Well it’s official! I have reached the 6 month mark as a Blogger. It feels like it has been longer though. Especially since ideas and research to start one had been swimming in my head for several years prior to that first initial scary click of the “publish” button. Which by the way, that publish button is still terrifying to click! Talk about anxiety EVERY SINGLE TIME!! Please tell me I’m not the only one. Or better yet, please tell me it gets better. lol 😉
Since my first post hit the cyber world I have had a whirlwind of thoughts, emotions, and opinions on this whole blogging thing. While I could probably list several, I’m going to share 4 points that has stood out the most for me within my first 6 months of blogging.
One: Blogging is so much more than writing blog posts and taking pictures.
As mentioned above, prior to my launch I had done a lot of research about the blogging scene; however nothing compares to experiencing it head on. As some of you know only a few short weeks after Textures of Grace launched I was offered an internship for Houston Blogger, Dawn P. Darnell. The experience has truly been amazing and I’m so grateful for this door God opened in my blogging path. I have been given the opportunity to witness and learn first hand what all is involved in this business. Working with Dawn and watching her shine in her craft has been awesome to say the least. Her heart, drive, and diligence has been unbelievably inspiring. Her guidance and friendship in my own blogging journey has been a God send.
I very quickly discovered that a huge amount of effort and time goes into a blog behind the scenes and can often feel like a never ending revolving door. There is ALWAYS something to do to keep a blog going. And a lot of it involves your face and hands engulfed in your phone! Let’s just say I experienced Carpel Tunnel for the first time due to blogging! So needless to say implementing the knowledge I was gaining within my internship immediately after my blog launch felt in a way like being thrown into the fast lane! No joke!!
Now you have to understand, I am very much a thinker. I LOVE thinking time and often NEED thinking time to function. I prefer to ponder, reflect, and ease into my decisions. So the whirlwind I mentioned above was basically me processing AND pursuing so many new territories rather quickly into my blogging start. And many of those territories touched areas way outside my comfy little zone. So I eventually realized that moments of decompressing were a MUST for me to fuel my inspirations. Giving myself permission to do so was a challenging decision to make as I shared here. But I’m so glad I did and will continue to allot recharging moments throughout my journey.
Much like any business you have to put yourself out there, engage, and network. And in many cases these attributes to your success can often take more of your time than your actual blog posts do. IF YOU LET IT! It is so easy to consume yourself in the required social media aspect of this business. While this area is important, if not careful you can easily find yourself lost in the shuffle of this highly saturated business and lose sight of your “why” – The Blog. Which leads me to my next point.
Two: Blogging Is Not A Race
So that fast lane I spoke about…is crazy town lol! And although you may have no intentions of jumping on that band wagon you can easily get caught up in it before you know it if your not careful! There are a gazillion tips, how to’s, and resources out there to help guide us through as a bloggers. And while they can be very beneficial, it is so important to never lose sight of your vision and what sparked your reason to start a blog.
The band wagon is not an evil place by any means, it is just a place that everybody is trying to get on to reach “success”. Plus, I have crowd anxiety so any wagon with everybody on it is way too crowded for me. 😉 I am “me” and want to continue to be “me” in my blog. My way is not necessarily going to match all the “how to’s”. There is only one “me” and naturally THAT is what is going to set me apart from everybody else. I share more in depth on this area in my blog post “I Choose To Be Me”.
I personally am in no rush for that end result that we bloggers are aiming to achieve (whatever that may be). For me the success is in the journey. I want to enjoy the process, soak up the experiences, and be present in the path God is guiding me through with Textures of Grace. The successes, achievements, and dreams are all “within” the journey.
Three: Family and Friends will not be that primary support needed to reach “blogger success”.
Now I was warned about this realization and actually experienced a little bit of this in previous en-devours so I was prepared for this one. However prepared or not, it can still be painful. I mean as bloggers we are expressing our heart and soul in this thing and naturally want all of our current peeps to feel that passion right along with us, right? It was important to understand that my blog is “my passion” not theirs. And while they do support me, more than likely they will not utilize the “participation method” required for blogger success (aka business opportunities). They mostly will be in what I like to call the “Ghost Follower” category. They are watching and reading without saying a word.
If you think about it, we all “ghost support” other peoples content (FB, IG, Blog Post) from time to time by not providing any feedback. It doesn’t mean that what we read or saw didn’t impact or inspire us in one way or another. Ghost support is still support. The content is being seen and that is what matters.
In most cases they don’t even know that clicking that heart/like button and providing comments is the acknowledgment required for advancement in this business. So for anyone that struggles in this area as a blogger, you are definitely not alone. The fact that I was warned from the get go proves it is very normal. So we can’t take it personal. Unless they too are in the blogging scene they simply don’t know how the business side works and what aids our potential growth. Which brings me to my last point.
Four: The blogging community is an amazing support system and great source for inspiration.
There is something about surrounding oneself with like minded individuals that can inspire us to pursue our own individual dreams and passions. While their dreams may not be our own, their drive to pursue and grow are the very thing that can keep our visions alive. This is the community that will provide the support that feels lacking in the point I described above. Our fellow bloggers know what we are going through and the hard work that goes into it. It is so important to involve yourself within a blogging community that fuels you with positive energy.
Now building that community of like minded individuals takes time. But if we stay true to ourselves and visions and engage with those that inspire us and support us, the genuine connections will happen naturally. The blogging community has touched my heart in so many ways. I am so thankful for the relationships I have made through blogging. Their passions inspire me to pursue mine and I genuinely enjoy cheering them on along the way. It has been one of the most rewarding pieces in my blogging experience thus far.
It has often been said that many don’t surpass that 6 month threshold. And I see how that can easily occur. Especially if the reason behind it all is for all the wrong reasons. It is a lot of consistent hard work and a lot of learning as you go. It involves finding your unique voice and then speaking that voice at the right times with hopes that “someone” is actually listening.
I can honestly say I absolutely LOVE blogging! Some of the most amazing things about blogging is the sky is the limit, the opportunities to be creative are endless, and the platform to inspire and encourage is powerful. I believe without a doubt that blogging at Textures of Grace is exactly where God wants me to be. I look forward to the journey God continues to pave for me along the way.
Dawn, thank you for always being there, believing in me and my vision, and pushing me to step out of my comfort zones. Casey and Silvia, it has been a complete joy getting to know you these past 6 months within our internship. I consider you all dear friends and I’m so thankful God brought us all together.
*This picture was taken in January at our very first Dawn P. Darnell team meeting to kick off our 6 month internship. 🙂
Thank you to every single one of you out there that has supported Textures of Grace in one way or another. It means more than you know. I look forward to what blogging will surface next.
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Also – I have linked similar pieces below to achieve a similar look reflected in the images within this post.
WHAT I’M WEARING:
TOP Zara // SHORTS Gap // WEDGES Target // BAG Vintage