Blogging Through the Doubt

Blogging consistently is hard.

It doesn’t seem hard on the surface. Pick a topic, hammer out some words, spell-check it, call it a day. And to support this thesis, there are tonnes of blogs out there, on every single topic imaginable. Writing, art, money, knitting, the same picture of Dave Coulier every single day. And they seem to constantly have fresh posts daily, sometimes hourly, post after post about new topics, fresh advice, brand new content. Well, except for the Dave Coulier one, I guess.

With this overwhelming volume of words being put online, wave after wave, it might be hard for someone to continue their own blog. It’s easy to ask yourself, “What’s the point? Someone else has probably talked about this. They’ve probably talked about it better. Why should I cover it?” Or perhaps even the more insidious, “Who am I to even blog about this topic? Who on Earth would listen to me?” (I personally deal with this last one quite a bit.)

That first batch of questions, the one where you’re wondering why blog about something someone else has likely blogged about before, has some weight to it. It feels right. Why duplicate information? It’s all already out there.

But the thing is, sometimes it isn’t. Or sometimes it is, but it’s too old, too far back, people have forgotten about it. At the speed the Internet works, something that was new a week ago is already old news. And if it’s a year old? Yeah, go right ahead, that thing needs a refresher. There are very few blog posts that really survive year after year. So go ahead and write about that subject again, with your own personal take.

Furthermore, when it comes to writing about writing, bear in mind: there are new writers coming up every day, who need to hear these things. They haven’t read the blog posts. They haven’t been around long enough to know what the veterans consider obvious. They don’t know, but they want to know. And maybe you can be the one to teach them about the submission process, about editing, about contracts, about whatever a newbie must learn.

But what about that other question? The one that asks who are you to speak on such things?

Creative-types, we all know this voice. This is the voice of self-doubt. It haunts you in all the things you create, asking you who would care about this story you’re working on, who would care to slough through these words. This story has been told before anyway. Nothing new under the sun. Who would bother to read yours?

This is a terrible voice which you have to ignore if you’re going to get work done. Fear and self-doubt are killers of the creative process, and that includes blogging. If you worry about not being an expert on a topic, then do some reading, do some research. Draft your opinions and analyze them critically. Discuss them with others, to get feedback. If you put in the energy into developing a thoughtful opinion on a subject, whether through active effort or through experience, then you are exactly the person who should be discussing that topic.

Don’t be shy about blogging. If you have a subject you feel passionate, disregard the fact that anyone else has done it. Contribute your voice to the conversation, share your own experience. And don’t worry if you’re the right person to discuss the subject. If it’s on your mind, if you have thought-out opinions and clear, researched information, don’t let doubt get in your way.