody needs to see the dirty laundry of MY SOUL.

It’s vulnerable exposing your words, the conduit of my inner workings, onto the forever internet. What if I change my mind? What if I don’t want Aunt Pippy to see this side of myself? What if people disagree with me and hate me henceforth? What if people like it, think I’m awesome, and then…meet me?

2) Ain’t nobody got time.

Back when great literature was written left and right, society was devoid of all the modern demands on our time. Ancients were paid by patrons to spend their time philosophizing and delving into the depths of their great minds to create content. Today, between work, grocery shopping, cooking, errands, Facebook, laundry… yeah.  That’s okay, spending all day philosophizing doesn’t actually sound fun.

3) Do you know how many people blog?

Many, many, many to the 22nd power. So blogging feels like another drop in the blogospheric ocean. Another dying star amongst the online galaxy. And they say it SO well. Why bother saying something when they say it SO much better. It’s hard to justify, really.

4) It’s not all about you, duh.

Blogging is ultimately self promotional. Honestly, I don’t see any way around it. If you blog, you are drawing attention to yourself. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Many people, myself included, have genuinely improved lives because of bloggers and their life-saving words. I think it can easily become a bad thing, however, an obsession with stats, pageviews, comments, and tying one’s self esteem to the crowd’s reaction.

Why, then, am I still on here? I think it’s because I want to. Like a scowling toddler with stomping feet, I’m shoving my way back onto my own blog. I can’t explain to you what it’s like inside of my brain – it’s a mess in there, it’s terrible. One morning, within moments (I mean mere seconds!) of opening my eyes, I ranted to my husband about Rick Warren’s recent mishandled joke, and before breakfast had gone through topics of racism, politics, and the likelihood of extraterrestrial life. My mind races like a fast, careening out of control car, and threatens my sanity on a daily basis.

Perhaps, if I take the time to sit down and craft some intelligible words/sentences/paragraphs to contain the spider webbing strings of ideas, thoughts, and emotions. Perhaps, I might have some semblance of sanity.

I’ve given my blog a new home, and will try to be here more consistently.

A billion reasons < sanity.

Welcome, stick around, and talk to me. *waves hi you guys!!*