I recently joined the Intentional Blogging Challenge, which lasted for 21 days in October. Well, that sure flew by. And, honestly, I didn’t participate wholeheartedly, as I had planned. I didn’t do the challenges every single day. But I did read each challenge, and stockpile it in my brain as advice, writing tips, and ideas for the future. And I did take some time to think about my blog focus, my writing voice, and why I blog in the first place.
This blogging challenge started with tips on writing and on starting a blog and then it moved into tips on growing your blog and your platform, and introduced that faint whisper (just kidding…it’s not faint…it’s all over the ‘blogoshpere’) about how to start making money with your blog.
The lesson about blog Focus really stuck with me. I am still thinking about it. It kind of bugged me at first: what is the darn focus of my blog?? As I have said before, I am kind of a ‘too-many-baskets-not-enough-eggs’ kind of gal. Meaning that I have too many interests and not enough energy to feed them all!
Some days it feels like a weakness. Others like a strength.
So, I contemplated and contemplated my blog focus. It’s kind of something like this: It began as a way to document adventures, then a place to talk about how we fuel ourselves for those adventures (ie sharing recipes for hearty food!). It’s also kind of something like this: My theme is exploration: exploration around my home, around the world, in the kitchen, in writing. I know, it’s all a little incomplete. A little un-concise. A little flighty.
I asked my mother about it. I thought I might need to find a niche if this thing is every going to go anywhere.
Her response: “I like your rambling blog! It reflects who you are and what’s going on in your world, which seems to me is exactly its purpose. You may find a single topic someday, but for now your interests are varied and that works well for you.”
Leave it to mom to put my thought of “I am scatterbrained and unfocused and flighty as a sparrow” into such flattering words 🙂
But it did make me realize something: my blog is my room full of many baskets. And that’s okay 🙂 And here’s why I keep doing it:
To document life:
This blog has become the scrapbook of our lives. I have posted so many of Alex and my adventures here: Our travels, our hikes, and even a bit of our wedding vows. I love looking back at these and reminiscing. And I love sharing them with our friends and family. Additionally, it’s interesting to look back and see my many interests: what have I stuck with and what’s fizzled out? What do I care enough about to keep writing about it?
To get an idea of what- of the many interests- people like to read about:
Thank you ‘Recipe Review: Thai Curry Soup (Noodle’s and Company Copycat)!” This post has brought my blog SO much traffic…it’s crazy. I like to look at my stats and see what readers find interesting….this might be how I find my niche someday. And then I like to look back at those posts and see what’s good about them. Did I feel really good about my voice in that post? Is it something unique…(hello, Kenya posts!)? Does this post share an insight that is unique to me (What should I say when people ask me how married life is?)? Basically, I look at these and try and figure out what attracted people to them!
To keep writing:
I love bigger writing projects. When I say bigger, I mean bigger than a single blog post. I love to sit down and work on a personal essay or an outline for a novel idea I have or a pitch for a magazine. But sometimes, none of those things happen. Sometimes, I don’t have ideas for things like that or I get out of routine and don’t find the time to work on bigger ideas. But there’s always my blog! It’s a routine that keeps me writing, not matter what. And I made it more of a routine last Spring by starting these Tuesday Talk posts. This space always keeps me writing.
So, for now, I say that it’s okay that my blog is flighty as a sparrow. My mom was right. It suits me perfectly right now 🙂