You wouldn’t expect promoting yourself on Facebook to prompt deep thought, would you? But that is exactly what happened when I set out to create a Facebook page for my blog last week.
Facebook wanted to know: What was my product/brand/company about? A reasonable question, for sure. And yet it had me stumped for a solid week.
Lately I’ve been working on changing my blog so that it reflects my other areas of interests. I made this change after it occurred to me that I’ve always wanted to write for a magazine—so if I couldn’t make that happen, then I should just become a magazine.
But that still didn’t answer the question of what sort of magazine, with what sort of topics, and for what sort of reader. And how could I sum it all up in 30 words or less for Facebook (and anyone else who asked)?
I think the process I’m describing is what marketers call defining your brand. I like to think of it as figuring out, in a nutshell, what unique, tiny slice of the whole I have to offer—what I can do that’s different, how I see the world that’s unique, what I am all about. Figure all that out, and then boil it down into a few words.
Ha! Not easy! It’s a good thing I had four days in the car on our recent road trip to try to figure it out. Or to be more accurate, I should say it’s a good thing I’ve had nearly 40 years of living to try to figure it out.
At first my love of home design seemed disparate from my love of writing about my emotional, much-thought-out response to living. And what about my as-yet-undocumented love of dressing up and feeling pretty, which I feel somewhat embarrassed about because of its superficiality? What a jumble. I could not see how these parts of me could come together and make sense.
But then I got it. A reader who appreciates my somewhat oddball, sentimental approach to home design is probably also going to be the type of person who gets choked up watching the crossing guard shepherd the kids across the street in the rain, who is interested in pursing a deeper, more grounded form of happiness, who seeks inspiration on ways to look and feel the best version of herself or himself for this short time we have on earth.
My readers (both current and future)—in short—are probably a lot like me.
My priorities, then, can be the blog’s priorities. Simple, really. After 4 days and 40 years of complication, it turns out to be simple.
So here it is, my new mission, summed up and then elaborated on:
Love your home. Love your life. Love yourself.
Love isn’t about perfection. It isn’t “once you’re like this, then I’ll love you.” It’s about seeing things with open eyes and then choosing to care for them. It’s about giving of ourselves and then being filled back up from the process. Love is not only receiving, but also caring—actively—with our hearts, minds, and bodies. Love is acceptance.
To love our home, we think about it, tend to its needs, put little pieces of ourselves and our loved ones into it. We transform it from an empty structure into a space filled with love and life (and flaws). And then it gives back to us, through shelter, memories, warmth, protection, consolation, and refuge. It puts its strong arms around us, our family, and our friends and lets us live.
To love our life, we make conscious choices about how we spend our time and who we spend it with. We know our days are numbered and so we try to live each day with intention. We take steps to live life awakened, making the choices we choose (not our peers, not our family, not society), living the life we were born to live. We recognize that life’s cycles do not unfold in a straight line; spirals, circles, and sinusoidal waves keep our journey at times jubilant, at times scary and difficult, and always interesting.
To love ourselves, we take care of ourselves and set ourselves free in equal measure. We learn about what makes us healthy and structure our lives around these foods, choices, and actions. But we also give ourselves a break and allow ourselves to experience the pleasures of living—even if this means contradicting our healthy choices for a moment. We spend time thinking about what makes us look good and feel good, and we show ourselves respect by sharing our creativity with others and daring to look our best.
I’m thinking of structuring my blog under these categories (home, life, and self), with home including Craigslist Roundups, DIYs, and other articles about home design; life including articles on family and love and a new feature I’m creating about pursuing a deeper happiness; and self including articles on style, wellness, and food.
So what do you think? Does this seem like a magazine you would want to read? Do these concepts and words seem to accurately reflect what I am about? Sometimes these things are more obvious from the outside, so I appreciate any and all feedback. Plus I understand that if you have read to the end of this post, then you are probably one of a select few who have read my posts and encouraged me throughout the last several years. :) So I value your feedback even more!
I’m excited about taking my blog to another level, gearing it more toward others rather than simply working through my own stuff, and I really appreciate your support over these last years in helping me get to this point. Thank you!!!
© Amy Daniewicz