What I’ve always found is that whenever blogging starts to feel less good, it’s because I’ve strayed away from my blogging purpose, so I thought it would be worth chatting about purpose.
My blogging purpose has evolved somewhat over the almost four years that I’ve been blogging, but that’s been less about a change in direction and more about gaining awareness of new things.
When I first started, my primary purpose was to have something constructive to do with my time. I wasn’t working all that much and was sort of adrift in life, so starting the blog was a way of finding an anchor.
As I got settled into the blogging world, having a sense of community became another key element. I really hadn’t anticipated that blogging would offer that, but I was very glad that it did. It came at a time when it was very difficult to interact with people in-person because of my illness, and offered a way to engage with people that wasn’t exhausting. The members of my blogging community have changed somewhat over time, but the fact that there are people there has been a constant.
Blogging has also been a way to exercise my brain and learn new things. That’s something I’ve always valued, and blogging makes it easy to do. I’ve learned a lot about blogging itself, and my weekly what is… series has been a great way for me to learn new things and learn more about some things that I was only vaguely aware of.
Another part of my blogging purpose is to raise awareness about mental health issues and challenge stigma. This is where SEO and trying to grow my blog come into the picture. Yes, I want to grow my blog, but it’s not just about growth for the sake of growth. Yet that’s where deviation from purpose can come in sometimes. I might get distracted by other people’s numbers and need to reorient myself to my own purpose of growth for the sake of messaging, not growth for the sake of competition. I’m usually pretty good about staying away from that particular sidetrack, but I stumble off the path occasionally.
I think it helps to have a clear idea in your mind of what your purpose is so that it’s easier to recognize when you get sidetracked. I suspect it’s pretty much inevitable that you will get sidetracked at one point or another, so it’s a matter of deciding what to do about it.
What are some of the key elements in your blogging purpose, and do you notice yourself getting sidetracked sometimes?