“All things great are wound up with all things little.” Anne of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery
When I went back to school to become a teacher at the ripe young age of 36, I joined a growing wave of what was known as ‘re-entry students.’ Our particular wave was comprised of young men, business folk and young moms like myself. The credential program consisted of getting a four year degree then embarking on the California state-mandated ‘fifth year’ training.
This fifth year included intense study in all manner of things educational, intern time in classrooms and the opportunity to put all the nuts and bolts of what I’d learned into actual practice. I finished that year with a 6 month stint Student Teaching in Kindergarten and lived to tell it. Then they handed me my credential and said I could go change the world.
It’s been 25 years since that credential–now I’ve decided to change the world one word at a time. Here are 5 things I’ve learned as I begin Blogging, Year 5:
If you participate in a weekly link up, make it a practice to say a virtual ‘hello’ to the folks who’ve posted on either side of you in the Link up. Over time, they may click back on your comment and come by to your site. You’ll begin to recognize certain ‘voices’ and the writers whose words resonate with your own.
You may also find some remarkable connections with strangers who become friends–either virtual or in person. In the last 5 years I’ve found the community of blogging has been as real to me as the folks in my congregation at church. It has bee a real treat to meet actual people for coffee or lunch or at a Writer’s Conference and add some flesh to the friendship.
I also subscribe to a handful of blogs and comment and encourage them as regularly as I can. It’s so nice to be noticed. “Why, someone read what I said! And it touched them!” Imagine how thrilled you are to find that about your own work–you can do the same for others whose words you are drawn to. Find someone to bless that doesn’t have a lot of comments on their posts and drop a line or two. It’ll make their day.
That being said, I DO have a couple of series I post in regularly–something new, a “Favorite Things” round up, always on Friday, but not every Friday. And my “Just Because” posts–a Scripture and a photo–always on Thursdays, but not EVERY Thursday. ‘Sporadic’ is probably a better descriptor of any blogging ‘formula’ I have. Bottom line–trust God’s voice to guide you, trust your own voice to write when and how you feel prompted. You don’t have to do everything because the experts say you ‘should.’ (see #2 ‘Do it Wrong’ above).
BONUS: Writer’s block dogging you? HAVE FUN or Take a Sabbath Go for a walk, unload the dishwasher, take a shower (the most remarkable revelations come to me in the shower or under the bathroom faucet!) Sort the laundry, go pull some weeds. Your brain does so much better with some exercise, fresh air, some fun—blow bubbles, sit outside and watch the birds, dance by yourself, dance with a partner…the list is endless.
~Live your life then write it down~
Jody Collins served as the volunteer coordinator of the 2015 Faith & Culture Writers Conference. Find her work here: Jody Collins