Stories are experiences that we share with the world.
There are stories filled with hope.
There are stories filled with fear.
There are stories filled with sadness.
There are stories filled with triumph.
There are stories filled with wonder.
There are stories filled with magic.
Has a little piece of each of these mixed in.
October is my 7 year anniversary since I started my blog. It has changed throughout the years but there is one main reason behind it. To share my story.
My story of healing.
My story of redemption.
My story of forgiveness.
My story of darkness.
My story of love.
I have always been a storyteller. I still have all of the books that I “published” when I was in elementary school. I remember my parents always telling me to keep writing. It was not only a passion, I was good at it. And then I got older and my life fell apart.
I needed to get rid of every piece of who I was before my sexual assault. That meant that writing had to go. It was a constant reminder of who I should be and not of who I was. It reminded me that I was NEVER going to be the writer that I had dreamt of being. And so I let it go. I gave it up. I lived my life for a few years without writing.
In 2005, I slowly began to write again. I would write poetry to the man that stole my heart. I still have the book that I sent him where I would write to him every single day. It is filled with poems and entries of me writing what is in my heart. The benefit of living thousands of miles away from the person that you love. It gave me a chance to slowly bring back this passion into my life.
I didn’t realize the importance of being able to rewrite my story until many many years later.
BLOGGING AND STORYTELLING: A TRUE LOVE STORY
2014 was the year that changed my life. Well, the third major year that changed my life. (2003: my sexual assault, 2005 meeting Richard and 2014 moving to Alberta) It was the year that I had FINALLY decided to take control of my life.
I was lost but I was GREAT at covering that up.
I was a mom to two but I had the whole idea of faking it down to a T.
I would host parties for my family.
I would put on a smiling face for everyone.
I would tell the world that my life was perfect when inside I was crumbling.
Smiling despite the pain had worked. At least for a few years, it did but it took its toll. I was exhausted. I was unhappy. I didn’t recognize who I was in the mirror. I was still chasing that 18-year-old version of myself thinking that if I didn’t become her again, I was never going to amount to anything.
Blogging entered my life. Storytelling found its way back into my life and it placed a loving grip around my hand. It gave me a way out. It gave me a way to let love in. It gave me clarity for what I had been struggling with.
Purposeful blogging is about more than just putting words on a website.
It is about sharing an experience that impacted your life in ways that you never thought possible.
It is about sharing an experience that was so painful that you just don’t understand it.
It is about sharing an experience that was so joyful that you are bursting at the seams to share it.
It is about breathing life into an experience.
It is about giving hope to others who are also living through a similar experience.
I fell in love with words again.
I began to notice a different shift as well. I wanted to become better. I didn’t want to feel heavy or useless anymore. I wanted to come back to life. Blogging gave me that opportunity. It gave me the courage to look at myself in the mirror and know that I could change. I no longer had to be stuck where I was. Blogging became the catalyst that started my healing and gave me the strength to take back my power. That is what true love is.
BENEFITS OF SHARING YOUR STORY THROUGH BLOGGING
We all have stories buried within us that want to be told. Just imagine how boring the world would be without stories?!?!
But where do you begin? How do you get started with blogging when you know that you have stories that you want to share? Here is how blogging can help you with your mental health.
I LOVE helping women share their stories.
It’s important that we share our experiences with other people. Your story will heal you and your story will heal somebody else. When you tell your story, you free yourself and give other people permission to acknowledge their own story. Iylana Vanzant
Benefit One| You are in charge of how much you want to share. This is a common question that I get asked. How much do I have to share? The best part of having your own blog, you get to share as little or as much as you want. Everyone’s comfort levels are different.
You may also realize that as you continue to blog, you may want to share more and more. It is about being comfortable with what it is that you want to share.
Benefit Two| You are helping someone else heal. This is something that I never expected when I first began to blog. I was doing it for selfish reasons. I wanted to heal. I wanted to feel better.
I soon began to realize that it is more than that. For me, it came in the form of messages from other women. They were reminding me every day that I wasn’t alone. That my story helped them. It wasn’t always in the form of them sharing their story. It could have been as simple as them knowing that they weren’t alone. There is massive energy in that. Here are some books to help you through your healing journey as well.
Benefit Three| You get to see how far you have come. When I started to blog in 2014, I didn’t think that I had come very far in my healing journey. I mean, I HATED everything about myself. It wasn’t until I began to write that I realized, I had healed and learned many things that I didn’t think I did. My healing journey was happening all along. I just wasn’t paying attention.
Benefit Four| You will find your people. For years I thought that I was alone. I knew that I wasn’t alone but it never took that feeling away. When I began to blog and women began to message me, I finally felt like others understood me. They knew what I was going through. The loneliness that I had dealt with for years was because I remained silent. It wasn’t fair to me. It was more painful than it needed to be. Go out and find your people.
Benefit Five| You get to rediscover who you truly are. I hid for so many years. Hid the real me. Writing brought her back. Writing allowed me to be truthful to myself. By sharing my story, I no longer felt like I had to hide behind anything. My past shaped me and created who I am today. It was painful and imperfect but it also lead me to meet my husband and have the children that I have today. I am no longer ashamed of who I am. That is powerful. When all women realize that, the world will change.
IMPORTANT PIECES TO FOCUS ON WHEN STARTING YOUR STORYTELLING BLOG
Some of what I say may be unpopular but I also believe that some of these things are holding you back from starting. I want you to start blogging. I don’t want you to question yourself anymore or think that it isn’t possible. If you want help starting your blog, my newest program, Build a Blog starts on October 18. It is ONLY 4 weeks long and will help you to get your website up and running. For more details on Build a Blog, check here.
Piece One| Don’t focus on SEO. Focus on YOUR story. Yes, I know that SEO is an important factor when it comes to blogging. BUT I also believe that this is the main reason why you are not starting your blog. Focus first on your storytelling. SEO will come as you go. There are simple ways to easily add in SEO as you go. By focusing on your story, you are going to get comfortable with what you want to share and how you share it.
Piece Two| Have a plan in place. The fastest way for blogging to fall apart or for blogging to become overwhelming is by not having a plan in place. I am HUGE on planning and making sure that you know what to expect and how to do it. Planning means that you are going to stay organized.
Piece Three| Brainstorm the stories that you want to start sharing. This is a great way to get a list of what it is that you want to write about. List all the experiences that you are comfortable sharing. With each experience that you list, write down what you learned through that experience. That will be your teaching moment in your blog posts.
Piece Four| Your niche will come to you. Don’t wait on starting a blog because you don’t know what niche you fall under. Yes, niches are important because they will help you to reach who you want to reach BUT it is also another main reason that is holding you back from starting. Just start blogging and your niche will come.
Piece Five| Write with emotion. You are sharing stories and sharing your experiences. Share the emotion that you felt. This may take a little bit of time to master but remember that the more you write, the easier it will start to come.
Piece Six| Start your blog post with a story. BUT don’t give it all away in the first few paragraphs. Hook your reader. Start with a story that is going to help you teach them. Bring in those experiences and show your readers all that you know.
Piece Seven| Don’t worry about a correct blog layout. This will come with time. You will find that you will write a certain way. I can show you a blog post layout but I also think that what I prefer will be different than what you will prefer. Learn as you go.
Piece Eight| Don’t be afraid to share your blog. Share it everywhere that you can. Ask friends and family to share it. You have taken the time to write a beautiful blog post so share share share!
Piece Nine| Don’t focus on the blog numbers. Blogging is a long-term game. That means that I don’t want you to get so consumed with the numbers that you forget why you are writing, to begin with. Keep track of the numbers once a month. Focus on the writing. The numbers will come.
Piece Ten| Have a plan in place for negative and hurtful comments. Unfortunately in today’s society, it is easier for people to be harsh and mean when it comes to things that they read. You will have more positive interactions than negative ones but most of the time, you will remember the negative ones more. Have someone that you can talk to when something comes up. Having a plan means that you will know how to deal with the hurtful things that can happen.
Piece Eleven| Be yourself. You are the face of your blog. You are the brand of your blog. You are the reason for your blog. Be yourself. Readers will know when you aren’t. They are coming to your blog to get to know the real and authentic you. This is the key piece to a successful blog.
Don’t try to be like other bloggers. Just be you.
You can create a successful blog by using your story. I believe in you and I know that your life experiences are something that someone else needs to hear. Who knows, maybe after a while you will be able to create a business around your story?!!?!?! Isn’t that a powerful idea?
If you would like to work 1:1 with me, I have three spaces open to start in October. I would love to help you start your blog. Get blogging before the holiday season and 2022.