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.
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.