Does that title up there make you grimace or shudder in distaste? I'd say very few of us relish the idea of listening to criticism, particulary when it comes to something as personal as our writing on our blogs. The plain truth is that constructive criticism, offered with a kind heart and good intentions, should be something we all welcome with equal good will. Constructive is the key word here, my friends! Criticism, just by nature of definition, can get easily out of hand and quickly can shift from helpful advice into a monster of epic proportions. Obviously no one is going to embrace that type of verbal attack, nor should they.
The point I am making here is that none of us are perfect. We can all benefit from change, but it is a common occurrence for all of us that we get so caught up in life that we lose sight of the fact that we might be stagnating in some fashion. If we're fortunate, there are people around us...friends...colleagues...who care enough to offer helpful, constructive criticism. How we choose to accept those comments is that which defines who we are as people.
If you're like me, perhaps you ventured into the blogging world with very little idea of the sheer enormity of the concept. I truly had no idea what I was getting myself into when I began my blog in September of 2009. Healing Morning began as a desire for me to learn about the blogging process and add another skill to my resume'. To my surprise, it very quickly morphed into something I never expected and I admit that I'm still adjusting and scrambling a bit to keep the tip of my nose above the blogging waters.
Through the blogging world, I met my Authentic Blogger (AB) partner, Marty (Coffee with Marty). Not too long ago, we were discussing some point about the AB group that I can't remember and Marty told me, rather bluntly, that I needed to think about revamping my blog page. It wasn't a rude comment - it was just blunt. I admit that I was very resistant and kind of brushed his suggestions to the side, saying that I would give it some thought. I LIKED my blog design, after all, and I had put effort into creating a presence that I felt portrayed who I am and what I wanted Healing Morning to convey to readers.
I did give it thought as I had promised, but felt for a good while that I didn't need to make big changes. Then we created the Authentic Blogger group page on Facebook and both of us were dumped right slap into the middle of this vast ocean of new experiences. We were exposed to a whole slew of fascinating blogs and we both were forced to engage in a lot of research. Slowly, because I rarely embrace change quickly or enthusiastically, I began to see that, yes, perhaps Marty's comments were valid. My Healing Morning blog is in need of a facelift.
I'll begin that process in the next few weeks, in between all the other projects that are surrounding me. Through the AB community, I'm being exposed to really sharp marketing and design concepts for blog pages, so I'm ruminating on the style and format that will best suit my needs and will accurately represent my vision of Healing Morning. I am quite confident that by the end of this revamping process, I'll be very pleased with the new version of my blog. I am also willing to predict with a fair amount of certainty that by being open to this constructive criticism, and embracing change, my "new and improved" blog will most likely capture more attention and garner more followers, more quickly than the old design. I won't know this for sure until the new design is finished and goes live, but I just have a feeling it will increase traffic.
While I might not have jumped instantly to accept Marty's comments, I did slowly come around, in my own fashion and see the veracity of his words. Change, and criticism, although at face value they may sound like the voices of doom, are both tools that are meant to sharpen our skills, hone our abilities and, I daresay, refine our character. We are simply not capable of perfection in this world, but if we are open to listening to the insightful opinions of those we trust the most, we can achieve a much better, brighter version of any given facet of ourselves than we might have accomplished all alone. It's simply my thought for the day. You may feel differently and that's entirely acceptable. We all choose different methods and approaches.
For this moment in my life, I'm tossing my ego aside and sliding my arms into a new coat of sorts....one that shows my willingness to entertain some new concepts and experiences. Stay tuned for the sparkling new version of Healing Morning, coming to you in an AB wall post soon!!
Author, The Authentic Blogger blog
Author, Healing Morning blog
Co-Creator, Authentic Blogger FB group page