What’s my blogging goal?

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As I’ve contemplated my future in blogging, I’ve found myself wondering what it is I want out of it.  I’ve realized that some of my early goals are not going to come to pass–were probably not even part of the reason I was called to blog–and it’s time to let them go.  And that the process has led me to several outcomes I cherish.

REFINING AND DEEPENING MY JOURNEY

Every time I stop to reflect on my latest insights or to put my beliefs and my journey into words, I deepen my own understanding of this spiritual journey.  Every time I choose where to put my focus as I write a post, I support my intention to be peace, to be healthy and whole.

Because of the blog, I constantly examine my journey and my beliefs, looking for words of wisdom to share.  Now, I’m pretty deeply into self-examination so some of that would happen anyway.  But there’s an extra something that happens as part of choosing to write about my thoughts and share my insights.  It keeps me more mindful and aware.

For instance, as I’ve written my series of posts about using the ho’oponopono prayer*, I’ve become far more conscious of the many times and ways every day I can use it to heal myself and everything I see as a problem in the world.  I started with awareness of the prayer but only sporadically remembered to use it and I now say it many times a day.

FINDING A VOICE

I’d been writing “insights” and putting them up on a web site for some time before blogs were even a thing and eventually wove them into a book that’s still sitting here.  Although a recent re-read/edit of the book showed it to be better than I remembered, in general I felt like the insights I posted were stilted and pedantic.

Before I started blogging, shorter and pithier little essays started forming in my head regularly.  Exploring that in meditation I was told to start a blog.  I barely knew what a blog was but I researched, found WordPress and voila.

As I wrote these pieces I kept an eye on length and have maintained an intention to be succinct and keep it brief, though the average length has grown from my original attempt at 300-400 words.  Over time my writing style became more conversational and less formal and I found myself liking the things I wrote much better than I liked those older pieces.

I suspect that finding my voice as a writer was a big piece of the inner nudge to start a blog.

COMMUNITY: LOVE REACHING AROUND THE WORLD

The biggest unexpected surprise of blogging has been the great community of blogging friends I’ve found.  Every day I spend an hour or two absorbed in the deep journeys and thoughts of spiritual bloggers around the world and every day I feel the energy of our love and peace reaching out to enfold the earth.

I’ve gotten to meet a couple of bloggers and hope to meet many more.  The bloggers with whom I regularly interact inspire me, teach me, lead me to explore every day.  It’s hard to express how greatly I value what I receive from being part of this community.

WHAT IT’S NOT DOING

Since I’d finished my book not that long before I started blogging, my mind decided I’d been led to this in order to create my “platform” so I could show agents and publishers my big following and get the book launched.  The blog has certainly grown, but very slowly and I’ve finally realized that spiritual blogging is unlikely to provide me the kind of numbers I’d need to convince the publishing industry I can produce sales.

Over these years I’ve noticed that generally (by no means in all cases), spiritual blogs with big numbers tend to have an established name attached, whether of an institution (say, Tricycle) or a person (i.e. Wayne Dyer).  Unlike mainstream blogging, where great travel photos, parenting advice, recipes or snarkiness can “go viral” and draw big numbers, the spiritual journey of an unknown (i.e. not famous) person is unlikely to draw tens of thousands of followers.

I’ve tried to participate in popular “challenges” and events like NaBloPoMo, etc. but I’ve found that generally my blog doesn’t turn out to be the cup of tea for the mainstream bloggers who are the majority I encounter.  And I often have trouble bending prompts to fit the topic of spiritual journey (Sreejit is a big exception with his prompts that invite deep exploration — thanks so much!) as they’re generally not designed for inner searching or metaphysical thinking. I put in a lot of time and energy to participate and rarely grow my numbers by enough to justify it.

While musing about blogging I suddenly realized it’s time to let go of “platform building” as a goal.  The benefits of blogging have not been about the numbers but about the inner growth, the writing practice and the wonderful friends I’ve made.  By letting go of the underlying desire to see my stats going up, I think I can let go of a lot of time put in on activities I don’t especially like and just participate for the deeper, more valuable gifts I receive.


*For a post with versions of the prayer see here.  You can also click the Journey2Peace link at the top of the page and find many posts in recent months exploring this topic.

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20 thoughts on “What’s my blogging goal?

  1. It seems like you have done a lot of reflection and reached a few conclusions. I too thought I would be discovered and whisked off to Successville. Truth is, I have been discovered, but in rather unexpected ways. I am curious about the book. Many of us have stories about our books, regardless of whatever states of completion they fall into.

    I know that your most recent material ( past year or so) has influenced me significantly. Thank you.
    What’s funny is that the possibility of your stats skyrocketing once you let go any desire for them to do so. Have fun with your writing. Life here is very short. But you know that already.

    much love and appreciation. Linda

    • I’m so honored that some of my posts have had an impact for you.
      That would be funny if my stats zoomed now. 🙂
      I really enjoy this blog and writing the posts. Just feels like the time spent on it has gotten out of hand and, as it’s not leading — so far — to earning money, I’m feeling like I need to be ready to do something else when this last unwinding bit is over. Which doesn’t mean I’ll stop posting or staying in touch with you and my other friends but that’s all I really want to do.

  2. I think, as you have said Leigh, the blog is part of the journey. That finding self within a path, while looking for something else. Living while trying to find a life 🙂
    I am only a johnny-come-lately on here (a whole 18 months), for the purpose of spreading my word….but in doing so I have spread my wings so much further, found many a beautiful heart, and read so many loving words that I wonder what my purpose really was 🙂
    So my friend, you sound like your cycle has ended, or your direction may have changed….but in truth, that is all the more beautiful because it simply means that your awareness has digested this path and a new one awaits, whether here or on some new road with adventures all around.
    For myself personally, thank you for sharing, you have enhanced my journey with the beauty you have freely given.
    Love and light wherever your path takes you Leigh. Namaste

    • I still plan to blog here and to keep reading and “hanging out” with the folks like you, whose blogs speak to me (wow your journey lately has been something!). The rest, however, takes a lot of time and isn’t feeling worth it.
      Thanks so much for the kind words — Seeing you filled with healing light — Leigh

  3. Leigh a beautiful open post and not so different to my own feeling and many of our sacred friends here I imagine… I sense our calling to write here not only brought us magnificent friends but a depth to ourselves that we have carved out by our sincere and open words. We are not meant for mainstream living, we are the new standards… Who have deep friends, not in numbers yet… Who self publish our stories and inspire others along our journey. So glad you are my sacred friend. You are a wonderful reflection of all IAM. Love to you and happy peaceful weekend.

    P.s.I always remember your 10 min. Peace prayer… It is part of my life

    Barbara x

    • Thanks so much Barbara. I’m so glad you’re in the circle of bloggers with whom I feel such connection. I think we can thank the now-defunct Bloggers for Peace for that, as I have a vague memory that’s where I first ran into your posts.
      That’s so lovely that you’re doing the 10 minutes for peace. Hugs, Leigh

  4. Thanks for your open sharing of your honest reflections, Leigh.
    I resonate with much of what you wrote. It is not about finding followers but more about fidning our own voice.
    I have always enjoyed reading your stories about your healing journey and your insights along the way. And I also liked your stories about the application of h’oponopono work to any nasty roommates or neighbors.
    In the giant pot-luck dinner of the WordPress buffet, this inspires me most, how spiritual principles are applied to everyday life, with real-life examples and sharing of the outcome.
    Thank you for sharing here.
    Karin

  5. Leigh, I enjoy reading your blog, and your recent posts have gotten me to thinking about my own reasons for blogging. I may even write a post or two this weekend inspired by your blog today.

    Blessings and hugs to you as you continue your journey. You never know where the blogging may take you. Glad you’re part of the bloggers that I have gotten to know around the world.

    Karen

    • Can’t wait to see what you write.
      I’ve been so pleased we got to know one another here and that we got to meet! Haven’t made any of those treks to Chicago in several years, but I keep thinking I’ll manage to get there. Hugs, Leigh

  6. Hi Leigh. Even though an irregular reader (three and a half years ago, then I stopped -not only with your blog but with everything – then started again a couple of months ago, I’ve always enjoyed you deeply reflective posts.

    An author platform is good to have but your subjects are very specific and niche (unlike the mainstream novels). Have you considered that instead of trying to build an author platform you could go to chase your targets directly? There are plenty of online magazines and communities (Patheos, Tiny Buddha, are two that come to mind now) out there that would happily publish your articles and give you more exposure to a larger audience. You can also open up your reach by using popular social platforms (Facebook, Pinterest, etc.). Additionally, you can self-publish as an e-book only initial and let your exposed presence drive your book publicity. I’m not saying it’s easy, but it’s something many people have done and you’ve already done the hardest part, which is to build a successful blog.

    I know all of the above is rather practical, but you can do all that without sacrificing your intent, integrity, spirituality, and inner journey. It’s about opening up so more people can discover you and benefit from what you have to say. May I also say that your blog is building you an author platform already with how it is and is evolving (and saying that it doesn’t just pushes it away). You don’t need to persuade the publishing industry, but I am sure that they will be interested in your writing, even if you self-publish.

    • Yes, I’ve tried most of those things and have several self-published books on Kindle not selling. I’ve dragged my feet about trying to break into the magazine/e-zine market but it may be something I look into.
      Thanks so much for the kind words — it’s so nice that you like my posts.
      Glad you’ve decided to come back to the blogging scene!

      • My biggest problem currently is the fight with the resisting part of my brain. It’s a conglomeration of not-good-enough, not-deserving, self-promotion-is-egotism, nonsense feelings. To the point that I have slowed down my fiction writing because of them. It’s not the amount of words I have to write, but rather whether I believe it’s all but pointless or not. And for me at least, that’s only the beginning of the problem. How do I promote my work – because even the traditional publishers expect the authors to promote their work and themselves – without feeling the shower of those negative feelings and the immense fear? I guess the fear won’t go away and I’ll have to do it despite feeling it. It’s the rest of the negative feelings that I need to work.

        • I’m familiar with that part of the brain 🙂 I feel like I should have made a bigger disclaimer about this being MY experience but not necessarily the only one. I don’t know whether I have some inner issue holding things back or whether success in this way at this time is just not what’s meant to be for me but my lack of success at this doesn’t mean success can’t be had.
          For me it’s been a question of looking into the fear and working on what needs healing as well as sometimes just moving forward in spite of the fears… If you believe writing is your path, I’m sure you’ll find your own right way to do it.

  7. Hello dear thoughtfully inspiring Leigh.

    I love your contemplation and exploration of the ‘why’ of blogging. Like you, my inner journey has deepened, my writer’s voice strengthened and become more clear and I have made some amazing and truly inspiring friendships, like yours, here in the blogosphere.

    I will keep reading you dear Leigh, and being connected because your words, your journey illuminate mine. And I am grateful.

    Much love and light.

  8. A lot of this is my own story Leigh –
    *wanting a platform for the future book, and finally letting go of it (it took a looooong time to let go). The numbers continue to grow slowly and I’m grateful for that.
    *Loving the community I’ve discovered, both travel and spiritual, and how much I learn and grow from reading others’ blogs – such a gift.
    *really appreciating the improvement in my writing and photography because of keeping a blog.
    Much love,
    Alison

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