Number three in a series on how to take some of the scary out of blogging.
This time we’re talking about why even bother when there are already other people doing it better?
And again, this is also for you even if you’ve never had a blog and never plan to — or if you’re a blogging superstar.
Because guess what? Feeling like you’re not good enough and dealing with all the other what’s-the-point-isms is human. It’s normal. It’s your “stuff” talking.
And working through it is important and vital because — like it or not — the world needs you. At the very least, someone in the world needs you!
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. First we just want to meet the fear. Ready?
Aaaagh! Why even bother when there are already other people doing it better?
When it feels like, okay, maybe you’re good — but you’re not that good…
All right. You’re absolutely allowed to be scared. You’re allowed to feel worried about not being good enough. You’re allowed to wonder if there’s even a point to trying.
This is one of the biggest scary bits to blogging. For sure. Okay, here we go.
Maybe other people are doing it better: five things to think about.
1. So what?
This is where I wish I weren’t this sweet, accepting yoga person so I could channel Naomi and yell Yeah? So the #$&@ what? So what so what so WHAT?!?!
Sigh. I’m not Naomi.
So I’m going to channel Selma (my duck) instead and see if we can find a way to say this in a way that might trigger slightly less resistance. (Though I’m not at all convinced that we’ll be able to pull it off … this stuff is tough.)
Okay. So yeah, maybe other people are doing it better. Maybe you feel frustrated because you think you’re just going to be taking up space.
Even assuming that this were true, so what? Why does this exclude you from the equation?
How does that idea even work?
I’m not Richard Russo so I shouldn’t write at all? If I said that to you, you’d slap me silly.
(And yes, I’ve said it to myself on more than occasion. Being human: it happens to the best of us, I guess.)
So we know on some level that we’re being a bit absurd and yet it feels true. And when it feels true, all the “so whats” in the world aren’t useful anymore.
In this case, I think what might help here is if I let you in on a leeeetle secret about the world of blog.
2. Something critical that you maybe don’t understand about blogging.
And I’ll say it twice so you don’t miss it. There’s always always always room for more.
There is always room for more. Always.
You really think that the world is not big enough for two _______s?
Sure, I could give you that “every soul is an individual snowflake” thing but we don’t even have to go there because the world is actually big enough for a hundred ________s, maybe considerably more.
I read Naomi every day. If you’re a fellow Itty Biz fan, you’re probably thinking “But wait, Naomi doesn’t post every day. Not even close.”
You’re right. And yet I read her every day. Every. Single. Day.
Because at some point during the day I need a dose of Naomi. So I head over there and reread something I’ve already read. Just to hear her voice. Just because I like being there.
So there’s only one Naomi, of course, but if there were other people talking about similar things with a similar voice? As a reader, that’s only good news for me.
If there were fifteen Naomis I would read them all. If there were THIRTY Naomis and they each posted once a day (impossible!) I would STILL read them all.
There is a depressing lack of stuff that rocks. Which means that there is room for you.
The blogs I love to read are my joy. And when I’m done reading the handful of favorites there’s nothing left to do except press refresh over and over like a sad and hopeful mouse at a feeder. *sigh*
As a blogger, I also want to be unique and special and all that crap. But as a reader? I wish with all my heart that there were a hundred versions of Naomi or Pam or Jenny or Black Hockey Jesus because I would read them all and then wish for more.
There IS room for you. For you and for a hundred imitations of you and for the people who in six months will be thinking of you when they say “Man, I wish I could be like that amazingly awesome _____ who writes _________!”
It does not matter how many people are already doing what you want to do or doing it better. There will always be people hungry for more.
Why can’t you be the one to give it to them?
3. How can you know that you’re not that person — that voice — that people need?
Okay, this is where we double back to that “every soul is an individual snowflake” thing I said we wouldn’t talk about.
You cannot know. You absolutely cannot know what other people need right now in this moment. It might very well be that what they need is you. And not just you, but you exactly where you are right now.
You can’t see your gifts. You can’t see your humanity or how heart-breakingly beautiful it is.
You can’t see how useful it is for other people to know that stuff is hard for you too or that you’re also going through things that they experience.
But the rest of us know. We, your “right people”, can see it. And we need you.
It’s not fair of you to hide from the people who need you. What you know and think is valuable just because you are who you are.
4. Man, you’re talking like a real blogger now!
You know what? This tendency to think that somehow your stuff isn’t good enough? Natural and normal. Everyone feels this.
Yes, that was stupid. And not even the point. But I didn’t realize it then.
Thinking that all those people are somehow legitimate and you aren’t? Completely normal. Completely understandable. Completely human.
It’s also not an excuse.
So come on — join us, and become yet another “possibly irrelevant and boring” self-doubting blogger! Because the good news is that this feeling will go away.
And if it doesn’t right away, hang out here some more and read up on ways to change your patterns, because if that feeling is not a big ole life pattern, I don’t know what is.
5. If it’s showing up in your blog, it’s showing up in your life.
Exactly. This pattern of thinking that for some reason other people are allowed to thrive but you aren’t? It’s something that’s true for Life In General, and not just for blogging.
This what-iffery is something that can show up in every field and in every aspect of life.
So what if I’m a good musician? There are already great musicians. So what if I help people as a therapist? There are already better therapists. And so on.
Where would we be if Einstein had decided that he could never be Isaac Newton so why even bother? Or even if George Clooney had decided that he could never be Marlon Brando so why not just hang it up?
You’ll never be those people. But you will be you and there is room for that. Because there is something for everyone.
I find plenty of blogs to be painfully boring. But many of these very blogs have enormous followings, and you know what? They help people.
They don’t help me, but that’s completely okay — it’s only because I’m not one of their “right people”. They help other people. Your job is to write for your people. And don’t worry about who they are just yet, because they will find you.
There is something for everyone. There is room for you.
But until you do some work with this pattern, it’s going to follow you around everywhere and poke at you until it gets the attention it deserves.
Reassurance time again!
This is where you stop me and say, “Okay, fine. I’ll start the damn blog. But I don’t even know if I have anything to say. I mean, what am I going to say? I don’t even know what to talk about!”
And this is where I point out how awesome it is that you’re no longer thinking you shouldn’t write one because all those other people are already doing it, and instead you’re worried about things like content and how-to.
We’re chasing the worry and the what-ifs, and they’ve shifted to a new place. And that is very, very good news.
We’ll be talking next week about not knowing what to talk about! In the meantime, rejoice in knowing that if you aren’t the next Havi & Selma? Rock on, because you being you is not as depressing as you think.
And if you are the next Havi & Selma, that’s also great because there are a ton of people who will be jumping for joy to have more of this kind of thing.
And either way, Selma and I want to be reading your blog, so point us in the right direction!
P.S. If all this stuff is freaking you out, take advantage of the “fact” that it’s Non-Sucky Yoga Month and book yourself some yummy, relaxing yoga time with yourself.
Because non-sucky yoga will calm you the heck down and everyone knows that calmification is good for the soul. And also for your blog.
P.P.S. This is a total aside, which you can ignore if you are not Richard Russo. If you are Richard Russo, let me just say this. Richard Russo! Why do you not have a real website? Argh. Hire me. Or hire my designer. Or both. Because this is a disaster.