I almost decided to quit my blog.
In fact, since I started this blog a little over a month ago, the frequency of my posts has taken quite a nosedive.
At first, I was beyond excited about the prospect of blogging. I had all these awesome ideas, the creative juices were flowing, I was having a blast designing the site, and I just couldn’t put my computer down.
And then I started sharing my work.
I created a Facebook page. The first few “likes” brought pure joy to my heart. Within 48 hours I had almost 40 likes from my friends and family. I was on fire! A few people even liked or loved the posts I was sharing. Not too bad!
But then that started to taper off. My friends had run out. Each time I posted, I saw no more engagement than I had in the previous post. In fact, sometimes I’d see less engagement. That stung.
As a person who tends to be (unwisely) motivated by how much I impress people, I had most definitely hit a wall. SMACK!
That collision led to all kinds of fun questions, like:
- Is my current audience interested in the content I’m posting?
- Is the content I’m posting interesting to anyone?
- Maybe I boxed myself in too tightly with the theme of my blog! Who cares about cubicle life anyway?!
- Can I go outside the realm of the cubicle world? What will happen if I do that? Will it still make sense? Will people judge me for not posting cubicle-related stuff?
- Wait a minute, what if people are judging me for posting cubicle stuff??!!
Not a helpful rabbit hole to lead myself down, if I’m being honest with myself.
My perfectionism and my tendency to want to do things exactly right so that they make sense to everyone (as crazy as that sounds) were causing me to panic. How could I possibly cater to every single person who reads my blog AND keep in line with my theme AND write about things I’m passionate about all at once?
Totally caught up in this spiral of death, I almost decided to just call it quits.
Except I didn’t. Of course I didn’t. Because here I am, writing again.
After that moment (or week) of anxiety over my blog, I thought to myself, why stop blogging just because I don’t know exactly what I want to write about yet?
Why stop blogging just because I don’t have as many readers as I would like?
Why stop blogging because I think people are judging me?
I started this blog because I had a passion, didn’t I? A creative idea? I wanted to write. I love writing. I wanted to help people. I love helping people. I wanted to make a difference in someone’s life. Even one person. That’s important to me.
None of the other stuff is important to me…the likes and the engagement and the opinions of others. It feels important when I’m all caught up in my anxiety, but it really isn’t. Those things aren’t values of mine.
What I do value is doing things authentically, speaking honestly about my experiences, and providing my perspective on things I’m passionate about.
What I do value is following what brings me joy – writing and helping people.
That’s why I’m still writing. That’s why I’ll continue to write. Even if it’s not in this blog. Even if it’s something else entirely – a different blog or a novel or a short story…as long as it stays true to what I value, that’s all that really matters.
In what areas of life does your perfectionism try to convince you that quitting would be easier? Do you have any specific tools you use to combat this tendency?