Every year I set some goals for Dancing With Fireflies. Goals that help me remember why I blog and why I keep pushing it to be something more than it was the year before. Where I do I want to be next year? What’s next? And most importantly, is this really enjoyable?
A few years ago, my boys were teens and life was really just hectic and stressful. My life revolved around taking care of my family and fighting a battle with Lyme Disease that I feared that I would never win.
In a moment of anger, one of my boys screamed at me words that I wasn’t ready to hear but words I’ll never forget. “Get a job Mom! You don’t DO anything! You are nothing.”
At the time I knew his words were angry words of a teenager. But they sunk in because they were the words of my self-doubt. The words hurt because I’d said them in my own head too many times before because I WANTED to become something more and hadn’t.
So I set out to try to do SOMETHING else that I could say was my title, other than Mother, Daughter, Wife, Friend, Caretaker, Taxi Driver, Cleaner, Cook, Ect. I wanted to make him proud. Just as importantly, I wanted to make myself proud.
I’ve always been a writer. But I hadn’t ever dared to show anyone other than a few trusted friends my work. But soon after trying to discover what was next, I started blogging. Through writing online I found my passion for blogging. I became a blogger and found my place. But I still had a hard time calling it my job after years of pursuing it.
The blog has done well. I’ve enjoyed the pace. But at the beginning of the year I craved change and improvement. But I needed a good spark to get the winter blues out of my head and my fingers to the keys.
Then came a change from an unlikely place. I think this is really where a lot of momentum of change comes from… conflict.
Recently we had a angry young woman come into our lives for a very short time. I truly understand the root of her anger had nothing to do with me and everything to do with HER fear. In her tantrums she challenged me in a fantastic way.
Am I doing enough?
“Blogging isn’t a job.”
At first I was annoyed because this plucky little mouse was really just pissing me off. For various reasons I wanted to be done with her and move on. I’m like that. I’d rather just not argue and move on. But her belief that blogging wasn’t a credible job called again to my own inner doubts as to if I was doing enough to drive my own business.
This actually renewed my passion for driving my blog from a slow cruise to stepping on the gas and moving from passive to monetizing. I valued that once again my own self doubt had raised it’s hand and called my attention and I had the chance to do something about it.
Blogging IS a job and it’s one that for many is a mixture of joy and tears.
This year already I’ve seen readership jump and follows surge. When I look through the analytics I see clearly the difference. It came from making a statement.
Blogging might look like fun, but there is a lot that goes into taking it from an online “diary” to a successful job. Most of that comes from stepping out of your comfort zone, asking for help, and being brave enough to make changes.
Changes move you from one stage to the next.
I love the outlook for this year with DWF. Already we have booked an incredible adventure with some other travel lovers and booked a group cruise to the Caribbean in November. We will be doing Live videos from ports and sharing lots of photos on our Instagram. As well as sharing a lot of new travel blog posts here.
This summer, we are heading to England! I’m excited to go exploring and we will be sharing lots of great information about where to stay, where to eat, and the best was to travel even if you have a chronic illness like I do and travel can be a bit slower.
We are also working with a few new sponsors and you’ll be able to take advantage of their offers they provide for us to pass on to our readers. I have really loved talking to a few of them recently about what cool things they can share.
So life is good. Work is fantastic.
So what goals do we have?
I’m excited to say that I hope that this time next year we will have really embraced the move from a more freewriting style of blogging to something that stirs together both creativity and great information that is useful and practical for my readers.
Sure, you’re still going to get a few moments of freewriting. That’s the joy of being a blogger. But I also hope to bring to you more of what you love and are looking for in a blog.
I hope you’ll keep sharing your thoughts on what you like and what you’d like to see more of. It’s a great compass of direction and I love your thoughts.
Thanks again everyone for reading and helping Dancing With Fireflies become the dream job that I wake up every morning excited to come to.