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.