I have just signed up for WordPress’ Blogging U course. Or specifically, its Branding and Growth program.
The first thing they asked me to do was to set myself 3 clear goals. Easy, I thought to myself. Then I opened this page, took a deep breath, and fingers ready to go… Aaand…!
I set up my travel blog just over a year ago. Of course, I published my first article right away. It then took me another 6 months to post the next one. I told myself I did not have enough travel stories to tell. So I quit my job and headed to South America, in search of those exotic encounters which would give me all the writing material and inspiration I needed.
You know, before I set it up, I had imagined a blog would help me tell my story better. I have always been more comfortable writing about my feelings than conveying them through spoken words. I had imagined people being inspired by the places I visited and by the people I met. But like they say; “imagination often takes you to places that never were…”
Well, none of that quite happened. Sure, I published some stuff. But there was no solid following, nobody was inspired by my work. And so I grew lazy. I lost myself in my hikes and adventures, without talking my notebook along to take notes. My little blog struggled on, fighting for every breath; but there was no regular pattern to my writing, no rhythm to my music. People don’t have much time to read these days. I guess they had been right when they said; “Your imagination often takes you to places that never were…”
A year passed. And then one day, I got an email from wordpress asking me if I wanted to learn how to blog better?
Of course I did. So I signed up. The first task I was given was to set myself some goals. It was harder than I thought.
Why? I wondered… And after half an hour of serious brain-wrestling, I came up with these reasons:
- I realised setting a goal meant committing myself to do something in a specific span of time. And I have always had a problem with commitments. I always book my flights a few days before I leave. I always have 2-3 job interviews lined up because I don’t know which one I want the most. I have never been in a relationship that lasted more than a year… So, even though I do want my blog to work, I’m afraid to ask myself; ‘Are you truly willing to give it your all. No excuses?’
- I’m a little afraid of defeat. What if I set myself a goal, give it everything I have got and still fall well short of it at the end? Then I wouldn’t even have the excuse of laziness. Then I would just know I’m not a good enough blogger.
And that would hurt.
All of a sudden, it occurs to me that a fear of commitment and failure are pretty universal. We all want to achieve certain things in life. What stops many of us from getting there is not the lack of effort -for we all have the occasional bursts of activity wherein we work ferociously toward our goals-, but rather the lack of clear goals to which we hold ourselves accountable.
I’m still scared of setting myself the 3 blogging goals. But I remind myself that they also say; “imagination takes you to places that never were… But without it, you go nowhere.”
I guess it’s time for me to believe that if I want my blog to go anywhere, I’m going to have to commit to it, to start believing it.
So here it goes;
- I want to publish at least 3 articles a month.
- I want to follow 100 blogs and have 100 followers before the end of the year.
- I want at least 1 person to decide to pack up and go, inspired by one of my stories.
Wish my luck.