Confession: I’ve had this blog post in my “Drafts” folder for over a month.
Yes, a month. That’s 4 entire weeks, 30 full days and who-the-heck-knows how many hours.
And yes, I’m a writer…who makes a living pumping out content.
But despite that, it still took me an exorbitant amount of time to pump out the bulk of this blog post.
Why, my friends?
Because of a little something I called “Blog Terror.”
Okay, so “Blog Terror” really isn’t as horrible as it sounds. It doesn’t mean you hate blogs, or break out in hives when you read them. (And if that does happen to you, well, lady, that sounds like a personal problem. That needs taken care of. ASAP.)
Blog Terror is more about that terrifying, gut-tickling feeling you get right before you sit down to write a blog post that makes you feel like you have absolutely NO RIGHT to be writing on insert-topic-of-choice. Y’know, that whole “Who the fuck do you think you are?” and “What the hell do YOU know about anything?” thing that happens & kinda-sorta takes over your entire body.
And honestly? That is still freaking happening to me as I write this post and proooobably won’t let up until I finally hit Publish – and then read it a month later and wonder (happily),” Damn! Did I really write that?”
But I digress.
So, the bad news? Blog Terror is pretty freakin’ real – for most of us – and it stems from that oh-so-human (and usually unavoidable) fear of “not being good enough.” It derives from our natural instinct to doubt ourselves – especially when we’re about to do something “outside the norm.”
But there is some good news! Blog Terror truly has little to do with the fact that we’re “terrible writers” or “don’t know what to say.” It’s not because you don’t have amazing ideas (you’ve got loads!). And it’s surely not because you’re devoid of any opinions on your industry, or not able to articulate helpful things to your audience.
YOU CAN DO ALL THAT.
The only thing that’s stopping is you a FEELING, INSIDE YOUR HEAD.
It’s just that damn “not good enough” voice getting the best of you – and causing you to spend an entire afternoon binging on Pretty Little Liars & justifying ice cream for dinner. (It’s dairy! That’s gotta count for something, right?)
Luckily, there are a few ways to beat the Blog Terror monster down to size.
Here’s how to tackle Blog Terror + create kick ass content even when you’re scared shitless:
1. Quit giving a flying you-know-what about what you think everybody else wants.
I know, I know. This goes against every morsel of marketing advice that you’ve ever read about writing online ever. You’re supposed to focus on your prospects and their needs and wants and desires and the questions they’re asking. And yes – that is amazing advice and 99.9% of the time you should follow it. But when the real issue isn’t a lack of ideas but rather a lack of actually-getting-shit-done? Sometimes you just have to simply write from your heart.
You have my permission to write a blog about whatever the fuck you want. And once you get into the mood (and you will, trust me!) go on to tackling the more prospect-centric subjects. There.
2. Remind yourself you know soooo much more than you’re giving yourself credit for.
Yes, it feels like everything you could ever wanna say has always been said a million times before by somebody a million times more eloquent than you. And yeah, that may be true. In fact, it probably is true. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have a right to say what you wanna say. Only YOU can express your viewpoint in the way YOU express it.
Plus, you’re actually hella smart and probably know a ton of different things – things that that mentor/guru/ridiculously entertaining blogger simply can’t know because they aren’t you and haven’t experienced life through your lens.
3. Just start.
You totally hate that one, don’t you? I used to, too. Until I realized that that’s the only way anything gets done – ever. Sometimes you just have to set the damn Pomodoro timer and try to write. It won’t always be easy. In fact, it won’t be – for the first ten minutes or so. But just like when it comes to working out getting to the gym is half the battle, half the battle of writing a blog post is opening the damn browser window and typing the first few words. After that, it gets easier!
4. Write like SHIT.
Once you’ve started creating, challenge yourself NOT to use the backspace or delete buttons until you’ve written an entire draft. Don’t search deep in the recesses of your brain for a “cool” or “magnetic” word. Don’t take a break to read other blogs (worst. idea. ever.). Don’t even make the mistake of reading what you’ve already written. Just write. And expect it to sound like shit.
Because the important part of creating anything is actually creating it. The ONLY THING that matters is getting it all out of you. (And don’t let the pros fool you, either: ALL the magic and the beauty and the “awesomeness” that is writing happens in the editing process!)
First drafts are always shit. Prepare for it and don’t worry about it. It’s normal!
Over to you, beautytown! //
Do you have your own “foolproof” process for writing content? I’d love to know any tips-n-tricks you’ve picked up over the years for churning our compelling content….even when you’d rather watch 24 hours of the Golf Channel.