Hey there! It’s me, Heidi.
Today, I’m going to address something that I don’t know that non-blogger folk understand about blogging. Yes, blogging is one of my absolute favorite things to do. I love writing. I love writing about what I love. I love when people love reading about what I’ve written about what I love. Mouthful? Mayhaps, but you get the point. I love blogging. The thing is… blogging isn’t always peachy keen. It’s tough. It’s tough on my patience, it’s tough on my perseverance, it’s tough on my eyeballs (because who can look at a screen for this long and not get a headache?), it’s tough on my creativity, it’s tough on my critical thinking, it’s tough on just about everything. Is it still worth it? Absofreakingloutely. Here are 5 Truths of Blogging that I have learned the hard way.
1. Ideas don’t always come easy.
Being a writer does not mean that I always have something to write about. It’s true. There are some days when I know I need to post something… anything… because I haven’t written in a while. So, I sit down to my keyboard, brainstorm some ideas, and pick one that seems less painful to write about than the others in the moment. But, the inspiration just doesn’t come. It’s really, really hard. And, it’s really, really frustrating… because as a writer I should always have ideas, right? Ugh. That being said, sometimes the best pieces of writing come during days when I’m out of ideas. How? Well, I’m a huge believer in pushing myself to be great. To choose greatness. And choosing greatness can be something as silly as this article I’m writing at this exact moment… writing about how frustrating blogging is. Writing about the truth that sometimes people don’t want to address. I know I’m in good company because every other blogger or writer I’ve had the pleasure to know has been in this exact same position. Take Buzzfeed’s Erin Chack for example. Her story about having zero ideas turned into something amazing!
2. Sometimes I have to force myself to write.
While I absolutely LOVE to write… sometimes I hate to write. Here’s the thing: I would love writing ALL THE TIME if I always had ideas (see #1), but I don’t. I would love writing ALL THE TIME if I always felt inspired, but I don’t. I would love writing ALL THE TIME if I always had ample time to develop an article to its fullest potential, but I don’t. I would love writing ALL THE TIME if I knew I would always have an audience, but I don’t. I would love writing ALL THE TIME if I got paid to write, but I don’t. I would love writing ALL THE TIME if it were easy peasy lemon squeezy, but it’s not. As the great Christian Borle said via his character William Shakespeare in one of my favorite Broadway shows of all time, SOMETHING ROTTEN, “It’s hard to be the bard.” Take a listen to this song. It describes, in an absolutely hilarious way, why sometimes writing isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and you just have to force yourself to sit down and write because it’s what you do.
3. It can take me up to 5 hours to get just one post written.
Anyone else? Even though writing comes naturally to me, it can take me a rather long time… what with coming up with a topic, being in the mood to write or having to force myself, and then once I actually sit down to write having to come up with the right words to say. And then there’s pictures and videos and outside links to include. Sometimes a bit of research, spell and grammar checking myself. Lord knows I’m also the most easily distracted person in the world, so that alone can take up time. I start writing about one thing and thinking about something completely different. Or, I remember I have to do laundry. Or, I get up to go to the bathroom and realize the shower is dirty so I start cleaning. It’s a long process, but a process that I know is stretching my brain and making me a better writer.
4. Editing is HELL ON EARTH.
I’m not just talking about spell and grammar check. By editing, I mean making sure the content is flowing smoothly, gathering all of the right captions and photo credits for every video and picture I post, editing the actual photos and making sure they’re the right size and have the proper color profile assigned to them and that they actually look good where I’ve placed them in the blog post. I am not a photographer. I am not a videographer. I am not good at editing either photos or videos mostly because I know what I want things to look like, but I by no means know my way around editing software. Every time I edit anything, I have to google a step by step process to figure it out. I eventually do, but oh my goodness it takes so long and it is SO frustrating. Definitely not my favorite part of blogging. Although, once everything is edited correctly it sure does look good!
5. The reward of seeing my work published online makes it all worth while.
Honestly. This is it. The prize for all of the hard work is not how many people read my blog, not getting paid (because I don’t get paid), not getting any sort of acclaim or recognition, but clicking the “publish” button on WordPress and sitting back to admire the fruits of my hard work. A small mission accomplished. A job well done. Now, I can relax, and share my story with other people who may benefit from what I have written. After all, this blog is only a little bit about me. It’s a lot about what I can contribute to the universe and how I can help you, my reader, have a better understanding of the world we live in from a little bit of a different perspective.
So remember, if you’re a writer, too, you’re not alone. It’s tough for us creatives out there, but if we keep forging on it will be all worth it in the end!
Until next time,