A guest post by Shona Smith of The Blithe Effect.
It was a disaster of epic proportions. All my months of dreaming, planning and creating were gone in one single discovery.
I had chosen a domain name virtually word for word the same as the highly successful blogger Gail Brenner. I had “The Flourishing Self”, she had “A Flourishing Life”. We were both writing about personal learning and growth. She had written posts for Goodlife ZEN, The Bold Life and Zen Habits, all the blogs I wanted to guest post for and worst of all she was even in the A List blogging club I had just joined. She was connected, she was well known and she was good. Oh hell, she was great.
She was living my blog dream.
Arghhh. How could I have been so stupid. And how was I going to fix this. My first thought was to ignore it and just keep going, but in the middle of the night I woke up, anxious, thinking about it and knew deep down I had to make changes. Not only did I feel it would be wrong to keep going when our blogs were almost identical, I didn’t want to be the copycat, the one who couldn’t come up with an original idea. The Pepsi to her Coca Cola.
So I withdrew my blossoming blog and started from scratch (again). But I was cheesed off. I had loved my name, my design and my dreams for the blog. I had nurtured big plans for it. Now I had to find new ones whilst wearing a cloak of resentment, disappointment and lost momentum.
I admit I stumbled around a bit those first few days, lost, feeling miserable, cranky, full of self pity and repeating, “why?, why??”constantly to my husband.
But on the third day (yes, a bit like Jesus) I pulled myself together and got on with it.
It’s hard when things go wrong. It’s hard when you are on a path and suddenly you have to turn and face a whole new direction. And this happens when you are a new blogger. That great domain name is taken. The fab new idea you came up with is being done. A technical difficulty means starting over. But you need to keep moving, you need to stay happy and focussed. Here are some tips I used on how to do that.
1. Dont waste time – get straight back on that horse or bike or whatever you fell off and get going again. Do it as soon as you can. Don’t wait. With waiting comes doubt, waiting brings more questions than answers. So keep going and don’t wait, just do.
2. Keep focussing on the future – focus on tomorrow and all the good things it will bring rather than on the past and the things you left behind. Keep looking forward. Keep looking to your new plans,new goals and new dreams. Expend your energy getting excited about those things rather than wasting energy looking back at what could have been.
3. Look for the good thing – on reflection my new blog more deeply reflects what I am about. I still have some tinges of sadness about my old blog but mostly I am able to see that this change has been a good thing.
4. Rally support – creatively I felt dry. I had nothing. All my energy and best ideas had gone into the first blog. I needed help and support. A call for aid went out to my husband and best friend who both spent time with me brainstorming, thinking and creating something new for me to get excited about. Getting some help is key to helping you through this process.
5. Get over it – and finally in the immortal words of his song “Move On”, George Michael says;
“Move on, yeah
Hold it together, move on, move on
Life’s so short, move on, only time will set you free
You put your tears behind you, better get yourself where you wanna be
And so I did.
My best friend sat down with me and asked me questions like, “What are trying to do with your blog? What do you want to say? How do you want people to feel?”
And I knew. It was very clear. “Happy and accepted”, I said, “I want people to like themselves. I want people to see themselves as I see them. Worthy, beautiful human beings. I want people to understand that what they put out in the world they will get back. And I want us all to have more fun in our lives, everyday”.
So, we brainstormed. “A Happy You”, “A Better You”, The Beautiful Self”. Nothing was quite right. Finally, we looked up the thesaurus and came across the word “blithe”. It means happy, carefree and lighthearted and then, “effect”.
The Blithe Effect.
Next, a little design tweaking from my husband, a new header, some new colours. And…
It was perfect.
I was back baby, and this time for good.
Shona loves people, life and living with a sense of joy and contentment everyday. She blogs about the impact this attitude has on our daily experiences at The Blithe Effect. Come and say hello.