Thursday, October 15, 2015

Focus. How to keep it together. Living and Blogging


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FOCUS and Living

Let´s talk a little bit about focus. What do you think of when you read the word "focus"? The first thing I think of is how I cannot see without my glasses and how that makes me (and millions of other people in the world) have a double vision on reality. If you are like me and have eyesight problems, do you also feel that you can't hear very well without your glasses? It's a mystery to me. 

Did I lose your focus? 

Getting on track, how does focusing fit into daily life and ultimately into blogging? It's something I have been thinking about a lot lately. So much so that this post has taken me over a week to write. Talk about a need to focus! I'm not very good at it, but I'm great at being unfocused! How about you?

"Try to focus" the teachers tell Big Kiddo at school when doing one-on-one reading or writing lessons. He gets distracted, or wants to jump ahead or around the room. I know what it's like to not be able to focus, not only with my learning but also with my life. So I get him, he may learn to focus or he may not. I probably won't be the best example, that's why a Montessori school is good for him. They love him there.






FOCUS and Blogging

When I started blogging, it was just a little hobby. Slowly with time it grew into a need to write, a window into my little creative brain. I'm not saying I have discovered the cure to distraction, I just know that I found the one thing that makes me WANT to focus.

I have already shared how it was Mommitment that got me back into writing, tapping into why I wasn't writing in the first place and digging deep to open the well. Mommitment helped a great deal, it helped the words flow, but then I had to figure out a way to keep it coming and not dry up again in a fit of self doubt and procrastination. 


Related: How to Make your Blog Shine!


Along my new blogging adventure I found Daniela Uslan´s 10 Day Makeover Challenge and that was the first step towards making my blog my creative focus. I had tried previously to steer the blog in the right direction but it just didn't want to lead me anywhere. The 10 day challenge created the foundation for what was to come. 

I joined Daniela's "Have your Cupcake" Membership to keep the momentum going. A group of like minded bloggers, all needing support and motivation to make their blogs amazing, just like me! September was the first month's course. It was aptly called "Find your Focus". 

The lessons arrive in your mailbox every couple of days and they make you think, assess, test and ultimately find what the direction your blog should be going in. The idea is to figure out who to direct your writing to, and how to write for them and get maximum exposure and engagement. Through exercises and challenges you learn to get on the right path towards the optimized blogging experience.

Momentarily losing FOCUS and getting it back

I did a pretty good job of finding a focus and wrote three of the best articles my blog has ever published, they are now the most viewed articles of all time and I imagine they will stay that way for a long time. When I finished the monthly challenge with an opt-in for a blog post having to do with my focus, I ended up having to insert 34 links into the pdf and that took me a long time. Not having people subscribe with either of the opt-ins I created was also disheartening.

Before losing momentum I started having great ideas, like doing a worldschooling at home challenge or a worldschooling ebook. But then I started getting tired of writing about worldschooling, especially since I am being lazy lately in my own kids' worldschooling and I felt inadequate to be giving advice on something I didn't feel I was doing correctly anyway.

I realized that my focus was too narrow, that it didn't really include everything I liked to write about, and that it wasn't broad enough to encompass what my blog was about. I concentrated so much on the worldschooling aspect that I lost track of my fiction pieces and my poetry. I really do miss and need these to survive so my focus needed to be reassessed.

The course has a lot of great resources for every type of blogger, especially for the ones that cannot find their specific focus. I think the magic of the courses is that you can go through them as many times as you need. The tips are there to be used how you like, as often as you need. 

I went through it again and gained a better focus, one I'm loving even more! Worldschooling is a part of it and so are all my other interests. I think I have finally really come to the right path, now to get walking on it.

Every blogger that loves working in groups and strives off team pressure should join Have your Cupcake and make their blog amazing along with Daniela!

PS. I also envision in my mind the logo of that production company called focus features and all the letters are in focus except the o. And then I think of the soft focus effect; putting Vaseline in front of your camera lens to get that early 80´s look.