April 2019 marks 3 years since I began blogging – first at CultureWeave, and now at YourGlobalFamily. Here are 3 lessons I've learned related to mindset and craft.
This article is Part 1 of a three-part series. Part 1 focuses on larger issues, particularly for someone who has taken up something new in her fifties. Part 2 looks more into the craft. And Part 3 gets more technical.
I’ve been doing this blogging thing, attempting to grow something, for almost three years now. What have I learned in terms of mindset and craft?
First, consistency matters. People need to know they can expect something from you at a certain time. Haphazard or erratic communication communicates, well, you’re haphazard. Don’t do that.
Don’t blast people with tons of articles, emails and the like, only to burn out. You’re in it for the long-haul. So am I. I am dedicated to make YourGlobalFamily and any associated ventures we create out of this a force lasting way beyond my time on this planet. I don’t mind taking time to lay a strong foundation.
Second, keep working on the craft, honing, shaping what you’re doing – and who you want to be. I feel as if now, in my mid-fifties, I’m getting new vision of who I want to become. Every day I’m envisioning the person I want to morph into. Of course, she carries much of my past me. That would be odd if she didn’t. But there’s something new about her. Something fiercer and bolder than what was. And she carries this certitude she didn’t have before.
Let me clarify. She had it. But it wasn’t grounded in an intimate knowing of her being. It was somehow based on some inflated sense of self that had yet to be proven. It wasn’t “the real deal” just yet.
But now, after years of traveling this journey called life, with highs and lows, hard lessons and everything in between, there is a solidity, a calm assurance, a sense of purpose and self that feels just so right. As if this is what she was made for.
Third, there is community in this writing / blogging / creative venture – if you make it. I chose to primarily follow one influencer–thought leader out there, Jeff Goins. He is the author of several New York Times bestselling books, but the one that triggered it for me was one of his first: You are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One). This book caught me in a powerful way. And I have benefitted since from incredible community as a result. I am so grateful.
Fourth, watch out for all the distractions. For there will be many! I have, on occasion, found myself inundated, overwhelmed by all the distractions. It’s almost as if you have this big marker on your head saying: Market to Me. It’s easy to get on jillions of email lists and follow so many squirrels.
Rather, pick one, two or three influencers to really follow and lean into. Don’t water down the time or what you can learn. Stay focused. It will do you a world of good. If you suffer from FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), as I’ve learned I do, then this will be especially hard. But understand this: If you can stay focused, you will make more consistent and solid progress.
Fifth, always lean into the challenge of knowing – and refining – what you really want. This can be a hard question to answer. Yes, in a simplistic way, you can come up with a pat answer. But when you dive more deeply, you become amazed at how much is there, how much you need to sort through to get to that real nugget, the best answer to that question.
I’m still working on it.
As a Christ-follower, I know it’s not all about what I want. But I also know when I lean into that quest, truly press myself to discover that, I will also be living out the very best life for me, and it will have spillover influence on others.
Ultimately, when I’m living into my purpose, it changes me – yes – but it also changes the world around me, and the world at large. I contribute to something much bigger, better and more beautiful. I become what Irenaeus famously said in the second century, expressing “the glory of God” in being “a [wo]man fully alive.”
This has been the best result of blogging these last three years. It is more than simply the technical aspect of it, or even the craft of writing. It is doing something so fulfilling – getting my thoughts and experiences out there – and doing something to (maybe) help a wider audience – that has been so powerful for me personally.
I’m hooked. And I’ll forge ahead!
How do you find what is right for you to pursue? What are the questions you ask yourself?