The Blog Race has been quite the adventure, hasn’t it? If a few months ago you told me that I’d have learnt so much – about myself, the blogging world and the people in it – from an amateur competition organised on Twitter, then I would have laughed.
See, I’ve never done anything like this before. I’ve never emersed myself into the blogging community and honestly, I’ve never got a lot out of the said community.
Well, that’s all changed, hasn’t it?
Since I found out that I’d been chosen as a The Blog Race finalist, my attitude toward my blog and the blogosphere has transformed completely. For the better, I should add.
I’ve learnt so much about myself and my blog from this competition. Although that probably wasn’t what I expected to gain from this competition, it’s probably the biggest reason I’m so happy that I’ve had the opportunity to take part and be amongst some truly amazing bloggers (who’s blogs absolutely rock this world in their individualistic, creative ways).
Today, as my final challenge for #TheBlogRace, I’m sharing the 7 things I’ve learnt about myself whilst being a part of The Blog Race. Check out my recent discoveries and I’ll meet up with you after.
I don’t believe in myself (enough)
I can distinctly remember the moment I discovered that I’d been chosen as a finalist for #TheBlogRace. In that moment I literally started shaking (so cringe guys, I know), I felt overwhelmed and had a sudden wave of excitement and fear and anxiety wash over me.
See, only hours before, Vix messaged me asking if I wanted to take part or not (because I hadn’t replied to the initial email), I’d checked the wrong email account a dozen times or more. When I didn’t find any kind of email from anyone other than mailing lists I never subscribed to, I gutted to myself and shrugged; “Of course I didn’t get picked – why would I have?”.
Now I can see that I absolutely deserved the opportunity I was given. I run an interesting blog and the few people who read let me know that they love it. I just haven’t believed in myself enough when it comes to this blogging lark.
Thankfully, I’m now starting to embrace the self-love a little more and after enjoying The Blog Race I can’t wait to dive into my next opportunity.
I’m a do-er
Honestly, being a do-er is exhausting. It’s either because I can’t relax anymore or because I feel like I’d rather do something than sit and watch Stranger Things (unpopular opinion: I really don’t give a shit about Stranger Things) – but lately, I’ve stopped talking about stuff and just started doing it.
Although I can’t directly correlate this to starting The Blog Race, I feel like it’s had a big part in helping me discover this ‘doing’ side of myself.
Working on the weekly challenges, taking part in The Blog Race chat and keeping tabs on everyone’s else posts and creations has kept me in the loop of creation. Sure, I’ve had days off still and I still love a bit of a think in the bath (is that TMI?) but this opportunity has helped me embrace the do-er in me – and I like it.
I’m a perfectionist
For several of the challenges thrown our way during The Blog Race, it took me an age to get to a point where I was happy enough to share. Honestly, some of them I downright wasn’t happy with. I wanted to scrap my idea and start again but I simply didn’t have time, which is a great life lesson really. Done is always better than perfect.
To put this into perspective, if I had scrapped some of those ideas and failed to make the deadline for the weekly challenge, I wouldn’t have been able to take part in the next one – which would have sucked. So although being a perfectionist is good when it comes to details, it’s definitely a habit I’ve learnt to adapt over the last few months.
Instead of making sure everything is perfect, I’ve focused on particular aspects. Making sure the photo is how I wanted it, the layout is looking great or I’ve actually proofread everything – the little things that, with practice, will ensure my perfectionist habit can be spotted across the board. At least that’s the plan.
I’m bad at making connections
It turns out that not only am I awful at making friends in person, but I’m also pretty terrible (and unpractised) at making online connections and allies.
Now believe me when I say that I’m not at all happy with this realisation – but it’s true nonetheless. Thanks to this competition I’ve kind of been forced to interact with people online a little more. My blog has had a fair few people discover it these last few months and the lovely comments and acts of support have warmed my heart.
When people have gone out of their way to interact with me online it’s necessary for me to respond. Now that I’ve been getting more comments and mentions I’ve had to interact more – even though I sometimes want to crawl under a rock… – and it’s been SO good for me. Making connections, building online friendships and reader loyalty is seriously something that only works when you do. A lesson well learnt, that’s for sure.
I compare my blog too much
Ultimately, The Blog Race has been a competition. Competitions mean that there are winners and losers, right? Even outside of this competition (where I guess we’re allowed to I compare ourselves just a little) I’ve noticed that am constantly looking out for someone or some blog that’s better than me or mine.
We all compare ourselves to a point, but at some point it gets unhealthy – and that’s kind of the point it had got to for me.
Not wanting to read other blogs in fear of feeling poop about my own, feeling jealous when others get breakthroughs instead of congratulating them and just feeling a tad inferior compared to other kickass bloggers is not how I want to feel as a blogger.
The Blog Race has allowed me to see (and practice) supporting bloggers and blogs without the aspect of comparison. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter who wins the competition because we’ve all made new connections, gained confidence and so much more. It’s hard to compare yourself to others when you’re too busy raving about them (without forgetting how great you are too).
I’ve got so much more to give
Although I’ve been blogging for YONKS – like I stared on blogger, then WordPress.com, I was blogging when I started my first job (2013) and through literally every up and down since then – earlier this year I looked at my blog and considered where I was going with this all.
I’d gotten into the mindset that I didn’t want to become a full time blogger or influencer, but what’s was my goal? Honestly, I still don’t know what the goal is, but I do know that I’ve got a lot more to give (and a lot more coming your way).
I have stories I haven’t told, tried and tested advice I haven’t shared and a massive load of colourful and exciting ideas to get some guinea pigs on asap. The Blog Race has stretched me and challenged me and now I know that I can blog about more than half painted walls or turning bad days around.
I’m good at this
Enough with the self-deprecation, the absolute main thing I’ve learnt since being a part of #TheBlogRace is that I am good at this. This (kind of weird) malarkey. Blogging.
Writing about myself and my experiences, taking photos, building myself up as a stand-alone brand, growing on social media, brainstorming ideas and seeing the beauty in everything and everyone else’s blog – I’m good at it. Sometimes even really good.
Before you think it, there’s no way that I’m just being big-headed or egotistical. The amount of support I’ve received from people these last few months has been overwhelming. I finally feel like someone is reading what I’ve got to say and – on some level – resonating with it.
If you’ve been following along with #TheBlogRace then I’d love to know what you’ve learnt along the way – about bloggers, supporting each other in the community, or just a fun fact about a newly discovered blogger. Let me know in the comments below.
Remember to check out all the other Blog Race gals too – and make sure you’re on Twitter tomorrow evening to see how it all ends!
Until next time,
P.S. a MASSIVE thank you to Vix and Laila – creators of The Blog Race and all-around amazing gals. It’s been a great few months of ups and downs, honesty and creativity. It’s been great and as you can see, I’ve learnt a lot, virtually met some amazing people and had my mind opened to the possibilities of blogging. You guys deserve a ‘for services to blogging’ award.