This is embarrassing to admit. I have been researching ways to promote my blog. I don’t know why this is so embarrassing to me, but it is. I often find myself struggling to promote myself in a way that enables my dreams to come true.
I try things other people have tried. I see women with elegant captions and stunning photography and I do my best with a smartphone filter and an eager heart to emulate it. My goal is to be a paid author. That is what I want. I want to earn a living doing what I love while glorifying God.
I want people to read my content and feel like, “That is me.” I want to make an impact, a big one. How in the world do you do that? You promote yourself on social media. I shudder just writing that. I mean, I am the girl who was mortified to have her own wedding portraits taken on one of the greatest days of her life. Now I have to pin “must-have blogger poses” on Pinterest, so that my site will do better. I feel silly because I just fear being, well, inauthentic.
I do not walk the streets in my town with a $300 scarf, an $18 latte in my hand, perfect hair and makeup, and an oversized purse while smiling at the sidewalk. That is not who I am. But I will pray with you, cheer you on, and hug your neck just as tight as my Nana does.
Make no mistake: I have a potty mouth, I have engaged in gossip, and I certainly have not lived the perfect Christian-Mommy-Life (whatever that is). What I do have, what I want to share, is how God has provided for me and how He is molding me into the woman He always intended for me to be. My work is all about my growing pains and stepping stones.
In my research on blog promotion, I have discovered forums like Reddit. This is one of the most recommended ways to promote your blog, according to my compulsive Google searching. So, I tried it.
I posted under the ‘Parenting’ subreddit. I shared a couple blog entries and I was given some kind feedback. I was also given comments like, forgive me, “WTF?”
In this desperate need for validation, I replied, “This may make more sense if you visit my Christian Mom blog. Thank you for reading!”
I was given the blow of an answer: “Um…no thanks. I will pass.”
Ouch. I was rocked. I immediately went into my insecure questioning of self. Did I force my beliefs on someone? Did I hurt someone who was clearly offended by Christianity? Did that blog post just suck?
Y’all, what I did next is the grossest thing I have done to myself as an adult and there was this whole attempt at self-waxing, so that says something. I deleted my post. I completely believed the perception someone else had of my work, OF ME, and I trashed it. The icon to delete is seriously a trash can and I pressed it without hesitation.
I have talked about trolls before. What I have not mentioned is the thing that can happen after those kinds of attacks. I can allow someone else’s belief of who I am to become my truth. I assume that they are right and I should be doing something different.
God did not make us to be cookie-cutter depictions of someone else’s “right way”. He made us to be bold and audacious. We were made to be unique. He made us with talents and dreams. God inserted a screaming voice inside my heart that says, “WRITE!”
My husband didn’t give me the gift of more time to write for me to trash can icon all of my work because someone didn’t get it!
I am just as guilty as anyone of being unsure, insecure, or clueless. Look at my tagline: I’m totally winging it. That is my truth.
I am winging this whole thing called life and certainly this pursuit of being a writer. Reddit totally kicked my butt, but I won’t stay down. I will keep trying.
I don’t know if any reader can relate to being embarrassed by their own ambition. I have a strong suspicion that I am not alone in this. If you can relate, if you want something for yourself that you have been too afraid to share with anyone else, please don’t stay down. Don’t stay quiet. Life is far too short to aim for mediocrity or “safe”. Listen to that scream inside your heart because I think you’re a total bad ass.
(I did warn you about my potty mouth)