This month I almost missed a big milestone that I honestly didn’t even know was a milestone. I came across some blogging statics that mentioned how nearly 95% of bloggers do not make it to the 6 month mark. Most say that they fail because they run out of writing material or ambition, or that they did not realize the amount of time that it takes.
If you would have told me, at this time last year that I would be “blogging” today, I probably would have chuckled and thrown my beloved cowboy boot at you, the one with paint splattered toes and a soil caked sole. Last August, I was knee-deep in about a hundred tomatoes a day and way over my head in starting up my first business. That “business” had nothing do with writing, but may have had a hand in the dawn of my online presence. At the time, I was delving into refinishing and repainting furniture. The interest came about quite by accident, when I posted photos online of a dresser that I painted for our daughter’s room. I received 5 emails that week from people I didn’t know,
asking if I had more product for sale. And so we went with it. By we, I mean my husband and me. Since I hadn’t chosen a simple business to start, every ounce of it, outside of the painting, required oodles of my husband’s time. Time that he really didn’t have, as he was plenty busy running his own company (and he had 9 acres of lawn to mow). But regardless, we spent the next several months, driving all around the state, hunting down antique and used furniture bargains. He of course, did the driving, the lifting, and the hauling. I mostly just pointed and painted. The business did quite well according to me, as I enjoyed every second of it, sold every last piece of furniture I painted, and even made the investment after 5 months. Fast forward a few months, and we found ourselves selling off the unpainted remains, as well as everything else we owned. We had decided to move to Ecuador, and that business certainly wasn’t going with us!
So then, I started writing. At first I had no intent to share the writings, as I was doing it mostly as a way to remember the whirlwind, so we could tell our kids about it when they get older. In fact, I was writing for 2 months, before I invited anyone to read it. I opened a Facebook Page to share our experiences and our new life with our closest friends and family. Shortly after I chose to make it public, and now close to 150 people follow the page. About 2 months ago, I decided to go full steam ahead, as I was really enjoying this new hobby, and I just couldn’t shake of the “what ifs“. So I did a little research and then I started making submissions to job listings for bloggers. I also started joining every social media platform that was suggested. I really had no idea what I was doing, and I still feel I’m only grazing the surface to understanding all of that online social world chaos. Since then, I’ve been working hard to move all of the content and photos from my Facebook page to a hosted website. In addition, I was also floored when I was accepted as a Freelance Writer/Author for a Baby, Pregnancy, and Parenting Website. I’m currently writing 1-3 articles a week for that company. I’m also submitting 1 travel article a week, in the hopes of getting a gig for a travelzine or something like it.
So, I guess that all of this means, that I’m officially a “Blogger”. If you’re wondering how I do it, it takes a lot of coffee and midnight or 3 am writing. I couldn’t do without my husband. I also happen to be a stay at home mom, by choice. But, sometimes, being a stay at home mom and a writer…are directly conflicting. My husband keeps me sane. Not only does he rescue me from the perpetual noise of our rowdy 2 and almost-4 year olds, but he reminds to take a deep breath and step away from the screen, when I start getting writing fatigue otherwise known as the mommy grouchies. He listens to me read each and every post and article aloud, just as any proud parent would. He helps with my research when I get stuck, and most of all, he pats me on the back and praises my progress (most emphatically when I can’t see it myself). Without his enduring support, I would have quit by now too.
This is not to say that I am an expert, because I certainly am not. I have zero organization or schedule to my blogging. I have no idea what I’m writing about until I sit down to write it. Some days or weeks, I am so focused on the 8 Duffels2Mutts website, that I forget to post on Facebook, or I get way behind on my articles. Other times it is the opposite, that I am so busy with the articles, that I don’t have time for the website. And then there are the days when I get on Facebook, and realize that I haven’t logged in for 5 days. But, I’m getting there. I’m learning, I’m watching, I’m taking notes, and I’m still trying to figure out what really works. And I’m still completely awed over the bloggers who have tens of thousands of bloggers and others who have 20 years of posts under their belts.
I have gained so much respect for others who are doing this, as I now understand what goes on behind the scenes of every article I read. The online world will never be the same for me. One of the most inspiring parts of the last two months is the discovery of the blogging community. Previously, I had no idea of its existence. I still can’t quite get over it, of how welcoming and supportive it is. Unlike just about every other profession I can think of, this is not a dog eat dog world. Everyone is so enthusiastic, so supportive, so eager to next person succeed. It is truly a “Pay it Forward” system in action, and I am so proud to have become a part of it!