Today is Galentine’s Day – a day introduced by Parks and Rec through its leading lady, Leslie Knope. It’s a day of “ladies celebrating ladies.” With that in mind, I thought I’d celebrate its creator, and all the women like her. With a blogging twist, of course!
Truth be told, there are very few fictional characters I could scrape together an entire blog post about. But Leslie Knope is definitely an exception. She’s funny, passionate, driven, caring and unstoppable. She’s all that I aspire to be!
How do you become the Leslie Knope of blogging? Well, I’ve come up with six qualities which I think are essential.
No matter how setbacks she faces, she comes back stronger. Whether it’s a knock in her love life or her career, she doesn’t let it keep her down for long.
In blogging, there can be all sorts of hiccups along the way. Instagram not growing AT ALL, for example. A severe case of writer’s block. Or maybe reaching out to brands and getting no response. Don’t let those things keep you down. It sucks, but it shouldn’t hold you back. You’ve got to pick yourself up and keep pushing forward.
It’s not only her gift giving skills which set her apart in the friendship field. She is fiercely loyal, ridiculously supportive and sickeningly sweet. We should all try to be a friend like her, and we all definitely need one, too.
One of the best things you can do in your blogging life is support other bloggers. Don’t view them as a threat and try not to compare yourself to them. In fact, my friend Anne has a great post on how to avoid blogger jealousy. It’s better to view blogging as a place of community, rather than competition. The rest of the world seems to have plenty of their own negative opinions about bloggers and influencers, so we need to stand strong together.
Show other bloggers some love! You lose nothing by doing this. Share their posts on Twitter. Leave comments. Add their pins to your boards. These are not huge tasks, but will make somebody’s day. If you’re not sure where to squeeze it in, try doing it during your commute, or take a couple of minutes from your lunch break.
Channel your inner Leslie Knope and become the biggest cheerleader around for those in your community.
Throughout Parks and Recreation, there are a number of occasions when Leslie only accomplishes things through the help of her friends.
There are similar moments in blogging. Perhaps you find yourself feeling stuck, or you really don’t understand something. Ask someone! Failing that, search Google and Pinterest – someone is likely to have already covered it. Though it’s not as personal as asking someone directly, it’s an equally useful approach. There’s no shame in seeking out answers if you’re not sure. I do it ALL THE TIME.
Blogging is full of learning opportunities. Even when you think you’ve got most of it figured out, something else pops up or an algorithm changes. The beauty of it is that everyone is at different stages, so there are plenty of other people with more experience to lean on a little!
Leslie couldn’t possibly do all that she does during the course of seven seasons without her impeccable organisational skills.
While you don’t need to go to the same extreme, you do need to have some structure. I’m lucky in that being organised, making to do lists and sticking to a schedule are some of my favourite things. You may not share my enthusiasm, but if you want a chance at blogging success, it’s going to require some time management and planning. I have a post about getting organised as a blogger which may help.
Love what you do
One of the things I admire and envy in equal measure about Leslie Knope is that she’s settled in a career she LOVES. Her passion for it seems to give her superhuman abilities at times, too.
I think you have to love blogging to persevere with it, especially alongside other commitments. It’s the only way it’s worth the time and effort! Once in a while, be sure to remind yourself of the things you love most about blogging. Be it creativity or making new connections, check in with those plus points from time to time. It’s easier to stay motivated when you remember all the awesome things something brings to your life.
Celebrate your achievements
Leslie seems to grab any opportunity to celebrate, either herself or those around her. She regularly takes pause to appreciate how her life and her dreams are falling in to place. Take a leaf out of her book and be a bit more willing to acknowledge what you do.
It really doesn’t matter how small it seems. There have been weeks when the fact I’ve published anything at all has been a little victory. If you hit a goal, whether it’s a certain number of followers or publishing 2 posts in a week, celebrate it! Own it! Go full Leslie Knope like I do and eat waffles.
I’ve said it before, and I will say it again, blogging is H-A-R-D. There is so much to juggle. If you’re accomplishing things along the way, you should be acknowledging them. It’s important to take these moments and embrace them. They are the rewards amongst a whole heap of hard work.
Now, go, focus on your goals and show the world what you’re made of!