When I first started blogging, I felt like no one was listening. It was like I was up on stage and all I could hear was crickets. Not even my mom was reading my blog because well, she wasn’t even online then. But I didn’t give up. I kept writing, I kept sharing, I kept being honest, I kept being myself. My one year blogging anniversary passed and I couldn’t believe how far I’d come in that amount of time. But now as my two year blogging anniversary comes up, I am blown away each and every day over the outpouring of love, kindness, support, and readership from each and every one of you. My words are resonating and reaching people I would have NEVER imagined they would. And it took one post with a simple concept to essentially go viral for me.
I had this idea for several months, all the way back in April or even before that I dreamt up this grand idea. A blog post about farmer choice. Do farmers have choices? I wanted the farmers to speak for themselves. So I sent out a small survey to some people I follow and interact with on my social media stream. They responded quickly, I printed their responses out, and highlighted them up.. And there they sat on my desk. They got shuffled around and Farmer Choice blog sat on my To-Blog List, not crossed off. I put it off because I wasn’t quite sure how to address it, not quite sure what to say, not quite sure that I was the one who should be speaking up for GMO and biotech crops let alone farmers having choices.
But then one day I stumbled across the papers again. I sat down and finally found my voice. I wrote. I wrote honestly, I wrote from the heart… I broke it all down as simple as I could, I tried not to get too technical. And Do Farmers Have Choices? was born. And then it got shared, and shared some more. And then it ended up on WordPress.com’s Freshly Pressed. And I tried not to literally freak out as my phone buzzed constantly with likes, comments, and follows.
Pretty soon the excitement died down and although the post wasn’t going viral anymore, it was still being found. It was still being shared. And out of nowhere it was seeming to pop up again and again. Then one day, I realized that Monsanto shared my post. YES, MONSANTO COMPANY shared it! Granted it was my re-blogged post on someone else’s page but it was still MY words! Oh, and by the way, I am still waiting for my check in the mail! 😉
Several weeks later I woke up to an email from a social media friend of mine. She subscribes to a newsletter from Council for Biotechnology Information. And in this particular newsletter, front and center, I read my name… And then my post. They EVEN noted I was a North Dakota blogger… And my mind was blown. I was blown away. My humble little post about farmer choices made it onto a newsletter for a council made up of agribusiness professionals, scientists, people way out of my league. And here are my words, QUOTED in their newsletter.
You never know who is watching, who is reading, and who you may be connecting with when you write. So even when you are feeling like nobody is listening, never stop sharing. Never stop believing in the power of your own words. Because one day, your post may be my Do Farmer’s Have Choices post… And you will find a whole new world of blogging, sharing your voice, and reaching people you’d never thought possible knocking at your door.
Keep being real, keep being honest, and keep sharing your story, your voice, your words my friends. There are great things coming for each and every one of us. It just takes believing in yourself and defining who you are, not who you aren’t. And sometimes forcing yourself to write posts you aren’t sure about and hitting that publish button!