Are You Looking for (Gentle) Blogging Inspiration in 2018?
It's easy to get caught up in the New Year excitement. Deciding that this year you're really going to go for it, to finally get that blog up and running, to write about what you love to write about, to focus and write on your blog on a regular basis. To put yourself out there, to maybe earn an income from your blog and your writing...you get the picture.
Then, you sit at your laptop, fingers hovering over the keyboard, raring to go. But you find you can't. It just isn't happening.
I'm telling you, I've been there. In fact, I feel a bit like that this morning. There's so many ideas in my head that I feel a little overwhelmed. Do you feel like that? Or, it could be that there are no ideas in your head. I've been there, too. You feel devoid of creativity after a busy Christmas. Where is that creative spark you desperately desire?
Well, firstly, let me say this. It's not a race. I feel, sometimes, that January is a bit like waking up from a really deep, relaxing sleep and having to go at one hundred miles an hour getting yourself ready. And it's like wading through treacle. Many of us have taken time off over Christmas. Why do we suddenly feel we have to spend hours and hours on our projects just because it is a New Year? If we're not careful we'll get to February completely exhausted.
Secondly, do not feel that just because someone else appears really productive that you are failing. Don't compare your writing, your creativity, your blog, your stats, your Instagram, your productivity - anything, to anyone else. You are forging your own path.
(And yes, I could be writing this blog post as a reminder to myself.)
If you feel that you want to sit on the sofa watching a twenty-year old episode of Jonathan Creek on Netflix this afternoon, I'm not going to judge. (Okay, that might be me I'm describing. I have a date with my settee at 4pm.) You have to pace yourself.
However, that being said, there are a few things that have inspired me over the Christmas break:
1. I listened to Sara Tasker's podcast with Jen Carrington whilst wrapping presents on Christmas Eve. Sara and Jen were basically chatting between themselves and it was lovely and mellow to listen to. No action plans with them saying 'you must do this'. It was gentle reassurance from knowledgeable friends. I really recommend to counteract the shouty 'New Year New You' articles.
2. Similarly, Lucy of Wanderluce did a 12 days of Christmas 'Podmas' in December. It is basically 12 episodes of Lucy chatting about podcasting, imposter syndrome, failure - plus other topics. And again, in Lucy's beautifully reassuring voice, you get the feeling that you're not alone in all you strive to achieve in this online world. Lucy also has a Facebook group which is lovely for chats and support. Particularly great if you're interested in podcasting yourself.
3. I read the book She Means Business by Carrie Green over the Christmas break, too. Some of the advice isn't relevant to what I want to achieve with my online space - but - I found the book encouraging and it did spark ideas of my own.
4. Getting organised has always been an issue for me. I'm just not an organised kind of person. I've tried organising my work online but it doesn't work for me. Notebooks are the key. But then I have about fifty notebooks with notes in all of them. And can I find the right note when I need it?!
I started a bullet journal last September and it really helped. But I found I was putting all sorts in it - not just blogging and business stuff and it was becoming too 'busy'. So when I saw this simple version of a bullet journal just for blogging by Lily Pebbles I immediately adapted it with a similar version for myself. I've used a Lemome notebook which has premium thick paper. The first notebook I've found that doesn't show the ink through on the other side of the page.
Just writing down the categories and dates was enough to get me excited about the year to come. Ideas soon followed and it's starting to fill nicely.
So. A book, a bullet journal YouTube video, a couple of podcasts and a Facebook Group have inspired me to forge my own path in 2018. Have you found anything inspiring recently?
Sowing Stories - the E-Course
At the end of February I'll be launching my first e-course for people who want to set up their own blog to share their stories online - but have no idea where to start. This e-course will go through the practical side of setting up a blog as well as the creative aspects. If you'd like to be the first to hear about its launch (there will be limited spaces available) then sign up to the mailing list below.
I'm really excited about this course - I'm pouring everything I know about blogging and telling stories online into it. (You can read more in this post.)