I started a blog Dec. of 2010. I did a swan dive into the ocean of blogging and traffic and SEO and links and reading the 525,600 blog posts out there about blogging. Oh holy heck I was ready.
The first year, I was on spankin' fire! Two posts a week- I followed all of the prescriptions, I watched so many webinars, read so many books, I watched webinars about webinars and read blogs about blogging, I was so meta I was dangerous.
How Did That Work Out For You (or Is There A Blog Hell?)
The funny thing was, the more I read and researched, the less enthusiasm, energy, resolve, and flat out desire I had to keep writing online. I wrote consistently for myself in my journal. But for the bloggy blog, nah, I got tired of that.
Because I had to pick just the perfect Wordpress theme, and I had to get my headlines just right, and I had to figure out how to get all these email subscribers, and I had to blow up on social media for tweet's sake, and I had to enjoy all of this drama I was creating for myself because that's the price of following your passion, and I had to figure out how to quit my job so I can become internet famous and I'm sorry babe and kids but we can't eat right now because I have to listen to this podcast of this expert tell daddy how much he sucks because he's doing it all wrong...
Yeah, it was intense. And I don't think I was all that pleasant to be around. So naturally, my little blog wheezed it's last breath and went to blog heaven. Can we have a moment of blog silence?
The Loop Of Hiding
So how was I to quit my job and sell my products (which I didn't create because I spent my time researching and reading and comparing) to the millions (of people who don't know who I am because I haven't made caring about people a priority) and be happy?
I'm not trying to make fun of anything or anybody. There is wonderful content online and offline about blogging and writing. Me personally though, I was drowning and stressing and more words ending in "ing".
It took being vulnerable and moving to another state to a town of less than 400 people to get some much needed clarity. I realized I was in a loop of hiding.
I had convinced myself I "had to" do ________________ and if I did that, I would be successful. My writing became procedural and less me. I "had to" do this and that, which kept me going around and around, all the while I'm hiding my great work, my true, goofy, imperfect self. Read, compare, feel bad, call it research and hard work, hide my real self, wash, rinse, repeat.
Vulnerability And Wise Words From The Godfather Of Soul
I'm not saying this happens to everybody. Not at all. Perhaps though, I'm not there only one. Maybe you are in a loop of hiding in a relationship or in a spiritual way, etc. Doing what you think you have to, while hiding the real you. Out of fear or failure or perfectionism or whatever we tell ourselves so we can hide and be comfortable.
I was quite comfortable in the drama I was creating. The rub was, it went against my to help people have hope, feel like they have worth, and go help someone else. Stepping away, getting very honest with myself, and liking the real me helped break the loop.
May we all break out of our loops and be vulnerably determined to be our real, best selves. Or to put it another way:
"Watch me get up and do my thing."- James Brown
Written by: Jermaine Jay Lane
Photo by: Lauren Beck via Flickr and a Creative Commons License