This guest post is by Jamie Harrop of BloggingZest.
Like you, blogging often scares me and repeatedly takes me to a point of stale conversation and blocked fingertips. Tonight, I want to share my story with you; the story of how I admitted and overcame a fear so strong it stopped me blogging for six months…
I sit here tonight with the ever dimming light of day flowing over my garden behind me, and for company the slight bronze glow of my desk lamp and the 30 minute chime of the cuckoo clock on my office wall. It’s approximately ten years since I started blogging at this very desk. And tonight, I realized something that has taken me those ten amazing, fun, and delightful years to discover.
I deeply fear your rejection
My readers, I fear your rejection. I fear my ideas aren’t worthy of your eyes or your opinion. I fear others have written before me what I wish to write. I fear you already know the lessons I wish to teach. I fear the conversation my articles provoke, should they by some miracle provoke any at all, will be stagnant, old, and lacking in passion. I fear my voice is just one in a million million; a vast ocean of attentive writers; a vast mass of brilliance.
I fear rejection, and that is why I’ve been inconsistent in my writing. I’ve lacked a clear voice. Sometimes I’m sensitive. Other times I’m blunt. Occasionally I’m controversial. I’ve also lacked a clear schedule, often taking breaks from blogging of months at a time.
“I don’t have the ideas.” I said. “I don’t like where the industry is going.” I griped.
But tonight I realized I was wrong. I did and do have the ideas. I did and do like where the industry is going. And I did blog and I do blog and that is what my fingers were made for.
Tonight, I realized I wasn’t bored. I wasn’t lacking inspiration. I was scared. I was scared of rejection.
I’ve spent the past ten years writing online. I started with a static Web site, updating the HTML code with new text each time I posted something new. Then I created my own blogging software. Then I moved to WordPress, and in amongst all that I tried Blogger, WordPress Hosted, Journal, and TypePad.
Throughout those ten years, I wrote several times about the fear of rejection and the role it plays in blogging. I’ve read about it even more. It’s something I knew others experienced, but never thought I would. Surely, after ten years, I wouldn’t worry what I was writing wasn’t relevant? But I did, and that’s why I stopped blogging.
Throughout the past six months I had hundreds of blog post ideas, but they were all thrown in the trash for one reason; I didn’t think they were good enough for my audience, for my reputation, for the person that I and others had come to expect.
“Hands down some of the best blogging tips I’ve read this year”
Over the past ten years I’ve been told my advice is the best blogging advice to have ever been read. I’ve been told I’ve motivated people to start blogging or to reinvigorate their blog with new life. I’ve even had one of my blog posts taken by a parent and read to her children who were so captivated by it she took the time to tell me. It’s no wonder I’ve set my standards high, and it’s no wonder I began to fear rejection.
I’ve wrote hundreds of posts over the past ten years, and not a single one has been rejected. The occasional abusive comment or fiery debate? Sure. But nothing that has ever been rejected. So it came as a complete shock when, this evening, I finally realised that a fear of rejection has stopped me from doing what I love.
Admitting to myself, and dealing with the issue
It came as a complete shock, but that feeling lasted just a few short seconds. As soon as I realized what had been holding my creative self back for so long I felt able to deal with it. I felt a huge paper weight removed from my fingers. I can deal with it now that I’ve admitted it. I’m not lacking ideas. The industry isn’t falling flat on its face. Those were excuses, an attempt to blame somebody or something else other than my own trepidation.
If we wish to continue building our reputation as bloggers, we need to listen more to the very advice we give to others. So stop being scared of publishing that latest blog post. Stop thinking it isn’t up to scratch. Stop worrying it won’t get any comments, and stop throwing your ideas in the trash. The fact is it’s your job as a blogger to make any topic interesting, to bring your voice to even the most stagnant of tables, and to spark the invigorating conversation that blogs were made for. Go on, you can do it. It’s what you do.
This evening as I sit here with the final rays of sun shimmering behind me, the light warmth of the desk lamp on my face, and the occasional “Cuckoo” ringing out above me, I’ve let my fingers do the talking. My fingertips softly tap the keyboard as I let my thoughts flow, as I share my lessons, my wisdom or lack of it at times, my insecurities, and my story. This is what blogging is about. It’s about sharing with the world your vocal delicacies. And that’s why I love it and I could never stay away.
We all face rejection, but we only fall so we can learn to stand. I’m planting the flag of pride in this post, standing tall and asking you to share. Leave a comment, and let me know I’m on the right track.
Jamie Harrop has been blogging for nine years, tweeting for three years and now writes at BloggingZest. Today, with posts such as, How to Stand out in a Blogging Crowd he writes about blogging, online relationships, social media and SEO.>