One of the scariest things I’ve done since I started blogging was make the jump to WordPress. I was content and comfortable but I was growing stale on the previous platform. (I am a creature of constant change: living room decorations, perfumes, hair color, the background on my phone, Facebook profile picture — the list goes on and on, my friends.)
So, I hit the magic “delete blog” button and moved on hoping it would push me/challenge me on a different level.
I’ll be honest with y’all, the first month was sort of rocky. I wanted to write and post as much material as possible to attract the same group I’d had following me for the past two years AND make new connections — yet, I felt like a fish out of water. I turned to Youtube and watched video tutorials then read article after article on how to best utilize WordPress’s capabilities. I started putting this pressure on myself that if I didn’t gain a hundred followers in the first six weeks, I was failing. I was disappointed in myself when I started reading less and less, therefore writing less and less.
Then something magical happened. I woke up to a text from a very good friend of mine one morning that said:
“I’ve noticed no blog posts the past couple weeks. Write, bitch. Sheesh.”
Now…he could’ve put it a little more delicately – yes. The thing is, I had absolutely no clue this rough and tough, cussing, work twelve-plus hours a day, smart ass even knew my blog existed. He’s confessed to me a million times how much he despises reading and the best use for an English class is naptime.
Not only did his text make me laugh first thing in the morning (which is VITAL) it made me realize something –> the unnecessary pressure I’d been putting on myself was pointless. Who cares? Shit. I don’t make a living off this thing. It’s supposed to be F.U.N.
It made me think about why I’d even started blogging in the first place. How much I looked forward to it every night along with a bottle of cold beer and puppy cuddles. Seeing people while I was getting coffee before work and hearing them say “That post last night was messed up.” or “You write about the dreamiest guys.” or “Brianna, have you read (insert book title)?”
So, I started posting more and more.
Now, I’m nowhere near the level I’m shooting for. I don’t think there’s such a thing as “writing enough.” I think it’s a constant push to do more and more and more. My journals are full of ideas I doubt I’ll ever bring to fruition. My TBR pile is almost as tall as I am. Lately, I’ve mainly been reposting old stories and trying to build up a relationship with my new readers.
Tonight, I received the pleasure of being nominated (and hereby ACCEPTING) The Liebster Award by Miss Felicia (<– check out her blog here!) and I couldn’t be more excited! I’ll share a segment of what she wrote here:
The Liebster Award is not a real award. It’s just the Blogger community’s way of telling you that they like your Blog and it’s more of a thumbs-up than anything else. It’s a way for older, experienced Bloggers to encourage and motivate new ones. The word ‘Liebster’ literally means sweetest/ lovely/ endearing/ welcome in German. So basically, if someone nominates you and you accept the award (completely your choice to accept or not), you have to answer the questions said Blogger asks you and then nominate a few others and ask them some questions too.
I started following Felicia’s blog not long after I made the leap. I adore seeing her name pop up on my notifications and her work is something I catch myself checking out every time I log on. Not only am I thankful for the blogging thoughtfulness as far as reaching out but also the sweetness of the gesture as well.
The WordPress community (once I actively started giving it a chance) has taken away all the fear of not being accepted and/or not being good enough in my own eyes. It builds you up – seeing all the creative minds and the immense power they wield. I could spend hours flipping through fictional pieces or poetry shares, photography galleries, watercolor paintings, or spoken work. We may be hard people to love at times but Creatives truly do make the world a better place. By seeing the beauty in the tiniest of things or forcing people to see the ugliness in the regularly and readily accepted bigger picture – our hearts are so big. And driven. God. Have you ever met an artist who can stop? Who can put down their paintbrush or their pen when their souls light with an idea?
No. You haven’t.
Here are my answers to Felicia’s questions…
- If you could go to the past, future, a fictional world, or stay in the present, where would you go? What era or world? I am going to be verrrrrry general here – but I adore all things Steampunk. Old Victorian London + the American west. The clothing. The modes of transportation. The epic flip of what would be considered “every day life.” The scoundrels of the underworld, cowboys craving the thrill of open ground and trains whooshing by in the distance like iron horses, and women found everywhere from dirty pubs to castles on hills. I devour anything involving this type of fictional world.
- What is the first book (or movie) that inspired you to do something? My first great love was Ann Rinaldi. Even from a young age, I was a Civil War buff and loved all things American Revolution. I flew through Wolf by the Ears, Time Enough for Drums, and In My Father’s House but my heart will always belong to The Last Silk Dress. Rinaldi made me want to write.
- If you could be any animal, which would you be and why? My dog. Seriously. This dude has the life.
- How would you spend your free day if you had all the money in the world? Bookstores, cappuccinos, and coffee cake with my momma.
- Where would you most want to go and why? (other planets count too) I have always wanted to see Ireland or Scotland. The history, the landscapes, the culture – and, okay, maybe the hot accents. I WILL see one or both in my future. I don’t care if I have to save for the next thirty years.
- Books or movies, or graphic novels? Books. And I want the hard stuff. Ebooks just don’t get me off.
- What did you want to be when you were a child? Did those early dreams have any influence on your interests today? I wanted to be a teacher so badly and an English one at that. I remember making my poor little brother sit through pretend school with me and Momma buying me $.50 textbooks from Goodwill so I had something to play with. It was a dream I carried with me all through junior high and high school. A part of me thinks I would’ve been happy if I would’ve continued to pursue it but life takes us in directions we don’t tend to plan.
- If you could have dinner with five people of your choice, who would they be? (living or deceased, famous or not – literally anyone counts) We have Sunday suppers at Momma and Daddy’s every week – something Momma started when both of us kids moved out. Daddy works away during the week and we all go in opposite directions for work/school. I would choose them – Dad, Mom, Emmett (my brother), and Carissa (his sweet girlfriend) – no hesitation. I don’t even need a fifth. They are my safe place – my grounding.
- Are you more a cat-person or a dog-person, both or neither? Oh, definitely a dog-person! Always have been. Nothing against cats but they’re some moody bastards.
- What is your favourite genre of books (and/or movies)? Two genres really but anything sci-fi or fantasy. I want world building and broody male protectors and kickass heroines with tattoos and guns. I love different languages/slang and creatures from someone’s imagination. Give me fairytale retellings, mythology, folktales, tall tales, epics — yes, yes, yes. Orgasmic.
For now –> I’m not going to nominate any other blogs. I want to take tonight and just peruse. (I will repost the rules when I do make some nominations!) Thank you again Felicia for the nomination and for letting me be a part of your blogging community!
And thank you to YOU – the person sitting there with your laptop on your legs or your phone in your hand – for sticking with me on this journey. You all make this blog such a light in my life and such a blessing on bad days.