I’m trying again and this time it feels like success. But no matter what it is, it is part of my Journey; and my journey is good. I had to find just the right niche and build it out.
My post, The Feminization of the InterWebs, is a tech article, although it could also be categorized as a “feminist” post, and it probably fits into several other categories too. Most of my stuff can be categorized in more than one way… which is why I love tags…but I digress. My article on “Home is a Feeling of Place Without Pretense ” is also garnering a lot of positive comments and attention, as is my F is for Feminist and It Isn’t an “F Word.” Of these two posts, one is warm and fuzzy, and one is edgy. I think that maybe these posts qualify me to be an entry in the running for a Voice of the Week feature on BlogHer. Yes, I even threw one of these into the hat for Voice of the Year, too. (Don’t forget to vote for me!) I have FINALLY learned that there is, most often, no promotion when there is no self-promotion. Took me ages, literally, to figure out and internalize that one. BlogHer is the writing community where I feel at home. It helps me figure things out, and “Oh Lordy” as my father used to say or “Lordy, Lordy, Lordy” as my mother used to say. I have lot to figure out.
I have only recently recognized that one of my measures of success, or even mileposts (in TQM speak, ick, ptooey, and gag me with a spoon) is measured by interaction with the BlogHer Community. I am so oblivious at times that I astound myself when I realize something I should have recognized all along or at least for years. And some of these times I absolutely fall over in dumb struck awe that I’ve been doing what I have just realized I should do, and doing it for years! My unconscious mind is a wonderful thing, but I don’t understand it at all. And for that I am truly blessed. I cannot say from where these blessings come, for I am just a Billy Pilgrim adrift in time and space.
I think my post for the letter P this month will be centered on Billy Pilgrim, yes, that sounds right. But I digress…yet again…argh!
Anyhoo, I do feel blessed. My journey in this life has not always been smooth, middle of the road, or followed a straight, unerring path, but it is good overall because it has brought me to a good place in the company of good people. Some of these people who accompany me through this life, physically, in spirit, digitally, or in memory, would say, variously and independently, that Angels, the laws of the Universe, Gaia, Light and Love, intellect, spirit, consciousness and many other “Great Organizing Principles in the Sky” are the powers behind blessings. But me, well, I think “all of the above” is the best answer on any test on ultimate truths I might be given.
The journey is wonderful and I am so grateful that things are falling together into what I think I have been planning, but at a nearly subliminal level I have been keeping from even myself, for several years. I have had two long running topically focused blogs and several less well maintained blogs. I have learned a tremendous amount about blogging, writing, software, graphics, and community. I struggled with pseudonym use, lack of comments, massive surges of readers when I did some original reporting and when I tapped into a couple memes when they were forming, as well as struggling with links, networks, and monetization concerns focused on the ethics of corporate support and advertising.
The whole time I was starting blogs with various degrees of success, I was testing out different models and voices. By participating in programs that looked at the business of writing I was able to reframe my experience of blogging and apply the info that fit and throw out the info that didn’t. I learned how to do the things I needed to do to consolidate my writings and tracked what type of posts got positive responses and which didn’t, what types of voice and style of comments I felt comfortable making. I learned how to use the networks and the tools they provided and prepared to use them properly given my constraints. I had spent time over the last few years participating to the degree to which I felt comfortable in a network of women bloggers. I tried and succeeded at some things I attempted in the network, and failed at others. But steady, persistent participation allowed for a few marketable successes, and a whole lot of learning within the network. The community functioned for me as a professional organization or society would.
When I realized, as I started to launch, that I really was ready to launch, it gave me permission to trust myself more fully in the future. I have been doing the things that interest me and learning all I can about one form of the thing I love – writing. I knew that I would have more time to pursue my own interests, and build on a career I had allowed to stagnate a bit, once I again had control over larger portions of my life and time with the beginning of the empty nest phase of my life.
Your journey is different than mine, undoubtedly, but I think many of my life lessons translate to others: trust yourself, experiment, find and build community, participate, and keep trying.