So I love lists. Some might say I'm obsessed. My entire Notes app in my phone is just list after list after list, and most of my personal Google Drive is just spreadsheet after spreadsheet (which are really just more organized, detailed lists). If I'm having a particularly stressful day, the best way I find to immediately relieve stress is to write down all the things I don't want to forget, which is usually what causes stress for me. Once it's down on paper, I'm good. Whatever tiny little thing I just remembered to remind myself not to forget is now written down and locked in.
Lately, I've been thinking about how I can get myself to be a better blogger. I know I have a lot to share with the world, I know I'm a decent writer, and I know it's great for business. But HOW do I get myself to make time and space for writing on a regular basis without it feeling forced?
I think this calls for a list. And what better way to kick off my new activity (I know, we'll see...) than to follow in the footsteps of many a blogger before me.... ["Top 10 things you only know if you have a baby boy", "Top 10 Reasons to love (insert city/town/area of the world here)", "5 Easy Ways to Add Spark back into your marriage"]. Here goes.
5 Reasons why I'm a terrible Blogger:
1. I don't really read blogs. There, I said it. I stumble upon blogs. I read my cousin's blog. Pinterest (which I'm sort of over these days) directs me to blogs. I'm a big fan of photographer Michelle Gardella's blog, but I admit to only reading it a few times a year. It's just not my thing.. there are so many people out there who write, and many who actually have found a way to make money doing it, and so I am sort of a distant admirer of them. I have friends who have a daily routine of catching up with their favorite blogs like my fiance catches up with the news. I'm just not that into it. Obviously this poses a problem for me.. how am I going to get into blogging if I am not a blog reader? It's like trying to write a novel if you're not into books. Huh?
2. I don't have time. Ok, so this is everyone's excuse for everything, I know. I don't have time to cook, I don't have time to work out, I don't have time to clean the house, do the laundry, call my grandmother. It's usually bullshit and we all know it. How many hours do I spend mindlessly staring at my phone... on the couch, waiting in line, waiting for the coffee to percolate...? [Sidebar: My latest disgust with myself is in how much time I spend on my phone in the morning when I wake up. I keep telling myself I need to leave my phone charging in another room at night and buy a real life alarm clock. Maybe I should actually do it.] So maybe, just maybe, if I took some of those minutes out of my week and wrote a post, I would totally have the time. But then I have to ask myself, would I enjoy that?
3. My Blog Name. So, a little background (unless you've read the 3 posts I've written in the last 2 years and know this already). The blog idea came to me when I was starting to think about going into business in the wedding industry. I wanted a place where I could collect my work, sort of like a portfolio. So I got going taking pictures and telling stories, and.. then.... I..... stopped. I photographed and told stories about maybe 5 things I had created and then I stopped keeping up with it. Oops. And so the blog name, "Handmake and Tell" (which, by the way, I still think is super cute) is purely related to my crafting and DIY inner self, and not so much related to the business I now want to support by blogging (even though that part of who I am is WHY I am in business...) So, what to do? I could rename it and start over, but that just feels like every journal I started in grade school. I'd write two entries and the next Christmas I'd get a new journal and say, "This is the year I'm going to keep a diary".. and so on. I could re-brand the blog and change the tagline to something wedding-related or at least something that is more generic. I still love the idea of having a crafting blog. It's something I love, love, love to do, and after my own wedding is over, I'll have SO many DIY stories to tell. Or I could just. not. blog. I think option two is what I'll try to go with, but stay tuned..
4. (I'm only at number 4?) No, but seriously. It's not that I don't have time, it's just that I am not great at setting a time limit for writing. I've been writing this for 30 minutes already, I haven't picked out a photo to include with it, and I am already stressing that I have to wrap this thing up and get to "work". I think the secret here is to see this writing as part of my business; part of my "work". Part of working for myself is finding ways to distinguish between work and life, and reminding myself that some of (ok, a lot of) the things I do for my work are actually FUN and that's OK. That's why I'm doing this! So even though writing this blog post is (ok, sort of) fun, and it takes up some time, it is still "work" and should be counted as part of my workday. Ok, I might be able to live with this.
5. What's my Message? What do I want this blog to be? I'm slightly obsessed with branding, and I really don't want to just start blabbing on here about the random stuff happening in my life. That's what Facebook is for, right? If this is going to help me take my business to the next level, I am going to have to have a message. Obviously I can blog about all different kinds of things on here and have them relate to each other in some way, but WHAT is that relationship? DIY? Weddings? Creativity? I think the re-branding of the blog is the first step in this process, and then I can have a clear answer when I ask myself, Does this belong on the blog? Because right now, I'd have no idea.
Well, that wasn't so bad. Maybe I'll just start with some "list" posts. Stick with the comfort zone until this post-writing thing becomes habit.
Wish me luck!