It was a lonely September day six years ago when I began to blog. I had no intentions, no goals, no agenda, no purpose. I didn’t know blogging could even be a career.
I only knew of the passion to write, and the belief that writing helped me to better understand myself.
In the beginning, I didn’t analyze anything. No one knew of my little space, so I penned updates about our life without worrying they might be boring or appear self consumed. Eventually, family and friends started to find my corner of the web. Their presence, your presence, felt exhilarating and terrifying.
Once I recognized I had an audience, I started to branch out from the everyday posts about life in Sacramento. I loved sharing my thoughts on religion, politics, food, style and parenting. But it also felt much harder to be myself.
A few years ago, I started asking myself these questions:
What’s a blogger and what’s a writer? Can I be both? How are they different?
Do I want to make money blogging? Could I make money blogging?
The blogging world says you need a niche. Am I a lifestyle blogger? A social media blogger? A food blogger? A mommy blogger? A Christian blogger?
If I continue to blog, do I need to learn code? Photography? Design? Can I hire someone to do those things? And when, oh when, will I even have the time to figure this all out?
After sifting through all of these questions, I came to many conclusions but the biggest one was this: I decided I wanted to concentrate on writing first. Of course, bloggers are writers too–it’s just they have a whole lot of other things vying for their attention. I wanted to focus on a book before a blog, and enjoy the craft of writing before the photography, or blog design, or monetization.
For the most part, ever since Anna was born, I’ve felt really confident in my current role as mom and writer. Jonathan’s year through cancer freed me to write again from the heart; to write for therapy and nothing more.
But recently I’ve been slipping back into some old insecurities. I’ve been writing less because I’ve been busier, but also because I’ve fallen into the trap of believing you all want a certain thing from me. When I write about parenting, I’m afraid those without children will roll your eyes and think, “NOT AGAIN!” and when I discuss Christianity I’m afraid those of you who aren’t Christians will think, “YOU’RE A CRAZY PERSON!” and when I write about what I did last weekend I’m afraid some of you will think, “BORING!” and when I write about cancer I’m afraid you’re thinking, “MOVE ON ALREADY.”
So, here’s what I’ve decided. First, I need to remind myself, yet again, that God is given glory through our stories, and that MY story is worth telling, even when it’s not perfectly photographed or neatly optimized for SEO or cleanly edited and under 400 words. I believe I need to create in order to feel fulfilled, and I recognize He’s given me a gift and a desire to encourage others through the written word.
Here’s the next thing. I’ve decided, based on Sarah Mae’s suggestion, to write a mission statement for my blog. Are you ready? Here it goes:
Barefooton45th.com exists to provide an authentic space on the web where readers feel encouraged, loved and informed about everything from faith to friendship, politics to prayer, cooking to cancer, marriage to motherhood, and anything else God uses to share the gospel story.