I've frequently noted here that I love to write. It feeds my soul and creative urges and all that good stuff. True enough.
Now it's time to come out of the closet and talk about the hidden underside of blogging - all those little secrets the blogging pros kept mum about that few of us admit to.
First up, guilt. How can something I love to do generate guilt? Here's how. I'm not posting enough. I used to aspire to 3-4 times a week. I did that for awhile, but starting up a new business can take up a lot of time. Then there's that old "keeping up with the Joneses." Some of the bloggers I read post every day, some even every few hours. Ye gads! For a humorous look at infrequent postings, read Andy Angelos post at Venture Midwest (not a blog in my area of primary interest, but he is dating my daughter!).
The unspoken pressure continues with more "shoulds." Like adding pictures to my posts. I did that infrequently in the past, but it took me longer to find the picture than to write the post. Note to myself: buy a digital camera and take your own pictures!
As technology innovates, there are more enhancements, buttons, and tools to learn and incorporate into blogging. I pride myself on being a continuous learner, but honestly, I have reached my technology threshold. I'm at the "run screaming into the night" point. And I still have more things on my technology to do list that Phil Gerbyshak has outlined for me. I've got at least 2/3 of them done, Phil! And they are all good and necessary stuff.
Like the latest model car, blogs come in newer, better versions. Typepad was the standard bearer when I began blogging less than a year ago. WordPress take center stage now. I actually think WordPress looks better myself. Big sigh . . .
Every week Site Meter shows up in my email box, reporting my weekly stats, telling me how I'm measuring up, or not. 'Nuff said.
Here's the REAL CRUX . . . Underneath the underside . . . digging up the real expose on blogging . . .the key factor that can make or break a blogger . . . that calls for men to be real men, and women to be real women . . .that determines if readers want to return . . .have you figured it out yet?
Letting our unique voice speak through. Yeah, yeah, content is king up to a point. But when I read another blog, I'm looking for that person's voice to add the meaning to the information presented.
The majority of my blogging performance anxiety centers around my openness, or lack thereof, to letting my voice speak through my posts. How honest, transparent, strong, soft, funny, or sad do I allow my voice to be?
I'm never at a loss on blog topics to write on. What I struggle with is giving myself permission to write the actual posts before they get highjacked by ego. Once I hear those trite old false messages, centered around the fact that I don't have anything to say on the topic, no one cares about the topic, or it doesn't fit in with my blog theme, I begin to procrastinate.
Does anyone else out there struggle with this ego-induced inhibition? I'd love to know how you work through it, or better yet, how you circumvent it altogether.
Fortunately, what keeps me writing - the pain I feel when I don't write. Encouragement I receive from other bloggers reinforces my self-trust when it wobbles. Occasionally I look back to old posts I wrote months ago and feel in awe of my work. Not because it is brilliant. But because my real voice shined through in all its authentic humanness, as it did in Home - At Last.
It is only when I am in the space of my heart that my genuine voice can speak freely. That's the whole point, isn't it?