“Life is short, and it’s up to you to make it sweet.” – Sadie Delany
“Am I going to change the world, or am I going to change me? Or maybe change the world a little bit, just by changing me?” – Sadie Delany
Recently I answered a short survey for writers that asked us to categorize our blogs. According to the categories listed, I am an “Up-and-comer” because I have more than 100 subscribers. The rest of the description of the Up-and-comer was, “You’re starting to see some traction but aren’t sure where to go from here.” This doesn’t seem true, but I don’t fit in the next levels, semi-pro and pro, because I’m not paid.
And when I told a friend that my blog has more than 3,000 subscribers, he responded, “But are you paid?”
Maybe I am overly sensitive, but I infer from these two occurrences that some people think I am not a successful blogger, because I am not paid.
I talked about this with a group of friends, who immediately jumped to my defense. “3,000 subscribers? That’s amazing.”
I then made self-deprecating remarks. “Not many people actually read all my posts.”
These friends then went on,
- “It doesn’t matter if everyone reads your blog consistently. 3,000 subscribers is a lot.”
- “You inspired me to start my own blog.”
- “If you get one person thinking about her life, you’ve made a difference.”
After reflecting on this, I looked at the 2015 WordPress report for my blog. Women Making Strides received 3,600 views last year. That is not bad. Thank you, dear reader, for your support. The report stated, “Some of your most popular posts were written before 2015. Your writing has staying power.” Suddenly I feel successful despite what others may think. Just as important, I enjoy writing the posts and reading your comments.
I also enjoy my work as a church librarian, although I am not paid for that either. I love books, so this ministry is a pleasure. My work has a purpose, and I like helping people. For example, I recently helped a man find resources for talking to a friend who has turned away from God.
However, work may not always be a pleasure. A few years ago, my daughter Katie was on track for being a teacher. She taught preschoolers and then taught English to children in South Korea. Unfortunately, Katie didn’t enjoy teaching because it sapped her energy. She decided to become a graphic designer.
After earning a second degree, Katie is now employed full-time at a small company, where she enjoys doing a variety of design work.
I’m glad Katie changed her career path, and that her work is now a pleasure.
What about you?
Is your work (paid or unpaid) a pleasure? Does your work have a purpose? How do you feel about that?
Hi Susan, The quotes you used were great. I loved the Delany sister’s book. My blog is not monetized nor do I get paid for my essays for Maria Shriver or the Huffington Post. Today I am ok with that. I love what I’m doing and am content to see where it takes me. When I was younger it was all about the validation of getting paid. I am very intent on sharing my gifts with the world while I’m here but how far a reach they have is God’s business. I think you may feel the same way. It’s a good spot to be in, isn’t it?
Yes, I do feel the same way, Sue, and yes, it is a good spot to be in. Thanks for the recommendation on the Delany sisters’ book. I had looked up their online biography, but now I’ll add “Having Our Say” to my To Read list.
Hi, Sue. And thank you for your inspirational blog. I have to admit I don’t read every single entry you make, but I enjoy every one that I do read.
In response to your question, I would have to say that I like my job, but I don’t love it. I like a great many things about it: I work part time so I have more time for my ministry work that I do love. My work is flexible so that if I need to take time to do something, like when my kids were younger and I wanted to do a school project (picture mom or science mom) I could do so. I like that I can help a needy person and have helped many struggling single mothers through the past years stay in their home (I am a property manager). For these reasons I like my job. But it’s not as fulfilling to me as my ministry work is in Marriage Encounter, or the Inter-Parish Marriage
Enrichment Team, where I have a great deal of passion for what I am doing. This work is very fulfilling to me.
I am a great believer of loving what you do in your work because you have to spend so much of your time at it that you really should love it. What a waste if you don’t love what you spend the most of your time on. My son is in law school and he has to spend many, many hours reading and studying. I asked him if he enjoyed the material and he said he finds it very interesting. Thank goodness! Imagine if you found it boring or worthless and you had to spend most of your waking hours doing that stuff. I don’t think I would find it interesting, but he does. God bless him! And I think God did bless him with finding the career path that is right for him.
My husband loves his job. He hasn’t always loved his job. Sometimes he didn’t like who he had to work under and he was miserable. But currently he is working with people who appreciate his skill level and he is doing the work that he enjoys the most. Again, God bless him!
Several years ago my mother asked me is I regretted not going to medical school. At one time I was poised to do so. My father was a surgeon and she had just come back from a medical conference with my father and his partner and his partner’s wife, who was a pediatrician. She had spent the days with the other wife and realized this woman was my age. She wondered if I regretted not following that route. I looked at her and answered quite quickly “Why, because I don’t have a 6 figure income? No, I don’t regret it. I am able to do things with my children at their school because my job is flexible. I have time to be involved my Church and my ministries and spend time with my husband. These are things that would have all suffered had I become a doctor, who doesn’t have that flexibility.” Money isn’t everything, and it’s no sign of success in my book. Sue – you are so right. There is so much more to success than getting paid for it!
Cathy, Thank you for your well-written and thoughtful answer. You have a gift for clear writing. I’m glad you’ve been able to pursue your passions and that your job enabled you to do so, along with being present for your kids’ events. That’s priceless. I’m also happy that Phil likes his job. I had a job where working under my new boss made me miserable, and it adds so much stress to your life. I have a close relative who recently got out of a job in a very stressful environment, and two of her former co-workers have DIED since she left. Both deaths may have been stress-related. Not worth it!
What a provocative post, Susan, and one coming at a time when I needed to read it.
I was asked, recently, if I got paid for my blog and why I blog. I am not a writer by profession, nor did I start blogging in order to write a book or become published. I did, still do it for the discipline of writing, to share stories, observances, books, life. I always said that if blogging ever became burdensome or a chore, I would stop.
I have also read recently, on a few sites, that blog readership seems to be down, or that comments have. My readership has remained steady, but, comments are definitely down. I’m okay with this, as I still enjoy the process of writing, photographing, connecting . . .
I spend a great deal of time in volunteer organizations. Most of the time, I enjoy it. I am a social person, a gardener, what I do is in one way or another for the betterment of society. I work with others to be able to give sizable scholarships and in capacities of encouragement and support. Tonight, I am hand holding via the internet someone who needs a lot of encouragement and who is needy, BUT, in a few days, I will be interviewing a woman who is turning 107 years old and who has made a remarkable mark in her community. I can’t wait to hear her story.
I DO think that what I do has a purpose; be it to inform, assist, enlighten, encourage, or just make the world a better place, if only for 300 words.
Do read the Delany sisters’ book, as Sue has commented on. Our book group read it some year’s ago and my husband and I took our girls to see the play one Easter. It is inspiring.
I always enjoy reading your words – and I hope you know that they do have a purpose. Thank you.
Penny, your writing certainly does inform, assist, enlighten, encourage, and make the world a better place. For me, visiting your blog is like sitting down with a cup of tea and a close friend. It is a great place to go when I’m in need of comfort, inspiration, or even an occasional recipe. For my readers: you can find Penny’s work at http://lifeonthecutoff.wordpress.com/. Enjoy!
I do not get paid for my blog either. It’s sort of a fun hobby to me. Of course I do not have the readers that you have! Wow, I think you are doing great! I follow you and read as many of your blog posts as I can.
Interesting post! I never even considered trying to get paid for my blog(s)! I’ve been posting them (when I do post) when there is something I want to share with the world – mostly my friends – and when I have time.
BTW, it’s interesting that your daughter was in South Korea! I spent two years there, teaching on American military bases; this trip was the inspiration for a “travel-adventure” book: http://www.amazon.com/Korea-Are-You-Peace-Travelers/dp/1458210383/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8