A little over three months ago, I decided to be more intentional about blogging, to blog every day to be precise. So, what have I learned?
(Actually, that’s not entirely accurate in my case, as my commenters are very kind.)
This has actually been a very helpful and clarifying few months. It’s funny how being intentional in a pursuit seems to answer lots of questions you didn’t know to ask.
What I’ve learned in the past 100 days:
I like writing. I mean I really like writing, and it’s a helpful and necessary outlet for me. I always had this “some day I’ll write” voice in the back of my head. With blogging, I don’t have to wait til someday; I can be a writer now.
The more I write, the better I get at writing. Of course, there are posts that are the exception to the rule. Ahem.
Showing up is a huge part of success. Because I committed to writing everyday, I felt confident enough that I’m “real blogger” enough to apply for BlogCon. Through that experience, I know have a new opportunity writing for The Washington Times Community Pages. As I plug away at that, who knows what other doors may open.
In my rather isolated homeschooling world, I don’t have a lot of face-to-face discussions about civil liberties or geo-political events. (Well, Little Miss is getting more interested in those things. YAY!) Writing and researching for my writing is a way to access those interests and participate in a conversation that’s very important to me, even if I’m not physically in a community that values those things. It’s also of use to those in that community who really aren’t interesting in my ramblings.
It’s a tangible accomplishment. As a homeschooling mom, there are days and weeks and even months where there is no tangible sense of accomplishment. The housework is never done. There are times when I wonder if a particular kid has learned anything in the past weeks. And laundry. Ugh. Of course, a child will have a breakthrough and all of the sudden they’re reading, or mathing, or doing whatever awesomeness they do, and that’s wonderful. But there’s still laundry. With blogging, I write a post and it’s there. And I get to put another X in the chain. It may not get read by a soul, but I’ve done something that I can point to and say “Done!” I won’t be able to do that with my kids til… Well, I’m still not done, so probably when we’re all in heaven. And there’s still laundry.
What are my goals for the next 100 days:
I want to continue to improve my writing skills. My column is a different sort of writing than my blogging here, and it’s challenging (in a good way) to make that switch. I hope to grow in skill and knowledge. Part of that is just the physical act of writing, but part of that is reading more, and reading more intentionally.
I’ll work to increase my audience. That may mean changing the focus or presentation of the blog, or it may be selling myself better. I’ve procured one mentor (Hi, Jimmie!), and I’m probably going to procure other mentors and advisors to help with this aspect. (FYI, this is how you procure a mentor: ask.)
I want to develop a more defined theme for my blogging. In the lingo of the social media world, I want to better brand my blog. When people ask me what my style/philosophy of homeschooling is, I’ve generally said “eclectic!” But as the years have passed, I’ve actually become less eclectic and more focused on one style (Charlotte Mason, in my case.) It’s great to be interested in everything initially, but I think I need to start becoming more focused than I have been. That isn’t to say I’ll ignore everything but whatever I decide to brand my blog, but that I’ll become more intentional and informed on a few things, rather than trying to be slightly aware of everything. No more “inch deep and a mile wide.”
And that’s the plan. What about you? What would 100 days of intentionality do for your interests?