Well, this is embarrassing—and that statement has absolutely nothing to do with Firefox failing to load all my tabs. I hate that it’s come to this, but if I have to put myself on front street just to get shit done, then so be it. Within the past hour, I’ve created two drafts (three if you count this post) in which I began a blog but didn’t see either of them through to completion.
This process of creating a bunch of possible blog posts and then leaving them to rot in draft hell isn’t a new pattern for me. It’s a bad habit I formed and haven’t quite been able to shake. The reasoning behind this pesky tendency can’t be narrowed down into one word, but I figure if I just write it down in a list, perhaps it can help me avoid my addiction to creating drafts and encourage me to write, edit and hit publish already! Furthermore, I hope it’ll encourage any other bloggers who, like myself, can come up with 99 reasons why they shouldn’t post a blog.
So here it is, in all its unfiltered, shameless glory. The 8 most common excuses I use not to blog:
This is not a good idea for a post.
Honestly, this is my biggest culprit. I have THE absolute most anxiety over publishing a blog. Full disclosure: I don’t have a lot of readers, I don’t routinely promote my blog on Twitter (except for a link in my bio) and it’s all because I’m worried that my blogs are too simple, too boring, too whiny, too BLAHBLAHBLAHALKDJFKLADSJFKL (insert random reason here)…whatever. Like, it’s ridiculous, especially since I write at least 12 stories for Bustle every week, and they have a WAY larger audience. I also have work published on Issa Rae’s Tea & Breakfast and Clutch Magazine. If anyone can help me figure out WTF my problem is, have a round of drinks on me.
No one’s interested in reading this.
My response to my nagging inner critic is, who cares? If you’re interested in writing it, someone, somewhere on this gigantic blue planet is bound to want to read it. And if no one is, I created this blog not only in the hopes of relating to others, but to hone my skills and find my unique voice as a writer. That can absolutely be accomplished without tons of readers.
What if someone reads this?!
Now I had to laugh at myself for this one, but it’s so honest that I can’t even fake it. Over the past few months, I’ve had several people hit me up through my blog about writing stuff/interviewing/corrections/jobs and I think to myself, “Oh shit! They’ve been looking around at my half-assed ramblings, and gawking at my homely looking theme?! YIKES…WTF…OH LAWD!!!” Then a meltdown ensues. Other random thoughts include: What if the audience doesn’t understand my tone? What if my editor reads this and discovers how insecure I am about my writing skills? What if my reverend uncle who follows me on Twitter sees how much I curse?
I’m too exhausted from writing for pay.
As I mentioned in a previous excuse, I’m fortunate enough to have some publications to pay me to write stuff for them and that comes with its own set of stressors. Frankly, after I’ve created posts for them, I’m tired and creatively tapped out and I don’t want to think or push my brain to come up with anything else. But honestly, that’s just a result of poor planning on my part, hence the reason it’s listed here as an excuse.
Someone already covered this topic.
Well, nothing under the sun is new and regardless of the redundant subject matter currently overwhelming the web, my voice is still unique and if I want to cover something that’s already been written, then it’s up to me to make myself stand out from what others have already tackled.
My blog isn’t aesthetically pleasing.
Oooh, that one was really embarrassing to type, but it’s true. Although I’m far from tech-savvy, I’ve favorited enough tweets and bookmarked too many articles that offer quick ways to remedy this. But the way my procrastination is set up…lemme stop myself before I create an excuse within an excuse.
Maybe I shouldn’t say that.
Short back story—I grew up in an atmosphere where I was rarely (if ever) encouraged to speak my mind so as to not inconvenience or upset anyone else, so self-censorship remains a major hurdle for me. As a result I often shy away from expressing opinions that I think others may find controversial. But this quote from Vicki Ayala nicely sums up this issue:
Constant self-censoring to accommodate others means you’re giving away equity in yourself and when you give away too much you lose ownership.
My writing isn’t as good as [insert writers I admire HERE].
This. IS. NOT GOOD!!! Writers are always advised against comparing themselves to other writers, but I fall for it time and time again. To my credit, though, I do recognize when I do this and try my best to squash this line of thinking before it spirals out of control.
Alright fellow bloggers, it’s time to ‘fess up. What excuses do you use to avoid blogging?