Somehow, nearly a month has slipped past since my last post. I can’t quite explain why. I don’t have writer’s block. I just have no clue what to write about. Oh, I have ideas. Plenty of them. But I can’t decide which one to go with. The problem is, I’m not sure what my blog is really about these days. When I first brainstormed my site’s theme, I expected to follow a literary trail, featuring book reviews, writing tidbits and such. Then I realized I didn’t want to be limited to just one aspect of my life, even if it was a large one.
Writing a lifestyle blog seemed almost too broad, though, and I worried I would get lost in all of the possibilities. So I tried to summarize everything in my taglines, Ink, Inspiration and In-between. Figuring out exactly what should fit under each of those categories, and how to balance the three, has been trickier than I imagined.
I view my blog as a conversation with a friend. Almost like sitting down and chatting over coffee (preferably mocha chip frappuccinos. With extra whipped cream.) The thing is, when I physically meet up with a friend, coffee in hand, we chat about anything and everything. It’s difficult to detect an exact theme in those conversations.
None of this would bother me on its own. My interests are varied and even a little random; my blog tends to reflect that bit of my personality, though a little less sporadically (I hope.) But in all the reading I’ve done about building a blog audience, I’ve heard one piece of advice over and over: You have to stick to a topic, or else no readers will stick with you… And that’s why my struggle to nail down my niche has me perplexed.
Which subject should I stick to? How can I decide? Should I really settle on just one?
I’ve seen that work for a lot of bloggers. There are plenty of blogs I follow because I’m looking for that single topic. But there are just as many, if not more, that I follow because I like the style of writing, the voice of the writer, and how they make me feel like a friend.
Maybe in the future, my blog will become like that first type. For now, though, I’ve decided to let it follow the latter style. The direction of my life is in the process of a shift, and I can feel my writing shifting as well. The only way I can describe my theme, however loosely, is the same way I described it when I started: Ink, Inspiration, and In-Between. Especially in-between. There’s lots and lots of in-between.
Despite my tangled up thought process, and my unmade bed, I really do like things to appear neat and put-together. I’ve been trying to keep up that appearance here, with everything from my writing to social media presence. The thing is, I don’t have it all together. As much as I feel the need to be professional, impressive even, I don’t measure up to the ideal bar I’ve set. I’ve spent the last month avoiding the “Publish” button because nothing felt ready. I didn’t feel ready. But as I’ve said time and again, I can’t wait until I’m ready. This whole thing is an experiment. An adventure.
And I’m never going to get anywhere by staying put. (Clearly, I have to repeat messages to myself in order to get them.) I didn’t make formal resolutions during New Year’s, but now that we’re six months into 2015 (yes, already. Don’t get me started!) I’m going to set some new goals. Just as I tend to raise my standards too high, I set overly ambitious goals. It’s all I can do not to promise to post daily, but I know I’ll never meet that goal. So I’m not going to make a rigid standard. I’m just going to work at making progress.
In the days ahead, I’ll be posting about What I Learned in May, and I have a few book reviews coming soon, too. Beyond that, I’m not sure of my blogging schedule or subjects yet. I hope you’ll stick around, friends, as I learn along the way. It might be messy at times, but maybe we can learn something through all this together.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being a reader, and my online neighbor, whether you’ve been with me from the beginning or you’re a new friend.
If you have a blog, how do you decide what to write about? How would you explain your blog?
If you prefer reading blogs to writing them, what subjects do you like to read about?
More to come!