Friday, May 30, 2014

I've Become an Average Blogger in Just Twelve Months!

Tomorrow is a big day for Flaws, Forgiven.

Tomorrow, the 31st of May, my blog…………………………….turns 1 :) 

I'm pretty pumped. 60 posts in 365 days. Not too shabby!

Now it's only fair on this, the one year anniversary of my blog, that we sit down and judge the crap out of what I've done. I'm serious. If there was ever an OK time to pass judgement, now is that time. When I started my blog I, like most bloggers, had a pretty specific list of goals in mind. I think tonight is the perfect night to revisit those goals and see how well I've stuck to them.

So let's get right into it, shall we?


Write to feel better
Jen Grade: A
I jack things up a lot. I make mistakes when I attempt DIY projects. I make mistakes when I work. I make mistakes in my relationships. Writing acts like a mindmap for me, a visual representation of what I’m thinking, a way of organizing my thoughts into cute, tidy little paths I can skip along in a yellow sundress with flowers in my hair and birds in the blue sky and deer leaping and bounding with me on my way to Resolutionville.

So basically, writing is my #1 problem solving tool.

Solved problems = happy Jen.....but I need to walk myself through the resolution process to feel the full effects. I can't just be all like "oh great, I'll just stop caring about that. Done. Gone. Poof." My mind doesn't work that way. I need to immerse myself in the problem and spew out my thoughts, reactions, feelings. 

Once all the words get out of my system, I know exactly where I stand. I know what needs to be done. I know why I’m feeling the way I’m feeling. It’s pretty damn glorious. It’s working well for me. The added bonus? Sometimes my writing makes other people feel better, too. Sometimes walking myself through my problems helps strangers walk through theirs. It’s nice. It’s better than nice….it’s perfect. A++++++, Ralphie!


Write to practice
Jen Grade: D
I started this blog because I wanted to devote a portion of my life to writing. Therapy aside, I write because I enjoy telling stories….so much so, I’ve made it a life goal to write a book. I want to be a writer – a real writer. Someone with pages filled with her imagination and volumes of her deepest, most intimate ideas. Someone who has a weird picture of herself in a flowy skirt on the back cover. Someone who pushes herself to madness to get her book published and into the hands of readers. Someone who breaks through to someone, somewhere, who really needs to read her words. Someone who changes her name to Grace Skymist so nobody knows her true identity. heheheh

I picture my life twenty years from now and I picture myself surrounded by those side tables made out of books, huge white pillows, and blue blankets. I picture a laptop, my legs tucked under me, Aaron’s kisses on my forehead as he heads to bed without me for the fourth night in a row. I picture my mind rushing out onto the page…little ribbons of stories, colorful characters, and an undertone of personal experience. I see it, I can see it right there in my head.

But to get there, I need to practice. I was hoping this blog would help me do just that. I wanted to practice writing well, concisely, professionally. 

I’m not doing so well. Not happenin’. I’ve realized I’m happiest when I’m freewriting….expressing myself with little restraint, little planning, and absolutely no punctuation control. This makes me happy. I can’t say I’m disappointed with myself for suckin' with this goal…my blog has turned into a different kind of resource for me.

And you know, the more I read about writing, the more I’m told the most important part of writing a novel is to simply write. Just write.

So I’ll take that D and treat it just like I did when I got a D in calculus……*shoulder shrug* “Eh.”


Never try to make big money with your blog
Jen Grade: A
I’m going to say this with the least judgment possible because I know a great many wonderful bloggers who love to make money with their blog – I never want to take reader focus off my writing and put it on advertising. I’ve had people approach me to do sponsored posts and I gotta tell ya, it ain’t for me. Everyone loves money, including me, but my posts are mine. I will sometimes write a non-compensated post or two for people who have very real and helpful stories, stories that I think resonate with my readers and fit the tone of my blog...but you will not find me posting about razors or free tickets to Disneyland. I’m not big on selling stuff and honestly, I am kinda turned off by blogs that pitch product after product after product. I want to read, people. I want to read good, funny, heartfelt crap.

This isn’t to say I will never make any money off this blog. I think someday I might get an ad or two in the sidebar… and if someone asks me to review their incredibly awesome (read = not razors) product or book, I'd be all over that....but that’s where the buck stops for me. I don’t want anything interfering with the true purpose behind this blog. Ads and spam just don't jive with the overall feeling of Flaws, Forgiven. I try to avoid them. So far, so good!


Stay positive
Jen Grade C+
This goal doesn’t pertain to the first few paragraphs of every post. My blog is all about disclosing my flaws and figuring out how to love them, so naturally the first few paragraphs can be very negative as I am literally describing my awful, insane flaws. 

No, when I thought up this goal I was referring instead to my natural tendency to whine. I am a HUGE whiner. I could whine all day. Yes, I can do it in a really funny way….but it’s still whining. My post last week was one giant whine fest. I can sometimes have a very sarcastic, dark sense of humor. This interferes with Goal #1. I learn nothing from whining. It can still be fun sometimes, though. Hence the C+ :)


Don’t be scared
Jen Grade: B-
This one is probably the hardest for me. I write purely and completely from the heart. It causes problems sometimes. I get sensitive. Others get sensitive. People have taken offense. Conflict makes me second guess myself. Sometimes I think I should stop. 

Then I smack the shit out of myself and stop being a wussy. This here is my space. I share it with the world, but I don't force it down anyone's throat. I write for whoever wants to read it, hoping someone who feels as crappy as I sometimes do will maybe somehow feel better. 

I'm getting better and better at smacking myself when I feel afraid to be myself. I'm getting there. When it comes to blogging topics, I am caring less about other people and more about myself. I'm at about 80% don't care. Progress!


So there we have it. My top five blogging goals. Now we all know I’m not good with math and crap but that seems like a high-C-ish average to me. Baddah-bing! I'll take it! Heck, no complaints about a high C - that's average-like! That's how it's done!



I’ve learned a ton about my writing style (erratic and wordy), picture-editing capabilities (thanks PicMonkey!), and time management skills (hel-lllllo multitasking). I’ve learned I truly do love writing…very, very much. It isn’t just some random idea I came up with in the shower. I physically get a surge of adrenaline when I see something and think, "Oh MAN I could totally write about that!" Everything is my next blog post. I feel so relaxed after I've written, but also excited...like here you go world. Have at it. I honestly cannot explain how I feel when someone walks up to me and says, “I read your blog, Jen. I totally read it.” If I wasn’t such a badass, I would cry all over the place.

All I keep thinking as I celebrate a year of consistently writing is: maybe I can write my dream book one day. Maybe I might actually be able to pull it off. That would be pretty damn awesome.

Until that day comes, I am going to sit back, read some old posts, continue writing new ones, and keep the content stream flowin’ by coming up with ways to forgive myself for my nonstop, insane flaws.

A few of my favorite posts:












As always, thank you for reading. It wouldn’t be nearly as fun and exciting without you, dear readers. Thank you so much for supporting me, reading with me, and sharing your experiences and opinions with me. They mean more to me than you could possibly imagine.

Jen


27 comments:

  1. Congrats on your first blogiversary! It sounds like you have learned a lot and accomplished a lot.

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    1. Thank you so much Jenna!! I learned a ton - not only about the blogging world in general, but about the things that really make me happy.

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  2. Congrats! You should be very proud! I have a lot of the same goals and I like the idea of doing a little round up at 1 year to see how you are doing.

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    1. Thank you Susan!! I thought it would be nice to look back a little, kinda wrap up what this year has meant to me. I'll take average!! HAHA

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  3. First - Happy Birthday to your blog! Thank you for not posting a cake btw.
    Second - you are not an average blogger. You are honest & real and I love your writing.
    Third - I'm a whiner too!

    Have a great weekend!

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    1. Thank you Kristen! HAHAHA I thought about a cake - then realized it would only make me hungo, and I'm trying to stay off the sweets....HAHA You are so sweet and I appreciate the compliment, especially coming from another awesome writer :) Have an awesome day!

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  4. Congratulations on your Anniversary. You have accomplished so much this year and I am so proud of you. You will get the book written and be an even bigger supper star than you are now.

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    1. Thank you Sarah. You've been my #1 supporter since Day 1 and I will never forget that, ever. Thank you for always believing in me - I honestly cannot tell you how much that means to me!

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  5. congrats on your 1 year anniversary. I love how honest you are about your goals for your blog <3

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  6. Happy 1 year of blogging--I have a very similar dream of being "a writer"--whatever that may look like in my life. My comfort spot when it comes to writing is true stories, and I think blogging is helping me get experience and developing my story writing skills...better than college, perhaps, because I was mostly writing research papers, and I hardly ever write research papers for my blog.

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    1. It's true, and I never thought about it that way. I love writing stories...which is essentially what I would be doing if I ended up writing a book. Practice makes perfect? Here's hopin! Thanks for reading Rachel :)

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  7. Happy One year! I think it's awesome you are able to objectively look back on last years goals (ekk I didn't even think to make blog goals!). Btw your blog post titles are hilarious and are giving me a good laugh!

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    1. HAHA no no no you don't NEED to have blog goals - just write girl! And THANK YOU those are some of my favorite posts :) So glad you stopped by :)

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  8. Hi Jennifer! I've had my blog now for a little over 1 year and your article really resonates with me. I just have one peeve. Is it wrong to make money and pursue a passion? I've been blogging about my topic of passion, but would love to build up a brand and successful business.

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    1. Hi Shana! Thank you so much for reading! And no - of course it's not wrong to make money and pursue a passion. It's not for me, though. Making money means needing to divert from the focus of my blog - which to me, would be the same as selling out. let me explain...if my passion was to write about travel, and then I found someone who wanted to pay me to write about travel, I would be the luckiest chick in the world. This blog, however, is about self-acceptance, my trials and tribulations, and genuine, real-life emotional experiences with my family and friends. I don't know a sponsor in the world who would want to pay me for these stories - but if you find one, send 'em on my way! Until then, I'll stick to using my side business as a freelance copywriter to make my extra money. Best of luck to you! You will get there girl!

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  9. Happy Anniversary to your blog!

    Good luck with your goals. I have some of the same goals.

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    1. Thank you so much :) :) :) I appreciate you!!!

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  10. Happy Blogiversary, my friend! I love when you let it all hang out. Your sarcastic sense of humor and admitted flaws makes you approachable and human. You rock!

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    1. *tear* thank you!!! I think you rock too! Love my blogging buds!

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  11. Congratulations Jen, this is a huge achievement. Sometimes it can be an eye opener to revisit our goals. It is interesting to see what we accomplished, what we didn't and how some things became not important anymore. Our goals certainly change as we achieve success.

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    1. Thank you Cortney and you are totally right - I imagine I will have completely different goals and grades next year! I'm kinda excited to see where it all leads! :) So glad you stopped by and thanks again :)

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  12. Congrats on your first year Jen! What a wonderful accomplishment and hurdle :) I'm sure the best is yet to come. I'm a pro at whining and reserve the right to do it at all times - I agree in the monetization aspect of blogging, it ain't for me, not at this time. Enjoy your space and say what you want! Hope you and yours had a great weekend Jen! -Iva

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    1. Woot woot! Thank you Iva! You're the best girl! I hope you had a great weekend too and have an incredible week - here's to next weekend :) Thanks for stopping in and for the well-wishes :)

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  13. Happy Blogiversary. I can relate to a lot of your points. I've always imagined myself as a writer. Like a grown up writer with book signings and people obsessed with my characters but I never practice creative writing. Probably because I'm too scared.

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  14. Congrats Jen! I absolutely love your blog -- your writing is so honest, heartfelt and funny. Keep those posts coming!

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  15. Congrats on your accomplishment! As a blog that's not even a month old it's good to see new bloggers get started and make it.

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