Today marks the 45th day of this blog’s existence. And my blogging adventure has turned out to be much more than what I had expected! When I started ‘People, Places and Perspectives’ I was only thinking of how I would need to be consistent with my posts and persevere till I gain enough readership.
But what I have learned over the past 45 days goes way beyond that, and interestingly, all these lessons can apply to life and just about any other endeavors! So here goes, the seven life lessons blogging has unexpectedly taught me (albeit some more so than the others):
1. Be consistent and persevere
Rome wasn’t built in a day, the saying goes. So is a successful blog. When I first began posting here my readers consisted of my Facebook friends, and slowly I gained more followers and readers online. After a few posts I started getting Likes, and after participating in a writing prompt organized by another blog, comments started coming in as more people saw what I wrote.
And this leads to the second lesson I learnt:
2. I cannot succeed without others
I started receiving comments on my posts after taking part in Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness (SoC) monthly writing challenge. This was, to me, a platform for the bloggers to get together and showcase our work and get the views, as Linda wrote in her SoC post. So if I had soldiered on by myself and not joined the others on this platform, I doubt I would have the visibility I have now!
So this reminds me of how in other aspects of life, too, personal and professional, I cannot progress and succeed without a network of like minded people.
3. Like attracts like
I find myself gaining blog followers who seem to be on the same page with me on many things we write about, sharing similar perspectives on life, spirituality, dreams, and personal growth. And I am drawn to bloggers who display the same interests and positive vibes. I am a dreamer, and have dreams of becoming a published author someday – and I can already easily recall at least 5, 6 other bloggers I follow and who follow me who have the same aspirations or are already living this aspiration.
So the lesson here? I must be whatever I want to have. In order to have excellent role models, for example, I must first strive towards excellence myself.
4. Be courteous, respectful and pleasant
On WordPress the bloggers (or at least those I have been exposed to over my 45 days here) seem to abide by a basic etiquette – everyone is polite even when disagreeing, and many make an effort to respond to comments. And it’s so encouraging to see the positive and uplifting comments on the threads.
This is definitely a great reminder for life offline!
5. Be myself
In the beginning of this blog’s life, I was wondering what to write about to attract readers. In the end I decided it would be futile if not frustrating to force myself to write about things that are not my passion just because I think they are popular.
And so far being myself has worked out pretty fine as far as blogging is concerned – and most importantly it enables the journey to be fun.
Offline, this works out the same.
6. Let go of the need to be perfect
Whatever ‘perfect’ means. I have been writing for as long as I remember, and before this blog I used to take a lot of time to complete a piece. I finally came to the point where I find wrestling with the so-called writer’s block (which I now think is just a fancy term for the inner critic in many of us) too tiring and frustrating, and that I would rather just let the words flow without worrying about how they will be received. After all, the best writings are produced when a writer ‘writes to express, not to impress.’
So this is how I managed to churn out 24 posts within 45 days, and this habit of letting go of perfectionism has spilled over to work and my personal life, allowing me to become more effective. Yes!
7. Celebrate every milestone
This is closely related to lesson no. 6 on letting go of perfectionism. Everytime I gain a new follower, a view, a like or a comment, I rejoice! Even if the stats show only one page view, it means ONE person saw my writing – and how can I be sure that that one person was not touched in any way?
Maybe it’s easier to celebrate small milestones as a wordpress blogger because the statistics feature makes the number very tangible. And happily this has become a reminder to me to also celebrate milestones in other areas of my life, and to let the voice of my inner cheerleader drown the voice of my inner critic.
So wow, I love WordPress! What about you – in what ways has blogging enriched your life?