Pages

Friday, May 23, 2014

Evolution of a Blogger {7 Quick Takes}

When I first started my blog it was to create a space where family and friends could catch up with my family, and I also thought it would be nice to feel I was a part of a large Catholic homeschool community because our local community is small. Plus, I love to journal and used to love to scrapbook, so I thought that having a blog was a great way to combine the two things. When I started blogging, my self-esteem was low and I held myself back from creating a community that I craved. My word for 2014 is fearless, and I have applied it to my everyday life as well as how I blog. Recently, I made a list of the things I would do differently as a first time blogger.




1. Worry Less: I have been a worrier ever since I was a little girl. I worried about a lot of things, but mainly I worried about how people would treat me. I am a sensitive person, and I cringe at the thought of an unkind word spoken to or about me. I also worried about accidentally offending other people. It has taken 38 years of living life to realize that what other people say to me or about me has little to do with me. As long as I am kind, friendly, and honest, then I am the best person that I know how to be. If someone is offended by my opinion there is nothing that I can do about it. Not everyone has to like and/or agree with me. It is fine to disagree, but respect for every person's God given worth is important. 




2. Pray More: This year I have spent more time praying about my blog than I did in previous years as I was not sure if I should continue to write about my life here. Because I did not have a clear idea of what direction God wanted me to go with my writing, I stayed in the cycle of sporadic posting. I never felt completely happy with this space, which lead me to spend too much time worrying and not enough time in prayer. After a time of uncertainty, I now know God wants me to continue to blog. 



3. Share My Opinions More: Writing is an outlet for me, and it is one that I enjoy. I have been writing my thoughts down since I was a small child. It helps me sort through my feelings and helps to develop my opinions. I used to think that my opinion did not matter to other people, but I now know that my opinion is as important as everyone else’s. I enjoy writing about my family and my hobbies, and I know my family and friends like reading about them. This year, I have spent a little more time writing about issues that are important to me, like video games, infertility, and working on my self esteem. Also, writing about how I do things, like wash my face and fix my hair



4. Spend More Time Editing: I spent the first couple years easing my worries by telling myself that this is only a blog. Which it is, and I do not want to sound as I think my ramblings here are more important than they are, but even though it is just a blog doesn't mean that I shouldn't take it seriously. In the beginning, I would quickly write about my family, my current knitting project, or a book, upload a picture, and hit publish without taking a second look at what I typed on the screen. Because, you know, it's just a blog! Let's face it, it may only be a blog, but it represents me and my family, so it is important to remember that fact and spend a little time editing before hitting the publish button. Edited to add: But there comes a point when you have to stop editing and hit publish. If you spend too much time editing to get your post perfect, you may never hit the publish button. A full drafts folder benefits no one! Sometimes the best thing you can do is hit the publish button, imperfections and all. 



5. Ask Questions: I had so many questions about blogging when I started, but I never emailed other bloggers to ask them. Yes, fear and worry are powerful emotions, and I did not want to bother anyone with my questions. I have learned through the years that bloggers are nice people (usually), and they love talking about blogging. If I were going to start a blog today, I would send out at least five emails to different bloggers asking them questions before I put my first post up. 



6. Comments - Leave More and Reply to More: Building community is an interesting thing. The majority of the time, it is not going to come find you. You have to create it! How is that for a shocker? I read blogs, but I rarely commented in the beginning. Also, I loved getting comments, but I was horrible at responding to them. Now I know that conversations in com-boxes can be more interesting an educational than the article itself. Please note, conversations in com-boxes can also be upsetting and a waste of time. That is why I reserve the right to delete any comments that are hurtful or nasty in nature. This is my space, and I do not want it to be tarnished by unkind comments. 



7. Embrace Social Media: Social media how I loathed you for so long! More specifically, Facebook was the object of my abhorrence. After reading Haley's (Carrots for Michaelmas) blog carnival about social media, I decided to give Facebook another chance, and I am very happy that I did. I have connected with other bloggers and Catholic homeschool moms, and I am enjoying being an active participant there. I even created a Facebook page for the blog (I would ever so happy if you "Liked" it). 






If you have been one of my encouraging supporters and one of my few faithful readers through the years,  I want to thank you. Your encouragement has blessed me. If you have been a silent reader, I wish you would leave a comment to introduce yourself. If you have wanted to start a blog, but you have not been sure if you should, I say do it! Remember, it is only a blog, but do not forget that it represents you and your family, so make it the best that it can be.






Linking up at Conversion Diary for 7 Quick Takes.

17 comments:

  1. What a great post! I agree that emailing for advice and support is wonderful way to overcome any fears in getting started blogging. I am so happy you found my blog as I have much in common with you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I look forward to reading your future posts. This online community is a huge blessing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Christina! Yes, the online community is a huge blessing. I am glad that you are a part of it. :)

      Delete
  3. I'm not on Facebook, but I have really enjoyed reading your posts. You are so right about building community. I always appreciate your comments. Blog on, fearless woman!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I agree with all of this! Not that I follow all the advice, but I probably should - I'm always finding typos in my casual posts after I publish them because I just rattle them out as quickly as possible and just hit the button! Thank goodness I can go back and edit after the fact :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! When I first started blogging I read an article that bashed bloggers that edited their posts after they were published, so I thought that was something that bloggers shouldn't do! Ugh! It took me a long time to realize that it was ok to edit published posts!

      Delete
  5. Great post!

    And Erica, I nominated you for a Catholic Writer's Award in today's post! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Laura. That is very kind of you!

      Delete
  6. Erica,
    Thanks for your comment! Let me know what you think of the natural law book if you read it.

    I really like this post. I too have blogged for a while but with less peace and clear direction than I've wanted. I always struggled with 'is this really worth it? / So many other people are doing this so well already.'
    This year, praying more and surrendering more, I have felt more freedom and enjoyment in writing than ever before. It's made the whole enterprise so much more FUN too (bonus).
    The first time I wrote about it was the first time I did a 7QT -
    7 Quick Takes: Novice Edition. For me it was all about willingly embracing obscurity, seeking to follow the example of Christ.

    God's grace on us both as we carry on with renewed purpose!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan, thank you for your comment. I am looking forward to popping over to read your Novice Edition post. :)

      Delete
  7. Great post! I too have had my blog for a while-- 6 years, but I was bad at posting regularly. I would go months without posting. I just recently re-dedicated myself to blogging more because I love reading other blogs and I want to have a place in the catholic mommy blogosphere. I also have fears about blogging. I often think if what I write is completely stupid and/or a waste of time, but I've decided to just go with it and write what I want. Thanks again for this post and for following my blog! God bless!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have enjoyed reading through some of your older posts.I am glad that I found your blog and that you recommitted yourself to writing. Keep up the good work!

      Delete
  8. Thanks for this post. I am still a new blogger and learning things as I go, so your list here has been great for me to read. Like you, I have not been a fan of social media, especially Facebook, but I am now starting to go back to it to some extent ever since I started my blog, as a way to build community. Glad to know that I'm not alone to go through that evolution. Also, I love your #1 point, that is something to remind myself of every now and again, whenever I take things too personally! Great tips, thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lea, I did not want to be a part of the Facebook community shortly after I first joined it years ago. It seemed to be full of negativity and narcissism. But I had to re-evaluate my opinion, after all, blogs can easily fall into the same negative, narcissistic trap. I changed my perception and decided to focus on the good that is accomplished through the online community and social media. Allowing myself to see only the negative makes me negative, and I do not want that. If I focus on the good aspects, then I will become better myself. At least, that is my hope!
      I appreciate your comments and you blog posts. Thank you!

      Delete
  9. This is great Erica! Here's to being fearless in 2014! :0)

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for visiting and taking the time to leave a friendly comment! :-)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...