What am I trying to say?

A contact on Facebook recently asked if I write about creativity and personal development to gather followers or because I enjoy it. I write about what I love and if readers resonate with it, I’m rapt. Basically I write what’s on the tip of my tongue on that particular day. I am no strategist.

I don’t think I could ‘write to market’ if my life depended on it. If Annie Wilkes abducted me and told me to write a viral blog post I’d end up in a shallow grave in the forest.

Over the past 10-15 years most new writers attempted a blog. Coaches and mentors suggested we create content aimed at other new writers, little insights into the writing process, tips and hints, tricks of the trade… a case of the helpless being led by the clueless.

It’s great if you have those skills but I was very much learning on the fly and had very little to offer other writers. With titans like Joanna Penn and KM Weiland out there plus the hundreds (thousands?) of other blogs on writing/self-publishing etc, new writers really need to find their own niche.

As Joanna Penn says, you need to double down on what makes you unique!

My plan, five long years ago, was to find an audience. If I said otherwise I’d be lying. What I didn’t understand was that in order to find my audience I would need to “find my voice.” I am somewhat on the way to having found my voice and I love that readers who enjoy what I write and how I write it can follow along. I’m learning out loud and I love that others might learn something along the way too.

In the cold hard terms of harvesting clicks and views, ad revenue, or sales, I would be forced to consider this exercise a failure. Can 677 posts, around 400,000 words be considered a failure?

I listened to Neil Pasricha’s podcast a lot this week. He’s a really unconventional interviewer and a joy to listen to because he’s just so enthusiastic. In his interview on Cathy Heller’s podcast he said, among many many other things, when you have a rhythm, you have an audience.

I’ve been pondering this a lot. For the first two years of this blog I knocked out 4-5 posts a week. In year three, I went dropped it down to once a week to make time for fiction writing. I tended to write longer pieces less often. Then in 2022 I was posting every couple of weeks and focusing on my creative writing, life, work, the universe and everything.

(People still popped over to see what was happening here, which I really appreciate. Pinterest sends a lot of peeps here so Hi if you’ve come here from there.)

After hearing these words from Neil, I committed to posting every Monday this year, to find some rhythm again and hopefully reach out to more readers out there and continue to work out exactly what it is I am trying to say.

I did the free version of the Clifton Strengths test last year for a bit of fun. This is the result…

1 Coach

Coaches love discovering the potential in people and supporting others’ personal growth. It’s hard for them to accept when this potential is being wasted. Your goal is to develop people’s potential. You believe that, contrary to what some might think, everybody has the potential for development. No-one has ever reached the ultimate level of excellence — there is always room for growth. It is your personal mission to help others realize and use their potential to experience success. As a result, you always look for ways to facilitate their learning, from challenging their thoughts in a discussion to creating environments that facilitate progress. As a leader, you truly care about the development of your team members, and they respect you for that.

I will start a coaching program in February. Can’t wait!

2 Philomath

Philomaths are in love with learning – exploring many interests, following new paths, learning as many things as possible. They do not enjoy companies of ‘know-it-all’ people are not curious to learn something new or to explore new ideas.

I need to get this under control a little because I get scattered very easily…oh is that a puppy….!?

3 Empathizer

Empathizers are great at noticing how others feel and using this understanding to do something good. They are frustrated when asked to disregard feelings and emotions and follow strict logic instead.

Although I can be intolerant when I feel that people are letting themselves down through over indulging in their emotions. There’s either a balance or I’m a hard-nosed bitch…?

4 Strategist

Strategists have the skill to see the big picture, which enables them to find the best route through the clutter. Because connecting the dots comes so naturally for them, they get impatient with people who make slow decisions.

Ask my husband about this…

5 Believer

Self-Believers are independent and self-sufficient people, inspiring others with their certainty and confidence. They cannot stand when others tell them what to do or control their actions.

No surprises here… Although some people are offended by self-confidence.