Today, I am focusing on my intended audience for my blog as part of blogging 101.
I’ve been sitting here writing draft after draft for potential audiences I thought would enjoy my blog; however, it’s still new, and I’m still trying to figure out what I’m writing about. I have ideas, obviously, but there’s no telling what I’ll actually publish here in the future.
I wrote one draft to another college graduate struggling to figure out their way in life; I wrote to someone like one of my best friend’s who absolutely hates their career. However, I hated the way each of these felt, so I’m writing to myself because right now I might be my intended audience.
However, don’t let that stop you from continuing to read. You’ll probably discover quite a bit about me. Go ahead and get comfortable though because I can tell this is going to be a longer post.
Are you ready? Ok, here we go.
My first blog was back in 2004, so I’m not new to this blogging thing at all. However, you had to be my friend before you saw my posts, and I had different lists that people could be on based on what they and I wanted them to see. I also blogged under a penname.
I’ve blogged off and on since then under that username, but I took a more permanent break once I graduated in 2012. I stopped writing entirely despite how many times I’ve discussed how writing is my therapy in that blog. It’s the way I de-stress from life and escape my own experiences for a while, or in some cases, work through my problems.
I’ve been pushing writing away because of various reasons, and I feel like my writing has suffered because of my hiatus. I no longer feel adept at putting words together, and when I do write, I feel like it’s a giant list of adverbs (“really” and “very” are my worst offenders!). I’ve gotten worse with my writing, or I’m more aware of my shortcomings. Either way, I’m not happy.
But there’s this huge part of me that still wants to be a published writer someday, so I took the plunge and started this blog. And I publish it under my name. It’s exhilarating and terrifying, much like how I imagine this person must feel.
You see, I want to share my stories with others in hopes that they might affect someone the way that they and other books have affected me. It’d be awesome if I could earn a living wage doing it, but that’s probably wishful thinking.
I actually had a chance to apply to work for a local newspaper (and get paid for it!), and I never submitted a resume because I was scared to death of what people would think of my writing and me. I was also afraid I wouldn’t have enough to write about or that I wouldn’t be very good at it because I had never taken journalism classes.
I didn’t even try to apply!
Sadly, I do that with a lot of things. I sell myself short all the time. And it’s not just because I am physically short.
I’m still shy when I first meet people, and I have such self-doubt in myself. It’s probably not a good thing to admit that here, but I’m going to challenge myself to be honest here. It’s not just in my writing either. Self-confidence is something I need to work on, but the voice inside my head is constantly bullying me.
I’m a perfectionist as well; I don’t care if other people make mistakes, but I am not allowed. Or at least, that’s what I tell myself. It’s hard to get myself to stop being that way, but I’m hoping that by putting myself out there in the Realm of the Internet where nothing can be erased I’ll learn that mistakes will not kill me. I can learn to forgive myself and move on. Although, you’d be sad to know how many different titles I gave this post, and I’m still not happy with it. Grr.
I can learn to stop listening to the bully in my head and the bullies from my life. I can accept the faults that I have and make them into my strengths.
I still have only told a handful of people who know me that I am a writer because of all of this. The majority do not know because I’m afraid of the outcome. I still hear my cousin’s voice asking me why I’d want to be a writer and the sound of her laughter. She discovered it on my old AOL profile years ago when I was first starting to write stories; she and her sisters hounded me about it. I’m not sure if it was to be intentionally mean or if they were just curious. They were never readers though, so it could have just been curiosity.
Ever since then, I have this terrible feeling in the pit of my stomach that there’s something wrong with me for choosing to write. Or, worse, what if I’m not good? What if I write a story that’s complete trash and they start talking about it like some do about Twilight?
I’ve let fear dictate my life a long time. I’ve let my self-confidence prevent me from many opportunities that I’ll never get back. I feel like I’m still a kid hiding behind my mother at the bus stop because I’m too afraid to introduce myself to the other kid waiting for the bus. (Seriously, my mother had to introduce me to my first friend.)
I’m ready for something new. I’m going to take the risk and hope it works out. I may not be entirely ready to shout from the top of the mountains to my family and friends that I’m a writer, but I’m on my way up.
I hope the view will be worth the climb.
I don’t know how long it’ll take to get there, but I think I’ll discover that this blog makes all the difference. It’ll be the good, the bad, and the ugly of the journey. It’ll be a challenge to be me because of my confidence and more so due to the self-loathing bully that lives in my head, but maybe I can finally get rid of her for good.
I’m going to learn to own this writing thing and all the lovely things that make me who I am. I’m going to learn to wear them with pride. I’m going to make mistakes, and I’m going to enjoy every single one of them (once I get over the panic they cause of course!).
It might not be the best way to build this supposed author platform I need to have to publish, but if I become a stronger person than I am now, it’ll be worth it.
If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading. Here’s a video that contains a song that I find perfect for this journey right now.
*featured image from Pixabay
I don’t know what to ask you this time around, so please share whatever you’d like to. I love hearing from you and connecting with you in the comments!