I've been blogging for almost three years, so some might say I don't qualify. But my blog is always growing and changing so I think that hopefully, I can manage to sneak in. This post may be a little more retrospective than most. I guess I'm sorta sharing the things I've learned along the way.
1. Be Yourself.
That one is probably tops on most bloggers list...or it should be. OK, so I don't really like broadcasting my age across the Internet, but it's safe to say that not only have I been around in blogdom for a few years, but I have a few years under my belt in life too. Don't be afraid to let others know that. Age and experience does bring a few perks, and a little more to the table. I've been there and done that so many times my head can swim. I've raised two daughters that are as old as many of you, yet I don't feel "old". Inside I'm still the young mom that always had a project going, while trying to keep all the plates spinning.
I've learned not to try to keep up with all the Joneses out here. I can't do it all, and hey, there are some things that I just plain don't want to do...I'm not a gourmet cook, I don't do tablescapes on a weekly basis, and I think I'm the only person on earth who hasn't tried chalk paint.
Listen to the still small voice in your heart...I call it God. I promise that ultimately you won't go wrong.
2. Don't be afraid of change.
We all have some awesome ideas. I can tell you that it's easy to be fearful about stepping out there to do something different; in blogging just like in life. This is something I need to work on a little more. It's easy to get in a rut. Whether it's a project, or sharing your thoughts on a subject, or just changing up your blog a little, we need to not be afraid of change. So what if it doesn't work out like you hoped...how can we improve and grow if we're afraid to put ourselves out there.
3. Expand your horizons.
I never knew how much I would love photography until I bought my first little digital camera. Yeh, I'd taken the family photos for years, and an occasional vacation pic, but I'd never had much of an interest until I saw what was out here in some of the blogs. Magazine quality photos don't come easy, but hey, it's still fun trying.
I've never had much trouble in a crowd. It's always awkward when you have to put yourself out there, but making new friends in blogland is critical for not only growth, but survival. Sorry to say there are cliques here just like anywhere, but don't be afraid to comment or email someone you admire and want to get to know, that's how I've made some amazing "real life" friendships.
4. Be willing to help others.
When I first started blogging it was because someone I admired took a minute to read an email I sent them, and to reply. She read my first blog post and put my blog on her sidebar. She gave me a chance to "join the club" so to speak. Because of that, and as my blog has evolved, I now realize how important it is to reach out to others and offer encouragement and exposure. Nothing brings satisfaction like seeing other people being recognized for their talent and creativity. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you...good advice that has stood the test of time. Blessings will always come back around.
5. Know your priorities
This is a toughy out there for so many of us who blog. Many of us came to blogging because we wanted to make connections with other women; that we needed to have a community of which to be a part of. Because of that we feel the importance of maintaining friendships and communication. This one thing that is so very vital to growing a blog, can at the same time wreck havoc on our personal lives. Knowing our priorities in blogging, like everything we do, takes time to learn.
I'm at a place in my life right now where I have time to blog, sometimes posting everyday, but not everyone can or wants to do that. We have husbands, children, parents...responsibilities and obligations. Learn your boundaries early on to avoid guilt and upset. When I started blogging there were only a handful of blogs as compared to today. You could visit each person, and know them personally. There was a written rule somewhere in a bogus blog handbook that said you had to return each comment that you received...in a perfect world. Having said that I know there are so many of you who leave the sweetest comments, just know how much I appreciate you and read each one. (some days, I actually CAN return comments)
If you want to maintain a marriage and make sure your personal hygiene is maintained you have to realize you just can't spend all your time on the computer. I think we all know this by now, it's just important to not let guilt eat us up. In all things find balance.
OK, those are some highlights of how I grow my blog...maybe not the post someone else might write, but it's what was in my heart. Join in at Thistlewood Farm this Friday for the linky party. I'm posting early because of Vintage Inspiration Friday. (Hope you'll come by and join in the party at my place, too!)