Does blogging stress you out?
I’m a writer who loves nothing more than settling in at the keyboard, but sometimes blogging stresses me out.
What stresses me out most about blogging is the long, tired list of “shoulds” that plague my blogger’s conscience.
I *should* write more frequently.
I *should* write more regularly.
I *should* focus more on SEO.
I *should* pick a #@^$! niche and stick to it.
I *should* publish more list posts.
I *should* labor over my headlines.
I *should* seek out some guest post opportunities.
I *should* reorganize my categories and tags.
… and so on (and on, and on)
All these “shoulds” weigh heavy on my mind and heart.
They leave me feeling like I’m doing it wrong, like I don’t deserve blogging success.
I look at the blogs of other branding/marketing/writing folks that I admire, and I think, “Wow. They really have it together. How can I compete? I’ll never be like them.”
Have you done that, too?
Stop. Right. There.
As Jon Stewart says, “Meet me at camera 1.”
Hi. Let’s chat. Whether you’re a newbie afraid to start blogging or an old hack feeling beaten down by years of less-than-stellar blogging results, I’d like to invite you to kick all your blogging shoulds to the curb. Seriously. They aren’t doing you any favors and you’ll be way better off without them.
The trouble with shoulds is that they suck all the joy out of a thing. They turn it from an adventure into an obligation. They kill your creative impulse and leave you with nothing but a husk of something that used to be a good idea but is now just you going through the motions.
Shoulds spring from the muck of comparison. Just think – if you weren’t comparing yourself to another person or some universal standard, would you have any idea what you “should” do? Nope. You wouldn’t. You’d just have to figure things out on your own – experiment, moodle, PLAY.
Playing is a good thing.
Strategy is a good thing, too; but play is better.
The myth of best practices tells us that there is only one way to do something right. It tells us how we should do a thing in order to do it correctly. But, the truth is that there are no best practices. What works for one person may not work for another. And what works for you today may not work for you tomorrow.
If blogging is stressing you out, find a way to make it fun again. Try something different. Forget the so-called rules. Stop trying to be someone else. Do what feels right to you. Relax. Play. Give yourself a break.
Ditch the shoulds and try out some “want to’s” instead. What do you want to do? How do you want to feel? What do you want to say? How do you want to say it?
Go with that and let me know how you make out.
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