Thursday, November 6
Do you consider yourself a “professional” blogger? Why or why not? What does that mean to you?
This question does not require much thinking on my part! Nope! I do not consider myself a Professional blogger by any means. “Professional”, as far as I am concerned, means that you make money doing whatever it is you are doing.
For example: A professional figure skater becomes one as soon as he/she starts making money doing the sport. Once upon a time, when I was a figure skater (not that I ever made it to a podium!), I used to coach the little kids on week-ends. It was imperative that we not be remunerated in cash for this so we were given coupons which we could apply to our own coaches’ fees. One coupon equalled one fifteen-minute session with our coach. If we had accepted cash, we would then be considered “professionals” and no longer be permitted to compete in the amateur competitions. Huge issue if you wanted to find yourself on an Olympic podium one day! Of course, over the years, these rules have changed somewhat (Olympic hockey, anyone?) but not in my mind.
That said: when I was “liberated” from my job I had huge (OK, not that big) dreams of making money off blogging. I had no idea how I was going to do it but I did have Marie Forleo’s B-School downloaded. Of course, all I did was buy the damn course, I had (have) yet to actually do it! I figured I would do it, and then know exactly what to do and would be free to work when I felt like it and make as much or as little as I wanted. Yeah. No. Way too much effort is required and, apart from having something to sell – which I do not – yet – you have to join affiliate programmes or have advertising on your page. I did try that for a bit and saw a whole lotta nothing. Of course you also need to have a huge following and be extremely vigilent and, and, and… Not moi.
What about my Dalectables blog/website? I went through a lot of effort, and some cash, to create this one (still not up to snuff, as far as I am concerned) with all sorts of intentions of creating my own biz. (See B-School mentioned above.) I am not clear enough on what I want from it to really make it work so I have spent much time looking at others’ blogs and just getting more muddied in my thoughts. So, other than posting a recipe here and there, it has lain dormant. There is a soupçon of a hope that one day I will actually get all my ducks in a row and make something of it but it has definitely not been my priority so far. I was too busy enjoying my year off to actually WORK!
Am I a professional blogger? No, I am not.
Do I enjoy blogging? Absolutely!
Today marks the first anniversary of my “liberation” from my drab office job that I loathed. (Actually, truth be told, the job had become boring as hell but the boss was – let’s just say we didn’t gel as a team and leave it at that.
What have I done since? Nothing and lots! I mostly used the time to just breathe. Luckily I had a decent severance package and was able to go on E.I. which have given me some extra time. I sometimes feel I’ve been a bit of a slacker and I guess after thirty years of working almost non-stop (breaks for three babies don’t really count) I felt I deserved the break. I was supposed to use this time to really get a business going regarding food and, though I’ve had a contract here and a cake there; created a website I don’t adore and took long walks while taking lots of pictures, I haven’t really done anything much to promote myself. I think it’s a mixture of a few things:
- Fear of really putting myself out there
- Not truly knowing exactly what I want to do
- Lack of clarity (goes with the second one)
- Just plain tired
- Not truly believing in myself…
Well, enough is enough already! I had promised myself I would start something. I’ve already paid for Marie Forleo’s B-School – NOW I will DO it! I’ve already paid for Courtney Johnston’s fabulous Copywriting course – I will do THAT one too! I will NOT sign up for anything else. I will avoid “shiny new object syndrome” and I will actually finish something I’ve started.
If nothing else, I will gain clarity and get something into motion, otherwise, I’ll find myself applying for an office job and falling back into that grind I’ve been so happy out of.
By putting this out into the Universe, I’m holding myself accountable.
Finding myself without employment for the first time in almost eight years, I felt I must not waste this golden opportunity to do that which I never seem to have the time to do. That I must use this time in the most productive way.
Also, it’s the perfect time to create the business I’ve dreamt of having, finally do B-School, put my pictures in order, purge the house of all the stuff… The list could (and does) go on! I have such a long list I could never go back to a job again! It is also such a list that I have managed to totally overwhelm myself! Made it into such a mountain that I can’t see the peak!
I need to just breathe! (Go, Eddy Vedder!)
And listen to Martha Beck! She suggests we need to do a little more nothing!
I don’t know why we seem to be hard-wired to need to always be doing something whenever we find ourselves “without a reason to get up in the morning” (read: job)! And I do have a reason to get up in the morning! I have plans! Blogs to write! Jelly to make! Cooking Classes to create!
But today, all I wanted to do was. Nothing. It has been a week since Freedom Day and I have barely stopped. Today I did do a few things: bring the boys to school for official registration (yes! school starts in two days!), washed all the mattress covers and sheets. But the rest of the day? Nada. Made like a couch potato and watched all my taped cooking shows!
I will not feel guilty (no matter how hard it is to do) for taking one day to just veg. Sometimes that’s what the body needs and if we don’t listen to our body, it will force us to. I know too many people who have gotten sick or burnt out because they decided to ignore all the warning signs the body was trying to give. After a while, a drastic message gets sent! All systems STOP! I know I was slowly headed in that direction and had my circumstances not changed as they did, would have ended up in the same boat.
So yes, it is OK to just stop everything and not be productive and Just Breathe.