This past January my hubby and I jumped on the bandwagon and picked a word for this year. The word we chose was cultivate because we felt it embodied what this year held for us as we each work on the various projects that we have going on right now.

For me specifically, one project in particular I feel needs cultivating is the blog. My winging it approach no longer works if I want this space to be more of a community and less of a one woman forum of randomness, which is currently what it is. Randomness.

Sojournaling has been in existence since 2010. I started it before we made the big jump over many ponds from the US to India. My original thought was that it would be a tool for staying connected to folks back home about our life on the other side of the world. It would be honest and open and focused solely on my experiences as an expat wife and mother in India– the good, bad and ugly.

Over time, however, what I found was that people here were reading as well. And some were not so excited about my critical remarks as I shared my perspective as I interacted with a new culture. I understood, no one likes it when their hometown is criticized, but the remarks I received from a couple of people here unintentionally shut me down. My blog felt like an unsafe place and I felt lost in what direction I needed to take things in.

For a while now my mind has been working through this issue of cultivating a voice that is true, honest and gives life to those who stop by here. And something a little less… random. So this morning when I read a post on Jeff Goins’ website about what it takes to build a tribe, his words resonated with so much of what I’d been feeling and thinking about lately. About being personal, generous and saying things that people are longing to hear. Sounds simple, but it’s going to take work to get to the place I want to be.

Up until now I haven’t been writing with a specific audience in mind for fear of alienating someone. But really what that’s done is make my blog too general and I’m not hitting any target I would like to be hitting. So now I feel like I need to make a shift.

So over the next couple of weeks I’m going to be thinking about this and hopefully trying to formulate a plan for creating better content. One thing I know I want to do is focus a little more on literature as it has had such a huge impact on my life. Tomorrow I’m going to share one little way in which I’m trying to encourage my children to embrace the written word in a couple of forms. So check back tomorrow for that post.

Consistency, community and more transparency are also ways in which I want to take the word cultivate and it’s many meanings and apply it to this space. But as in many areas of my life right now, there’s plenty of space for growth. Let’s see how it goes.

Is there an area of your life that needs developing, refining, elevating… Cultivating?  Share and let us know what you’re doing or want to start doing right now.


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