Joan of Arc was a woman of immense talent when such a concept was hard for guys to understand. She was born a poor peasant girl, uneducated, and headed for a rather non-extraordinary life. That is exactly the opposite of how she turned out.
She became a brilliant strategist, religious hero, great debater, and staunch defender of her king and country.
There are a few things you can pull from Joan of Arc’s story as you sit down to blog.
1. Don’t let anyone convince you that you’re wrong.
At age 17, Joan tried to visit the dauphin of France. She wanted to tell him she’d had a vision that she was to help him become king of war-torn France. Upon her first attempt to visit the royal court, people laughed her out of the room. How would you react if a poor teenage girl came up to you and said voices told her to do stuff?
However, this reception did not discourage Joan. She was relentless, and she wanted her dauphin to know what her visions revealed.
As a blogger, you know it’s extremely easy for people to laugh you out of the room. If you are new, it can be especially hard to stand by what you say and think. Don’t let people push you to give up, no matter how influential they are in the online world. Hold true to what you believe and what you say.
2. Create a new prototype.
The medieval world didn’t know what to do with Joan. She was a woman and never pretended to be otherwise, but she dressed in men’s clothing and cut her hair. This went against everything women were supposed to do. Certainly women couldn’t be great soldiers and retain the qualities of a pure woman at the same time.
Yet somehow Joan managed to combine these traits and become a great hero. There had been no one like her in memorable history, yet she did not let standards and guidelines suppress her.
As a blogger, you might find it easy to pigeonhole yourself. You can try to blog like XYZ blogger or talk about the same stuff as one group of bloggers. You can try to adopt someone else’s voice, but there is nothing wrong with chucking what others have done. Start with something new and unique. Why not? You have a lot less to lose than Joan of Arc, right?
3. Choose your allies wisely.
In an extremely short period of time, Joan succeeded in liberating Orleans. Her dauphin, Charles, was crowned King Charles VII. Despite all she had done for him, however, he quickly abandoned her once he ascended the throne.
Perhaps he found her too militant, while he wanted to make peace. Whatever his reasoning, Charles did not grant Joan more troops. She went off to attack Paris without his support. When she was captured, he did not try to rescue her.
As a blogger, it can be similarly risky to choose allies. You may find that after you help someone find success, he quickly abandons you and pretends his success is due to his own efforts. Although it’s important to have a mission and help others, self-preservation should also be in the mix. Unfortunately, Joan had to learn this lesson the hard way.
4. Don’t let other people intimidate you.
At the end of her life, Joan went on trial before French clerics and scholars. They wanted to prove she was not worthy of her heroic reputation. It would have been easier on them if they could prove she was crazy, or otherwise unreliable as a heroine.
Facing a panel of scholars might have convinced Joan she had met her match, but records show she held her own and out-debated men who had much more formal training than she did. She did not approach her trial as a meek underdog; she approached it as an equal.
As a blogger, there will be times when you disagree with someone who seems smarter, has more experience, or has a bigger following than you. In these situations, it can be easy to simply give in and abandon what you believe. After all, they know best. But don’t let other people’s smarts or experience intimidate you. Don’t let others make you believe you’re the one in the wrong.
Joan of Arc was a one-of-a-kind woman who turned the tide of the 100 Years War and reinvented women’s place in society. Every blogger, no matter who he is or where he comes from, has the opportunity to change blogging forever. You can make any kind of impact you want. You can leave a footprint as big as the one Joan of Arc left on France.
Stand your ground, and believe in yourself and what you do. Don’t let anyone think they can defeat you.
Margie Clayman is the director of client development at Clayman Advertising, her family’s full-service marketing firm, and author of a marketing e-book. She blogs at www.margieclayman.com, where a version of this article originally appeared. Follow her on Twitter @margieclayman.