It might come as a surprise to some, but *clears throat and prepares for hate mail* blogging ain’t always easy. There, I said it.
Oh ffs, hold the millennial hardship sob story while I wipe my tears with my GF rye bread please, hun.
I hear ya and I swear I’m not having a moan up. I love everything about the process of creating a blog post.
Plucking an idea from my brain, kneading it into a workable – yet still very undone and human – piece of writing and creating images that make my words go further? It’s always going to be a novelty to me.
Sometimes I open my laptop and expect the words to flow out like a pony’s sandy mane on a spring day and occasionally, they do but a lot of the time, they don’t.
And it’s frustrating as hell.
Even when you’re a ‘creative type’ you still have to work at it and you’ve got to be prepared for those times when you’re all blocked up.
Sadly, there’s no literary laxative you can swallow to get your blogging bowels moving again. Not that I know of anyway, but if you do then please let a girl know.
You’ve just gotta wait it out.
It’s fine. Have a banana, grab a coffee. Nature will take its course eventually, even if it seems like your brain will never be able to string words together ever again.
We can’t thrive all the time but what we can do is understand why we’re at a bit of a crossroads and learn to take a deep breath before we decide where we’re going to go from here.
Your confidence is there, I promise, but much like your needy Tamagotchi, you’ve probably just forgotten to feed it for a while.
Here’s a few things I’ve found helpful when I’m lacking in blogging inspo and confidence.
Don’t force it
If your inspiration isn’t there, learn to let sleeping dogs lie. Shut your laptop, put down your notepad and binge on The Crown instead. Seriously.
It might feel like the last thing you should be doing when you’re stuck for ideas but if you try and produce work when you’re feeling less than inspired, then you can hardly expect your readers to feel enthused by it either.
It’s ok to feel uninspired. With a hobby or indeed a career that demands your creative best at all times, it’s kind of a given that you’re going to succumb to the pressure that comes with that. The ink is gonna dry up from time to time.
If I’m not proud of it, it doesn’t get published. That’s my number one rule.
I would sooner create one great post than ten easily forgettable ones. I want my readers to leave my blog feeling better than they did when they got here. I don’t want to disappoint them with half-arsed sh*t.
Maybe I’m missing out on the SEO return and the Google rewards because of that but, if that’s the case, faaaack it. I am a goddamn tortoise not a hare.
Stop comparing yourself to others
Seriously, Lareese, you’ve got nothing else in your locker? Ok, an Oprah Winfrey quote it is not but it just so happens to be a) easily overlooked and b) even more easily done.
The best and the most powerful thing you can be is yourself. Not just in the blogging world but in your greater existence, too.
I know, I am an orange Dorito cliché waiting to stab you in the roof of your mouth, aren’t I?
Someone else might write the most incredibly relatable content. The kind of posts that rock your world and make you want to live your life differently. Before you know, you’re fan girling all over her.
Her new rug. Her cat. Her cystitis. You love all of her mmmk.
Another blogger might create Instagram Stories so innovative and cinematic, they look like they’re fresh out of a picturehouse.
I happen to consider myself pretty good at talking to strangers to get to their dogs – we all shine in different ways.
I use that example because I’m currently sat in a coffee shop (bloggahhh innit) and my favourite dog has just walked in. So if you’re wondering why this post has suddenly derailed up a four-legged sidetrack, again – that’s why fellas.
The dog’s name is Louis. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll probably be thinking, wait, I thought the wiry dog was her favourite?
Well, it’s a dog eat dog world out there my ol’ pals and the wiry dog has since abdicated the thrown, maybe temporarily, maybe forever, who knows.
There’s a new top dog in town. And I think his owner actively avoids me but hey, I digress.
You’ll be pretty amazed at what you can achieve when you just allow yourself to be you (you can read more on that front, here).
Turns out no one else is more qualified for the job.
Don’t be bitter, be better
Again, this elaborates on the idea of comparison.
Like most things, blogging can be a tough and competitive gig – especially when you’re just starting out and constantly being reminded of everyone else’s achievements, every time you open that app.
A collaboration with an amazing brand, engagement higher than my voice after ten gins (FYI oh, it’s high) and a press trip to Neverland, probably.
‘Why is she doing so much better than me? What’s wrong with me?’
No. Don’t go there, Karen. Don’t do it.
There’s no magic formula to success and personally, I think there’s nothing more encouraging than seeing people – people a lot like you – having their time.
Don’t be bitter, be better. Bitter is ugly and it’s draining.
Celebrate their achievements with them, raise them up and use it as an opportunity to learn and to be inspired.
Are they doing something inventive?
It’s not down to them to up your game, it’s down to you.
Let go of perfect
From algorithm hacks to rules on captions and how often you should be posting, everyone’s got an opinion on how to ‘make it’.
But, here’s an idea, what if no one really knows what the f*ck they’re doing?
Narrator: they did not know what they were doing.
It’s like the blind leading the blind, even if their eyeliner tells a different story.
It might be tempting to try and emulate the kinds of images and posts you think you should be creating, just because they seem to be working well for other people.
But trying to be someone else is like trying to walk on an escalator when it’s not moving. Your brain wants to do one thing, your feet another and before you know it you’ve tripped up and been turned into a meme.
Find what you do best and stick to it and more than that, stick to what makes you happy.
Your blog is your space and you of all people should feel at home there.
You have permission to take ownership of it and to do things your way. I’m a chronic people pleaser to my core – if I can learn to trust my own advice, you can too. Your blog is never going to appeal to everybody and that’s ok.
So you’re not a big blogger, huh? Don’t let that hold you back. Believe it or not, everyone starts in the same place… right at the beginning.
We all suffer from impostor syndrome but if you make it your business to have fun with your blog and to honour the reason that made you start in the first place, then you can never be outed for being anything other than yourself.
Perhaps, you’re thinking of starting a blog (more on conquering the newbie fear here) but you’re giving your inhibitions too much airtime. Well, instead of convincing yourself of all the reasons you shouldn’t start, consider why you should.
Love you bye.