I don’t run.
People know this about me only too well. Marathons frighten me, jogging makes me reach for the guardrail within 20 seconds and even brisk walking beyond 30 minutes makes my heart believe it will stop pumping blood on any given day. So, obviously, jumping over hurdles doesn’t figure anywhere on this list.
Dramatics aside, I mean to say I’ve never jumped over an actual, physical hurdle.
But, visual ones? Metaphorical ones? Oh, those I’ve tackled in plenty. To explain exactly how I come to terms with the fear and the anxiety that accompanies these things, I’m going to talk about something that happened this past week.
Remember the change I spoke about in my last post? Well, in case you didn’t know it yet, I’ve successfully moved my parenting blog from Blogger to self-hosted WordPress.
Big deal, you think. What’s so frightening about that?
Here are the various things that you lose/could lose when you move from a blogging space that you’ve occupied for 9 years.
I had crossed 200,000 page views on my blog when it was hosted on Blogger over a period of 9 years. When I moved to self-hosted last week, I started with the grand total of zero. That’s right. I started over from scratch.
Why is that a hurdle, you think? Well, page views are a good indicator of how Google will index your blog. The better the page views and the higher the engagement on the blog, the higher up on search results you’ll appear. Again, the only reason this is necessarily important is because for me, blogging is also a source of income in addition to being a personal, favourite way of life.
How I handled it: I told myself it’s a fresh start. Freshness is a novel process and exciting by itself. Nothing else can quite give you that high (except maybe 300,000 page views. I kid, of course). Take the step with energy and passion and this hurdle is easy to get past.
Followers and Subscribers:
Since most of my subscribers were following my blog through the original RSS feed on my blogger site, I believe I have to start over from scratch here as well. Risky? Perhaps.
How I handled it: I told myself that if I write good content and believe earnestly in the power of the content, people will come back to read what I share and subscribe anew. It doesn’t actually solve the problem, if you notice, but it does reduce the stress on me, which is infinitely more valuable in the long run.
Social media share counts
I remember writing a post in February, 2015, on how I survived depression and bipolar disorder and came out stronger. In the space of one month, the post had crossed over 1,100 shares on Facebook and it’s the closest I’ve come to ever going viral, as people call it.
In late March 2015, I switched to a custom domain and noticed that I’d lost all the social media counts on my posts. But re-sharing the post with the new URL still resonated among so many people that the share counter began to climb again. I don’t remember how many it garnered this time around, though.
Last week, the switch to self-hosted did the same thing. So, for the third time I lost my social media share count on a post that mattered to me.
How I handled it: I let it go. It can be constantly exhausting if you obsess over numbers and stats but if you shift your focus to the now and look at the road ahead instead of what lay behind you, the scope for improvement is much higher and more rewarding.
Your new blog:
On Thursday, August 25th, I launched the new blog and sent it out into the world to be seen by friends and family alike.
On Friday, August 26th, I got a notification that the blog had been deleted.
Yes, the new blog. It had disappeared; vanished into the vast world of cyberspace, without a trace! A complex piece of code for a particular plugin went wrong and resulted in the blog’s deletion.
My friend worked overtime to help restore the blog and retrieve whatever he could to get it back and up running.
I’ll be frank. I actually cried a bit, for about two minutes.
Okay, to be honest, this doesn’t always happen but it’s a very real possibility. So what did I do?
How I jumped over this hurdle: I took a deep breath and told my husband. He looked at me calmly and said two things:
“First, relax. Maybe it’s not all gone. There must be something that you can recover.
Second, even if it’s gone, you can write it again, can you not? You’re still here.”
Taking this in the best way possible, I checked and realised that I hadn’t deleted my Blogger blog. So all the posts written there were still intact. I’d just have to migrate it all over. Vishal stepped in and helped me move everything once again.
But I had lost the new post, the one with the announcement and the giveaway. Fortunately though, by a sheer stroke of luck, I had written that draft as a backup on this blog, so I could transfer it to the new blog and work on adding all the images once again.
Over the next 3 hours, I watched my blog take shape again and felt a curious sense of achievement. It wasn’t so much the blog coming back online as much as it was the way I had bounced back after a seeming disaster.
So, remember, hurdles always exist. They never really go away. What matters more, though, is how you respond to them, grow from the experience and learn how to tackle each new hurdle as it appears on the horizon.