There seems to be a state of unrest among many bloggers that I follow. There seems to be an abundance of self-doubt, in my own head included. Being interviewed by Chris last week got me thinking more about why I blog and what I would tell someone who was just starting out blogging.
A huge goal of mine in this space is to simply inspire. Whether that is through my faith (or sometimes lack thereof), my personal style, my sometimes flawed - but hopefully accessible - recipes, my diy projects, my handmade businesses, or whatever...I hope that it's never a boastful attitude coming across, but a desire to share gifts that I have with people who want to read it.
It's easy to get caught up in what other bloggers are doing. It's easy to focus on what they're good at that you aren't. My friend, that is straight up bull poop and it isn't going to get you anywhere except for maybe an invitation to your own pity party.
I've been writing this blog for almost four years. My readership has fluctuated like crazy and it wasn't a lucrative venture for me for a long time. However, that was never why I was in it. I felt I had something to offer, something to share and I was doing a disservice to myself if I didn't follow through with what I had started. My "success" ((I use that term loosely, but know that only I can define what means success to me for this space)) wasn't overnight and I've worked so hard for it. I've spent countless hours editing photos that I didn't have the right settings set on the camera and didn't know it until after I took all the photos and tore down the set. I've used up numerous evenings coming up with projects that I could share with you. I've spent many ((many)) dollars creating recipes and series and product lines that don't always get pinned, commented on, or retweeted. But you know what? It. doesn't. matter.
Sure, in my flesh, I'd love to get recognition...but that's sinful and takes ALL the fun out of blogging so I try to never ever focus on trying to create things that will get recognition. I create things that I love and that will hopefully inspire you, but if it doesn't? That's okay, because this creative outlet for me is life-giving and hopefully it is for you too. I know in my heart that God gave me these gifts and talents and I simply don't want to keep them to myself...and that's why I blog.
At the end of the day, you need to know that you have something to offer. You have something to be proud of, even if it's simply that you are putting yourself out there.
You could be bad at crafting and a terrible cook, but you are a hell of a writer and someone comes back to your space to read your words that you've poured your heart into. Focus on that person.
You could be a mediocre writer, but you are super creative and come up with recipes that are easily accessible for someone who doesn't have a ton of time to prep meals for their family. That gal is growing in the kitchen because of your blog. Focus on that person.
You could simply have an incredible eye for photography. Your photos that you post inspire someone that is struggling with depression to see the beauty in life. Focus on that person.
You could have a great fashion sense, but you don't have a ton of money to dump into your wardrobe. You get creative with what you have, blog about it, and that's inspiring to a college girl who is working her way through college and has a similar style to you. She is thankful for your practical style. Focus on that person.
You could be passionate about beauty and your hair+makeup tutorials help a woman on the other side of the country - who didn't grow up with a mom to teach her how to fix her hair or do her makeup - feel beautiful. Focus on that person.
You could have a blog with only 10 readers. You are simply processing your struggle with infertility and your miscarriage story is giving someone that you don't even know comfort that they're not the only one. Focus on that person.
You could write a blog that is meant for family and friends who know you well. You share about your faith in Jesus and how He has saved you from your sought-after perfectionism and pride. He's rescued you from an eating disorder and reminds you that you are Redeemed by the cross. There is a woman in her thirties who has been starving herself for years to look "perfect." She somehow stumbles across your blog and finds hope. Focus on that person.
That's your audience right now. It could grow. It could not grow. You can't find your worth in that either way. You can't be jealous when someone gets put in the limelight and you don't. I would have quit a long time ago if I had focused on trying to keep up with others. Again, you need to KNOW that you have something to offer. Your words mean something. Your gifts are inspiring. Your story is important. Whether you have ten readers or ten thousand readers - share your story and share your gifts with boldness & confidence.