When I started blogging a year and a half ago, I did so with the intention of doing something creative that might make people happy. I was inspired by Emily Coxhead who’s quite literally in the business of making people happy and I thought – if she can spread a bit of love, so can I! I wasn’t sure if I could write or if I even had anything of value to say. I literally thought I’d be posting words that no one would read, much less care about. But, I did it anyway.
I called the blog “It’s character building” because it was my late Mum’s response to anything difficult, challenging or bad in life. It was her way of reframing the negative experience into something that would bring comfort, because as bad as the experience may be, it would allow me to grow. Over the years this one simple expression has helped me beyond measure. I guess that’s what I wanted to do with the blog – share my experiences and let people know how I’ve reframed the negatives into positives.
I didn’t know how often I’d write. I had no idea about setting up a blog or getting it in front of an audience. I knew that hundreds of thousands of people were blogging successfully about fashion, beauty, fitness, travel and parenting but I wasn’t sure there would be demand for a straight talking optimist. I had no idea where I was going with it, I just figured if I could positively influence one person, in some tiny way, then it’d be worth doing.
I could have been put off by the fact I didn’t know what I was doing, by the fact the competition in the blogging world is so stiff, by my lack of confidence as a writer. I just thought, fuck it, why not try? Writing the blog has bought me so much joy. I’ve worked through some of my own mental health issues, I’ve connected with people around the world, I’ve written for www.do-it.org, The Happy Newspaper, Happiful Magazine, Nene Collective and Macmillan. I might not be an award winning writer, I might not be insta-famous, I might not have thousands of social media followers but this hobby was definitely worth starting.
So, where to next? Well, in December 2017 I quit my full time job and secured a part time position with the hope of using my free time to make “It’s Character Building” a business. I’ll be spending more time writing and getting the message out to a wider audience, pitching to write for more online and printed publications and running positivity courses. I have no idea if it’ll work out or if I’ll make enough money to maintain it long term but, fuck it, I’m going to do it anyway. It’s a risk but I have a naive optimism that everything will work out.
One of my best friends, who is in a punk band, once told me, “There were loads of local punk bands when we started but we didn’t let it put us off. Just because other people were doing it didn’t mean that we shouldn’t.” He is so right. There are 7.6 billion people on the planet. I’m sure there are people writing about the same things I do. So fucking what? Why should it stop me? That’s the thing about life. If we let our fear of failure, our egos, our own bullshit get in our way, we’ll never live an intentional life.
“But it’s easy for you!” I hear you say. Is it? If this doesn’t work out, I’m on my own. Financially this is a risk. Career wise this is a risk. Mental health wise this is a risk. But I’m going to do it anyway. Because why shouldn’t I?