I’m sure this comes as no surprise to regular readers, but I have been rather sluggish in the blog department lately.
On the one hand there were all those early shifts I did in early April, that necessitated getting up at 4.15am, working 12 hours from 5.30am to 5.30pm, and leaving me so bone exhausted that I did nought before bed except eat, shower and get my clothes ready for the next day.
Then there were the delicious easter holidays that even I, a shift worker, managed to get off. What did I do with them? Watched a Buffy marathon all weekend whilst snuggled up to my beloved, then hit the town every night for clubs or gigs. All in all, very exhausting – every single night of the 5 was booked! So I guess, life itself was a little more important to me at the time.
At the end of the day, I think it’s often about insecurity – you know, “how is my blog any different/better than any of the zillion others out there?”, or even, a vague sense of confusion - ”what am I doing this for anyway?”, and “am I writing about what I want to be writing about, or that anyone wants to read?” Ooh, weighty questions indeed….
I do think there are different personalities that influence how you behave as a blogger. There are people out there who are always quite sure of themselves, regardless of whether the work they’re producing is any good (you know, like those flat singers who audition for “You’ve Got Talent” and are indignant when they don’t get through )…and in blogging, just that cocky confidence can get you a long way.
Then there are those of us more sensitive types who agonise over the quality of our work, who don’t just want to put out another article with “5 ways to…”, or posts comprised of a stream of pics nicked from Style.com. What we have to remember is that often our Inner Critic is the harshest one we have, and we need to tell him to shut the hell up for a bit and let us get on with it!
We need to cultivate our inner counsellor, the one that says “you CAN do it – just make a start! You’ve got lots of strengths, you know”. Too often we don’t even realise that we are already following inner critic’s advice without question.
Things to ask yourself: What am I scared of? What is the worst that can happen? List them, and see what the knowledge does for you.
Sometimes, though, even answering those questions and seeing that you won’t die if the worst came true, isn’t enough to get you over the hump. Like a contestant on the Biggest Loser who lugs a 20kg backpack up a huge sand dune, you see the top as insurmountable, and cannot take another step.
Sometimes you have to take another tack.
Somewhere between Inner Critic and Inner Counsellor, there is Inner Coach. Every one of us has the ability to challenge ourselves, and sometimes this is the only way.
Let your Inner Coach ask you :
do you know what your goal is? Are you really doing all you can to achieve it? Really REALLY??
Or have you let yourself get blase, and still expect to see results? Like the ghost of Christmas future, let the spirit of blogging enable you to see the future, if you continue on your current course of action – or lack of it. Is it dire? Then what the bloody hell are you going to do about it? Let the fire burn in your belly, and then flow out through your pen to paper, or computer screen.
This is where the brainstorming and the lists come in. This is also where you may face some hard truths: are you willing to work hard enough for the payoff? Or not? If not, are you happy to amble along in the slow lane? It is better to face facts and adjust your expectations – you’ll be happier for it.
Wherever you or I are at now, we can achieve more if we really mean to, and are willing to act despite our fears. For further reading, I highly suggest you pore over the extremely helpful post from Sarah Wilson, “create and silence your doubt” - go on!
Those of us who regularly struggle with self doubt, CAN find confidence and inspiration, as we get better at shutting up our Inner Critic, gain comfort from our Inner Counsellor, and get motivation from our Inner Coach. (Even if the 3 C’s idea is naff!)
Do you have some inspirational links to add? Ways of silencing your inner critic? Let me know!