The Savvy Blogging Summit 2010 Saved My Blog

I went to the Savvy Blogging Summit this past weekend, prepared to come home and shut down my blog.

Yep. You read that right.

I was half-way expecting to leave the Summit, feeling soberly deflated from my crazy notions that this blogging thing could ever be a business for me.

But that didn’t happen.

In fact, just the opposite is true.

Let me back up a minute, though, and tell you how I approached this trip.

For the first half of 2010, I’ve felt my life has been topsy-turvy: the unprecedented Nashville flood, losing a friend in the Haiti earthquake, watching my church shut its doors, leaving Blissdom with little more than a handful of business cards and some groovy swag as my “take-away.” Because I’ve always been a “big vision,” idealistic person, these losses have chipped away at my grandiose ideas.

When loved ones die, when cherished items are destroyed, when the unthinkable happens, when expectations are never realized, dreams are obliterated.

Such disappointments cause me to reconsider everything in life and become a bit stingier with my dreaming.

Sure, I had always salivated at the thoughts of my blog making money. But I had also ballooned those thoughts to the point of worship, blurring the lines between authentic calling and my own assertions in the pursuit of success.

Going to this conference, I did my best to dismiss me and my ideas, opening myself to God’s ideas instead.

I had all but decided that—although I would continue to write—I would most likely abandon the idea of trying to make money with my blog.

Nevertheless, I went into it prayerfully that God would use it to show me “yea” or “nay.” Keep it or close it? Pursue it or leave it? I wanted to know. I wanted God to show me. I was so tired of striving for my own idols in my own strength. I just prayed God would show me how to do well that which he had created me to do.

The fact that I even got to go was a wonderful sign to me of God’s validation (thanks to the three women behind My Grandmother is … Praying for Me). The fact I found three other Christian bloggers for roommates was another. The fact that there was no traffic to the airport on Thursday morning? Well, what better sign could I ask for?

Seriously, God gave his favor on every aspect of this trip. I am reminded that God says his yoke is easy and his burden is light. I think of so many of my previous pursuits and how HARD they’ve been. Obstacle after obstacle.  Dead end after dead end.

But God confirmed that this blogging/writing endeavor is an “easy” and “light” place for me to be. What freedom to simply walk the path God has laid!

My “Take-Away”

I came home with a notebook full of scribbles of nuggets of wisdom. I made lots of new friends and have a small stack of business cards to file away. I have a to-do list and a to-read list that spans a couple of pages.

I “took-away” much in terms of practical, legitimate, immediately usable information to make my blog more readable, more easily discovered, and—ultimately—more profitable.

But, by far, for me, the biggest take-away from this conference was that I am meant to do this for God’s glory. He will equip me to do that which he calls me to do. Will it all come overnight? No. Will I become an instant millionaire? Probably not.

I am simply called to follow step-by-step in faith and watch God’s plan unfold.

And I have a bunch of like-minded Savvy Blogger friends watching with me, cheering me on every step of the way.

~~~


Don’t miss a post! Subscribe to The Writer’s Block now. 

Disclosure: I am an Amazon affiliate and make a small commission based on purchases that I recommend. I am also working on the publicity team for My Grandmother Is … Praying for Me

Intentional Blogging in 2010

A few days ago, I posted my personal New Year’s Resolutions for 2010. I wrote that I had a lot of “little” goals but that my overarching goal was to create an “umbrella” of living with INTENTION this year.

The Savvy Blogging gals have issued a challenge for bloggers to create our blogging goals for 2010. So, I’m taking their challenge and posting my goals at Savvy Blogging.

I believe the act of giving my blogging a list of goals is INTENTIONAL, which is exactly where I want to be in this area of my life.

I am a writer and I have dreamed of being a paid writer for as long as I can remember. I see my blog as a natural extension of my profession. I would love for my blog to become a “syndicated column” of sorts: a place where a dedicated “several” check in. I want my blog to be a place of inspiration, encouragement, and thought-provoking entertainment.

My Blogging Goals for 2010

Audience: I want to increase and broaden my readership. It’s not just getting MORE readers, but it’s also finding those readers who need what I have.

Posting: I want to increase my posting frequency to at least 5 days/week.

Content focus: This is still a work in progress. I’m trying to become more focused with my content. My posts vary among funny mom stories, theological and political observations, recipes and homemaking tips. Sharpening my focus is terribly difficult for me because I have so many interests.

Design: I’m in the process of getting a customized blog design. I’m hoping the aesthetic will help crystallize some of these other ideas for me.

Income: I would like to continue to grow the income from my blog. I am paid to write, and I don’t see why my blog would be any different. But increasing the income means that I will need to more deliberately treat my blog as a business. I have decided I will do one “business building” activity each day, whether it’s finding new PR relationships or learning more about SEO. I will press myself to leave my comfort zone so that I can grow.

(In February, I’m attending my first blogging conference, Blissdom. I am so excited I can’t stand it! I anticipate having a revised list of goals after this conference.)

What would you like to read more of and about at The Writer’s Block? 
I’d love to hear feedback from you, dear reader. 

I Am a New-Year’s-Resolutions Kind of Girl

I like the tradition and practice of making New Year’s Resolutions. I know a lot of people don’t bother, saying they never keep them anyway.

And OK, I know I’ve started the “read through the Bible in a year” routine more times than I can count only to abandon it around mid-February.

But this year, I’m going to approach this whole resolution thing in a different way. I have one resolution, which I hope will serve as an umbrella to everything else in my life. That one resolution can be summed up in one word:

Intention. 

I resolve to live with intention.

This week, I managed to finally—FINALLY!—get my “office” set up. This involved moving and rearranging furniture and cleaning out old papers. It was way overdue. But in the process of thumbing through old receipts and grocery lists and recipes and wrapping paper scraps (really??? I kept all of that stuff???), I realized something important.

I had failed to live with intention.

The pile of paper was a tangible result of living in reaction and in the tyranny of the urgent.

So, maybe some of it was inevitable. I am, after all, in a season of life that sucks every drip of energy out of me.

But getting rid of all of that paper was so liberating. It geared me up to live with intention.

My goals for this year involve pursuing a closer walk with God, improving my health/losing weight, and growing my blogging and writing endeavors.

But those things must be attacked from a posture of intention.

Intentionality also assumes a sense of priority. I say that my faith, my health, and my writing are important to me. But I have not always prioritized them and made an intentional effort to work at them.

Above all, the older I get, the more I realize how big God is and how small I am. I am confronted by his strength made perfect in my weakness. I am more convinced that my primary purpose—whether I’m on an elliptical machine, posting to my blog, or cleaning out my desk—is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.

I want to be INTENTIONAL about living out God’s purpose for me in 2010 and beyond.

~~~

I added this post at The Happy Housewife and at Steph in the City. Visit and read some more 2010 resolutions.