(This post also appears on gloryannaboge.com.)
I keep hearing a lot about how we can’t be all to everyone or we can’t be everything to all that’s out there. It seems we are always going going going and getting ourselves deeper and deeper into the busyness that is blogging. You see a lot of posts out there about “Simplifying Your Life: Use a Post Planner” or “5 ways to being more balanced in Your Writing.” I will quickly click on those posts because I, too, need to simplify and slow down, get focused and write. When you find yourself constantly clicking on these posts, you start to evaluate what you’re doing and why you have this constant feeling like you’re spinning your wheels and not ever moving. I started wondering why I get myself into that crazy mode that is the fast lane of blogging.I realized I wasn’t being honest with myself and I wasn’t being honest with my readers.
I try to do it all and have it all because at times I am not comfortable in my own skin.
I am constantly looking over my writing and my goals and where I’m going with all of it, but I get so easily wrapped up in the day-to-day demands, that I lose myself. Trying to stay up on all the social media trends, trying to find the right time to post an article on Facebook and the totally different time to try and hit the sweet spot on Twitter. Growing a readership. Making genuine connections with other writers and not just “liking” something so it will somehow serve me back. How do you keep the balance of the genuine and the reality of needing a social media base to grow your readership? A blogging friend of mine mentioned the other day about how we get so busy trying to put the daily fires out, we sometimes lose site of our long term goals. I find my constant attraction to these day-to-day fires draws me farther away from my authentic self.
No longer was I operating in my own skin, but the demands of trends or numbers. Stats or comments. I was becoming a servant to my social media.
I do this because if I was comfortable in my own skin, I wouldn’t worry about trying to get all the right #hashtags or getting in on all the blogging circle discussions and figuring out the best way to write engaging captions and posts to boost audience interactions. My own skin would stick with the genuine follows and growing my readership organically. My own skin would stick with when it works best for my family life to write and not when the stats tell me to. My own skin doesn’t like to post selfies. There I said it.
We all have our own interpretations of what it means to be comfortable in our own skin as writers. I know plenty of writers who have a system and are efficient with their time as they grow their readership. There are so many bloggers out there whose strength is connecting with their readers and building a community on their blog. These writers are passionate and comfortable with their writing processes.
I want to stay passionate and genuine to myself as a writer. I want to embrace my personality that shapes my writing. This means I’m not always going to be on the up and up with the latest social media trends. It means that I may miss out on some awesome blogging discussions. It means that I’m going to have to put my phone down for a while everyday so I can stay in the moment with my baby boy who is growing wildly fast. It means I need to set aside the evenings so I can focus on my husband and nurture our relationship.
I don’t want to be defined by my readers. I want to define my readers.
I find this to be such a hard act to balance. Clearly, writers need to be aware of their audiences and pay attention to efficient ways to interact with their readers, but when do you draw the line? How do you decide when you’ve gone too far and it’s no longer your genuine self out there but you, wearing a mask trying to be all things to everyone?
The comfortable-in-my-own-skin me would rely more on God’s direction for my writing. After all, He is the reason I started this.
Maybe you started your blog to make money by monetizing. Maybe you are working on a platform to being a freelance writer. Maybe you are writing a book and are hoping to grow an audience and use your blog to write more. We all have our reasons and we all have what makes us the writers we are.
We need to be reminded about those writing tips to boost our readership and new ways to simplify our writing methods.
But we also need reminding to BE who we are and stay comfortable in our skin.
The result should be a simplified life.
What do you do that keeps you from drifting from your authentic self?
What reminders or tips would you give to writers to encourage them to be comfortable in their own skin? I would love to hear you thoughts in the comments below!
(This post also appears on gloryannaboge.com.)