So, since we are exactly three months into 2017 today, I felt it only right to do a 90-day check-in with everyone!
Worldwide, a great deal has happened in this amount of time – some bad, some devastating, some good, and some absolutely amazing. For this MLK, meaning Ms. Lucretia King, I have experienced a first quarter filled with a similar combination of ups and downs. On one hand there’s the reality of growing monthly expenses, the shock of unexpected financial shortfalls, and the anxiety, insecurity, and doubt that always seems to follow a person whenever they go off society’s well-worn path in order to chart a new personal course. And, on the other hand there’s a renewed sense of purpose, a clarity of intention, and a refining of my vision (for my talents and work efforts, for this year, and for the next quarter of my life, God willing).
However, that’s all part of the adventure when living an artist’s life. Right? And, in no way is this more evident than through the posts I’ve published online here since the start of the year.
Here’s how and why.
The Start and Restart
I started this blog in early 2015 with the main goal of creating a platform for myself, as a writer, in hopes of generating a solid audience for (and the interest of at least one literary agent in) my book in progress – a travel memoir covering a year of unexpected events in my life. Well, that was the plan…at first.
A couple of months into it, my writing momentum slowed and the blog posts ceased.
By fall of 2015, I had changed professional jobs and personal goals. Working part-time opened a small window of freedom for me to experience a massive burst of productivity. During that short-lived break, I completed my first draft of Part 1 for my memoir and posted an excerpt of it on my blog’s website. I submitted book proposals to at least seven literary agencies (with or without that established online platform or blog audience I first desired). And, I also opened an Etsy shop – primarily for getting some use out of my photography – which expanded into other side projects for that.
One idea quickly led to another, and this blog turned into a “one-stop shop” for connecting my tangents all together – author website, travel memoir promo, photo gallery, and Lucretia By Design business page with Etsy and Facebook links. However, one thing I didn’t quite have a handle on was my writing system for the actual blog. My posts were published “as completed,” usually on Saturday or Sunday afternoon, after a whole day of writing and editing and rewriting. I began to share more about my thoughts and experiences as they came to me or happened…and less on my interest and process for building a writing platform for the sake of becoming a writer.
And then that window of productivity closed, and again the posts ceased.
The Renewal and New Purpose
Two years later, I’ve refreshed my blog’s design and look (once again), but with a clearly intentional approach. In an effort to “keep it simple,” I’ve chosen a WordPress template that has space for growth (in pages and subpages, in sidebar features, and in content) without looking or becoming too cluttered. Though my blog serves as the website’s “landing page,” I still took time to create attractive home and about pages – cause your side doors needs to have curb appeal too! And, in doing all of this, I learned how to utilize many more tools in WordPress – like buttons, post formats, featured images, tags, and schedule functions – to improve my blog’s usefulness and my user consistency… which in turn, should improve the blog’s impact (and readership) – I hope!
And speaking of consistency, there’s nothing like a good doable writing schedule and topic outline to help a girl stay on the job of blogging and on her purpose for writing. So, instead of sticking to a strict “post per week” schedule with loosely guided subjects, I’ve created a floating number of posts per month that revolve around seven key topics – each assigned to a specific day of the week:
- Sundays – meditation/inspiration moments,
- Mondays – life/leadership lessons,
- Tuesdays – good books/suggested reads,
- Wednesdays – good tunes/suggested artists,
- Thursdays – advice/helpful tips,
- Fridays – travels and destinations,
- Saturdays – my updates on life and dreams, aspirations and accomplishments
Every week will not have a post, and every month will not have every topic covered. And I’m OK with that.
The new purpose of my blog is no longer to write for the sake of saying I’m a writer or to snag a book deal. It’s for creating a space where I am free to write for the pure enjoyment of writing – whenever and however I want. But also, it’s for having a platform where I can share what I know and love and have experienced – about career choices, music, travel, life lessons, observations, quotes and poems and people that keep me motivated and inspired.
Why? Because my ultimate goal is to help others explore the world around them and know that anything they set their mind to do is possible – regardless of where they come from, what level income they have, the environment they grew up in, or the barriers society and others may throw their way.
For so long, I thought I had to find an employer that would provide a platform for me to fulfill this personal mission: to encourage others by sharing my lessons learned. But then, finally, I realized I don’t need a company, an organization, agency, or institution to create a role or position for me to fill in order to help others – all I need is myself…and this platform that I’ve created and refreshed… to pursue my mission, to fulfill my calling.
[NOTE: Technically, if you go by my blog schedule, I should be posting this “MLK’s World” update on April 1st. But, come on… that’s April Fool’s Day! And no one wants the piece they’ve written for other to take seriously published on a day of pranks. I’m just sayin’…]