Sitting in a sweet little cafe having lunch, and typing out some of my thoughts: not a bad way to spend a Thursday lunchtime!
Honestly, I find blogging to be a really, really intimidating thing to do. Is that weird? I’m thirty years old and find it anxiety-inducing to share my own words online, despite the fact that I write fiction that thousands of people online have read and reviewed and I don’t bat (much of) an eye at that. (OK, that’s a lie, but we’ll return to that in another post.) There are so, so many successful bloggers out there who make a fortune doing what they love, who are amazing photographers, and then there’s little old me who blogs on her lunch hour and in the evenings alongside a jam-packed job and helping JH run his business. I don’t have the time or the skill to take arty blog photos, I’m not that way inclined. A decent selfie takes some real effort these days. I try, definitely, and I want to treat myself to a halfway decent camera once we’ve moved into our new place (any recs?) but unfortunately stunning blog photography isn’t one of my skills…
So blogging freaks me out a bit, and half the time I wonder ‘why bother?’ It’s why I’ve given up on blogs in the past, because I don’t feel like anyone actually wants to read what I come out with, even though I’ve put some effort into it. But I think in the past I was focusing on the wrong things. I wanted the fancy imagery and layout, I wanted a lot of hits right away, and that was taking all my attention away from what I was actually writing. So this time, I’m approaching it all differently. I haven’t shared a single link to this blog with anyone, haven’t promoted it or posted on Instagram, Twitter, changed any usernames to match, or told a single person I’ve restarted blogging. Why? Because I want to get used to writing and posting and enjoying it without worrying about hit count or any of that stuff. I’m not going to be the next big blogger on the scene and I’m fine with that because I don’t really plan to write about fashion and beauty, the things that seem to make people popular, nor do I intend to start a YouTube channel (feel way too old for that). I love reading fashion and cosmetic blogs, and follow some truly awesome women who blog for a living, but that isn’t me and I doubt it ever will be. I just like to write, and to share a few things here and there. I probably will start establishing more of a social media presence, but holy hell that feels like a scary thing to do. Why would anyone wanna come read anything by little old me?
Hopefully because the posts I write are interesting, engaging, helpful or just fun to read…
But the blogging world is intimidating for newbies, no matter how old they are, especially when so many ladies are posting about how disenchanted they are with blogging and some that I really love are stopping altogether. It doesn’t make for an easy start for anyone, and there’s so much emphasis and pressure to get it right and to post the right content/get the hits and growth that the idea of just writing what we want to see and share seems a little like it should go on the backburner. I just went on Pinterest and typed in ‘blogging’ and the first 100 images were all links to posts about things we should be doing and how to become popular and things to do in the first few months. I was looking for content and interesting links, but got bombarded by sales-like posts telling me what I should be doing. Whilst helpful, that is why it’s intimidating. ‘Am I doing it right? No? Shit, I’m going to fail…’ Not what a new blogger wants to feel. But from one blogger to another: write what you want, because there are always folk who want to read it.
As a fiction writer who is working on getting her first novel published next year, it’s somewhat easy for me to write things down. It should be, at any rate. I don’t claim to be the next JK Rowling, but what I do write is pretty good and maybe I’ll share some snippets on here if the time is right. But so far I’ve sat down at my laptop before every post and felt a rush of I’m not good enough, why bother? anxiety, and pushing through it takes some effort. Any other bloggers feel like this? I’d love to hear about your experiences starting up, and how you got over that initial hump.
Connecting with other bloggers and writers is half the fun, so I’d really like to know what you think and how you’ve found the whole ‘sharing inner thoughts online’ stuff and what type of posts you love to write – and leave your blog links, of course!