Deciding Not to Go Pro

Remember yesterday when I pledged to participate in a new blogging challenge? In case you don’t, here’s a recap of how I started the post:

This week I am taking part in Jeff Goins’ Blog Like a Pro (BLP) Challenge. Each day, I will write a post in line with the assignment. If you are a blogger and want to learn how to join in on the fun, visit here to learn the details.

I have to be honest with all of you. I realized something very important today.

I do not want to blog like a pro.

I am not saying I do not want to write. I DO want to write. And I want to keep sharing it with you. I am thrilled and blessed to know there are people around the world who take the time each day to read my words, thoughts and ideas. What an honor it is to be a guest in your lives.

But I do not feel compelled to engage in another blogging challenge to help me become a professional blogger.

It is not the fault of the challenge or the facilitator. Jeff is a great writer, and he has the experience to offer people who DO want to become professional bloggers. I have learned many important lessons from Jeff’s prior challenges, such as building a platform, growing your audience, engaging your reader, and following your calling. Jeff’s book You Are A Writer  is the reason I am writing every day. I am grateful for his guidance and advice over the past year and a half.

But I am not ready to become a professional blogger.

Some pretty serious things have happened in my life in 2016. If you are a new reader, you may not know about the burglary, illness, wheelchair repairs and the broken femur. To read the details of how my year started, you should read this post. Really – you should go read it, because just looking back at that last sentence I’m giggling to myself as I realize all of those things happened in the first thirteen days of the year. I AM a tough cookie.

But I am not willing to invest time and energy into something that is not bringing me fulfillment right now.

Two weeks in the hospital, followed by two more weeks in a rehabilitation hospital, and then a month at home, have given me plenty of time to examine my goals and priorities. Last week I shared my pledge to prioritize me. Today I am making good on that pledge by stepping out of the BLP Challenge.

I still plan to follow the progress of the other bloggers who are working on the BLP Challenge. Just because I have decided it is not the right time for me to complete the challenge does not mean I will stop offering encouragement and support to those who are giving it their all. In fact, I have already been inspired by the posts I have read. I was particularly struck by a manifesto written by Ross who blogs over at Anything is Progress. Yesterday, Ross wrote:

 Your aspirations should be all yours – not someone else’s.

Ross wrote some other good words, like these, in response to my comment about his post:

If we are trying to be someone else and living out the interests of others instead of living out how we’re made, then there’s an underlying frustration, even hopelessness, to everything we do. So yes, we need to say yes to life – we have it today, so we should make the most of it. It’s real, and it’s ours.

My aspirations do not include becoming a professional blogger. They do include writing and blogging, but my goal right now is to continue to practice my craft, not build a website. I know there will be a time to build and launch DeeScribes on its own, not on the free WordPress platform.

But that time is not now.

Now is the time for research and writing. Now is the time to interview family and friends to gather information for my book. Now is the time to continue physical therapy and exercise for my broken leg so I can return to my usual activities. Now is the time to be true to myself and my aspirations.

I am a writer. And now I will write.

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35 thoughts on “Deciding Not to Go Pro

  1. I can so relate to this. I was in a writers’ group last year and every week you had to list your weekly goals. That was fine, nothing against it, but most of the people in the group had publishing goals and other goals about being professional. I think I do want to publish eventually, but right now, being a pro feels like putting the cart before the horse. I just want to write. One of my goals for my blog is to practice the craft of writing, and I have my hands pretty full with that right now.

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  2. This is so refreshing to read. Well said and well done. As I’ve learned through umpteen unfinished courses and challenges, there’s no one size fits all. I used to beat myself up for not following through – now I realise it just wasn’t my way. Thanks for this.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Good for you,,Denise. I didn’t join up at all. It may be wrong and short sighted of me, but I don’t want to conform my writing to some framework of keywords and subheadings. I want to write the way I write. Of course I want to improve, but I don’t think learning to write like a copywriter is the direction I want to go for that. I lose my voice when I try to write like everyone else. I don’t know where this path of mine will lead, but it will be authentically me.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love that you are being true to yourself, and re-evaluating what you can do at this point in your life. Much has happened this year already–and this seems like a great choice for you. It’s a good choice for me too. I know that I’m doing what I can do for now, and there is much to celebrate in that. Cheers to you, friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve been struggling, too! I feel called to write a book and I know I need to revamp and update my social media outlets. I really feel my blog is a support base of my book, not necessarily the permanent landing spot of readers forever. I look forward to following your journey as a writer!

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    • I don’t know about you, but for me it is helpful to know I am not alone! Thank you for reading and commenting. I am happy to help with social media if I can. I manage three social media pages for my paid employment.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s awesome! I have a Twitter account (@HCPSTinyTech) more for my professional paid work (I’m a tech integrator working with elementary school teachers and students after teaching for a decade), but I need to update my LinkedIn page desperately. I created a professional FB page (www.facebook.com/tamaraletter) and am toying with the idea of creating a paid website so that people can find me when I publish my book. I would love any suggestions/advice you have to offer! We can cheer each other along the way!

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  6. Well said. After your blog and the links yesterday, I followed up and read many pages from Jeff’s site and book. Then I thought about what I wanted. I realised that I love writing for writing’s sake, and that’s all I want to do (perhaps for the moment – perhaps for ever). If I gather a growing readership that’s fine and I am delighted people want to read what I write but its not my motivation for writing. Just as a serious artist painter must paint what they must and not be swayed by popular opinion or fashion, I will continue to write unswayed by the needs of others. Perhaps I will change over time. But I can only be true to myself in this instant. Best wishes with your writing.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Was getting ready for a marathon, but am glad of your decision. Concentrate on YOU for now, the rest will fall into place. Love you.

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  8. Well done for your decision. I read through Jeff’s posts (he is an awesome motivator) but I felt too much pressure to get the technical ‘bits’ right in the time. I love to write, but it is not the time for me to be a professional blogger. I set up my original blog as part of Jeff’s 500 words a day challenge, and I am so grateful for that opportunity.
    So far, I have written two books (one that I published onto Amazon) and am researching the third. Jeff has inspired me to write, but I will blog for enjoyment. 🙂
    PS Dee – have you any suggestions as to a paid website? I would love to set one up for my next book. I fear that whilst I love writing, I am in the dark about marketing my product 😦

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  9. Well said and good for you! Just had a discussion with writer friends and we all agreed that reevaluating goals and changing them up does not equal failure. It means we have a greater understanding of our own needs and how we wish to achieve our goals. For now, my blog is just a way to ensure I complete something once per week that is good enough to post – because that also helps me with bigger goals. And I can tell you we are all overwhelmed with email, and nothing irritates me more than someone wanting me on their list and saying they email once per week – then sending me three or more emails a day. I don’t do desperate : ) Take good care of you : )

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    • Thank you – good to know I’m not the only one. I need to step back and find joy in writing once more. I love sharing here and I don’t mind if it’s on the free WordPeess site for now. It works for me.

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  10. Well, I didn’t see this before. You have gotten quite a bit of feedback, and sounds like others are in the same place. Choosing your own path, and not following are what trailblazers are made from. Good luck.

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  11. There are many ways to be a writer, many ways to be a blogger. I know I have no wish to go pro EVER. “Pro” as it is presented by blog experts suggests to me that it isn’t real if we aren’t trying to make money off of our friends. It’s the wrong message: if we write, we are writers. If we blog, we are bloggers. At the end of the day, you can’t fool anyone for very long by telling them what they want to hear and are much better off thinking about what you want to say and if you are ready. I was stunned that you were taking on such a large challenge (one which I have no doubt you could succeed at in the future) having just recovered from your accident so recently. The fact is that, with a voice like yours, it’ll be waiting when you are ready. Do what is authentic and true to you.

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    • I actually started the challenge because I have the time to actually complete it since I’m not working part time. But it didn’t feel right to me, not true to who I am and where I want to spend my limited time and resources. There will be a time for me to do those activities. I appreciate your vote of confidence in my ability to get it done when/if the time comes.

      Liked by 1 person

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