Searching for inspiration is tough when ho-humnity is the name of your game, and your job is to write things that people want to read.
It’s better, then, to turn off the part of the brain that refuses to cooperate and focus on the activities that generate tidings of comfort and joy.
Here is the plan:
1. The kids and I browsed Pinterest this morning and found a graphic designer named Sarah Walsh whose aesthetic interests (pins) spoke to my brain on the side that doesn’t use words. The kids became so inspired by Sarah’s Illustration Station board that they are currently, quietly content at their own art table creating what I know will be framable works of art.
Somewhere in this messy house of mine is a beautiful set of art pens (hidden so the kids wouldn’t use them, but where could they be?) that I must (MUST) find today. Expression through art is necessary in this time of angst (divorce, divorce, divorce).
2. Outside my windows is a dark grey sky; the kind that makes me wonder if the sun is ever going to rise. No matter, I will be bundling my bod (from top of head to tip of toes) as I exit for an early morning run.
It will probably be brutally cold, hurt on a cellular level, but the results will be warmed blood, a regenerated system, and hopefully some adrenaline to push me through my day.
3. Later today, I’m taking my kids to vote. The lessons that I hope they’ll learn will outweigh the irritation that might occur from bored kids pulling on my clothes or the uncomfortable squeeze and tight proximity of three inside a voting booth.
“Women have rights, girls. They have the right to choose who they think should be the boss of America.Once upon a time women weren’t allowed to vote. People with different colored skin weren’t allowed to vote. Ridiculous, right? I don’t know who is going to win today, girls, but I pray he is able to do a good job. We are lucky to live in the United States of America. We are lucky and blessed to have freedom.”
Freedom. The ultimate inspired thought.
What do you do when you are struggling for inspiration? Do you change your focus or just plow though?
As I continue to blog I am propelled deeper into the social media prism.
What started with one post about marathon training ignited a passion for writing that snowballed as others connected to my work. The more I wrote the more strangers appeared in the comments section of Mommyland. Out of curiosity, I started reading the blogs of the strangers and in time they became friends. Our relationships blossoming through “comment communication.”
At first I felt silly admitting that I was building a brand, but as the management piece grew, all of the new sites needed to be connected and have an underlying component that gives the clicker an image of me. In addition to the writing and editing piece that started it all, the only way to continue to grow is to branch out even further. This is branding in action. Building something that people see and know is you.
Since Pinterest, I have signed up for Google+, followed 500 Twitterers (all of whom hold real value in my areas of interest), been followed by 260 or so like-minded individuals, begun to get involved with socialmoms.net, written for GeniusMoms.com, created polls on Polldaddy, worked with Adsense in regard to monetizing, read and commented on old blogs and new, all the while continuing to return where it started in Mommyland.
Upon publishing a post I must check to see that it was shared via facebook and Twitter, pin the images so that they are linked back to the blog, tweet messages to followers regarding the new post, respond to comments, go back and re-read the post on my iPhone (the single best place to check editing issues), and cycle through the other areas in the paragraph listed above.
Today I must decide if I am to part ways with my personal facebook account and combine it with my slow-growing facebook page. To do this, all facebook information will need to be downloaded elsewhere before the conversion can happen. All of my friends will become fans and I’ll no longer have to post to two separate pages. It’s a smart time-saving step, but it is also a leap toward making Mommyland a cemented part of my future.
Most importantly everything I do must be done without an obvious push toward tacky self promotion. It should be engaging and social, thus living up to its name. Surf the land for an afternoon and you soon see those whose heavy-duty boastfulness makes you want to click anywhere but there. It’s a tightrope fine line that must be balanced. I admit that I have had days where I have fallen into tacky territory. One must be careful.
What morphed from a small blog into an unforeseen future has caught me by surprise and forced me to write this post as a template for others, while acting as proof to the naysayers that I do more than sit at the computer all day.
In many ways it feels much the same as the marathon training, which started the entire of series of events.
Hard work, commitment and determination must be present for you to be successful.
The ride can be bumpy, so watch out for potholes and be careful to avoid injury.
Pace yourself, proceed with a plan and believe that no matter the end result it’s the lessons learned along the way that make the journey so rewarding.
A friend of mine (a mom and fellow blogger who has been on the scene for the past seven years) and I had a conversation recently about the time one must commit for a long lasting future in social media to be possible.
This got me thinking about why so many people don’t make it in the arena. As a relative newby, one might not consider me schooled enough on the factors that go into long-term success, but I do believe that I have grown my own set of skills (in the past six months) that give me some credibility.
Success in social media requires near constant attention and time to build a brand, a name, something that people want to click back to, connect with or buy.
Great blogs have failed not because they weren’t well written or received. Often, it’s simply because they weren’t given the chance to grow and change. It takes time to tweak one’s focus and find one’s path. A great many writer’s have escaped the blogging world and left us with blank paged URL’s. I see it everyday and I always wonder where they’ve gone.
Tweeting requires an awful lot of updates, as does one’s facebook page. The nice thing about facebook, though, is that when you update there it goes directly to Twitter (if you set it up that way). You must remember to post with a hashtag or the tweet with your facebook link may never be read.
How you choose what to post is also important. Ask yourself, do my words here have anything to do with my brand or would it be better to suited for my friends on my personal facebook page? There’s a difference between the two pages for a reason. Not everything I tell my friends do I necessarily need to share with my followers. Although, come to think of it, a lot of what I tell my followers, I’d never share with my friends. Maybe it’s time to combine my facebook pages into one? It’s a decision yet to be made.
I read recently that the most successful tweeters do so in the afternoon. I spent the past couple of days looking at my followers traffic (and those I follow, too) and decided that this isn’t true for my area of interest.
Most of the people with whom I’ve connected are runners, social media junkies, health promoters, and lovers of all things fashion. A huge number of them are moms, too.
The mom factor makes afternoon posts difficult to accomplish. It’s the afternoon when the kids get out of school and need their moms for snack making and cooperative playtime in the back yard. Unless you are posting on your phone with one hand and pushing a couple of swings with another, it’s highly unlikely you are doing either job to the best of your ability. I decided (for me) that I wasn’t able to do both jobs at once and so Internetland only happens early in the morning when the kids are playing, early afternoon when they are in school, and late at night after the monsters are in bed.
Pinterest is a fantastic way to build a brand. Start to pin things you like and soon you might be turned onto another pinner with a similar mindset. There are fantastic pinners (here, here, and here) who are growing businesses and share their aesthetics. I know that they spend an awful lot of time in the social media ocean based on the quality of their content and near constant updates to their pins. It’s necessary and important to continue to add to the images, since it acts as an inspiration board for yourself and others.
It’s work. If you fall in love with it, you realize this. You keep traveling from facebookland to Twitterville, from Pinterest and in my case to Mommyland as I grow what I’m building.
Most days I’m not sure what I’m building, but I am a social media toddler and it’s par for the course. The folks who have lasted and made names for themselves also began with an idea (and a voice), but it was their perseverance that grew their Internet credibility.
I realized this week that lower stats and less time to post are a part of the game.
The true definition of entrepreneurial spirit encompasses many qualities such as uniqueness, creativity, and adaptability.
Success in social media, whether you blog or promote a business, build a brand through Pinterest or grow a particular facebook page also takes an awful lot of work.
If you are like me and determined to make a place for yourself in it the advice is simple.
Hang on and keep at it, because the working (like the training for a marathon) is where our skills are grown, new friends and relationships are built, and where together we can impact our communities with our words, pictures and ideas.