This is My Crowd

This is My Crowd
Picture by: Photography by Vicky Campos

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

To blog or not to blog, that is the question.

I have enjoyed reading my whole life and my ability to write has been present since elementary school.  I had never given much thought to writing as a talent since it has primarily been used for school and work projects, though I did dabble in poetry for a short time during my own, personal dark ages.  It's only been recently that I began making an effort to write on a regular basis, thus The Pact.  In my efforts to write consistently and see where it leads, I've also been reading blogs about writing and, more specifically, blogging.

Though it has been useful and I've even implemented some of the recommendations, I have found that it's also become a bit of a sick, self-inflicted torment.  I would compare it to a young girl obsessed with beauty magazines to get tips on weight loss, makeup, fashion and boys, only to feel worse as they close the pages because they realize they will never be like the women plastered on those pages.  In case you thought it, reading about and seeing pictures of less than successful, overweight women wouldn't make them feel better either.     

Reading magazines (and blogs, for that matter) for fun is great!  However, using this material as the point of reference in judging oneself is not.  I read a great and timely blog today about accepting one's own abilities.  After reading it, I realized that I, as it relates to the blogosphere, am but a slightly overweight preteen with braces, looking at Victoria Secret commercials wondering when I too will turn into a 6 foot tall, Brazilian model.  Much like the 99% of girls in this world that will not become a famous actress or model, I too must come to terms with the fact that I just need to be happy in my own skin and with my own blog.

With the intent of becoming a better writer, I've read so many blogs about writing and blogging that I may have gone on overload.  The following is just a sampling of the topics discussed:

  • How to get published.
  • How to make money blogging.
  • How to become a guest blogger.
  • How to build the number of followers.
  • How to format your blog.
  • How to write a great blog.
  • How NOT to write a great blog.

The list could continue, but I think you get my point.  There is a lot of information out there and most of it is incredibly useful to a person in my position, as fresh meat in the world of blogging.  But at what point am I doing myself a disservice?

This issue doesn't just apply to me and my journey to discovering the plans God has for my life, but it can be applied to anything that any one of us desires to be great at or accomplish.  At what point does all of our information gathering and comparison making discourage us from our dream?  Yes, we can read articles online about healthy living and we can look at online instructions for effective exercises; we can read testimonials about people who have lost 140 lbs and watch the Jenny Craig commercials with Jennifer Hudson, but at some point, if we don't implement some of it, all of that information can become a burden and overwhelm us.  Then the months and the years go by and we're not any healthier and our BMI may have even increased as a result of my pity induced and guilt inducing "midnight snacking".

The Take Home

Here's what I took away from today. 

  • I may never have more than 11 followers, that's ok, I'm gonna keep at this.
  • I may never be published, that's ok, I'm gonna keep at this.
  • I may never figure out a niche for my blog, that's ok, I'm gonna keep at this.
  • I may never make a dime blogging, that's ok, I'm gonna keep at this.
  • Despite all of this, I will get better and, possibly, one day, I'll write something significant for someone and have fulfilled a purpose on this earth through my writing.
Yes, I will continue to read some articles so that I can grow in my craft, but no longer will I look at every blog I come across as proof that I shouldn't be wasting my time on this.  I'm gonna keep at it. 

Is there something that you beat yourself up about?  Perhaps it's a goal you've set for yourself or a dream given to you by God, perhaps a talent that you've let stagnate.  What have you done or what do you plan to do to get things moving in the right direction?  Feel free to share your thoughts or experiences in the comments. 


  1. Rock on, Brina! I'm kind of in the same place with the information overload, when all I really want to do is write. There's just so much more to it and so much to learn on the business and getting published ends of it all. I like the idea of doing the NaNoWriMo challenge for blogging, books, and articles. At least it will keep me focused on the main thing...writing. Hopefully the rest will come in the right time.

    p.s. Saw the link to your site from a post on Problogger about the NaNoWriMo challenge (which I seriously need to do) for writing blogs, books, and articles.

  2. I signed up for an account with NaNoWriMo and it seems as though it really is more for novelists. But, I'm definitely taking on this challenge, as are a couple of my friends. It is exciting and terrifying. If you want to join with us for accountability, please feel free! I'm a little outnumbered when it comes to the male/female ratio. I checked out your blog and it's definitely one I will follow. I really like your topics and style.

  3. I signed up and saw the same thing. Now that I think about it the writer of the article just talked of adapting the concept to use for other types of writing, not actually joining for that. Thank you for inviting me to join you and your friends. Yes, I would love to join you for the accountability. I HEAR you! The thought is both exciting and terrifying! Part of me is screaming to only commit to 500 words a day! And then I saw the links on your sidebar and checked out Goins, Writer and saw where he talked of a book called War of Art and just bought it. Now THAT sounds terrifying. I have no idea what I am thinking. Crazy!

    Thank you for the kind words on my blog. I look forward to seeing you over there! I will be following yours, too!