Mackenzie and I drove up to Rhode Island (again) this weekend for a conference. We co-hosted a workshop together on “the building blocks of blogging.” Personally, I can talk about just about anything for a while. but I can talk about blogging for, well, ever. I can go on and go on about it!
We tried to pack in as much as we could in the presentation and did our best to cover all the bases albeit not quite so in depth. We talked about everything from choosing a platform, coming up with ideas for content, and monetization. Phew! Really crammed it in there for 45 minutes.
I did want to share one of the things we emphasized and that came up during the Q&A portion a couple of times too. (Plus, while we specifically used blogging as the example, I think this rings true for quite literally everything.)
Start with the right intentions.
Growing up, all I wanted was to have a trophy. Earn a trophy, really. I looked at my sister’s shelves and they were almost buckling from the number of trophies she had. Some were participation trophies and a lot more were won in tournaments.
My shelf? Filled with pictures and knick knacks, but no trophies. I was busy with dance and while I loved the recitals and the costumes at the end of the year, I really just wanted a trophy. So in fifth grade, I signed up for softball. I did everything I was supposed to do to “earn” that trophy and I hated every minute of it… but I stuck it out– even after getting smacked in the head with a stray pop fly. All with the trophy in my mind. FINALLY, and I really do mean finally (I was kind of sick of squeezing into those slider shorts), we had the year-end party. THE TROPHIES. I kept my eyes peeled and looked everywhere around the place and couldn’t find them anywhere.
That was, naturally, the year that the parents decided NOT to give out massive trophies.
WHAT?! Why in the world did I stand out in a field every other afternoon, sweating, getting sunburnt, running, practicing, playing boring games… when I didn’t even get the trophy!
What I should have been doing was playing for the love of the game or rather spending my time doing something I actually enjoyed… trophy or no trophy. It is, after all, about the experience and not necessarily the end result.
In blogging, the “trophy” might be turning a blog into a full-time job. The “trophy” might be getting a job from having a blog. The “trophy” might be getting featured in your favorite magazine or getting a book deal or being casted on a television show.
You may absolutely earn one (or some or all) of these trophies in your blogging career, but if the intention of getting one of those trophies IS the reason why you start or continue blogging… you probably won’t have the best experience.
Refocus your intentions. Blog because you want to push yourself creatively. Blog because you love to write. Blog because you’d like to connect with girls who have common interests. Blog because you need an outlet. Blog because you just want to try it out!