The aphorism ‘a rising tide lifts all boats’ struck me the first time I heard it. I took it to mean that when a person grows, it helps a community to grow. Perhaps, it’s the other side of ‘we rise by lifting others’.
A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats
If there’s one thing I’m sure of it is that I am not an expert at anything. I’m really okay with that because I love to dabble with many things.
Despite this, for quite a few years, I’ve tried to create and hold groups of bloggers together, stretching myself, spending time fixing blogs and things for people and creating link-ups and challenges for other bloggers to participate in. All for free. Perhaps, I was putting into practice the principle of ‘we rise by lifting others’. But if I’m honest there was a part of me that was hoping to build readership by this. And I did, for a while. But it was draining.
Through this, I’ve interacted and met some great people and have had the weirdest of experiences with some others, and often I’ve felt used. I have not a single regret about this, though. That’s because through it all, I’ve learnt a lot about blogging and writing, about people and their motives, but most of all I’ve learnt about myself.
In the last year or so, I’ve started to pull back, focusing more on creating content for my blogs and not much on reaching out to others to motivate them to blog, participate in challenges, blog hops and the works!
This year, I’ve begun to focus on myself and my writing even more. In keeping with this, I shut down the groups I had created. Now you might agree or disagree with this decision? You may think it was a selfish thing to do. You might question my motives. But for me this was a necessary step.
Once I took this step back, it opened up a lot of space for me to invest time in learning. As part of a bigger community, I’ve signed up for, I’m part of some smaller groups in which we’re learning together and I’m really enjoying this.
The best thing is that I feel that I’m growing both personally and in my writing. I’m also starting to focus on identifying my ideal readers – or rather the people who are looking to read what I have to say!
To be actually preparing myself to write for my ideal readers is exciting. To me, there’s nothing selfish about taking this time to equip myself better to reach the readers/listeners my writing is meant for. By investing time in doing this, I’m improving the quality and the reach of my writing.
I know that the number of my readers has dwindled. They’ve moved on to groups, blogs and websites that meet their needs better. That’s good for them and their growth. That’s great for the groups and websites they now visit. The loss of readers to my blog is someone else’s gain. In this process, we all win, don’t we? A rising tide lifts all boats!
Once again, I’m combining two prompts from Kate Motaung to write this 1. FMF Writing Prompt Link-up :: Disagree – Five Minute Friday from last Friday and FMF Writing Prompt Link-up :: Lift – Five Minute Friday from today.