Too often I get swept up in the doing part, and forget about the thinking part.
You know, the part where you take a step back to look at the big picture.
The moment I hit publish on that very first blog post, I’ve been doing, doing, doing. All with very little thinking, thinking, thinking.
Maybe it’s because the blog was born out of boredom.
I was a stay-at-home mom whose children didn’t need me to stay at home anymore. Much of my day was spent alone. My “to do” list included grocery shopping and television watching and wine drinking. After five, for the wine drinking that is. Though I was often tempted to open the bottle earlier in the day.
I was bored.
But I wasn’t ready to go back to work full time. I searched Craigslist for local part time administrative positions, but my professional resume was telling potential employers a different story than my cover letter. I looked too good on paper. They were worried I would be bored.
Ironic, right? I sought out their employment for that very fact.
My pre-stay-at-home-mom chosen profession was in public relations. Agency side. And I was quite successful. I truly enjoyed the work. I was able to use my mind while scratching my creative itch. It gave me a great sense of pride and fulfillment. But it’s a brutally competitive field. Filled with long hours and hop-on-a-plane-at-a-moments-notice travel schedules. I knew returning full time would put a huge burden on my family. It would consume me, as it did in my 20s and 30s. And my home life would suffer the consequences.
Not to mention I was now a dinosaur in a field filled with the young, the eager, and the beautiful.
So I was stuck. At home. Bored. Watching the clock, waiting for the little hand to hit the 5 and the big hand to hit the 12.
Blogging gave me a way out of the boredom. At first it was wonderful. Wondrous. A wonderful, wondrous new hobby. With the added bonus of opening me up to an entire new world of friends. And connections. And collaborators. Fellow bloggers who shared my passion …
and my stay-at-home-mom-clock-watching boredom.
When I hit publish on that very first blog post there was no plan. No short- and long-term goals. No strategies to achieve those goals.
In hindsight, after I hit publish on that very first blog post I should have stopped. Stepped back. And put on my thinking cap. You know, to think. Look at the big picture. And map out a plan for the blog’s future.
But I was caught up in the momentum of blogging. Daily deadlines loomed. Projects needed to be created. Crafts crafted. Recipes cooked. Pictures taken and edited. Not to mention the writing part …
overnight I had become a one-person magazine publisher, editor, writer, photographer, and stylist. And circulation manager. And IT department. And publicist. And administrative assistant. And …
it was overwhelming.
But when my blogging hobby turned into a business after I received that first (admittedly) modest check from the BlogHer Publisher adverting network, I should have stopped. Stepped back. Put on my thinking cap. You know, to think. And map out short- and long-term goals and strategies for the blog.
There was that momentum thing. And there was also a new PR freelance client thing in the fall of 2012.
Suddenly client work took precedence over blog work. And the blog suffered.
Again, I should have put on that thinking cap. To map out how the blog and freelance work could work together …
But when I started to get noticed by brands and magazines and book publishers in 2013, I knew I finally had to put on that thinking cap. I could no longer ignore the inevitable. The universe was calling, and I would be a fool if I let it go to voicemail …
Hard decisions needed to be made. Tough choices. Hard decisions and tough choices that would wake me in the middle of the night. Keep me tossing and turning right up until the first glimpse of sunrise would shine through the bedroom window.
In September, after much discussion with my husband (okay, much discussion on my part; much listening on his), I finally pulled the plug. I made the tough choice and “fired” my freelance client. Promising to continue to work with them through the end of 2014; to complete my contractual agreement.
But I needed to make a commitment to one thing. One business venture. Between the blog and the Etsy shop and the freelance client … and let’s not forget the taking care of the family and the house … I was overextended.
That’s right, the one who started the blog because she was bored now had too much going on.
I also wanted to finally spend my time doing what made me happiest of all. Which was creating. And writing. And writing about what I was creating. And how I created it.
Hands down, the blog won out.
With that all said, I’m declaring 2015 “The Year of The Blog.”
I am back in action. Stronger than ever. With short- and long-term goals written down.
A January editorial calendar is mapped out.
A business plan is being finalized. Complete with strategies and tactics.
And for the first time since I hit publish on that very first blog post, I feel like I’m finally thinking before I’m doing.
Happy New Year, my friends! Here’s hoping you too have a year filled with thinking …
And doing what makes you the happiest of all!
Mine will be the year of the projects that turn into fodder for the blog. Happy 2015, my friend!
You certainly have enough wood on hand to make lots of fodder!!! Ha! Happy New Year to you too, my friend! 🙂 Linda
You GO GIRL!!!!! I so admire you for doing ‘my’ dreams. Best wishes in this new year. LOVE your blog.
Thank you so much Debra! I’m nine parts excited and one part petrified! But I’m certainly determined to make my dreams come true! 🙂 Linda
Happy Blog Year to you Linda! I’m very happy for you. You and your talents.
Thank you so much Karen! And thanks for sticking with me during all my ups and downs! Happy New Year, my friend! Here’s a toast to 2015! 🙂 Linda
I love that you love it. But please don’t get so busy you will get frustrated and want to throw in the towel. I enjoy your blog way too much for that
Serendipity Refined says
Happy New Year! I’m thrilled for you that you can focus on doing what you love and what you’re so amazing at…I can’t wait to see what the new year has in store for you…it’s sure to be amazing! xo
You’ll be the first to know, my friend! 🙂
YOUNG LADY YOU HAVE OVERCOME THE BIGGEST PART OF YOUR BATTLE BECAUSE YOU WERE ABLE TO RECOGNIZE THE TRUTH. YOU HAVE A GOD GIVEN TALENT TO SHARE AND IF THAT IS WHAT MAKES YOUR HEART HAPPY THEN ITS 100% THE RIGHT THING TO DO!.
You are so very sweet! Though, I’m not so sure about that “young lady” part! Maybe young lady at heart. But not in years! Ha! Thank you so much for your amazing words of encouragement! Happy New Year to you! And I hope it brings wonderful things to you! 🙂 Linda
Jo Ann says
I’m glad the blog won. 🙂 My goal for the coming year is to live in the moment, focus on the good things in my life and not worry about tomorrow.
Happy New Year!
Those are fabulous goals! 🙂
Linda…thank you for being so honest. I think you are going to move forward very successfully and I wish you all the best.
When I was reading your post I felt like it was my story, the children that needed yet didn’t need me, the boredom and not having a “life of my own”. When I started blogging it was such a relief to be “doing” and creating, I never thought about where it would go. It has been a few years now and although I don’t have people knocking my door down, I have had a few offers to write this or that. But the real deal is, in 2015 I need to decide if I’m going to give my blog the full on effort to grow, or just continue with it as a little way to document my life and projects..
I would so appreciate your thoughts and any help you can give me. Please send me an email when you have a minute. By the way, I live in Chicago, too! Hey neighbor!
You are an inspiration, Linda! I can’t wait to see what you do next!!
You are too kind, Elena! Happy New Year to you and your beautiful family! 🙂 Linda
Oh my, this post gave me a rap on the head. I’ve never had a plan with my blog, nor stuck to any sort of schedule, and have the expected results. I meant to do it, but it never seemed the right day to get down to business. sigh My word for this year is “write”. I think I should add plan to that!
I think that sounds perfect! 🙂 Linda
laura@top this top that says
Happy New Year. Sometimes it takes a few years and some good wine to see things more clearly.
what a wonderful description of the WHY of blogging..
you really touched my heart with this post!
i would encourage all bloggers who’ve been in the same places to read and re-evaluate their reasons for blogging..
I’ve done just that in my post this morning.. with links back to you ..
( thanks for the use of your photo per your rules!)
I am now follower!!
Thank you for such a lovely comment! I’m so happy we were able to find one another! Here’s to an amazing 2015!!! Happy New Year! 🙂 Linda