Recently, a friend asked whether she should continue her fashion blog. She’s been posting for a while now, and has had the same small group faithful readers since her blog’s inception. Because her readership hasn’t grown, she wonders whether to keep going.
I know a thing or two about hitting the “should I go on” spot with my blog—heck not just with my blog, but other life stuff too. It was only about a year ago this month, I found myself at the same crossroads.
Asking the Important Questions
An important question comes to mind: Is my friend happy creating content? I don’t know whether she really loves to write, whether she loves clothing, putting outfits together, organizing photo shoots—only she knows her heart and her resources. This is the question I started with when I was at my own crossroad.
Life has a way of sparking our interest in all sorts of things. My favorite test, when I get one of my “bright ideas” or am at a crossroad is to “just start walking” doors start to open and close, and if you pay attention, you see that life has a way of unfolding, of drawing you along, and bringing you to the places you are supposed to be. There’s an important “doing/not doing” element that is full of answers and possibilities.
As an ice skater, I hit the “should I go on” spot just a couple of years ago. I had purchased new skates, but one was defective. Not being able to trust the boot scared me to death, and in spite of several attempts to adjust it, I was stuck—I could not return it. I wallowed in fear, beat my self up over having spent so much time and money only to have hit a dead end. Instead of improving with the new boots, I had actually regressed and I was considering quitting. For some reason, I kept turning up at the rink, where I met Roger- who is not only my photographer, my boyfriend but also my ice dance partner. (On our first Christmas together he bought me a new pair of skates-and I’m loving skating even more than before.)
What About the Value of Perserverance?
Growing up, I was taught to stick with what ever I started; that hard work and perseverance would pay off in the end. There was no consideration for things I wasn’t good at, I was made to stick it out, to endure. Because of that, I’d hold on to failed projects, destructive relationships and going nowhere jobs, giving the breath of life as the undertaker lowered them into the ground. Clearly, there’s a fine art to knowing when to “hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em” like the song The Gambler, by Kenny Rogers so aptly states.
It wasn’t too long ago that I was involved in several situations that had reached their end, but I had kept trying to hold on. An image of beating a dead horse kept coming to my mind every time I thought about the situations. Ultimately, I pulled myself away, even though I was conflicted with my habit of persevering at all costs.
When All Else Fails, Listen
When I considered pulling the plug on my blog last year, I did a little analysis, starting with my gut. I love to write, I felt deeply that I had something to share, something to bring forth, and that my blog was that place I felt called to express myself. I had lunch with my friend Laura Woodard, who I knew would tell me the truth kindly, if she thought the blog should be retired. Laura has spent her career in marketing, represents the demographic I hoped to serve and is bright and insightful. She urged me to give the blog six more months—and in those six months, a lot happened.
Make Adjustments and Keep Moving Forward
I looked at the content I was creating, read through the comments left by my readers, took note of what was working and what didn’t and made adjustments. I spend time learning from other bloggers I admire and incorporate what I’m learning. Its a lot, and I love it. Its not for everyone though, and ultimately my friend the blogger will work out whether blogging is right for her.
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