*That is, if you come at it from a certain perspective. I’ll explain:
Why does curiouser & curiouser exist?
I’ve been asking myself this question a lot throughout the past few months. Since Maggie was born, I’ve been more intentional about taking stock of the things in my life — the things that take up time and energy — and curiouser & curiouser definitely takes up both of those things.
And here’s the thing about my blog: It’s not making me money (unlike some of the other “extra” things I do, which I also happen to enjoy, too), so that’s not the justification.
So why do I blog?
In a world fueled by goal setting and boss babe-ing and leaning in, the purpose of my blog sounds a little, well, silly. Unfocused. Like a waste of (precious) time, even.
You see, I don’t have a big, shiny goal in mind for my blog. At least, not in the traditional sense. There’s no cookbook in the works. I don’t plan to start doing coaching or motivational speaking. I don’t — nor do I plan to — monetize my blog as many do, through sponsored posts, content, and ads.
So…what? This is all just a passion project?
I know — that sounds a little crazy, given my stage in life (and I feel slightly embarrassed writing it). I have a full-time job. I’m a mom. I teach Pure Barre. I’m a Beautycounter consultant. I do freelance writing. And…I blog (and podcast).
If you lay all those things out on the table and solely apply reason to them, the blog should be the first thing to go. It’s not making me money, so what purpose is it serving?
That’s just it, though. I feel it DOES have purpose.
When I began blogging, it was mainly because 1) I have a background in journalism, but had shifted into an advertising career where I wasn’t writing as much and wanted to keep those muscles strong, and 2) I wanted to have a centralized spot to document my life.
The more I blogged, though, the more I started to realize this was about something else, too: it was about community and connection. I’ve been able to meet so many women thanks to my blog, or get to know them better as a result of it. I have shared scary and vulnerable things here, and they’ve been met with support (and the opportunity to connect with others experiencing similar struggles). I’ve used my blog to spotlight amazing things happening in our world, and right here in Winston-Salem, like with my Holiday Giveaway Extravaganza last month. Adding the podcast element last year allowed me to have meaningful conversation with all kinds of women and to then share their insightful perspectives with others.
My blog is multi-faceted because PEOPLE are multi-faceted, so I write about everything from my experience with breastfeeding to travel to why I went vegan to dealing with self-critical feelings and more. On Mondays, I give updates on Maggie-girl, and on Fridays I share things I’ve been loving (ranging from recipes to movies to clothing to articles and quotes — anything I think YOU might like learning about, too). There’s rhyme and reason to it, and also…there isn’t (just like life). I’m not an expert at anything, but I’m definitely interested in a LOT of things — so that’s why I touch on so many topics here. That’s where the title of this blog came from, in fact.
I started my blog with the intention of it being an enjoyable and motivating creative outlet for me, and through the years as I’ve watched other bloggers gain tons of followers and rake in sponsorships, I’ve reminded myself WHY I started blogging. But, to be honest, sometimes that “why” felt a little wimpy. Why WASN’T I more driven to make my blog super successful? Why DIDN’T I feel like my Instagram feed had to be perfectly edited? Most other areas of my life were centered around goals and achievement, after all.
But those wimpy feelings were transformed thanks to a conversation I had recently.
For my most recent podcast episode, I spoke with author and journalist Brigid Schulte about the research she did around the busy culture we live in today. She talked about how studies have shown that happiness comes from human connection rather than achievement or wealth (which is a no brainer, when we think about it, but that’s so easy to lose sight of). She also stressed the importance of doing certain things not with the goal of becoming the best at them or anything, but just because we enjoy them. (Again, this sounds simple, but it’s very counterintuitive when you look at our culture.)
This quote in particular — a comment Brigid made during our podcast conversation — stuck out to me in a big way:
“I spoke with [a] woman who runs a knitting podcast…and she says they get all this pressure from their friends about like, ‘Well, why don’t you open an Etsy store?’ ‘Are you gonna sell your stuff?’ ‘Are you gonna monetize it and advertise it?’ And she’s just like, ‘Why can’t we just knit because we like it?'”
Yes!! Why can’t I blog just because I like it? And just because I feel like it makes my life happier? And keeps me more creative and engaged and connected?
Now, don’t misunderstand: I’m most definitely a goal-oriented person. In fact, my Enneagram type is that of “The Achiever.” So having this space that feels so outside of that fast-paced place of achievement I’m used to feels somewhat foreign — in a beautiful way, as it turns out. And because having a consistent blog takes time and commitment, I know that my “Achiever” personality serves me well within my blog. Plus, I hold myself to a high standard when it comes to my content, and spend lots of time writing about and researching things that I share with you here.
The point is, this isn’t something I do because I want it to earn me money or success or fame.
If you’re a curiouser & curiouser reader, I want you to know these things about my blog. I want you to know that I write because I love to connect with YOU through my writing. I write as a way to hopefully be helpful or inspirational or relevant or [insert emotion here] in a small way in your life. I write just because I enjoy it, and because it gives me energy and fuels my creativity. Yes, this all flies in the face of best practices, and you know what? I’m fine with that. After all, best practices for blogging don’t apply to the kind of space I’m hoping to build and cultivate here.
Many of you have been with me since waaaaay back in 2011 when I started this blog (throwback to my very first post here!), and it’s been so much fun having you along for the journey. If you’re a newer reader, I’m so glad you’re here, too! That’s the point, after all: to keep building a space where we can support each other, celebrate each other, and connect with each other.
Here’s to connection. Here’s to support and inspiration and laughter and vulnerability. Here’s to finding something you love and doing it simply because you enjoy it. Here’s to finding the beauty in those things — those places of joy that fly in the face of our culture’s expectations.