February 22, 2013

Blog Better | Advice on Unsupportive Peers


   This is the first post in my new series, Blog Better. Think of it as "coffee talk" for all of us crazy blog ladies. The purpose is to provide helpful information, and to bring together all types of bloggers on a variety of experience levels. I wanted the first post to relate to everyone, and this is something I  have personally struggled with myself.


   When i started my first blog it was completely anonymous for the first 4-5 months. I'm from a small town and blogging, graphic design, et cetera just isn't that well known or understood where I live. I've always been very self-conscious of what others thought of me. Even as I write this post I catch myself wondering how a few specific people will react. It's a curse.

   I was too shy in high school to participate in anything that might attract attention. Starting a blog meant doing something out of the ordinary and stirring up gossip. I was blogging because I loved it, and because I loved the design aspect of it. And for all that time I was fine with having my own personal blog that got 4 page views a month from complete strangers. 

   After a while, I was craving the kind of correspondence that I was seeing between other writers. I wanted guest posts. I wanted link parties. All of those things are impossible to achieve when you don't even have your name posted on your site. I can't remember when, or what the deciding factor was, but one day I wrote up a basic "about" page and published it to the blog. It was so liberating to be able to blog without carrying the burden of what everyone thought about it. I started linking the site to my social media pages and promoting my posts through them.

   The first person to compliment me on the blog was a girl from my work. She went on about how cool she thought it was, and that she read all the posts. I was so excited. It was such a small compliment but it honestly meant a lot to me at the time. Every so often I would hear about someone making a negative comment about the site. There were also friends of mine who knew about the blog but felt so uncomfortable about it that they avoided me altogether. But I was doing something that made me happy and I had worked too hard to let it ruin the experience for me.


   When you find something that you truly enjoy, just forget the rest. All you're doing when you consider other's negativity is wasting precious time. I know for some it seems like common sense and for others it may seem like a complete impossibility, but learning to let go of your insecurities will open you up to so many things you never knew were an option for you. Even now when someone I didn't know was a reader mentions the blog to me, I get a small rush of panic before I realize that it's always great news!

   A friend of mine did a presentation over blogging and brought my page up on the projector screen in her classroom. When she told me, it was the same thing. Rush of panic, then a huge sense of gratitude. Maybe I haven't completely let go of my insecurities. Maybe I'll always be this way. But I've come leaps and strides from where I was and I am so much happier with my life today because of it.

   Celebrate every achievement. Overcelebrate. When I get new followers Nate and I will go out for "celebratory coffee" or order dessert with dinner. Do small things to mark important moments. Surround yourself with supportive peers. The most important thing is to say thank you. Appreciate your readers. Even if there are only 4 of them be grateful that they took a few minutes out of their day to click on your page. If there is someone in particular that you're worried about seeing your blog, I dare you to send them the link. If there is someone in your life who is unsupportive of your work, I dare you to recommend one of your recent posts to them. Be proud of what you're doing and wear it on your sleeve.

   

2 comments :

  1. Opening up is always tough but, once you let go it gets easier. Awesome post!

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  2. I definitely know what you mean about changing and deleting your words. Honestly, it's something I think takes a constant effort to push past. Worrying about others' judgement never completely goes away, but it definitely gets easier as you go along.

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