Recently I was hanging out with some blogger friends and we were talking about the thing that all of us had in common; blogging. Blogging conversation always turns to how to get more followers, how to make money blogging, how to make it big, how to go viral; the usual struggles of the small blog life. We were lamenting the fact that some big time bloggers don’t seem to care enough to help out the little guys or can’t be bothered with reaching out unless a paycheck is involved. One of my partners in blogging crime said something to the effect of “lighting someone else’s candle won’t make yours any less bright”. For some reason this hit me like a ton of bricks and has stuck with me. I can’t control what other people are going to do or not do, but I can control my own actions and reactions. I knew that I had to stop focusing on me and light someone else’s candle.
In blogging and in life everything can easily turn into “it’s all about me”. This sentiment is fueled by our need for everything to happen right now thanks to our every shrinking attention span and ever increasing barrage of visual stimulation online and on TV. We are so used to the instant gratification that social media provides that when we don’t have the desired number of “likes” we wonder what is wrong. Last week I wrote a post that saw a lot of traffic (for me, anyway) and that was great, but this week I’m back to my normal (some would call them pitiful) numbers, and that’s just fine too. It can’t all be about me all the time. Another thing that happened last week was I found myself engaged with a bunch of other bloggers on Twitter through a fluke “reply all” email from a media company. One of the bloggers has a pretty hefty following but took the time to engage with no-names like myself. She gave me hope that not all big-time bloggers are snobs but rather just regular people who happen to have followers with the letter “k” after the number.
Since meeting with my bloggy friends I have seen blogging success in a whole new light. I have given up worrying about me and instead have turned my focus outward. Rather than obsess over my own success, or lack thereof, I’ve been focusing on others. The result: a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I continue to do my thing and pursue my goals but without the stress of waiting, wondering and wishing. I trust that my time will come, even if it’s not as quickly as I would like or in the form that I had originally planned.
I want to make things around here more bright so I’m going to light some candles. These are some blogs I’ve been crushing on lately.
Marisa Mohi Marisa is one of my new found bloggy friends and a kindred spirit. She is a great writer and a contributor to The Lost Ogle (which is nothing to sneeze at). She has a dry, witty sense of humor and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know her in real life as well as online.
The Mom Cafe I have been crushing on Chris for a while now. She writes about the ups and downs of parenting and how she leans on her faith to get her through the tough times. I have had the pleasure of knowing Chris as an online friend for a couple of years and I’m thrilled that she recently got picked up by The Huffington Post.
Mari Farthing Mari is another blogger friend and my co-conspirator at Oklahoma Women Bloggers. She and I have gotten to know each other as we work to build a community of women bloggers and I have loved getting to know her in real life and through her writing.
The OK Mamma Kelly is a blogger I recently discovered and am so glad I did. There is something about her writing that really speaks to me. She blogs about her family, parenting, faith, fashion, reviews, food, random stuff…pretty much things I blog about.
Brene Brown – Brene certainly don’ts need me to light her candle, it’s pretty bright already. However, I’m inspired by what she has to say. She is the source of my inspiration for my word of the year “be brave” and the quote on the back of my business cards: “Courage: telling the story of who you are with your whole heart”.
The Unlikely Farm Girl – Carol is brand new to blogging and needs some love. She is chronicling her adventures living on a farm with her husband, 5 kids and menagerie of farm animals. Lord help me if I ever have to raise 5 children and wrangle chickens too.