Hey everyone! Happy beginning of February! I'm writing this post because it has officially been two months since I launched Writing It Wells and started pursuing my dream career. Things have been moving so quickly! I wanted to take a moment to share some love with you, since that's the big theme for February, and to also update you all on how things are going and how things have changed since I started. If you're new to this blog and coincidentally this is the first post you landed on- welcome! I hope you stay awhile and get to know me, and what I'm all about here at Writing It Wells.
My name is Alina Newman. I am a freelance writer and blogger based out of Tampa, Florida. I'm currently writing a fiction novel and my biggest dream is to one day become a published author. I created and launched this blog because writing is my passion, but also because I wanted to connect to other writers who share similar hopes and struggles. In case you're wondering why my last name doesn't match my blog's name, it's because I'm planning a wedding and Wells will soon be my new last name! Yay! I was so excited to start this blog that I couldn't wait until it was official.
Writing It Wells provides a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into writing a book, and being a writer in general. Here you'll find tips, advice, step-by-step instructions, book recommendations, and posts about the writing lifestyle. Every consider writing a book? I've got you covered! Stuck with writer's block mid-way through draft fifteen- look no further! Want to support the writer in your life but need tips on the best way to do it? Writing It Wells is the blog for you.
I've talked about authenticity in my welcome post on the day that I first started this blog. About how important it is to embody YOUR truth, whatever that may be, and how only YOU can discover your full potential. I still stand by that sentiment.
When I first started this blog it was a huge step for me. I felt like it was a "now or never" moment. I needed to make changes within my life in order to be happier, and that came with some hard lessons and tough choices. It tested my character, put strains on my personal relationships, and overall made life easier and harder simultaneously. But amidst these struggles I've found what I'd been searching for- freedom, passion, and myself. I feel more "authentic" than I ever have before. I feel validated, motivated, and have a sense of surety that I'm finally following the path that I'm destined to follow. And that feels GOOD.
Going from never blogging before to blogging full-time was daunting. It was completely uncharted territory with no map or guide to show me the way. I'd been thinking about making this blog for the better part of two years, but it wasn't until the end of last year that I finally worked up the courage to make the change. There were so many things holding me back, mainly self-doubt and insecurity. I worried that I wouldn't be able to do it, and that nobody would be interested in my perspective. I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to handle the challenges of making a blog, running it, and most importantly, making it successful. Well, obviously since you're reading it I've done it...and the world hasn't ended. Fancy that!
Though this journey is still relatively new and I'm nowhere near my "bottom line", I find myself feeling encouraged rather than discouraged. It's only been two months, but I've been amazed by how quickly it's been developing. What I find even more astounding is the response I've received from other people.
Now, in no way am I here to mislead you. I still don't know exactly what I'm doing or how to do it. I'm just doing it. I don't have a million followers, don't have significant traffic hitting this blog, or any money coming in. Admittedly, those things would be AWESOME, and hopefully some day this project will get there. But, it's not there yet. I'm merely making it up and learning as I go. What I can tell you is that all of my expectations for this venture have evolved based on what I've already experienced. This is what I've learned so far:
I love writing even more now than when I first started!
I was born a writer, I'll die a writer. But now I'm living out in the open as one too and that is so exhilarating! I am SO passionate about what I'm doing right now with this blog. Already I've learned so much about my craft simply by having to come up with topics to discuss here. It's encouraged me to learn more, try more, and reach out more to others who are interested in the same things. I don't regret it. I find myself waking up every day excited about what that day will bring and where it will lead me next. I feel so positive and motivated that I'm urging myself onward with the giddy eagerness of a five year old. I've made huge gains in my confidence as a writer, as a person, and as a creative entrepreneur. Plus, I'm just having fun!
Blogging is a LOT of work.
Before I started blogging I was under the impression that people who blogged have it easier than people who work regular 9-5 jobs. Wrong! I was so wrong. I laugh about it now because I'm two months in and sometimes I feel like I should quit while I'm ahead. Trying to juggle a job where you LITERALLY do everything is a thousand times harder than I expected. I have to come up with all the ideas, plan out the editorial calendar for each month, write all the posts, create the media for it, edit and proofread everything, make sure the posts come out consistently and at the same time each week, market it all, troubleshoot any problems that may occur, network, and also try to learn how to do things better next time. All while trying to write a book. And plan a wedding. And do basic every day things like see people and sleep. Ha. Needless to say, this job is not for the unorganized or the faint of heart. Oh, and caffeine is a given requirement.
Expectation vs. Reality
This is a big one. Everything that I expected would happen when I started blogging happened, just not in the way I thought it would. When I first started, I thought that something major would happen. I thought I'd get some large-scale reaction from the people I knew and that things would just...well, happen! Yeah, no. That didn't go the way I thought it would. Now in retrospect, I don't know why I expected that. I think I was just being naively optimistic.
Actually, my entrance into the blogging world was seamless and utterly unmemorable. At first NOTHING happened. I made my first post and life went on as though I hadn't done it at all. Something that was so monumental for me was nothing but a blip on everyone else's radar. The truth was sobering. It definitely made me adjust my expectations and gave me a newfound respect for other bloggers who have turned their blogs into successful ones. It also helped me redefine my goals and how to achieve them, something that I'm super excited about!
Compliments & Criticism
When I first started, I was deathly afraid of what people would think. I stressed over whether everyone would hate it and if I'd be booed off the metaphorical stage. I was afraid of being labeled a failure before I really had a chance to prove myself. That I wouldn't be successful because I was a beginner and obviously so very far from perfect. This was T-E-R-R-I-F-Y-I-N-G (and to a degree, still is). Thankfully, this largely proved to be all in my head.
Since I've started, not only have I been posting on the blog, but also marketing it on social media. Now, I'm not a social media type of person. In the past I've rarely posted, but since I started blogging I've made it a point to put myself out there and be more transparent with the hopes of connecting to other writers and being more relatable in general. It worked! I overcame my fears and guess what? I've gotten positive responses! Both people I know and complete strangers have been supportive, interested, and the analytics on my blog prove it.
Needless to say there have also been some naysayers. After all, I'm not perfect. There have definitely been some skeptics who have tried to stand in my way at various stages of this process and are even now rearing up their ugly heads. We all have people in our lives who for one reason or another think they know what's best for you, your business, and your life. Well, put simply, they don't. They have absolutely, 100% nothing to do with anything. If you find yourself in a similar position as me, do yourself a favor and ignore the haters. All they know how to do is throw shade, and that's why they see you hustling and have an issue with it. Trust yourself and your instincts. Keep doing you!
I continue to have high hopes and expectations for myself. I've made the decision to begin draft five of my own book, which means that I'll need to develop a stricter writing routine so that I can balance between blogging and writing creatively. I expect that this will be challenging, but I'm ready to start!
I also plan to bring some more great content to this blog. For the month of February posts will embody the central theme of love (both generally and within literature) in honor of Valentine's Day. March will be dedicated to #SettingMonth where we'll explore how to establish the proper setting for your story and all the details in-between. I also hope to expand some of my content beyond the blog and onto social media as well, so make sure you're following writingitwells on Instagram and Pinterest. Hopefully I'll have some more for you to check out soon, as I plan to expand to other social sites as well.
As always, I want to hear from you! If you have any suggestions, questions, comments, or a topic you'd like me to explore, please feel free to drop a message in the chat box on my home page. I look forward to hearing from you! If you'd like to learn more about me, please see my "About Me" page for more facts about me and my writing odyssey.
Thank you all again for being here and following along! Have a blessed week!