Courage courses where it chooses to course.
It could be in voicing your heart or remaining silent. It’s there when you retreat and also when you walk up to the table of strangers and say hello, not knowing what to expect or how your life is about to change forever, potentially. But you do it.
Today’s guest blogger knows courage.
Jillian writes Jillian Loves, and once wrote Finishing is Winning. Like many of us, Jillian loves to write. Like many of us, Jillian struggles to find the time to sit down (or even lean against something) and actually get her fingers on the home keys.
Today, Jillian is here to talk about the reasons she stopped blogging – and reasons she should start again.
Please give her a warm CD welcome. And be sure to check out her blogs – both of them – when you get a chance. Also, in the comments, please share some of your owns struggles and trimphs when it comes to this affliction we call blogging.
Eli asked me many moons ago to do a guest post on his blog. I am the type of person who believes early is on time, on time is late and late is unacceptable. Except with writing. I can procrastinate on that … well … for a long time!
When I started my first blog, Finishing is Winning, in early 2009, I had been into running and triathlon for about a year. I was interested in writing about my adventures in training and racing and I was genuinely interested in other people’s adventures. I have always loved to write, so I felt creating a blog would be a good way to meet new people, write about my life and keep myself accountable all at the same time. I documented nearly 50 races! I also traveled to Florida to meet up and race with one of my first blog friends, and later to Boston for a whirlwind weekend of blog meet-ups and Boston Marathon spectating! Although I ended that blog chapter a few years ago, I am still in touch with (and still see) many of the people I met during that time.
A while after closing the chapter on Finishing is Winning, I attempted to begin a new blog. It was short-lived and I stopped blogging altogether. As I said, Eli was contacting me about a post, which is what ultimately drove me back into the blog. Really thinking about what he was asking, and then writing it down, sparked something in me. You can now find me at JillianLoves.
3 reasons I stopped blogging
1. Blogging was changing
: Within months of starting Finishing is Winning, I had more than 150 daily blog readers. That number climbed rapidly over the years. I had more than 200 blogs in my own reader! (I kept up religiously with about 50 of them.) Then, something began to change. There was a separation of sorts … some bloggers got really big and some stopped blogging altogether. Perhaps it was the surge in Facebook, or maybe it was just timing, but I felt something change and therefore began to blog less and less. As were many of my most read bloggers. Eventually, when life began to get in the way, the blog began to fall apart as well.
2. I couldn’t be that open
The changes in blogging were coinciding with some pretty major changes in my life as well. I had broken my foot and at the same time going through a terrible breakup. So many of my friends were getting married, having babies and racing at the top of their game. I felt like I had nothing to offer and I wasn’t willing to talk about it. I did end up writing a brutally honest post but I was not in a place where I could share day-to-day or even week- to-week. I retreated in my life, and from the blog.
3. It didn’t feel authentic
Because I couldn’t be that open and I was feeling so low, nothing felt authentic. I was desperately trying to save the blog, so I would hop on every now and then and update; there wasn’t a whole lot to update and it would leave me feeling worse in the end. My whole blog started and revolved around training, racing, running and triathlon and I was so far from all of that life. What was Finishing is Winning if it wasn’t that? I didn’t know, and that is when I knew it just had to end.
3 reasons to start up again
1. I am healed
It has been a few years and I have grown exponentially. I feel fully healed (physically and emotionally) and in a place where I can once again feel free to share my world. I also started JillianLoves as a blog open to all of my life, not just one aspect. That way, I can write about all the things I love (or things I don’t love) without feeling so tied to a theme.
2. I am inspired
In addition to finding my love of running and racing again, I am inspired in different ways now. I want to write about food and wine and books and racing. I also want to write about the things I tend to keep off Facebook. I want to bring awareness to the work I do (and the work that needs to be done) for the homeless in Philadelphia. I want to write about why I think it is grossly irresponsible to defund Planned Parenthood. I want to write about why we need to treat drug addiction like the illness that it is and help those fighting mental health demons. I want to write about why I feel like we can all be better and kinder people if we just listen more and talk less. I find inspiration every day and I am in a place now where I feel ready to begin exploring those thoughts.
3. I missed it
It really is simple. Writing is cathartic for me and has always been an outlet. I missed it. I don’t care if I have three readers or three hundred readers. My words mean something to me and I miss writing them down.