I’ve been torn about how much to blog about my #intentionalblogging challenge. It’s been helpful, though I’m not sure how interesting it is for my readers (not that blogging for 21 straight days would have been all that interesting either…). I figured a middle ground would be to write a brief synopsis of what I’ve done and discovered throughout this process.
Day 2: Subject, Theme & Objective
For this we were supposed to drill down our subject (what you blog about), theme (your specific area of focus) and objective (what you want to accomplish). This is something I’ve struggled with for awhile and will probably continue to do so. I’d say I primarily blog about my life as a twentysomething and what I’m doing (DIY projects, 30 Before 30, reading, cooking) to enhance it and/or find more meaning. Worded like that, it seems like an incredibly tall order. It also doesn’t seem very specific, but I think I’m able to strike a good balance in the range of topics I cover and how I present it.
The objective is admittedly a bit selfish. I’m a firm subscriber to the belief that “I never know what I think about something until I write about it.” My journal allows my to have a more stream-of-conscious, emotional outpouring of what I’m going through at that particular time. With blogging, though, I’m able to distill information and see the bigger picture. What did I take from a particular book or article? What goals am I working on and why? What lessons have I learned?
Through all of that, I hope to connect with and inspire others. Maybe not through specific actions, goals or advice, but rather through the encouragement to think about the big picture. What does “the good life” encompass? I’m also a firm believer that well done is better than well said. I don’t just want to talk about great plans I have for my life. I want to actually show people how I’ve been able to move forward, overcome obstacles and what my sources of inspiration were throughout the process. I guess it’s my small way of dabbling into life coaching, blog style.
Day 3: Finding my Voice
This was another one of those exercises where I read the challenge and I wanted to blow it off. But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. Is the message/voice I’m hoping to portray actually coming across as that? My response rate (nerd alert) wasn’t terribly high so I probably didn’t get the full impact of it, but I still appreciate the concept. I was supposed to ask five people to describe me and/or my writing, then write something that embodies what people have said.
Like I said, my response rate was low. But given those responses and also conversations I’ve had throughout the years with people about my blog, it seems to be a genuine depiction of who I am. I talk about the things I love and the things that inspire me with humor and (supposedly) a natural flow of conversation. And really, that’s what I strive to do.
I want my blog to be a conversation. Unbeknownst to me until I was part of the leadership institute, one of the things I value in my own life is approachability. On a professional or personal level (so whether we’re talking evaluation concepts or DIY projects) I want people to see me as approachable. That’s something I hope my blog embodies — a sense of genuine conversation and connection. Hopefully the actual writing portrays that, but if not, I feel like I’m on the right track now that I’ve discovered more clearly what I want my blog and message to be about.
Day 4: Why Blog?
I lucked out in some ways because the launch of my blog was part of a Juneathon challenge. For thirty days I was supposed to run (or do some form of physical activity, since running wasn’t — and still isn’t — my thing) and then blog about it. That’s probably how I started to develop the mindset that a blog was a way to hold myself accountable.
As that wrapped up, the blog became a way to capture that transition from school to the “real world.” Without school and extra-curricular activities dominating my life, where was I going to focus my energy? What were my hobbies and interests? Based on other books and blogs I’ve read about the twentysomething experience, I’m not alone in that search and that identity struggle. Blogging was a way to feel like I had a roadmap and was making progress in something.
Now I think I blog to promote intentional living — striving to find that myself and encouraging others to do the same. How am I going about creating the type of life that I want? What does the good life mean to me? It also captures the ups and downs of that search. I’m not an expert and don’t claim to have all the answers. My blog helps keep me humble and, as I discovered through the day 3 activity, allows me to relate to others.
Like I said, it’s a tall order, but that’s where my interests seem to fall and writing about those topics comes naturally to me. And let me tell you, it’s a heck of a lot easier and more fun to write this than research papers (though I suppose I still do a variation of those from time to time…).
Day 5: Break from Writing
This was very needed, especially given I was in the car for a good four hours. We were also challenged to post comments on five other blogs. Connecting with the blogging community is a bit outside of my comfort zone, so this was a good challenge. I probably didn’t total five comments, but I did visit a dozen or so new blogs.
Day 6: Blog a List
That will be forthcoming. I’ll confess I’m cheating a bit with the list, but it very much holds true to what I blog about and has been a staple feature for about a year now. (Any guesses on what this list is?!)
This #intentionalblogging challenge has definitely been a bit more challenging than I envisioned, but it’s also been incredibly helpful. Lots of introspection, primarily done during the writing of this very post (so maybe it is a good thing I decided to create a brief synopsis of how the challenge has been going). One week down, two more to go!