Image is my own – Bojnice castle, Slovakia
This week’s Food For Thought Friday topics is ‘Landmarks’. Which provides me with just the prompt I need to revisit a topic that’s been on my todo list for a while. Before I get into that though I have a small announcement related to the meme at hand. This is Kilted Wookies last week hosting F4TFriday. Two bloggers are stepping in to fill the Kilted Wookie shaped void though, May More from Sex Matters and myself. So be prepared for me to ask you on a weekly basis to join in.
A Sea of Words. Destination Unknown.
Getting involved in F4TFriday actually ties in nicely with this post, but you’ll have to wait until we get further into things to discover why. When I first started this blog my only goal was to share my thoughts in the hopes that someone out there might read them and feel less alone in doing so. There we no goals, no landmarks in sight, just writing and sharing.
I didn’t expect vast numbers or lots of interaction. My previous blog incarnation had been a fairly lowkey affair with a small number of folks visiting me. Which will happen when you don’t promote yourself, or understand the nature of blogging. That experience shaped what I thought FlossDoesLife would be, just me and a handful of folks, probably friends reading my little rambles. The reality is a little different.
You gorgeous bunch visit me in more than handfuls and your support encouraged me to grow the blog and that growth helped me reach landmarks I never even knew I was navigating towards. Smut Marathon, Top 100 Sex Blogs 2018 by Molly Moore and Eroticon. I know I witter on about these things a lot, but they have provided so much personal insight and growth for me as a blogger that returning to them often is inevitable.
Setting My Sights on New Visions
Smut Marathon was the catalyst for me getting more involved in the sex blogging community and as such, it was the beginning of me growing the blog into something worth visiting. I saw the numbers steadily rising in my stats as I joined in with Masturbation Monday, Wicked Wednesday and Sinful Sunday. I began visiting other bloggers, getting involved, making friends and I wanted them to have an easy to navigate visit to my site, preferably one filled with lots of great reads.
When tweets began circulating about the Top 100 Sex Blogs nominations being open I thought that was a list I should aim to be on. That became my first definite blogging goal, to place somewhere on Molly’s list, for what I assumed would be the first time. Being the nosey person I am I checked out the list from the previous year (2017) and discovered I had actually already hit this goal without knowing it. In 2017 FlossDoesLife was at No. 49 on Molly’s list. Bugger. Great, but also bugger. I needed to revise my goal.
My new goal was to rank higher than No. 49. Let me just say these lists don’t need to matter. They only matter to me because I choose to make it that way, it gave me a focus and Molly’s tips on what she looks for when she’s doing her rankings helped me make improvements I didn’t know I needed to make. Please never feel like your words or your space in this community is validated only by someone else quantifying it in some way.
The first time I really sat back and thought ‘Fuck! That is quite an achievement’ is when Molly released her 2018 list. I feel like my little blog ran off, did it’s own thing and came back going ‘Look what I did! Look what I did!’ For anyone who hasn’t heard me bang on about it a thousand times before, I ranked No.2 on last years list. As landmarks go, this was definitely a brilliant one to reach.
With my No.2 feather in my cap, I trotted off to Eroticon this March with a goal in my mind that I needed to learn more about a certain something before I could start achieving it. Money. Oh yes. I figured with booming stats and validation from others that my site was doing well I should, of course, be looking to monetize FlossDoesLife. I went to the talks, I met fellow bloggers and as I discussed in Inspiration and Tears, Aspirations and Fears I left Eroticon full of imposter syndrome and feeling at times like I should just give up on blogging.
These feelings did not leave me for a long time. The blog was functioning, I was getting some wonderfully kind comments about the improvements in my writing, Smut Marathon is going much better than last year, yet I still had this niggling feeling that I was failing. Because I wasn’t making money. Then I read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and she saved my sanity. I read, well actually listened to that book and had a marvellous realisation. I didn’t want to do this for money. Not right now anyway. I changed my goals completely.
Content. Community. Creativity.
Content, community and creativity. These are my new goals. I want to enjoy the creativity the blog allows me to have, I want to create content I love and I want to engage with the sex blogging community and part of that is wanting to give something back. Which is why I came forward when Kilted Wookie needed to hand over the F4TFriday reigns.
I love the memes that give us not only inspiration to write, but also an additional platform to help us share our words. Without the variety of writing and photography memes I engage in my blog would not be where it is today. I mentioned a while back I had considered starting my own prompt from scratch and I still haven’t ruled that out. Its focus is different from what we already have available and it is a creative outlet I am passionate about. I even have a name in mind for it. I have some other things I’d like to do on the blog before I switch my focus to that though.
Another goal I have is to do Eroticon all over again. I feel like I absolutely did not flourish there in the way I would have liked to. It’s like a was a floating Floss who just drifted about without solidly getting her teeth into anything. I can’t leave my Eroticon experience at that, trying again is a must. Also, and this is meant to be a secret between me and me, but I have an idea for a presentation that I will submit when Molly announces she is accepting proposals. I don’t expect it to be accepted, but the goal is the bravery to submit, not necessarily the final execution of the idea. If it doesn’t become a talk it will become an epic blog post, so either way, folks will get to hear it.
As I’ve already mentioned I also gave the Smut Marathon another try too. Last year my goal with that was to make it halfway. I did not make it half way! Not even close. This year though, I bloody did it. I made it to round 5, my submission for that assignment has just been sent to Marie and because round 5 isn’t a knockout one this means I also get to join in with round 6. That is past the halfway mark.
Is My Ultimate Goal To Win?
I consider this question a lot. In relation to the Smut Marathon and in relation to other achievements, like the Top 100 Sex Blogs, where winning isn’t perhaps the right word. I think any of us would like to win the Smut Marathon or find ourselves in the No.1 spot. Just as it’s wonderful when a blog post makes it into the weekly round-ups of any of the memes we get involved with. That external validation feels good.
I can’t quite find it in myself to actively hope for those things though. Partly because I’ve always been more about the taking part than the winning. I’m not a very competitive person and when I am, it’s with myself and not with us. Bettering my own achievements always feels far more satisfying than anything else.
Which does perhaps leave me in somewhat of a predicament with the Top 100 List. Bettering last years position means taking that top spot. I can’t begin to express how uncomfortable it makes me to even vaguely acknowledge that as a potential goal. It has to be there though because as I just said bettering my own personal achievements is what I aim for. Luckily another personality trait I have is being ridiculously invested in how other folks do and being an extremely happy champion for people I admire doing well.
Which means then when your awesome blogs shunt me down to number 10, or number 99, or even off the list at the end of this year I will be bummed for about a second before realising I now have a much more manageable goal ahead of me and 100 amazing blogs to cheer on. Some folks will say don’t be daft, you won’t go off the list completely. Maybe, maybe not. I’m watching all your blogs grow with absolute fascination though. I watching how you’re bettering your spaces and find your voices and I want you all to achieve the goals you have set for yourselves and for some of you that absolutely should be bumping me down that list because your blogs and your writings are epic and you deserve recognition for that.
In summary, I’m going to be writing more, creating more, visiting you all more and hopefully I’ll be loving every minute of it now that my goals feel more aligned with my inner workings. As for landmarks I’ll reach along the way? They are unknown, but I’m sure I’ll tell you about them when I reach them.