Flopportunities

 The blogging conference, Allume, was held recently in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Over 400 Christian women attended, each one representing a blog presence on the internet. Each one came to learn more about blogging.

One of the speakers was well known blogger “The Nester”. Her blog reveals this about her: “The Nester, who writes anonymously, is a home stager, re-designer and design school drop-out.  She’s one of the lucky few who has stumbled into her dream job working from home {writing a blog of all things?!} and encouraging women to create their own meaningful home at Nesting Place where the motto is:

“It Doesn’t Have to be Perfect to be Beautiful”. 

 Flopportunities and how I learned to blog with purpose

(four things I’ve learned from blogging all wrong)

Nester

 

1. Purpose – for yourself and for your readers

Get specific, sit down with paper and pen and ask yourself questions:

  • What do you believe? 
  • How do you want readers to feel when they leave your blog? 
  • What do you want them to do differently when they leave your blog? 
  • What do you want them to turn to your site first for? 
  • What are you obsessed with? 
  • What do you know? 
  • What are you an expert in? 
  • What feels like drudgery when you write? (STOP writing about it!!) 
  • Which post gets the most comments that means something to you?

“A successful blog is one that reaches its intended audience.” – Rachel M.

2. Time – use time wisely and fiercely protect time.

Create. Do not consume when you are most creative. Use that time of day to create when you are most creative. Don’t sit on Facebook, read blogs or do busy work.

Protect. Figure out how much time you have available and protect it.

    • “Being busy is a form of laziness…” 
    • ” Being overwhelmed is almost as unproductive as… ” 
    • “When everything is of equal importance then nothing is important.”

Say No.  Don’t find yourself saying yes because it’s scary to say no; or because you are afraid of missing an opportunity. Most things are flopportunities not opportunities. 

3.Create White Space – Give yourself time/space

What do I bring in? Is it a battle taking stuff out that does not belong? Is it hard to protect my time, my writing, my creativity? Leaving something out can be as important as putting something in. When decorating, empty white space is just as important as the space that is filled. Empty blocks of time are important. The problem with doing everything is that you have no time for doing nothing. Overloading squelches creativity and joy.  

God did not create hurry. Slowing down to rest in the midst of the undone (the dishes and the laundry will still be there) creates white space in your life. It can be hard to give yourself permission to stop and rest. Some use rest as a reward: I’ll rest when I’m finished. If the only down time is late at night then you don’t have enough down time.  We were created to need and use rest. True rest is trust in the Lord. Give yourself permission just to say: “No, I can’t do it.” without an explanation.

“A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.” – Thoreau 

4.The Secret Art of Saying No 

The more visible you are online, the more requests you will get. Don’t say ‘yes’ to stranger and ‘no’ to family; but fully embrace your ‘Yes’– the thing you will always say yes to. There are people/subjects/opportunities I will always say yes to, there are some that my husband and I talk about before I say yes or no and there are some that I have determined that I will always say no to. Constant evaluation of whether or not to say yes to something is necessary to maintain control over your time and creativity.

“A big part of doing your work is defending your time and your attention so you can do your work” – Seth Godin

To sum up Nester’s points in her own words: “Fiercely protect the true goal for your blog.  Doing Less and being more isn’t just a nice cliché’ it’s a real choice and the secret to getting there will allow you to become laser focused on growing your passion, your art, your hobby, your business, your blog.”

Quick Tips from The Nester

  • Know why you blog
  • Write what you know
  • Create something meaningful and share it
  • Don’t fall for distractions: focus
  • Decide you much time you can commit
  • Under-schedule and prioritize rest 
  • Determine your time, if you are overwhelmed you are too busy
  • If you have no room, you are over scheduled
  • Sometimes you learn the right by doing the wrong
  • Stop and evaluate

My {Big}take-away(s) from The Nester

Her comments about creating when I’m most creative- It’s easy to get caught up in FB all day or reading from blog-to-blog. Keeping up is important but not as important as using the “little grey cells” when they are all firing at once and I can get it down instead of losing it to the black hole that is my brain most of the day. I think determining when my “most creative time” is – is the challenge. 

The other intriguing thought she brought up was “white-space”. I’m cluttered. My home. My brain. My life. Some of it is self-imposed, some is from external influences. I don’t know that my blog will ever get to the point that I have to create white space because of it. But the whole idea struck a nerve.  I can’t control all of the clutter, but deliberately designing white space in my life can and will reflect in my writing. “Overloading squelches creativity and joy” will be the phrase I repeat to myself until I have enough white space in my life. 

 

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