These quotes will help you to keep going.
Have you ever been close to giving up? Were you ever faced with a difficult decision with two equally viable paths? With no clear right or wrong, which path did you take?
In February, I was faced with such a choice. My blog hosting fees were coming due, and the blog wasn’t growing at the speed I’d hoped it would.
I gave myself a deadline. I would ponder every angle, make pro/con lists, think about how much time I could give to the blog, and then make a final decision before the due date.
Giving Up is the Greatest Weakness
“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”
– Thomas A. Edison
Except . . . I didn’t read the entire renewal notice. The renewal of my hosting fees automatically processed two weeks before the due date. The decision was made for me.
And I am so glad that it was.
Because in all honesty, I was mostly leaning toward the idea of ending the blog completely.
In the past 12 months, I have seen many new bloggers start blogging, and many seemed to find success rather quickly. Yet, as hard as I worked, my blog seemed to be growing at a snail’s pace.
“I’m not accomplishing anything, so I might as well quit.” That’s what I was telling myself.
Two things that happened this week make me so happy that I didn’t quit, because they never would have happened had my blog ceased to exist in February.
The Power of Positive Words
“It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.”
To start, the first boost came from a fellow blogger, Jean Lee. You can click her name to visit her site. She is also the author of Fallen
In a comment on one of my posts, she said in part, “Your voice is vital to those who know your struggles–or like me, have family who struggle. In the short time I’ve been reading your work I’m finally feeling like I can approach my family member with some idea of how to be.”
Those few words completely changed my outlook and moved my heart. Someone had read my words and been touched by them. I was actually helping someone, and that was the whole reason I started the blog in the first place.
But in the meantime, the critical voice, the one that is often the
Start With a Small Stone
“The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”
This quote is so powerful. To think about moving a mountain seems like an impossibility. To instead look at moving some small stones, which is an important first step, is much less daunting.
What are the stones you can move today?
For me, the “small stones” are getting back to writing posts consistently.
Speaking Bipolar was started in February 2018. A month prior, I had left a job I had been at for six years but left to maintain my mental health. After 18 years, I chose to leave the insurance industry. The goal was to start a writing career and work from home.
What followed was a roller coaster ride of a year that ended with me now working at a bookkeeping firm and learning how to prepare taxes.
You can read a little about my year in the posts The Bipolar Avalanche – Playing High Stakes Jenga and Chronic Illness Adventures and Running Into Walls.
In September, discouragement hit me like a truck, and for weeks I didn’t publish posts or give any attention to Speaking Bipolar. Actually, it was more like months.
But the dream was still there.
I am living a productive life every day even though I deal with both bipolar disorder and Familial Mediterranean Fever. There’s nothing special about me. If I can do it, then maybe by sharing my story, others can find the strength they need to do it as well.
Embrace Your Weird
“What makes you different or weird, that’s your strength.”
– Meryl Streep
(Then I am really strong! LOL.)
So, it follows, that in true bipolar fashion, I went from one extreme to the other.
The decision was made that I would have the blog another year because the hosting fees were already paid. I decided to take that opportunity and give the blog another 12 months to hopefully turn it into what I hope it can be.
This morning I was greeted by another amazing comment on one of my posts.
Aliza G shared, “I am so grateful to have found this blog.”
Really? It was still fairly early, my vision was blurred from not being fully awake, and I was trying to get motivated to get ready for work.
However, the words captured me, so I went back and read more.
Aliza added, “Strangely enough, I have Bipolar 2 . . . and my husband has FMF. You can imagine how many times I’ve had to explain what it is . . . now I can send someone a link to this blog to properly explain both.”
Finally, Aliza closed with, “These posts are such a relief to see how someone is working through them.”
Aliza, I don’t know you, but you are the answer I’ve been looking for in my quest to keep blogging. If I can help you and your husband, and Jean Lee and her family, well, then I’ve accomplished everything I wanted to do.
My goal was to help one person. Just one person. Now I’ve helped two. My heart is overflowing.
Keep Your Outlook Bright
“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”
– Helen Keller
Next up, let’s talk about being optimistic. Optimism does not come easy when you have a chronic or mental illness. Many nights are spent awake either due to pain or a brain that won’t stop running.
It’s no doubt why I gave into despair and completely abandoned Speaking Bipolar for months.
For that, I heartily apologize. I hope my site will forgive me.
I am not any healthier than I was in September, and I definitely have less time as now I’m working full-time outside the home, and it’s tax season, so work is insane!
But optimism has come back. I’ve reached someone. If I carry on, maybe I can reach someone else.
Expect to Struggle
“Without a struggle, there can be no progress.”
– Frederick Douglass
Accordingly, it shouldn’t be surprising when struggles crop up while trying to pursue a goal or dream. Hurdles and speed bumps are an integral process of reaching success.
If succeeding at everything was easy, there would be nothing for which to exert yourself. However, it’s not easy. In fact, committing to a blog is a lot of hard work.
For instance, there are posts to write, often with research and supporting links needed. There are images to be picked and graphics to be designed.
Then there’s promoting a blog. Most of my traffic comes from Pinterest, so that means I spend a good amount of time creating and posting pins.
Last, but certainly not least, there’s the need to keep in contact with your audience. I have a relatively small audience right now, but there are still people to respond to and thank almost every day.
The downturn from last fall is part of my struggle, one of my hurdles, but it will also be part of my eventual success story.
Even the Smallest Voice Can Be Courageous
“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’”
– Mary Anne Radmacher
To reiterate, there is nothing special about me. I am a simple country boy trying to navigate the world with manic depression and FMF as my constant companions.
However, I have been given a gift, or at least I think it’s a gift. God has granted me the ability to easily write down my thoughts and hopefully in a way that can entertain, inspire, and comfort others.
I feel compelled to share that gift. Will I succeed? You’ll have to stick with me for the next 12 months to find out.
Follow the Map
“All you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to your destination.”
– Earl Nightingale
So I’ve talked a lot about me in this post, but I hope you’ll indulge me just a little longer.
Why did I feel it important to tell you everything up to this point? Primarily, because these next 12 months are going to be different, and I want you to take this journey with me. I’ll be documenting my adventure in my new A Blogging Odyssey series. You can read about week one here.
For one, I have a “road map.” I’ve invested in myself and in my future by buying a blogging course that has helped many other bloggers to reach success. (More on this in future posts.)
Two, I have a new determination. Knowing that someone, anyone, is reading my words, makes all the time sitting at the keyboard worth it. (Thanks again, Jean Lee and Aliza. This is partly your fault, but in the best possible way.)
Three, I’m going to have accountability this year. That accountability is going to come from you, my dear and precious readers.
Soon, hopefully this week, I will be launching a new series documenting my journey through my blogging course and the steps I am taking to improve my site, engagement, and writing.
In addition, I have the ideas well in mind for three books I would like to write, as well as the science fiction novel that is about two-thirds finished already. I’ll expound more on these also in future posts.
Set a Deadline
“A goal is a dream with a deadline.”
– Napoleon Hill
In conclusion, now I have a new deadline. My blog hosting fees come up again in February. That’s 11 months away. This time I know that my deadline is a few weeks before that renewal date.
My hope is that long before February gets here, things are growing with my blog and it’s reach so that there is no question about whether or not to continue another year.
We’re already well into this year. What are your goals for the remainder of the year? How are you going to reach those goals? What have you set as your deadline?
Please share your thoughts and comments below.
Read next: 4 Things a Chronic Illness Teaches You.