As the sun sets on the year that's past, especially, there are so many voices telling us that what we're doing isn't enough. I've found this particularly as blogger - not even in December, but all year actually.
In a world where everyone is a diet expert and there are people who call themselves social media gurus but only have a handful of social media followers, it feels like bloggers should be diversifying and value adding, or sink. Maintain your blog but DO MORE to connect with your readers, to reach brands and to boost your SEO. Write a listicle post! Use long tailed keywords! Don't write a long post as your readers won't like it! Become niche! It can be overwhelming. And can leave you feeling like you're not doing it right. (Just quietly, I don't know what a long tailed keyword is, nor am I aware if I've used one, and I'm doing ok!)
As I downloaded yet another interesting podcast, this time about entrepreneurship (it's called Design Life - with episodes about personal branding and side projects), I realised that this year, many things didn't get ticked off my to do list. I sighed, wondering when I will do these things:
- Complete my huge writing list
- Start a HuffPo profile
- Finalise a writing challenge I have planned for the disability blogging community
- Write a short eBook
- Launch a blogging eCourse (I delivered a mini one last year)
- Start a podcast
Completestart my manuscript and refine my manuscript proposal
- Do more videos
- Pretty up my blog.
It's perfectly fine that I didn't achieve it all. Because what I did achieve in 2015 was huge.
- Hosted a blog reader brunch
- Organised and hosted the Australian Ichthyosis meet
- Ran Ichthyosis awareness month on my blog again
- Helped baby Julius by raising money for creams for him (he's doing really well)
- Progressed in my day job
- Wrote stuff I'm really proud of - and got paid for a lot of it - here's one piece I love
- Spoke at two writers festivals
- Performed at the Fringe Festival
- Met the former Prime Miinister
- Was mentioned in an end of year wrap about women pushing back
- Planned my wedding (!!!)
Everything on my to do list is part of my side project. My side project is mostly my writing, which leads to other great things. While I had lofty goals to make it my full time job, I'm not sure that's feasible. My side project makes me very happy (mostly) but it doesn't make me a full time wage. It does supplement my income very nicely and also lets me develop and build on skills, plus meet fabulous people.
As we say hello to a new year, there can be pressure to change, to do things differently. Do more, be better, overhaul yourself, your diet and your career. But why can't what you've done be enough? It's enough for me. And I won't feel guilty for not doing more or being different to what I am.
In 2016 I have no goals. I will just keep writing, keep honing my craft. And I believe that will help me achieve those other goals I didn't tick off my list. I will chip away, continuing to find happiness and help people in my side project.
I wish the same for you. Don't change because someone's telling you to. Don't do something at such force it's no longer fun. Don't beat yourself up for what you haven't achieved - feel good about what you have achieved. Keep doing what you love. Keep being you, because you're great. And if you want to make a change to your life or set a big goal, do it because of your own reasons, not because you felt pressured into it.
Happy new year.