open letter to bloggersIt’s that time of the month again and I’ve got a really awesome guest for you today.

Kevin is someone I’ve known for not quite a year but there is something about him and his writing that will just draw you in.  Oh heck, don’t take my word for it.  Just read this post and you’ll see what I mean.

So, ready to experience some Kevin?  Then let’s get to it shall we!

Hello friends, new and old.

When Adrienne asked me to guest blog here at her wonderful site, two thoughts came to mind.

“Did I leave the oven on?” was my immediate thought. The answer, thankfully, was no.

My second thought, which I hope is the same thought all of you have after reading this post, was an excited: “What took Adrienne so long!?”

After all, I’m not just the owner of Be A Better Blogger. I’m an interesting man of many talents.

For example, I can chop onions without crying. Or cutting my fingers. Or crying because I cut my fingers. Usually.

My recipe for Ramen Noodles with Sliced Hot Dogs is so good my wife refuses to eat it due to fear it will, and I quote, “ruin all other foods” for her.

I’m pretty good with money, too. The cash I buried behind my house in 2008 is mostly intact, as is my collection of beanie babies.

Of course, for all my God-given talents, I do have one huge, glaring weakness…

I’m directionally challenged.

Actually, that’s unfair. I don’t deserve to be grouped with your typical “kinda sorta bad with directions” individual. When it comes to navigation, I’m on another level of ineptitude.

If I had been a J. R. R. Tolkien character, those movies would have been ten times as long because I would have kept getting lost.

If I was Santa Claus, no one outside my immediate family would get Christmas presents. And the only reason they’d get presents is because I know where they live.

In short, I get lost a lot.

As a result, I can empathize with those who have lost their way.

I know how frustrating it can be when everyone else seems to know exactly where they are going and precisely what they are doing.

I know how helpless that feeling can be.

Blogging Can Feel That Way Sometimes, Too

Have you ever reached the point where you felt lost as a blogger?

Maybe it’s not as much fun as it used to be. Maybe you’ve plateaued.

Maybe you’ve sought out tips from experts, but there are just too many tips and too many experts. Maybe some of those tips and experts conflict with one another.

Maybe you’re tired of seeing others having more success than you.

Maybe you’ve run out of things to write about.

Maybe life threw you off track.

Regardless of the reason, you feel discouraged.

Discombobulated.

Lost.

You’re like a teenage Kevin Duncan driving the wrong way on a one-way street.

The good news?

It’s never too late to find your way.

Rediscovering Your Joy

It sounds overly simplistic, but if you want to stop feeling lost as a blogger you need to retrace your steps and rediscover why you enjoyed blogging in the first place.

Some of us got into blogging because we loved to write. It was fun. Cathartic. We had stories to share, and we couldn’t wait to share them with a new audience.

Some of us got into blogging to make friends. It didn’t matter if we were shy, if we lived alone, or if we were a little awkward. Blogging provided us the means to connect with people from all over the world.

Some of us got into blogging because we had knowledge we wanted to share with others. Some of us wanted to learn. Some of us wanted to be remembered.

Each of us got into blogging for a reason. Each of us enjoyed blogging for a reason.

Do you remember yours?

Excellent. Because now you’re going to write about it.

My challenge to those of you who have lost your way is to write about why you got into blogging. Do it in a comment below or, even better, write a new post on your own blog.

Write about how you got started. Write about what you enjoyed most about it. If you haven’t done it in a while, write about what you miss about blogging.

Think about it. Go back in your mind.

Rediscover how you felt about blogging before writer’s block came. Before the “newness” wore off on you. Before disappointment hit you.

And if that doesn’t work…

Keep Your Eyes On The Prize

Focusing on your blogging goals is another way you can get back on track.

You did set specific goals, right?

As I wrote once on my blog:

“Goals give you direction. They give purpose to your actions. Without purpose, you’re just going through the motions.”

Without purpose, without direction, blogging is drudgery.

It’s an act you do just for the sake of doing it. There’s no joy in it. No satisfaction. It’s just something you do until the next thing to do rolls around.

Sound familiar?

If you want to stop being lost, if you want to rekindle the joy you once felt about blogging, you need a purpose.

You need direction.

You need a goal.

Don’t have one? Get one. Had one and lost it? You need to go find it.

And if that doesn’t work…

Take A Step Back

When you’re tired and worn, sometimes the best thing to do is take a break.

If blogging has become something you feel obligated to do rather than something you want to do, you need to get away from it for a spell.

Don’t blog for a week or two. Don’t comment. Don’t even look at the thing.

Don’t turn your blog into something you resent. Don’t keep doing it when you would rather be doing something (anything) else.

Doing so isn’t good for you, it isn’t good for your blog, and it isn’t good for your readers.

Instead, visit the blogs of others.

Read the writings of passionate bloggers who are at the top of their game. Feed off their energy. Recharge your batteries.

And once you’re ready, once you’re recharged, it’s time to get back to work.

It’s time to blog.

Closing Time

No, it wasn’t your imagination. This post began as a slapstick comedy and ended as an uplifting drama. That’s one of the most amazing things about blogging… there’s no ONE right way to do it.

Of course, when you’ve lost the joy of blogging, it can feel as though there’s NO right way to do it.

When that happens, don’t worry. You’re in good company. It happens to all of us.

It’s happened to me. It’s happened to Adrienne. It’s happened to Carol Amato, Jaime Buckley, Don Purdum, Brittany Bullen, Sue Anne Dunlevie, and every other great blogger I know and wish I could mention by name.

We all lose our way eventually.

When that happens, you have to think back to why you got into blogging. You have to remember why you enjoyed it. You have to refocus on your goals. And, if necessary, you have to step away for a while.

A delicious bowl of Ramen noodles and hot dogs will help, too.

Eager to hear your thoughts so be sure to share those with us in the comments below and of course we always appreciate you sharing this post.  Hopefully it can encourage any of your friends who may have this very thought on their minds as well.

Kevin Duncan

Kevin Duncan runs Be A Better Blogger, where he uses his very particular set of skills to help people become the best bloggers they can be.

Be sure to stop by Kevin’s blog too and say hi.

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