Little known fact, this blogging journey began three years ago this month in my college dorm at Penn State, while I wrestled through life as a new follower of Christ and as a hopeful filmmaker wanting to make art to impact the world. (I detail the tensions between being a follower of Christ and a creative person in my first thirty one day series called Confessions of a Creative Christian.)
Three years later, I'm amazed that I'm still writing on here and consistently too. What started out as Engaging Culture became She Laughs Without Fear (Mainly because I couldn't purchase the domain for Engaging Culture and She Laughs Without Fear suited me better). These past three years though have taught me so much about writing, blogging, and loving others through the process.
In celebration of three years of blogging, I thought I would share five things well learned lessons from blogging as well as some of the pieces that were either impactful to others or have made me a better writer today. Praise God that He allows me to write and use my talents in this way.
Smacznego (Polish for "Enjoy")
5 Things I've LEarned
1. It's Okay If Your Blog is Small
Friend, so many of us dream that our endeavors or in this case, blogs, would grow big fast. We hope that others will read what we have to say, that a simple post will garner praise and followers and an instant following and community. That is not the case with this blog. She Laughs Without Fear is small. I don't write everyday or post viral content or go out of my way to try to blow it up with views, and that's okay. It's actually nice that this blog is small, because it helps me feel like I'm writing mainly to friends, whether I know them in real life or not. Which brings me to lesson number two.
2. Write Like You're Writing To A Friend
I often struggle when it comes to sitting down to write. The Lord puts ideas or thoughts into my heart and prods me to share it with others so that they might be encouraged or know that they are not alone. It has served my writing well to remember that I'm writing to friends, hoping to encourage them and help them along in the journey. This mindset not only helps me to actually put fingers to keys, but it also helps guard against self-promotion and pride in my heart and that fear of sharing what I write. If I'm writing for a friend, I'm more apt to share.
3. There Is Room At The Table
I shared about this in a previous post (Making Room At The Table), but there is no need for comparison when it comes to blogging or to feel like you have nothing to offer. God is doing something different in every person and gives others something different to share. Blogging is like eating at a table. It's lonely when you're by yourself, but it makes a world of difference when there are others there that you can converse with and learn from.
4. Just Try Things
I have loved getting to visit other blogs and see the things that other writers are doing in terms of delivering content. I've loved as bloggers have created monthly round ups or link ups or even thirty one day blogging challenges. Taking part in these things and just trying different types of writing and blogging as grown me creatively and as a blogger as well. It's been a joy to just try different things.
5. You Don't Have To Do Everything All At Once
As I've watched a number of my friends begin blogs and listened to bloggers encourage others, I've noticed that many try to do everything at once: blog daily, post regularly on all social media avenues, try to build a following by following a lot of other bloggers or creatives. It can feel overwhelming, but you don't have to do everything at once. I still don't post regularly on social media, and there are certain social media avenues that just aren't as exciting to me (ahem Twitter). I mainly post on the avenues that I enjoy engaging in (Facebook, Instagram, and other bloggers link ups). You don't have to do everything right away or at all.
These are just a few of the things that I've learned over these past three years of blogging. If you're starting a new blog or if you have a blog that feels like it's not really going anywhere, I hope that this encourages you.
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Shalom! I'm Madi, a laughter-loving, movie-going, spontaneous-dancing, follower of Christ. Join me as I seek glimpses of God's grace in the ordinary and everyday.
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She Laughs Without Fear