Yesterday, I read a post that got tweeted out by the Empress. It was a post written by a newer blogger at From Bronx to Boulder who wrote about feeling like blogging is sometimes like high school and that she was feeling left out.
The post got a LOT of comments, from new and old bloggers alike, and it got me thinking about questioning oneself in blogging generally.
I felt compelled to assure that blogger that she is not alone for feeling like she does, as many others did. Many people wrote, “I could have written this post.”
I’ve blogged about feeling inadequate. Sandra, from Absolutely Narcissism, who has like a bajillion followers and gets scads of comments on each one of her posts, also wrote about cliques in blogging. There have been others – most of us have had our “I’m feeling overwhelmed” posts.
I’ve thought a lot about that blogger’s post today because I’ve had a few tough and overwhelming days this week. Various parts of my world are colliding. I am questioning many aspects of my blogging right now.
And I realized how there are so many different flavors of blogger doubt:
1. You Feel Like You’re Not Good Enough. You read other people’s stuff. You feel inadequate. Unskilled. Not worthy. Wonder why you ever hit publish the first time. If you should even continue.
I feel I am not good enough.
2. You Feel Left Out. You don’t understand inside jokes on other people’s blogs. You don’t feel part of a community. Or, you’re part of a community but still feel like you’re on the fringes. You watch Twitter and don’t know how to get involved. You reach out and it doesn’t click with someone and it hurts. You reach out and someone ignores you and it hurts more.
I feel left out.
3. You Don’t Get It. You watch other bloggers. You read posts, you look at comments, you see what is getting action and what isn’t. You don’t get it. You have no comprehension of why some posts get 123 comments and some get 5. You have no idea why the posts that you think are your best are the least trafficked.
I don’t get it.
4. You Get Frustrated. You write well and get discouraged sometimes that a lot of success in blogging seems to be more about marketing than it is about writing. Sure, people tell you content is king, but you don’t always see the best content being the most successful.
I get frustrated.
5. You Get Overwhelmed. You spend so very many hours writing your posts. Promoting your posts. Supporting your blogging friends. Trying to make new connections. Figuring out SEO and advertising and getting your work published. You wonder how other people do it all. You start ignoring your kids and life seems to get in the way of your blogging and others seem to manage it with ease.
I get overwhelmed.
6. You Don’t Do Enough. You have big goals and dreams for your blogging. And you desperately want your readers to feel like you are there for them. And you want to make a few bucks off this thing. And you really should read more about social media. And you really…
I feel like I don’t do enough.
I am a freaking Baskin-Robbins ice cream cone – with 31 flavors of blogger doubt.
What is a blogger to do?
We are an insecure lot, we bloggers. That’s why we write down the most delicate of thoughts and hit publish and actually want someone to read our words. Most of us desire validation and seek it out. Otherwise, we wouldn’t care about finding a community or wanting comments.
The only problem? The validation that we get from blogging is like a drug high. It is powerful, intense, addicting, and sadly, short-lived. A great post, or a fabulous conversation on Twitter can keep a spring in your step for a whole day. But the next day, it can come crashing back down. You’re only as good (or bad) as your last blog post, your last connected conversation.
Maybe some of you will say you don’t suffer from this doubt. You do your thing and you’re happy doing it. Kudos to you. I believe you are a rare breed. Or you’re kidding yourself. Or it hasn’t hit you yet.
I am not afraid to say that I spend more days questioning myself than I do patting myself on the back. That I have difficulty getting to a permanent happy place with this seductive siren called blogging.
I have no answers, only empathy, for the blogger at Bronx to Boulder. Do you have any?