Why in the world would you want to blog when no one reads it?
There they go again, those damn voices, running through my head: Who are you to think you could write a blog? You’re not an expert at anything, are you? You don’t have a creative arts degree, don’t bloggers need that to write a blog? You aren’t qualified, are you? WTH?
Shut up already!
Nope, I’m none of those things. It’s just me. An ordinary, 53-year-old; with a quirky, adventuresome take on life and I write a blog. Period.
Tell me I can’t, and I’ll say, “Well…why not?”
I’m not new to writing.
In high school, I wrote a journal. For some reason, I kept it. I came across it last year (jeez…last year, it was only yesterday…). “There’s no reason I should leave behind my high school journal. Depressing sh*t I wouldn’t want anyone, let alone my kids to read again when I’m gone. It has no place here.” I sat down, read it again, finished the dismal details, and tossed it in a bag. Burning things is cathartic.
There you have it, my first documented experience at writing, gone up in glorious smoke.
The perfect motivation to start a blog, right?
Last November, (only a 60 days ago!) I took a different approach to my blogging. A learning approach, to discover what it is really about. (I started the blog a year before that when I decided to go gray. One successful endeavor at a time folks!). I’ve been keeping track of why I blog ever since. I find it important to see growth don’t ya know?
With mediocre stats and daily practice under my belt, I said, “Enough is enough.” I set goals and jumped in with all 4 feet (actually 5′ 3 1/2″ inches of me).
And then, there I sat. Wondering what the hell I was doing.
No matter what ‘how-to’ I read, or where I looked, there were successful bloggers, those in between, and those starting out. I was stymied. Where did I fit in? I had no clue.
Right there in front of me was a challenge.
I had a motivational conversation with myself, “Holy crap, this isn’t high school all over again. Where do I fit in? Do I fit in? How in the hell do I navigate when I’m the teacher and the student at the same time?”
I knew I had to stop thinking like that, after all, “I’m older, wiser, and I know it isn’t that I lacked motivation.” I wrote a post every day (almost…mostly, okay, so, yeah, on occasion I did take a break…) leading up to 11/1/17. I created a habit I enjoy (crave). So, it had to be something else? But what?
Look around…what do you see…two inquisitive (empathetic) eyes looking back at thee… She’s adorable…and so wise for her age. My youngest daughter said, “Sorry to say it, Mom, but you have to reach out to other people. You can’t just blog and not get yourself out there by commenting and sharing with other bloggers.”
(There they were, echoing in my head, the scariest words ever…commenting and sharing; commenting and sharing; commenting and sharing; wasn’t writing all I needed to do?…I’m defeated; I’m an introvert, we don’t do that kind of stuff; sure if someone contacts me, yeah, I can, but…to be the first to reach out…oh, my, I don’t know if I can?)
What did I do? I ventured out into the cold, invested time reaching out, and ran back to safety as needed. That darn comfort zone drew me in until I’d remind myself of the goal.
The hell with it – the only one that knows I’ve been hiding is ME (and now you…)! After tracking my progress for the past 60 days, I’m here to say, my lack of knowledge about reaching out into the blogging world held me back.
60 days ago, I was tickled with my stats of 1 view (at least someone read it). I looked closer and discovered – I was my one and only true fan. An important fan I was (am). On that sad day, I told my husband and he said, “I read your blog every day.” Okay, so maybe I wasn’t my only fan. That 1 view stat kept me writing each day.
My hopes of reaching someone else, someday, we’re secondary all along. Now that I’ve finally had some fellow bloggers reach out to me, and me to them, it’s a whole new exciting part of conversational blogging! Despite what I started to think about myself, I’m not too old to make new friends.
As a 50-something, learning-as-I-go-blogger, I am a-o-kay with not knowing everything there is to know about WordPress. It’s the chase of learning something new and meeting people I enjoy. And blogging is the place to do just that.
Finally, it is a great feeling to leave behind those (horrible; no good; leave behind me; good riddance) voices saying, “Oh, I don’t know…that’s pretty scary stuff, and yep, that’s why no-one is reading your blog.”