When I first began blogging, I had
expectations delusions about how frequently I would post, and the amount of time such an undertaking might require. Then I did my homework. I’ve read countless articles on search engine optimization, etiquette, and finding your niche. It’s a bit overwhelming to learn that readers have expectations, and if you want to “succeed”, you must deliver fresh, original content almost daily, employ all the devices of social media, take stunning photographs, stay within your niche, and comment on a lot of blogs. Unfortunately, I don’t think the experts are putting us on. Their advice is good advice. If followed, yes, I might one day have a popular, widely read blog “just like so-and-so”. I might also feel a bit like I’m juggling motherhood alongside a fulltime job that I do not feel the Lord has called me to in this particular season of life. There is absolutely nothing wrong with working a full-time job or earning money from blogging. There’s a good chance “so-and-so with the popular blog” is doing exactly what she’s meant to be doing in this season of her life. It’s just not my season. So what principles are shaping my blogging habits these days?
Live now. Blog later.
In my current season, editorial calendars and long-range plans must be embraced as tools, not cowered to as masters. I had plans for a post yesterday but a certain small someone woke with visions of heart garlands and pink cupcakes dancing in her head. We spent an entire afternoon preparing sweet Valentines for her classmates. Blogging didn’t happen. I get to celebrate Valentines Day with her five-year-old self one time. Heck if I’m missing that. When the last birdie flies the nest, I won’t look back and wish I had more blog followers.
Don’t blog in a box.
I understand the importance of finding your niche. If I woke up tomorrow and decided to shift the focus of my content to carburetors for the rest of 2013, you would be confused, at best. That’s extreme. However, I’m trying to be careful not to define myself as a “__________ blogger”. (Insert whatever word comes to mind.) My interests and loves are wide. I don’t want to blog my way into a corner, so to speak. My primary focus is celebrating beautiful messy everyday sort of grace. Noticing the seemingly small. Cultivating gratitude. In our home, that looks different from one day to the next. I’ve noticed that my favorite blogs – the ones I still make time to read when I’m short on time – are the ones that surprise me. Each post, no matter how infrequent, is like a beautifully wrapped gift to the reader. Anything could be inside. I love that.
Embrace the white space.
We all need margin in our lives. Just because I have a free minute, doesn’t mean I should necessarily fill it with writing, or anything else. I’m slow to learn this. Our children need some of our white space – pockets of time, un-hurried and untainted by distraction. For me, in this season, this looks like closing the laptop and putting it away for purposeful stretches of time during their waking hours. I’m learning that for me, multi-tasking is really just an excuse not to be still.
Give and receive grace.
Sometimes our plans don’t work out. At the beginning of the year, I had aspirations of beginning a scripture art journal and hosting a monthly link-up. I even announced it. January came and went. My littles were sick umpteen times. I did not create a single piece of art. February isn’t looking to good either. Please accept my apologies. Thank you for your grace.
The seasons of our lives are as varied as the little people we parent. No two are exactly alike. There is no shortage of seemingly good advice on mothering and blogging in our media saturated culture. For your family, in your season, be careful not to exchange the good for the best. Let’s be gentle with ourselves and one another. Only you (and the Lord) know your current season. If you’re struggling with how (or if) blogging fits, ask Him to show you how you might best invest your time. Then walk freely along the path He leads. And remember – it’s a season.