Finding the Intersection of My Way and the “Right” Way

When blogging first came out, I didn’t get it.  “Why would someone want to read about my life?” I wondered.

Even when I was living in Israel or traveling in Central America, I just wasn’t convinced that my experiences meant enough that someone would actually care to read about them.

Years later, after coming back home to Denver, teaching passionately for 3 years, and then losing my teaching job, I became obsessed with the idea of making money online. I listened to a bajillion podcasts (yes, that was the exact number), read hundreds of blog posts, took courses, and dove in headfirst.

I learned how to write blog posts that taught something to a specific audience. Posts that were divided up into neat little sections, each of which offered a nugget of wisdom or advice. I made graphics for each post that other people would want to re-pin on Pinterest. And, amazingly, people started reading my blog.

But as I went deeper and deeper into blogging “the right way,” I lost the path of passion and excitement that had initially led me into the blogging world. I was so bogged down with doing it right, that I didn’t notice when my blogging life turned from prisma-color into black and white. As I felt less and less excited about my blog, I wrote less and less, too.

Then I took a long break from blogging. I had become so entrenched in trying to “do it right” that I didn’t remember how to just write for the pure love and joy of writing. I needed those months to lose the blogging blueprints that had become imprinted into my brain. I needed a reset so that I could come back with the mind of an explorer, rather than one of a marketer.

Maybe you can relate. Maybe you started blogging because you needed to write what lived inside of you. You ventured into the scary online world, set up your blog, hit publish, and then nothing happened. So you went even deeper into the internet on a quest for learning. You joined Facebook groups. You took courses. You learned how to do it all.

And then you felt so bogged down by the need to do it right — to optimize everything for SEO, to share it at the right times on all the social media channels, to grow your email list, to do everything the experts said you needed to do — that you nearly drowned in a sea of overwhelm.

You started watching your stats instead of listening to your inner voice, the voice that just wanted you to express yourself. You started gauging your success by the number of people who commented on your blog rather than by the joy you felt when you shared your truth. Slowly your passion faded to a withered yellow, like the pages of an old book.

Or maybe you didn’t take that journey. But I know a lot of people who have.

And once your passion has faded, then what? Once you’ve let go of sharing your voice because you’re afraid you won’t do it “right,” then what?

I’m still figuring that out. But I think my (your?) “then what” could look like this:

I know how to do all of the optimizing. I get how to grow an email list. I’ve done all the courses and learned all the things. That knowledge lives inside of me now.

But you know what else lives inside of me? Originality. Creativity. Intuition. The quiet voice that urges me to share, even if I don’t have all the answers. The desire to connect and communicate. All of that coexists inside my body.

So I think, I hope, it’s possible to use both.

To listen to my intuition and write what matters to me, and then to choose how to share it with the world. Maybe, instead of either doing it “right” or doing it the “Daniela way,” I can do it my way by picking and choosing what advice I listen to and what I reject.

I don’t need to stick my head in the sand and block out all the wisdom of bloggers who came before me, but I also don’t need to follow their paths and abandon my own. There must be a way to do both. To open to my deep knowing, and to open to the knowledge of other people.

I’m not sure what that’s going to look like. But I’m excited to find out.

  • Sue Anne Dunlevie

    Bajillion is a valid number in my world also, Daniela!

    Love this post. Blogging can get old and dull and it’s great to read an inspiring post like this about what really matters.

    Thanks for it!
    Sue

  • I have also recently come up against this. I took a full month off from social media and checking in on my blog etc. And it helped me gain a little perspective on WHY I was blogging in the first place. And WHAT exactly I want to be doing. It is a little sad looking at the random unfocused joy of my earlier posts and seeing my current ones as very formulaic. But I’m still in that burn-out mode and am trying to figure out what’s next. Thanks for sharing this. It’s good to hear I’m not alone.

  • Hi Daniela, I believe you only write well when you have the passion. You seem to have gotten in back – welcome back. We are all individual and we can read and learn from others but in the end it’s our individuality that stands out.

  • Anne Chan

    Like you, I didn’t think I’d be a blogger too. Nevertheless, I went into blogging because I saw it as a good skill to have (quite a set of skills!), and simply have a platform where I can practise writing and hit publish! I’m very glad you were my blogging teacher 🙂 I’m proud of my blog (even though the stats are nothing) simply because it’s a beautiful home for all that I want to share with the world — my whimsical posts and the causes I stand for.

  • Christy Wilson

    This completely resonates with me, too! I went through a whirlwind of learning how to blog the “right way” but now it feels like my castle was built on sand. I am now in the process of reconnecting with my inner voice and trusting myself to create a strong foundation “my way”. Thank you so much for sharing your story!