My Southern Lens

Looking at Life from a Southern Point of View

Time to Pull out of the Fast Lane

I got the next assignment from the “Blog Like a Pro” challenge today, and I totally froze. In fact, I stood there in front of my computer and could have cried. For a completely new blogger who only this morning completed her first post, this was overwhelming. I felt like the person who signed up to walk a marathon and then found out that she had to run.

Make no mistake; I want to do this; I need to do this…but yikes, I just finished my very first post this morning at 3:00. It took me five hours. This next lesson on how to start building your email list wants me to offer a free e-book. If it took me five hours to write 500 words, I can’t imagine how long it would take me to write an e-book, regardless of how long it was.

Yes, I want an email list longer than my arm. I do want my blog to have a huge audience, and I understand there are methods to make that happen. I want to do what it takes to grow my audience, but not tonight. Tonight I just want to write another post. I want to revel in the fact that I finally have begun a journey that I’ve wanted to begin for years. I want to sit on my back deck and think about the manifest that I wrote and decide if it is really what I want to write about. Is it the story I feel compelled to tell or is there another story that resides deeper within that is even more compelling?

I want the time to make my blog look good. I mean, I would like just to figure out how to add a paragraph so that I don’t look like a total grammar illiterate. (Thanks to my IT guru…he showed me how to do this after I had written thing on the to-do list checked off.)I want to write an “about” page so that when the readers do come, they will know a little about this person who is writing this thing. I want to fill my blog with pictures I took, not stock photos from some nameless photographer. I want to showcase my talent, not someone else’s.

In other words, I want to enjoy the journey. I don’t want to rush it. I want to take the time to do it right, to learn from my mistakes and to savor my victories. I don’t want to feel like a failure when I can’t keep up with those who have been blogging longer than I have. I want time to develop my talent; to develop my voice. I just can’t do that in one week.

So, I have to admit today, that I jumped too quickly; I bit off more than I could chew. I realized this afternoon that for me to try to complete this challenge would be similar to me trying to drive a formula one race car; it would be a journey doomed for failure. I’m not equipped to do either. Right now my job is to learn to drive in the slow lane….to do the small things: continue posting, figure out WordPress and decide for sure what it is that I want to write about. In other words, I need to learn how to drive this thing before I attempt to race.

So good luck to all the lovely people that I have met in just two days of this challenge. Thanks for your encouragement and your offers of help. I’ll be cheering you on as you race to finish the challenge in a week. Please don’t think that I’ve given up; I also plan to finish the challenge, just not in a week.

Special thanks to Jeff Goins. None of this post is meant as a criticism of him in any way. In fact, without this challenge I would still be sitting on the sidelines planning a blog, just as I have done for five years…never taking the plunge….just dipping my toe in and pulling it out. Jeff, I hope you’ll leave the challenge up so that those of us who are plugging along in the slow lane can make it to the finish line in our own time. I also hope that you’ll continue to offer these challenges; who knows, maybe I’ll be ready for it next year.

So, although I am out of the official challenge, I think I’ll come up with one of my own…one that is a little more reasonable for someone with my limited experience. Who knows where this will go? I just hope you will come along for the ride.


It’s after 2 AM, and I’m still sitting here trying to find something profound to write. Today I decided to accept the “Blog Like a Pro Challenge” from Jeff Goins. Yes, after five years, I decided to quit talking about it and finally start a blog. Six hours ago, my husband set it all up, and now….. here I sit. (Well, actually I’m standing….I heard it was better for you.) I’ve started at least eight different posts (I’m just waiting for Word to crash) and completed absolutely nothing. I’ve reread the instructions for the first day’s challenge over and over again: “write a manifesto …which forces you to clarify what you have to say …. begin by focusing your message on what you’re about and why it matters.” And I am stuck…totally stuck.

All I want to do is go to bed. I have to work in the morning. I have commitments. Everyone else is in bed, and I am tired…besides that, I’ve already missed the deadline. I just want to collapse on my bed and forget about this until tomorrow morning. But I can’t. Deep inside I know that if I go to bed now, that will be it; I will have admitted defeat, and I’ll put this dream off yet another year. If I continue to put it off, I will never accomplish it. I refuse to do that. I refuse to go one more day putting this off. Because you see, I think this might be part of what I was meant to do. For a while, I have felt there was more that I needed to do…something that I feel called to do. I don’t know if this is what it is, but I feel like I have to try.
So maybe this becomes my manifesto, maybe the realization that there is more out there is my message. Because I don’t think I am the only one who feels this way. I think that there are a lot of people like me…..we know there is something more out there for us. I’m not talking finances or things; I’m talking life. I’m talking opportunities. I’m talking things that will change the world. We know we are more than just a secretary, an accountant, a waitress, a doctor, or a lawyer. We know that there is something more out there that gives our lives significance, that makes us important to those around us. While we might enjoy our careers, we know there is something more, and many of us are searching. Call it a God-given quest, a search to become who we are meant to be, a desire to form ourselves into the pattern that was designed for us. Whatever we call it, we won’t be content or satisfied until we begin.
But here’s the problem. There are so many things that are vying for our time…how do we get past the “stuff” we have to do to pursue our dream…our quest..our vision? How do we slow down enough to discover what that “thing” is? I don’t have the answers, but perhaps that is where I begin. Maybe in telling you about my quest, my search, I can encourage you to begin your quest. Maybe by showing you my world and how I go about finding that “thing”…that purpose…you can find yours too.
So, there it is, my manifesto. It’s not fancy; it’s not neat: It’s just who I am, and I invite you to join me. Let’s find and pursue our dreams together.

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