On Blogging: Finding Peace With the Pit
I haven’t gone all meta on my blogging in a while…
There’s never a dearth of people I meet who come to the idea of blogging and feel that pit in their stomachs. “What would I blog about?” “Who would want to read what I write?” Or even, “I can’t write at all.” I try to assuage their fears by reminding them that they don’t have to write manifestos or tell stories of their personal lives. That blogging can simply be a link to a good read, a short snip for flavor, and a few sentences of reflection. Start slowly. Build if and when it gets more comfortable.
But what I don’t tell them is that even though I’ve been doing this blogging thing for 11 years, I still feel that pit more often than not. And that’s especially true when I try to push into longer posts or when I attempt journal articles or even think about books. Invariably, I struggle with huge doubt. I start thinking about all the really brilliant people who I’ve interacted with over the years, those thinkers and writers who fry my brain, who seem so confident when they write in blogs or articles or books. People who are manifestly smarter than I. (There are many.) I imagine these people reading what I’m writing and rolling their eyes, picking apart my shoddy logic or argument, tossing my ideas on the scrap heap of failed thinking around education. I literally feel their disdain.
Most times, I’m able to push through it. Sometimes not. It’s a constant struggle that, in the end, I think helps me to grow as a blogger and a writer. Even though it would be nice just every now and then to feel a little swagger around my ideas, I never want to feel so secure in what I’m thinking and writing that I stop feeling at least an ounce of two of “oh crap” when I press “publish.”
So, yeah. You want to be a blogger or a writer or a creator of any type of artifact that you share with the world? You’re going to have to find peace with that pit. Not everyone is going to like your stuff. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Because the good news is that most often, if the pushback comes, it’s about the ideas and not about you. Which is as it should be.