My blogging hurdle – confessions of a scaredy cat

14Jun11

Blogging is hard. I mean I love to blog but you gotta be in the mood. You can’t just force yourself to write…or can you?

I know I haven’t blogged in awhile – trust me when I say the absence isn’t on purpose but I just haven’t had the ability to click “Publish”.

My draft box is full

You see my draft box is full of posts…posts that for whatever reason I didn’t have the balls to publish. Whether it’s because I was being a perfectionist that day and trying to edit the post just so or I had a great idea I just couldn’t verbalize right, I just couldn’t make it happen.

So to remedy this issue, I’m writing this in one shot and pressing publish as soon as it’s done. It’s probably going to be a really rough draft and not as eloquent as I may normally try to make it but this will help me get over one big hurdle I have – publishing.

I’ve been reading a lot about tips to blog that I was going to write a post about later (yup…it’s in draft!). Everyone has their own hurdles to overcome and this one is mine.

So why am I so wary of publishing?

  1. It’s publishing, d’uh. Yup I’m putting my name to something and that’s a big deal. Sure it’s just a blog. Sure I don’t have 1,000’s of readers but regardless I take very seriously what I put out into the world with my name on it.
  2. It’s a new age. Putting your name to something means being searchable. It means verbalizing your thoughts/values to the world. What is said on the Internet cannot be unsaid.
  3. I need to have something awesome to say. Yup, I don’t just post filler posts because I feel I need to post. I know that goes against that “regular post schedule” mentality but what I remember from a Scott Stratten (better known as @unmarketing on Twitter) presentation was “people spread awesome”. On Twitter it’s really important to me to spread content I think is awesome. Why wouldn’t I also try to write awesome content?
  4. I’m a perfectionist. This is no surprise if you know me well. When I really get into something I turn into a bit of a perfectionist. It’s a problem. I’m working on it. Admitting it is the first step to healing. πŸ™‚
  5. I’m scared. Who isn’t? I want my blog to be successful. I’d love it if my readers were engaged. It warms my heart when people comment and tell me they love reading my posts because they’re funny or because I made a great point on a subject. It means a lot to me but also puts a lot of pressure on me.
  6. Writing is cathardic. Sometimes just the act of writing can be cathartic. You don’t always need to post for you to feel the feeling of relief/relaxation/peace after writing something that was on your mind.
  7. Because I can. Again, just because I can publish something, doesn’t mean I should. Period.

So tell me – am I the only one that’s been scared to hit the button? What’s your blogging hurdle?

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10 Responses to “My blogging hurdle – confessions of a scaredy cat”

  1. I have the same dilemmas as you. I’ve often started posts when I had a thought on a topic, then left it in draft mode to come back to, but for one reason or another I rarely publish them, or even complete them. When I look at my drafts weeks/months later, I’m usually happy I didn’t. I think it’s good to pour your thoughts/opinions out, then take a step back to re-assess. There’s nothing wrong with being a perfectionist.

    • Great comment and glad I’m not the only one with this issue. That being said, you’re completely right. Not publishing everything is not necessarily a bad thing. I think, however, if you’ve looked at how often I’ve posted since the new year it has become a little sparse.

      Maybe there’s a nice balance I can strike! Any tips you want to share?

  2. I agree with Sean. While I understand the concept of a “regular post schedule”, but I think that building an audience and building quality content can be two very different things at times (though ideally they should of course match). Lately, I’ve been getting more value from bloggers I follow that rarely post over those that post regularly.

    I think the only blog I ever posted daily on was a paid blogging gig where I was actually required to post daily. I found the experience far more challenging than I had originally anticipated. My end strategy was similar to what you did here. I wrote it, reviewed it, then scheduled it. The funny thing is, some of the posts I didn’t feel 100% confident on are still generating positive comment traffic years later. So, don’t sell yourself short, you might be providing more value than you think.

    • Thanks Alex – you’re so right!

      I’ve looked back on some posts in my draft box with regret. Regret that I didn’t take the plunge when it was timely because now they’re moot posts…especially when they deal with an event because unless it’s an annual thing, it’ll be harder to recycle your content into something else.

      There are others in draft that could still be finished/recycled and I hope that someday that’s something I’ll look into. πŸ™‚ Until then, I’m going to tackle this issue head on, one published post at a time.

      If you have any bloggers you want to recommend that you follow (especially those that post awesome content but perhaps aren’t as regular as others) feel free to leave those suggestions in the comments! I’m always looking for blogs to follow and engage with.

      I guess the message here is write awesome content – whether it’s twice a week or twice a month. πŸ™‚

  3. 5 Mike

    I always enjoy seeing new content here.

    I can understand the hesitation, particularly being a perfectionist. I have to go through several drafts and reviews before I publish anything (Even this comment!). I also miss the days where I could quickly get Mark and Jason to be a second set of eyes on my work – even simple stuff like a letter to the editor.

    But you have to remember that no matter how many drafts you go through, you will probably never think it is “perfect” and should just pull the trigger anyway.

    “The perfect is the enemy of the good.” – Can you name it?

    • Dearest Mike,

      I need to start this comment with a quick but heartfelt I miss you. So much so that I don’t even want to write my nickname for you in this comment. When are you coming to visit?

      Second, you’re right. A second set of eyes always puts me at ease. It’s harder to pull the trigger when you are the only one accountable for the content.

      But I love to write! And as I sift through all my drafts there are some great pieces in there that may never see the light of day beyond a “remix” tab. I swear I will get better at this…one post at a time and one comment at a time!

      P.s. I believe if I remember my philosophy right that was Dr. V as in Voltaire. πŸ˜‰

      P.p.s. Your comment about looking forward to my content made my day. Many thanks!

  4. I can relate to this post and the comments left so far. Like everyone else, my draft box is littered with the remnants of well thought out and intentioned (at the time) posts which never quite made it out of the starting gate.

    The Draft box on the WordPress App on my Android is also pretty full, as some mornings I’ll start a post on the streetcar ride downtown meaning to post it sometime during the day and they never see the light of day. In hindsight though it’s always a good thing they don’t make it. They are usually extrapolations of irate tweets against the TTC or drivers. As you stated in your first point ; I take very seriously what I put out into the world with my name on it. I try very hard to only post something I would not be ashamed of having my name attached to. Which is what your second point was all about.

    Very well written post. How many drafts did you make? πŸ™‚

    • Thanks for the comment Mike!

      As I wrote it – none. No drafts. I wrote that one in one shot and posted it. Didn’t make any revisions. It was absolutely terrifying and yet…in a way…kind of exhilarating!

      Great comment – you’re right. Some drafts probably shouldn’t be posted and won’t. But there are others I regret not posting. I guess I will look to them as lessons of blogging past. πŸ™‚

  5. Hmmm…I honestly don’t have many dead soldiers in my drafts. Just one that, when thinking of how much I was slagging a family member (who, admittedly, deserved it) decided it may be better to keep that one to myself.

    I find, for the most part I do better if I don’t second guess myself. And it always seems that the blogs I think will generate a ton of comments die a quiet death and the ones I think suck go for days.

    Oh, one last thing? It’s “cathaTic” not “catharDic”. Sorry…

    • Tobin – first of all. How the heck are ya? Been forever!!

      Secondly, I love the reference to dead soldiers. Do you know why you don’t have many drafts man? It’s because you are a really smart, funny guy. That’s how I remember you. It’s really no wonder you probably don’t draft too much – they’re all winners and get posted haha.

      As far as the spelling error – I stay true to my word that I’m not going to edit it. I knew it was there but it was posted buddy. One shot. Spelling, grammatical errors be damned!! πŸ™‚ But I appreciate the call out…heehee

      You know what – when I think about commenting on blogs it’s a little sketchy. Sometimes the posts I write get zero comments on WordPress but are retweeted and generate conversation elsewhere like on Twitter or Facebook. Really wish WordPress could capture those and put them in the comments somehow. Great discussions going on…just not always right here! I wonder if those other blogs have the same issue…never judge a blog by it’s comments (or lack thereof). πŸ™‚


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