Follow Your Own Path
Not a lot of people know this, but I started a blog about 8 years ago....and the again - couple of years later. Both languished and died along with the defunct blogspot platform, and the few people that knew about it have long forgotten.
The reason no one knew about it? Fear. It was 100% about fear.
This isn't even the first iteration of the blog. It's the THIRD. The first, was born out of necessity and something fun to do while we travelled, then the second came about as the first name didn't make sense anymore (it was a time related name). The third, is http://wanderluce.com/what-happened/" target WanderLuce
When I rebranded and changed the name to WanderLuce, I asked people in the travel blogging community for guidance, and the answers were overwhelming and, quite frankly, unhelpful. Because everyone wants to sell you the 'rules' that got them to where they are. Let's face it, when we are asked a question, the advice comes from our own experiences, loaded with subjectivity. Which is fine, until you forget these nuances and take the advice blindly. This is when you start to let the noise in, instilling fear into your heart when you re trying to create something scary.
The thing is though, those people with their big opinions? I shouldn't have asked them. I shouldn't have encouraged doubt and allowed space for fear to rush into the space where courage and intuition should have lived. It's not a mistake I want to make again. I http://wanderluce.com/blogger-freelancer-work-from-home write for myself, and for my readers. And rules? They don't matter. Genuinely! We all follow our own paths, and what works for one may well not work for another, so copying someone else's isn't going to work. believe me, I tried to mould myself to the many, many 'rules' of http://wanderluce.com/what-do-travel-bloggers-actually-do- travel blogging that so many of the bloggers I respected seemed to follow. Without stopping to think of all the other things they had done along the way to create their own unique identity.
All of this sounds a little airy fairy, but I have been doing a LOT of http://wanderluce.com/how-to-be-happy-today-depression-mental-illness self reflection since coming home to London and these are the things that I've taken to heart and found to be comforting. It's why I have made the decision to take down all adverts on the blog, and why I only use affiliate links to brands I truly believe in. There is one brand in particular, who offered a very generous commission -- one that was a big chunk of cash to walk away from every month -- but I just thought it was a pile of crap, and it didn't make me feel great taking other people's hard earned cash as a reward for recommending it. Make of that what you will. I guess that when you reach a certain level of authority in your field, whatever it may be, it does feel good to offer advice. That's completely normal, and we all do it, right? But when the advice becomes negative, when it appears to be a way of discouraging you from your path, that's the time to stop listening. I listened to the noise, when it told me I wasn't a 'real writer' too; which held me back from pitching stories and aiming higher. Nothing good happens when you allow fear to silence your intuition and stop you from trying to do something scary and amazing.
How do you silence fear? For me, it came from ignoring the noise. I don't want to consume 'noise' and I don't want to contribute to it either. Recently, I culled my Feedly blog feed down to 6 blogs. SIX!! From about 100 blogs that I dipped into occasionally, but ultimately offered little value to me. The mantra I live by at the moment is this: don't consume what keeps you small, which comes from the amazing Jen Carrington, who inspires me DAILY!
All of this is to say that you should always follow your own path.
Don't let fear hold you back.
Don't listen to the naysayers. Instead, listen to your intuition and those who inspire your creativity.
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