I would have been blogging for a total of five years this 2014. Wow. I didn’t realize how long it’s been!
Remember when blogging was all about sharing, wishing, hoping, reflecting? Those were the early days. Blogging was about telling stories, about wearing our hearts on, well, our laptops. I remember my early days very clearly: I started my mommy blog on Blogspot, using my Acer netbook. At that time, we were living in a rented apartment in a compound owned by a rich land lady who ran a ballet studio. My son was just a couple of months old when I began my first entry. To embellish my simple blog, I used a premade logo banner which I bought at some Etsy shop for around $5. I also decided to go by the blog persona, “Dainty Mom.” My first post was a recipe, followed by a string of reflections on breastfeeding, writing, and working from home.
It was simple, straightforward, to write about what I was feeling. It was meaningful.
Back then, I wasn’t concerned about companies noticing me and monetization. I didn’t even use Facebook or Twitter towards my blog, not like now. I started blogging because I wanted to join in. Yes, that’s the honest truth. I read one mom-run blog that happened to have amazing content, and I was intrigued.
Soon, I discovered more blogs by women, by moms. All these were refreshing to me, because they were unlike what I read in glossies and other print publications. Best of all, they connected me with real people — moms, in particular — who were, like me, navigating these waters of new motherhood.
When blogging became my bliss
What I love about my blogging journey is that it’s helped me live the kind of life I want to live. It’s a simple life, nothing special or heroic. (Well, maybe it’s heroic to my kid or husband, right?) On the practical side, blogging has opened up doors for me to work from home, as a project manager, creative director or creative writer. But on the larger aspect — the life/mission/vocation aspect — blogging has allowed me and many others to voice out our ideas, nurture communities around these ideas.
This is what I’ve come to do for a living today: I help people, businesses, solopreneurs and small companies create communities around ideas; I teach idea-based communities to nurture friendships with people like them; I hold workshops on how blogging can be meaningfully connected to the lives we live, the work we do, the missions we believe in. All these have happened for me through the years, through my own blogs. And based on what’s happened to me and how I’ve grown my blogs, I’ve been able to teach what I’ve learned from my mistakes as well as my victories as a blogger.
Blogging bliss isn’t a moneyball.
Now, that may all sound blissful and dreamy. People often say “You’re lucky to be able to do what you love.”
Yes, it’s great to do what I do. It’s not easy, though. I’ll say this: My blogs in themselves have never been great at making me a ton of money. Why? Well, because I still have a lot to learn about that part of blogging… and it’s just not important to me now as living a happy life that is aligned with my gifts, my mission.
Sounds deep, I know. But that’s what meaningful living is.
Sure, the money is great. Thank You, Lord, for providing for my family through the things I do as a blogger. That’s my prayer to God every day. I’m happy that I’ve been able to do creative projects and work with clients, all because they hired me through my blog. Having the flexible schedule and work-from-home arrangement has helped me achieve what I’ve always wanted: time with my husband and son, and work that I’m good at and enjoy (on most days, hehe).
Why blogging is meaningful to me
The fact that blogging has opened up opportunities for me to (1) have more time with family, (2) homeschool, (3) work with the skills and talents that God has given me makes it meaningful. This is what I’ve come to know as my “bliss.”
Blogging has allowed me to, in a way, document my life based on the choices I’ve made, the intentions I’ve set. It’s part of a “reflected life,” as Augustine of Hippo says. If blogging is going to be a part of my reflected life, then I want it to be a happy part of that life, a meaningful part! So if you don’t see me blogging about an event or a product that some other more popular and influential blogger is featuring, well, it’s simply because whatever that event, product or brand opportunity is is not going to add or subtract to my happiness or make life more meaningful. And I’m very frank about that.
Here’s my personal opinion (which you don’t need to agree with):
We have to feel right and purposeful about our day-to-day. Our intentions have to be the drive behind all we do, so that we can come alive over the things that mean the most to us: our relationships with loved ones, our work (whether employment or business), our personal journey of self-discovery and wholeness.
It’s only midway through January. Let’s see how much more meaningfully we can live the rest of the year!
Note: We’ll be exploring this in even more detail as I launch my free, on-the-blog series called “Blissful Blogging.” It’ll be all about how to Make Blogging Happier, More Organized, More Meaning-filled for You. Stay tuned for that, coming in February!