Blog Challenge Reflection

Surprised.

This is the emotion that is driving my reflection. This week I’ve been surprised as I’ve stepped through the 7-Day Intentional Blogging Challenge hosted by Jeff Goins.

I was surprised I joined. It was a whim, and I invited Jen Vincent to join too. I was surprised she said yes. I was surprised the way we checked-in and encouraged and supported one another many times each day throughout the challenge. I had forgotten how much I need writing buddies throughout the process. This surprised me — collaboration is one of my core beliefs, and yet as my life journey grew rocky these past few weeks, I retreated. This challenge reminded me of the way writers need each other during challenging times. More importantly, it served as a reminder that people need each other when life gets challenging. I didn’t expect this life lesson from a blogging challenge.

It reminds me that writing always gives more than it takes.

I’m surprised at how my thoughts on blogging have expanded. Lately, through a course with Tim Grahl, I’ve been pushed to be intentional about using my online space to do two things:

  1. Create lasting connections.
  2. Be exceedingly helpful.

I love these goals. I’m unsure how all of the feelings in my heart about why I blog and what this community of teacher-writers means to me can be boiled down to six words, but I ‘m glad. I like simplicity. It’s a worthy mission and one I’ve been developing since I first started blogging more than a decade ago. I was surprised how the Intentional Blogging Challenge has supported and encouraged me in this mission, while at the same time gave me new resolve and permission to be someone who creates lasting connections and is exceedingly helpful.

Ultimately, this is my biggest surprise: the permission to emerge as a stronger and more purposeful writer than ever before. For those of you who are long time readers, following me from space to space, watching me walk away from a popular blog and land here, floundering as I learned to write for myself and an audience of One rather than for hits and popularity, you know this is not a slight thing.

Anais Nin’s words have been ringing in my mind.

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

It is not a slight thing to learn you can blossom again.

*****
{This post is part of a 7-Day Intentional Blogging Challenge hosted by Jeff Goins. For more information and to see what others are writing, check out the invitation and Facebook page.}

4 Comments »

  1. I envisioned you taking a risk, but I never envisioned the floundering. What I've noticed is someone setting new purposes for their writing, and then inviting others to join in ways that work for them. I love your blog.
    Hope your life journey becomes less rocky in the near future.

  2. Ruth, this came at the right time for me. To make a long story short, I was needed in the real world shortly after I retired from teaching. My mom passed away, my dad is 90. I worked part-time writing for the district. That writing evaporated so I spent extra time writing my middle grade novel. Searching for agents and trying to get published has me in a funk right now. I need to start writing again, I too need to blossom again. God is up to something. love what you started in my life Ruth back a TWT. Happy, Happy Easter to your precious family. xo nanc