Better in 2014: Blogging

I realize the title of this post may seem oxymoronic, given that my posts are few and far between lately. This is true, but it’s not true.

I’m not blogging as often as I used to, which means the posts I do write had better be of better quality. Notice the repetitive word, better? Flash back to my Word of the Year post. This is the year when I take what I already have and make it better.

Today’s post is going to be the start of a series on blogging. I’ve been honored to have several people ask for my advice in starting their own blog. There’s a plethora of information I can give, so before we both jump into the deep end, I’d like to ask: what are you asking me?

Check!

Check!

For today’s post, I’m asking you to let me know your questions, ideas, thoughts, concerns… What kind of blog are you looking to start? What is its purpose? Is it to educate, share a business, vent, or just be creative?

Who will your audience be? Are you hoping to make money through your blog? Do you want to save the world or entertain your corner of it?

Do you have formatting and start-up questions? Are you interested in the behind-the-scenes work or just the up-front writing?

I’m more than willing to share the journey I’m going through with Frankly, My Dear… but I’d also love to know the journeys you plan to take.

Blank Pages are the World's Canvas

Blank Pages are the World’s Canvas

So here’s your chance. What are your questions about blogging? Leave them in the comments and I’ll curate them together for a series on building a better blog.

Remember: There’s no such thing as a dumb question. When I started blogging, I found that many others had the same questions I did. The research can be tiring and seemingly endless. I’d like to help. Tell me your questions. I’ll find you the answers. Or at least do my best.

And Frankly, My Dear… that’s all she wrote!

“Life is rough. I’m still a diamond.”

Yesterday I wrote a post about why I’m happy to be single. At least until the Right One comes along, and I’m not really in a hurry to play games to get to that point. When he and I meet, there won’t be any games.

I received some wonderful feedback almost immediately. What struck me most was the support of my singleness. Someone called me courageous. Another called me an example. I don’t really think I’m any of those things, really. Not by choice. I am single. I have to get through life right now without a Significant Other. But that doesn’t make me any better than a couple who’ve been together for decades and longer.

Still. These comments made me think. I thought about the caption I wrote for the diamond photo. I realized I have more to say. So I developed it more for today’s post title.

Blue diamond refracting light. Quote: "Life is Rough. I'm still a diamond."

Life is Rough. I’m still a Diamond.

My friend Debi said I can encourage “a whole lot of women”. I appreciate that. I appreciate my friends get what I’m saying, and honor me by commenting and sharing. Their value is… well, invaluable.

The deeper message isn’t about being Single & Strong.

It isn’t about dating or opposite sex issues or anything like that.

In fact, this message is good for anyone. Any gender. Any age. Any relational status.

Are you ready?  Pay attention! Here it is:

We’re all diamonds.

That’s it. That’s the deeper message.

We are all diamonds.

In our own way, we all have something amazing to offer the world. We are often rough, and the world comes at us with its tools and starts to shape us. Sometimes we get nicked. Sometimes it’s a smooth cut. We lose pieces of ourselves. We split and are widespread.

But we are all extremely valuable.

I don’t know what your life situation is. You may feel stuck. There are far too often outside factors that slow down or prohibit you from being the person you completely want to be.

But know this: You are a diamond.

You are multi-faceted and shine and refract the world around you. It’s the ones who look deep that can see inside you, see what you’re truly made of and what surprises you hold. Who see that you are strong. You are beautiful. You are worthy. And you are valuable.

Are you one of them?

Do you know your own worth?

I’ve always had an affinity for the Hope Diamond. [Not gonna lie: secret wish #97 is that I would be rich enough some day to own it. I’d still keep it at the Smithsonian. But I’d sure love to be the owner.] [Sans that, secret wish #8 is to visit the Smithsonian and see it in person.] The history. The mystery. The beauty. The extravagance. It utterly captivates me.

And when I feel like I could change the world, I feel like the Hope Diamond.

I’ve been experiencing an upward shift in my confidence level since the new year began. I’m not sure which came first, but choosing Better as my word of the year was an exceptionally smart choice.

I’m choosing this year to be the Better Person that I know I can be. Will you choose to do the same?

It’s not always easy. It’s not always clear. You won’t always know Step Two before you take Step One.

But Step One is where it starts.

Step One is important.

Step One is knowing.

Who do you want to be?

“Fake it til ya make it” is a phrase I hear often and it works.

Stop wishing for something. Act like you’re already there. Take steps to make it happen. Don’t hide under the blankets or behind closed doors. Go out into the world. See what you can offer it, and you’ll be wonderfully surprised at how much you get back.

Don’t feel too worthy? Dress up a little. Tidy up your hair and clothes. Say hi to a stranger. Smile. A lot.

Don’t focus on your problems. Focus on their solutions. It can take a while. Maybe you don’t think there is a solution. That’s okay. Maybe you need a backup plan. Maybe you need another path. Or maybe you just need to sit and be still and refresh. That’s okay, too.

Sometimes just breathing can give you clarity and confidence. Why do you think people take big breaths before walking onto a stage?

Be who you’re supposed to be: a Diamond. Shine, shimmer and share! Even a tiny shard of light is brighter than the darkness around it.

Loose Diamond refracting light sparklesDo you admire someone else? A friend, relative, mentor, teacher, coworker, neighbor? What is it about them that you admire? Is it possible for you to reflect even one of their qualities to get you on your path?

I noticed that the successful writers in my world write. Often. Regularly. They’re less stuck on editing and more into creating. That’s who I want to be. So I dropped the red pen and just kept writing. Editing can come later. But getting the words out even if rough form is still writing.

There are people around me every day struggling with life. Talk about turning lemons into lemonade! I see an underlying strength, a perseverance they exhibit all the time. And so I’ve learned to take a step back from any situation and just wait. Five seconds. Five minutes. Five days. Just wait, and look at it differently. Maybe a tragedy isn’t as tragic. Maybe a good idea isn’t the best plan on the planet. Thinking things through is a great way to slow down my mistakes.

What I noticed most about people I admire, people I want to be like, is their smile. I want that confidence. I want the security of knowing I’m on the right track, doing the right thing.

How can I call myself a writer if I don’t write? And if I am a writer, why be insecure about it?

So here it is (she said with a smile):

I am a writer. And a mighty fine great one, at that.

The rest of the world may not know it yet. But they’ll catch on.

Until then, I’m still writing. Still smiling. Still becoming the person I’m meant to be.

I hope you are, too.

And Frankly, My Dear… that’s all she wrote.