Blogging101 · Growing Up

Learning to Ignore the Negative

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.

Bike jumping off cliff
From Pixabay

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.

The word "bully" with bullying tactics written inside
From Pixabay

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.

Tragedy and comedy masks with words about exclusion and inclusion written in them
From Pixabay

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.

Hang glider in air
From Pixabay

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.

Here’s hoping!

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


Your Turn

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!

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31 thoughts on “Learning to Ignore the Negative

  1. That was the cutest video I have watched in a live-long day! I just may need to use it for my own: Monday Morning giggle post….
    Your choice of music with your sharing was a perfect blend of how what is often “scariest” for us is most life-giving! I will be praying for your courage to use your truth, your story, to set your words free…and in doing so that you will bring life to those who read you!!
    I believe you are on the brink of greatness!!! (Just remember me…I was one of your first fans!!)
    Hugs & Blessings!

    1. I’ve loved that song from the minute I heard it. I was originally going to post the lyric video until I saw they had an official one. It was my first time watching it too. (It’s been on now repeatedly with another song that I’ll be posting later that I adore now)

      I hadn’t thought of that blend at the time. Or maybe I had? I just wanted a positive end to my post, lol. I hate when they are sad in the end.

      And thank you for the prayers (and lol I’ll remember!)

      Hugs and blessings back!

  2. I don’t think you should be scared of showing off your writing at all. This is the first blog post I have read of yours but even here, there is a lot of emotion and making a reader feel something is hard to do! I have never been over confident with my writing either but I went to Uni and sort of said, I might as well go in at the deep end. Luckily I didn’t drown and feel like a strong swimmer now. Hopefully this blog will give you your confidence. I’m now going to read some of your creative work 🙂

    1. Thanks for visiting and for the feedback! I’m glad you did not drown and that it worked out well. 🙂

      All of the work here is flash fiction for weekly prompt contests at the moment, but I’ll have more someday. I need to edit my old work and post it.

      What kind of writing did you do in uni?

      Thanks again.

      1. I love reading flash fiction. Two friends on my course at Uni were amazing at it, but I could never get the hang of it. I’ve read a couple of your pieces now and they are strong already.

        I did a bit of everything from scriptwriting to lifewriting to short stories to poetry. Personally I prefer short stories and wrote part of a novel for my final year. I’m thinking of posting part of that for today’s assignment as I would love to one day get it published, but know it is more of a dream than a possibility.

        1. To be honest, now that I think about it, I’m not sure they are flash fiction, LOL. I define flash fiction as something written quickly with (usually) little editing. Is there a more standard definition.

          Thank you. 🙂

          Well, the nice thing about publishing a post is that in a way it is published. Or I tell myself that anyway.

          Novels are fun, but I always write whatever and find the plot as I go; it can be hectic that way, LOL. I only write short stories for writing prompt sites like Brigit’s Flame (they’ve been responsible for almost all my short stories actually).

          I’d love to see more of your writing. (I’m in the process of checking your blog out. hehe)

          1. So many people classify it in different ways but I think flash fiction has to be under 500 words, which most of yours seem to be! Then a short story can be up to 5,000 words and then 5,000 to 10,000 is a novella and after that is a novel…that is roughly it anyway!

            The fact you are writing them quickly and just publishing them with little to no editing is brave. I haven’t spent days before checking over my creative work before putting it up on my blog and it still has errors haha

            Well I hope you like what you see. I have been very on and off with my blogging and a lot of the creative work on there is old now but I will have new stuff soon. Like when I publish some of my novel in a bit 🙂

          2. Ah, that makes sense. Good to know!

            I do edit them. I’m not sure if it would be considered a lot or a little. My last entry, the Text, actually is the 3rd incarnation. The first two had different points of view before I decided to give 2nd person a spin for the first or second time. I don’t think I could share a post without at least reading it over twice to make sure it flows. I still miss errors though. I hate when that happens!

            Yay for new and old posts alike!

  3. I loved your post and think you have covered the self doubt we all feel at times. Your words flow effortlessly and just keep writing and I think it will boast your self confidence. I cannot think of anything you need to change, great work.

    1. Thank you for the kind reply. I’m hoping it’ll be as simple as that, lol. I was more comfortable sharing and started telling friends that I write (it helps that they also enjoy it), but I think using my real name and really having to be accountable for it now on the internet is just intimidating now. It brings back all my fears.

      1. I agree about the writing under your own name and being held accountable for your words. I like you still struggle with using my real name. I write nonsensical and rarely serious posts and still have to fight with myself on wether or not to use me real name. I find I have to when I post photos as they are copyrighted under my name and my business name and I am unwilling to screw up the copyright based on my shyness and at times self doubt about blogging.

          1. I did a solo show a few months ago, i was almost sick to my stomach over it and it was far from the first one I did. I was second guessing myself, pulling photos than re adding them and spent a lot of sleepless nights because of it. It went great but until I get feedback self doubt still creeps in. All my life I have been that way and I think it keeps me grounded and not become vain. I work with bands who have had phenomenal careers and like me and seems like you they have the same self doubt before a show and album release. It stops me also from getting lazy and complacent with my work.

          2. I never thought of the self-doubt as being a positive trait that keeps us grounded and from being vain. That is a good way to look at it. I agree that it keeps us from getting lazy and complacent. I’m always searching for ways to improve, which is why I always love getting feedback on my writing with critiques (though there is always that worry that it’ll be torn apart). Thankfully, I did learn to separate myself from my writing at least. It’s just the idea of being a writer that intimidates me.

  4. Don’t ever let fear stop you from pursuing what you are passionate about. When you write, your words are an extension of who you are and what you are about. This in a way can make you vulnerable because you are letting people in to “view” your inner thoughts, feelings, views, etc. Should you receive no feedback or something that is less than positive then it is very hard to not feel as if it is a personal failure of sorts – I think that is only human nature. But no matter what the feedback is, and I would hedge a bet that most people will be encouraging, constructive in their feedback and very positive; use it to empower you in your writing. Carve your path rather than let it be dictated to you. Only you can hold yourself back – so go for it!

  5. Kristina it’s like you’ve taken the words straight from my heart! (hope that wasn’t too cheesy to say). I’m a perfectionist too. I have to read my sentences several times out aloud before publishing or even making a single draft. Mistakes are unavoidable. In fact it’s human and shows there’s always room for self improvement. Keep up the confidence, do what you love, carry on writing and things will only get better.

  6. You don’t have to get rid of the bully in your head. It’s good to have a little bit of anxiety helping you improve — the problem is when it goes past that point and makes you stop doing things you enjoy. She’s too loud, and too mean, and her timing is bad, but she’s there warning you not to write the next Twilight after all. The trick is to not let her stop you from trying in the first place.

    Tiny successes help some, for me — pick some really, really easy goal. Ridiculously easy. Something that doesn’t even feel like a goal. And do it and celebrate, yay, you did it! And then pick another really easy goal, maybe slightly less ridiculous, and do that, and so on. The idea is to prove to yourself you can finish something. Blog posts might be the ideal medium for that. There’s no required word count, you can just post a sentence if you want, or a photograph with no text, or a sketch, or a voice recording if that’s easier.

    And, hey, if that stuff doesn’t work, I know others who are helped by anti-anxiety meds. No shame in that.

    1. My biggest frustration is the bully in my head stops me from doing other things too like drawing and painting and believing I could learn to be good sometimes. As I think about it, I have less problems with actually writing for myself and sharing it than I do say trying to draw and share it. Perhaps the difference is that I’ve been blogging so long that I’ve become more confident in it than the others. You’re right though; the perfection keeps me wanting to do better.

      1. Eh, there’s no need to progress at the same pace in all of your interests! Share what you’re comfortable (or almost comfortable) sharing. In other areas, there’s no need to share your work until you’re ready, and it’s totally fine if you’re never ready. Just do it for your own enjoyment.

    2. Love the small goal advice!! That’s actually how I get through the day!!! 🙂 (Literally: “Amanda, your goal for this morning is simply to do the dishes.” Bam! I did it! I’m amazing! Lol. Not about writing, I know; but still, it’s great advice!!)

      Also, Kristina, regarding lit snobs who criticize the “lesser” works of art: I ❤ Twilight. I can be a writing critic and I know it's not the best writing, but so what? It engages me. Also, I love Russian lit. I know it's kind of boring, but something about it lures me in. I love the rich character descriptions and subtle sarcasm that I only discover by rereading a Tolstoy paragraph ten times. I also love Harry Potter, 50 Shades of Grey, and other things that reading snobs shoot down. I avidly read gothic literature, which makes people look at me like I have ten heads. Basically, I love a. anything with a good story, and b. anything where the author's wit, insights, or convictions shine through, because you discover more of them as you read, even in fiction, and there are truths to be discovered and uncovered when authors write in a way that's true to themselves.

      ALL OF THAT BEING SAID, there are haters for all of the genres of lit that I like. But I love them, and I glean something from each type of writing, and it REFRESHES me to read them. Don't listen to lit snobs… be true to yourself, even as you're discovering what that means. Not everyone will like it!! Eek, that hurts, but if it truly gives you joy to write, then some people out there are going to need to read what you have to say. That's what art does–it conveys some truth to our souls, some beauty that we need to see. And, of course, it takes practice to accurately convey what we'd like to convey through our art (an artist in Anna Karenina goes through this–he calls it learning to carefully "uncover" the subjects he paints).

      THIS WAS REALLY LONG AND PROBABLY RAMBLING. I apologize. Basically, of course you must consider your audience, but not to the point of losing yourself and going insane. 🙂 ❤

      1. i love this reply. It points out many things that I need to remember. I was nervous about posting this entry, but I think it has become the best so far because I was honest and felt like this post needed to be written. Thank you so much for taking the time to not only read a lengthy post such as this one, but to seriously sit down and take the time to give your opinion on it and help me.

        I cannot thank you enough.

        Also, how did you do the heart? Is it just ❤ 🙂

  7. Hi! I’ll be that other kid at the bus stop. 🙂 I think this post is a great start -putting yourself out there and getting some practice writing! Can’t wait to see you grow and find your niche through this class!

    1. Yay! Hi new kid. 🙂 I need to celebrate my successes more often I think. Oo! I have a new post idea! Thanks for that, and thank you for visitimg, reading, amd following. I loook forward to getting to know you.

  8. As a fellow perfectionist, and I know I’m in good company here, you have to turn your inner editor off just so that you can get the first draft written. You made a glorious start with your blog and this post. Bravo! 😁 You are out there now!

    Look at all the incredible input you’re getting.
    @staycalmimafostermom gave sage advice regarding haters of all genres. The good thing is that the people who love each genre far outweigh those lit-snob that try to ruin it for everyone. Don’t get in your own way. Use the blog to write every day as a habit. Every day it will get a little easier, until it gets to be second nature. Just wait and see…

    Good luck with your writing. I enjoyed your post, M.

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