In the blogging and writing world it is easy to look at others and want to imitate them. In one of my first blogging experiences, I looked enviously at other bloggers. They seemed to know their niche and own it, with great success.
I remember one guy blogged about being in the military. He had rich and vibrant stories about serving our country that were interesting. There was another blogger that shared his life after becoming a paraplegic in a car accident. And there was a woman that blogged about her life as an educator, and her love for coffee. These three blogs and others were great, and as I read them it left me feeling intimidated by their success. Everyone had a large following, that garnered numerous comments, and responses to their post from all over the world. It was amazing, I thought, as I wanted that type of blogging success. So I decided to start my own blog.
In that time, I had an urge to blog about my son with special needs, but I didn’t have the confidence that came with sharing such personal and intimate details of our life. So, I wrote about things that I believed people wanted to read. I talked about tv shows, I threw in a few jokes, or I wrote silly quotes. I said things that I wouldn’t normally say, as I looked for comments and followers. When there was little or no engagement with my post, I felt disappointed, which decreased my writing and post, and eventually, I ceased blogging altogether.
After that blogging experience, and a few others, where I struggled to locate who I was in the blogging world, I learned a few things.
1- Know who you are, and be yourself – I knew who I was at the time. I was a young woman in my 20s, with a son who had special needs. I was juggling school, work, and many other responsibilities. However, I did not believe that my life was enough to capture an audience. I thought my post that I shared on my blog, had to be amazing and spectacular for someone to want to read it. Wrong, I discovered. Just accept who you are, be yourself, and people will read your blog.
2- Don’t fake it – Some people have it wrong, they believe that you can fake your way to success, as they quote the line, “Fake it, until you make it.” And perhaps that has happened to some people. (I don’t know any.) Faking it takes work, after a while, the truth will be revealed. It is best to know your craft or niche, and become an expert, instead of faking being something that you are NOT.
3- Believe in yourself – I know this one is simple, but I didn’t believe in myself or that I could help others with sharing that I had a son with special needs. “Who wants to hear that?”, I would say. Now I believe that my life story is not only interesting, but is one that can help people.
4- Have patience – Success for some people can be immediate. There are stories of people becoming overnight sensations, from being discovered in a grocery store, while shopping, or singing or dancing on social media. Yet, for the majority of us, it will take a lot of hard work and dedication. This is where I learned that patience is required. Patience for me was not sitting around being inactive or lazy, but it was actively learning and growing, as a writer and blogger.
Learning from my early mistakes in blogging has changed my life completely. I no longer look enviously at other bloggers or writers, with a desire to have their life or success. Instead I look at who I am, knowing and believing that I have a wonderful life story to give to the world.