Happy Monday world!
I was incredibly lucky last week to be nominated by Ida Auclond for the Blogger Recognition Award. If you’ve blogged for any length of time [I seriously mean any length of time: even if you started last week and have somehow stumbled upon my blog today] then you know that blogging, like writing in general, can sometimes be a disheartening experience. There will be times when you’re not sure that you’re being seen or heard, and it might feel like you’re wasting your precious time and energy on an endeavour that no one else gives a damn about. Even if you’re writing for yourself, there is still, generally, some part of all of us that wants what we create to be acknowledged and deemed worthy; but in a busy world, with millions upon millions of blogs, it’s not hard to feel invisible.
I started this blog as a platform for connection. Having decided to leave the military and pursue both studying and writing with more vim and vigour, I wanted a way to put my work out there. Since we were also moving to the US for 30 months, it had the added bonus of allowing me to chronicle our crazy journey. My blog is about 10 months old now, and as both it and I continue to grow, I continue to benefit from the community of people I now know, and also the innate requirement to continue to work on it. Thus, without further ado, have some advice!
- Write regularly. For sure, this refers to your own writing practices, but write for your blog regularly! At least in the start, try to put together a schedule whereby you put up a post once or twice a week on the same day, about the same time. It’s actually mostly irrelevant whether this is for the benefit of your followers (who I personally think probably don’t care as much as the ‘blog advice’ articles tell you), or just to force you to meet your own timeline. If I’ve decided that I’m committed to posting Monday and Friday at 1230, then I have to put something together to meet those deadlines. Plus, if nothing is happening on your blog, no one will want to visit.
- Network. Aggressively. Don’t just sit in your own tiny little piece of the blogosphere, writing your heart out, and expect the world to come to you. They won’t. Not because they don’t want to: they just don’t know that you’re there. So find some other people! Hunt them down and connect meaningfully with what they write and how; learn from their successes and search through their followers to find other like-minded people. Don’t just rock up, leave a one-word comment or a ‘like’ and expect that to be enough: you want to be heard, and so does everyone else. Our relationships (including in the blogging world) are only meaningful if we invest ourselves in them.
I’ve had the good fortune to meet some brilliant bloggers since last May, and I would like to openly say that some of these people have helped me keep going when I might have otherwise become disheartened and thrown in the towel. What’s especially important to me, is those people who, as mentioned above, work to interact with me. They comment on my stories, they respond to my thoughts, they build relationships. Now, they’re also busy people, so if they decide not to continue this, I will completely understand… But it’s important to me to openly and gratefully acknowledge them and the crucial role they have played in my blogging experience thus far.
Thus, with gratitude, please go ahead and check out:
- Jac Forsyth at the Perilous Reading Society
- Tammy Mezera
- Nik Eveleigh
- Nancy at Just Write Already
- Shannon Noel Brady at Pointing Telescopes
- Nicole at Thoughts Stained With Ink
- Nicole, Joyce, Becky and Meredith at Muse in Pocket, Pen in Hand
There, not 15, but I’m happy with my designated community!
The award rules:
- Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
- Write a post to show your award.
- Give brief story of how your blog started.
- Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
- Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
- Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.
We head off early Saturday morning (the current planned departure time in 0400, so we’ll see how that goes!) for The Epic J&A Road Trip to Conquer All Other Puny Road Trips (or, as I like to call it the TEJART CAOPRT… real catchy), so I’ll strive to get up a blog post on Friday.. But we’ll see how it goes! Anyway, I’ll be in touch from the wide open road.
Have a great week everyone!