The Biggest Challenge Most Bloggers Face

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The biggest challenge most bloggers face is not a lack of ideas for content because coming up with ideas for content is simple. No, the biggest challenge most bloggers face is having faith in their own writing.

You could say that the genesis of this post comes from the guest post that Lindsay Bell wrote at Spin Sucks about The Art of Storytelling. I highly encourage you to read the post because storytelling is a critical skill that can be applied to every part of your life.

Anyway, in the comments I shared my standard piece of advice about writing:

A good story doesn’t have to be long. It just needs to have a beginning, middle and end that doesn’t taste like cardboard and sawdust.

Good writing doesn’t have to be complex. Simple is usually better.  Just tell your tale in a way that people can relate to and remember.

It should be easy except sometimes we lack the confidence that we should have in our ability to communicate with others.

Have Faith In Your Writing

I intentionally used the word we in the sentence before the subhead because I am not immune to this. There are more than a few moments where I look at my words and wonder why I can’t craft something that is more elegant than the crap I see on the page.

If you ask me to name the biggest challenges I have in writing this book I will tell you that there are two things time and confidence. In a perfect world I would have no problem heading off to a beach house or mountain resort to do nothing but work on my manuscript.

It wouldn’t matter if it took a day, a week or six months because I would have the time and ability to do nothing but focus on finishing it.

But that wouldn’t address all of the issues. It wouldn’t fix the question of confidence. I know that I have some skill with words and that I am proficient at punching out content with more speed and accuracy than most people can.

What I don’t know is if that skill translates into storytelling on the scale that I am trying to do it. This project is officially bigger than any I have ever taken on before. People have told me that they like it. Some have said that they love it and a few have told they really dislike it.

That is all fine with me and something that I expect. I am not trying to please everyone. At the moment the most important person in this equation is me.

Nothing happens until I finish. And unless I have faith in my writing and confidence that the words flow there is little point in continuing. So out of force of habit I force myself to keep going. I quiet the self editor in my head and write and if past experience is any measure of the truth the story is better than I give it credit.

Have faith in your writing because it usually is better than you think.

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  1. Hajra January 4, 2012 at 12:24 am

    I am highly guilty of self doubt. I always have this feeling that I might be not able to convey what I actually am thinking and the audience might not be able to get what I am really talking about.

    The main point we need to focus on is how well we are telling what we really feel and just write, it is up to the audience to connect.

    Just write!

    Thanks for the motivation I so needed!

  2. Cathy January 3, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    I am getting better at having the confidence. Either that, I’ve just lowered my expectations while simultaneously casting off the care of what other people think. I know why I write now. It’s for me and if others want to enjoy or critique – so be it. Thanks Jack!

  3. Bill Dorman January 3, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Interesting thoughts; I do believe we all have that moment of self doubt at times and wonder what people are really thinking when they read our work. Are they just being polite, or do they really like it?

    Like you said, we have to be somewhat selfish and just write for ourselves. That’s the whole attitude I took for social because ‘me’ is the only thing I can control.

    Then the question is, ‘what is good enough’? If you want to take it to the next level, what does that look like? And if you make it to that level, do you want to jump again?

    Just makes you go hmmmmm at times.

    You are doing fine and yes, you seem to be able to crank it out w/ relative ease. Just keep on keepin’ on my friend.

    • Jack January 3, 2012 at 4:41 pm

      The answer to your question is subjective and something that might evolve.

      There have been moments where I wondered if I could build the blog into something that generated a 100k uniques or more each month.

      That would be quite an accomplishment but the question I asked myself was whether I cared enough to make it happen.

      I decided that I have other goals that need to be addressed first. They may change or they may stay. In the interim I am just trying to have fun.

      Good to see you.

  4. Mark January 3, 2012 at 11:12 am

    Thanks for writing this blog post just for me… you didn’t have to do that Jack!

  5. Danny Brown January 3, 2012 at 7:32 am

    Sterling advice, mate. I’m a firm believer in the “write for yourself, the rest is a bonus” approach. Be happy with what you write and you’re sure to find an audience.

    Cheers, sir, and Happy New Year!

    • Jack January 3, 2012 at 10:41 am

      No argument with that whatsoever. It irritates me when I read posts that sound like the writer is trying to please people.

      I want to know what they think.

  6. Joe January 3, 2012 at 6:44 am

    Does it really matter if other people like it? Isn’t the only thing that matters is your desire to write it, make it your own, and in the end, say to yourself “Damn, I like it”?…

    Yes, Jack, you’re right. It IS a lot better than you think…

    • Jack January 3, 2012 at 10:45 am

      Hi Joe,

      I rarely spend a moment wondering or worrying what people think about what I have written.

      However when it comes to the story for the book I take a different tack. I care about that because I am trying to write a story that people enjoy and will hopefully purchase.

      Although if I had to rank things in order of importance I’d list finishing/publishing the book above all other things.

      It is all an adventure. Appreciate your support, thank you.

  7. Absence/Alternatives January 3, 2012 at 6:30 am

    Sometimes I would delay on doing something simply because I am afraid of facing the reality that the end result will suck and it will mean that I am not as good as I’d like to think. It’s a mental block hard for me to break…

    • Jack January 3, 2012 at 10:46 am

      I think that many if not all of us have similar challenges. It is not easy to put ourselves out there which is why sometimes I think that we need to force it out.

      That sort of practice helps us break the block and makes it less likely to get caught by it later.

  8. Harleena Singh January 3, 2012 at 6:15 am

    So very true Jack!

    I think this happens to the best of us. We tend to think our writing is not good enough or we lack our own voice, which is the biggest challenge most of face. I guess with the new year and new resolutions, this is one aspect most of us can cover and cater for.

    Thanks for the reminder and wishing you a wonderful new year ahead 🙂

    • Jack January 3, 2012 at 10:48 am

      Hi Harleena,

      Happy New Year to you too. The focus on our finding our own voice and ignoring the whispers inside our head is really important.

      There are significant benefits to those who can answer the call.

  9. Lindsay Bell January 3, 2012 at 4:18 am

    Jack, I have spent the last half hour reading through your blog. It’s funny, isn’t it….how we all have those niggling moments of self doubt (for some of us, a lifetime!), yet I can’t fathom how *you* would. Ever. Brilliant stuff. Not sure how I missed this blog, but I’m so happy I’ve found it. 🙂
    Thanks so much for mentioning me in this piece. We all need a kick in the arse at times, a confidence kick start, so to speak. I look forward to reading more from you. Cheers!

    • Jack January 3, 2012 at 10:52 am

      Hi Lindsay,

      Welcome to the blog. I worry about people who never question themselves. I am a very confident person and have been accused of having a big ego.

      That may or may not be true but I wouldn’t ever say that I don’t wonder or worry. It happens.

      One of the funnier things about blogging is the reception that some posts receive. Some of the things that I like best are ignored and some of the weaker are praised.

      Anyhoo, I hope that you continue to visit. Thank you again.

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