Launching a blog is like having a baby. At least, it is for someone like me who has never gone through the awe-inspiring process of literally giving birth!
I’ve been ‘pregnant’ with the idea of a blog like this for a long time. Back in 2000, my plan was to travel the world and blog about my adventures to share with family and friends, but life took me on a very different journey. Instead, I found myself immersed in the world of entrepreneurship owning my own businesses, taking a deep dive into the world of personal development; and more recently, I’ve been immersed in that wonderful journey of falling in love, creating a home, and growing through a committed partnership.
Like a baby, any new venture – whether it’s a business, relationship, art project, or a writing project like this blog – is a magical act of creation. It represents giving form to something that wants to emerge from deep within you, is an extension of you, yet has a life of it’s own.
Today, the ventures I’m most inspired to write about are the adventures of everyday life. There might be a travel tale every now and then that I’m moved to share, but what I’ve come to love and appreciate the most are those experiences that help shape us into who we are becoming. Whether an experience is perceived as good or bad, ecstatic or painful, a success or a failure, when we shift our perspective and instead, start to see and appreciate it as part of our journey, we have a wonderful opportunity for growth and awareness, of our own power and our ability to change our lives for the better. That’s the real stuff right there.
So why did it take me so long to begin or birth this baby, oops…I mean blog!? After all, it’s not hard to set up a blog these days, with low start-up costs and a plethora of online tools and support at our googling fingertips. After much procrastination (and perhaps a touch of self-criticism) I finally embraced a few gentle and honest truths.
A baby is born not on our timeline (unless it is delivered by C-section), but when it is ready. This blog (and I) needed time to gestate and develop, knowing and trusting it would happen in it’s own good time.
Despite my extroversion, it’s only those closest to me who know I am actually quite sensitive and shy. As a blogger, I’m aware that I’ll be much more exposed sharing my vulnerable side through stories and experiences, which means I may well attract both comments and criticism. Receiving challenging feedback can be tough, in fact very confronting.
It takes courage and inner strength to share one’s authentic and metaphorically naked self. [Tweet this]
And, last but not least, I really do love my life the way it is these days and I wasn’t sure how much I wanted to change it. I knew that in order to develop quality, meaningful content; build my blog; and engage with my readers, I’d have to trade off time that could be spent on other pursuits.
So, creating this blog wasn’t a decision I took lightly. I had to think about it, do a ton of soul searching and ask myself some really big questions:
1. Am I ready for this commitment? Am I ready for the responsibility?
For this blog (or any creative project or venture) to grow, become healthy and be successful, it needs consistent love, care, attention, time and energy. I had to ask myself: Do I have the capacity for this? You see, in the past, as a single and focused entrepreneur, I had considered my business ‘my baby’, pouring much love, care, attention, time, energy and money into it. And, there were many times I felt the burden of responsibility, sleepless nights, feelings of overwhelm and not enough time for me, let alone a relationship! When thinking about this developing blog, I had flashbacks to ‘my old life’, which triggered a host of buried fears: What if I lose myself again? What if I become overwhelmed? What if my marriage suffers? What if my life falls out of balance?
Fortunately, I’ve made some very different choices about how I live my life and prioritize my time and energy these days – choices that do allow me to keep a healthy balance. With that reminder, I was able to re-frame this blog as a new and exciting opportunity to use my creative talents and build something dynamic that I hope will help others, encourage mutual learning and growth, while taking a new and different approach that aligns with my values and supports my ‘ideal lifestyle’.
2. Do I know enough? Am I good enough?
Like many prospective parents (or bloggers) entering unchartered territory, I spent time researching the subject and getting equipped with the ‘how to’s’ and ‘what-if’s’. I found that some people had strong opinions based on their own experiences and I had some quite alternate views about what felt right for me. Much of what I learned was beneficial, yet I also realized that ultimately, I needed to trust my own instincts and just go for it! I figured what I didn’t know at the start I would learn through my experiences along the way. Certainly, I expect to learn, grow and improve more by blogging and engaging with my audience than I will by researching and planning!
3. What if I don’t get it ‘right’? What if I fail?
Ah, perfectionism and the debilitating doubts of ‘Am I good enough?’. I suspect I’m not alone in experiencing this feeling from time to time. Fear of failure can be debilitating, but even worse, for me, is the idea of letting a dream die by not trying at all. Whenever I find myself worrying over the potential for failure, I am reminded of this advice from my dear friend Nigel’s mother:
“If you’re going to fail darling, fail spectacularly!” [Tweet this]
Deciding I could no longer stay hostage to my fear of putting my stories out into the public domain, I moved forward with what I have and where I am at right now. I am here to pursue my dreams, not my doubts, and my job is to do the best I can – guiding, nurturing, feeding and supporting my blog, and the people who choose to join me along the way. By letting go of any attachment to the outcome and allowing it to take on a life of it’s own, I am also giving my creative dream permission to change shape or form along the way. Perhaps it will evolve into something even better than I had imagined!
4. And the biggest question of all – WHY do this? What is my reason, my purpose?
This is the kicker – the big WHY. When we discover our WHY for undertaking a new project, the what, the how, the where and when just seem to fall into place. Even though I’d long wanted to share content via a blog, I also saw many others out there blogging on similar topics. I found myself asking: Is there really room for my voice and message in this already crowded space? But I realized that’s like a prospective parent saying: What’s the point of having a baby, when there are already so many out there in the world? I’m aware of the creative energy, vision and gifts inside me that yearn for free expression, with countless colorful stories begging to be told. So, my WHY is simply this:
I want to share entertaining stories and meaningful content that inspires others to embrace the curveballs, discover what makes them truly happy and find the courage to live authentically, love fully and follow their dreams – whatever they may be.
While we can start at any time, the New Year invokes a magical sense of new possibilities and potentialities for bringing our dreams, ventures and projects to life. Is there one already tugging at your mind, heart or soul? Perhaps you’ve also been procrastinating, with niggling fears or doubts?
Whatever it is you want to birth, you can start by taking small steps in that direction right now, like I’m doing with this blog. Relax into the knowing that there’s no need to rush things. Allow it to unfold naturally and place your attention on enjoying the process as your creation comes to life. Take care of it, nurture it, and give it your love, time, attention and energy – even if it’s only 5 minutes a day. It will feed your soul and allow you to grow along the way, too. And, who knows where it will take you?
I’m excited to hear about what you create, so feel free to share it in the comments section below!