Have you ever tried something new, just for the sake of trying it? Even if there was a chance it may not work out?
Yeah, me too. It’s kind of funny how daily life seems to present many opportunities for this. Just sitting here, I came up with a list, including:
*Being at a favorite restaurant and ordering something new and random off the menu, even if we always order something we know we love.
*Reading a new book fiction book, even if we only read nonfiction.
*Listening to rap music, even if we prefer country.
*Starting a blog, even if we told someone we never would. (Oh, wait. That was me! Ha!)
*Learning a new language, even if we will never go to that country.
*Buying a new brand of something we love, say coffee, even if the one we have is great.
*Trying a new recipe after seeing a picture of a delicious looking dish, even if there are steps in it we’ve never done before.
*Applying for a dream job, even if we’re not quite qualified.
*Doing a crossword puzzle, even if we are masters of word search.
*Taking a drive WITHOUT the GPS just to see some new sights, even if getting a little lost is a possibility.
While those things may not be associated with major risk taking, the way I see it, anytime there is a chance for growth, learning, or simply an enlightenment in a possible “a-ha’ moment, even the smallest risk may be worth the chance.
I’m smack dab in the middle of one of those lessons. Most of you know that I am relatively knew at blogging. Because I’m still learning, I try to pay attention to blogging advice. In December, I was reading the chapter on blogging called, “Blogging Basics” in the book “2015 Writer’s Market”. What caught my eye was point #15 that said, “EXPERIMENT. Start small, but don’t get complacent. Every so often, try something new.” (It continues on about ideas the author tried.)
I thought about that. Did I really NEED to do something different with my blog? Maybe not. I have pretty much been in awe with the amount of people reading my stories and the kind, heartwarming comments that I’ve received. But, on the other hand, maybe my readers would enjoy something new. So, I started researching.
I did my homework. I researched how to have a contest, what kind of prizes are ideal, how to increase interaction with readers, how to increase comments, how to come up with something different, how to come up with a catchy title. I did a bunch of brainstorming and came up with a new idea.
And, that is how the ReSOlution of KINDness and the SO KIND Wednesdays were born. I can’t tell you how proud of myself I am for stepping out of my blogging comfort zone. I learned so much that I may not have ever known if I would have stayed the same. Funny how that seems to happen.
Was doing something totally new worth the risk? Definitely. It’s like I always tell Little Bit, we’ll try anything once. Is it working? Uhhhh… not really. Originally, I had pictured tons of interest, tons of comments, and tons of interaction.
But, wait a minute. It is ok! Truly it is. As I sit here typing, I have a huge smile on my face, because as I said above, I am in the middle of the lesson. I am absolutely filled with gratitude to the few amazingly kind and generous souls who have commented on SO KIND Wednesdays. Honestly, I was going to be extremely embarrassed if I won my own prizes, because I didn’t have any participants. Whew! I am saved from that! Ha!
One lesson I’m learning is there are all kinds of blogs and all sorts of reasons for blogs. That’s what makes the art of blogging so diverse and interesting.
I had an “a-ha” moment today when I realized that maybe the purpose of my blog is to simply share stories. These same stories that come flowing out of my heart when I barely have time to grab a pen. It’s easy to get tied up in the numbers and the “shoulds” of what we’re doing, whether it’s blogging or something else.
What I figured out is that even if something doesn’t quite go as planned, it doesn’t mean it didn’t have a purpose. It may just have been a different one than we were thinking of.
Sometimes the “trying” is truly a gift. And, maybe sometimes, the small act of stepping outside of that little safety net we let ourselves sort of sit in, is what’s so freeing.
Who knows, maybe that next brand of coffee or maybe that new book will lead to something completely unexpected and we’ll learn some really cool lessons, simply because we tried something totally new.