“When you enter a mindset, you enter a new world. In one world–the world of fixed traits–success is about proving you’re smart or talented. Validating yourself. In the other–the world of changing qualities–it’s about stretching yourself to learn something new. Developing yourself.”
– Carol S. Dweck
Image credit: Shutterstock
I’m hoping all you bloggers out there can relate to my current dilemma. I have become stuck in the quagmire of “techniques to grow your blog” and find myself forgoing my creativity in the endless pursuit of gaining readers. I feel like I have sold my soul to the blogosphere.
I was terrified when I started this blog two years ago. I wasn’t in it for the money. I didn’t start it to fill a career gap in my life. I dove into the deep end of the blog world to find my voice again. As a journalist by degree I was comfortable writing informative pieces but after 20-ish years of not creatively expressing myself my soul needed an outlet. I was on the edge of turning 50 and I felt my inner voice withering from neglect. So I said a prayer, held my breath and jumped in with both feet.
I don’t remember exactly when the monetizing gremlins snuck in to my beautiful, pristine white space or how I even allowed them to violate my sanctuary. I don’t recall when I realized that SEO was important and that page views mattered. I bought into the need for establishing countless social media outlets to brand myself and to build my presence. I spent endless hours reading about hashtags, keywords and analytics. I became… a media influencer.
And for what? Validation.
I saw other bloggers spewing their stories of how they made money blogging by writing about something they loved. They told me that all I had to do was be passionate about creating great content and the rest was a fairy tale unfolding. I wanted a fairy tale. I wanted people to recognize my blog, my heart, my words. I wanted validation.
And here I sit in the same spot I’ve been sitting every morning for months now, laptop imprint on my thighs, chastising myself for my neediness and lack of insight. I drank the purple Kool Aid but I survived.
I abandoned my creativity for validation. I lost my authentic voice in the very place I created for it to blossom. The goddess succumbed to whispers of potential success.
Not that my months of work have been fruitless. I have learned a lot about blogging and growing readership. And now that I know the “rules” I am perfectly obliged to break them whenever I want. I will write about what is on my heart, not about what will sell, and you don’t have to like it or read it for that matter.
Welcome to my white space; my place to share my soul authentically with you and to explore ways to live well and grow in grace and wisdom. I hope you find a home here.