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You Are Enough

What if the next time we sat down to write, we didn’t worry about being interesting, we didn’t worry about being liked, and we didn’t worry about being reblogged?

I recently told a friend of mine — a single mom who works in the healthcare industry — that she should write a blog about her amazing life. Her response to me was, “It’d be the most boring blog in the world. I’m nothing special.” That’s a direct quote. Nothing special? She’s raising three kids on her own, works in an ER in a massive city hospital, speaks three languages, and she studied opera in college. If she’s not special, I don’t know who is.

Her response really surprised me, and it reminded me of someone from my past who was the flip side of the self-confidence coin.

In my early 20s, I was taking a class with an outrageously flamboyant teacher. She found her life so interesting and loved telling us wild stories of the minutiae of her day. She could probably tell a story about boiling water and make it enjoyable. One day, after making us roar with laughter, she shrugged at us in disbelief and shrieked, “Stories just happen to me!”

My mouth dropped open. She really thought that more stories “happened” to her than to other people.

“Anything that gets your blood pumping is probably worth doing.”
Hunter S. Thompson

I was taken aback by the hubris. It was such an absurd statement because…well…stories happen to everyone. Did my teacher lead a more interesting life than my nurse friend? Nope. What made her a great storyteller is that she saw herself as the fascinating main character in the wild story of her life.

And she was right. But guess what? We all are.

The most frequent question I field from bloggers is, “How do I get more people to read my blog?” I suspect they want the answer to be something SEO-related, and I hate to disappoint, but my answer is almost always, “Pick a topic you want to talk about. Choose subjects that you can’t wait to write about, whether a million people will read your blog, or just your best friend.”

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”
Albert Schweitzer

What if there were no pressure to be interesting, or wild, or unique, or marketable? What if the main ingredient in the recipe for a great blog post is simply the exuberance to share yourself? I bet we could excite readers just as much by writing about finding a killer sale at Marshalls, as we could about winning the latest season of Project Runway.

There is such a divide between a story that needs to be told, and a story that reads as if it were written out of obligation. The writers that I admire the most are those who can write about any topic, and draw me in with their exuberance. A writer’s moxie makes any story magnetic.

I am drawn in by their passion, not by their perfection.

What if the next time we sat down to write, we didn’t worry about being interesting, we didn’t worry about being liked, and we didn’t worry about being reblogged. What if, when we opened up a new post in our editors, we started by thinking, “I cannot wait to tell you this story…I might explode if I don’t share this with you.”

If we love our stories, our stories will be loved.

When you sit down to write, before you put pen to paper (or cursor to screen), think, “I can’t wait to tell this story!” Inject that feeling into the whole text. Sometimes, I think, “You’re not going to believe this…!” while I write a story.

Come up with your own variation on the theme, and write with energy and excitement.

When you read through your older posts, can you feel the difference between the posts you were enthusiastic about writing, and those you wrote in order to hit a deadline?

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  1. I’m starting to realize this more and more which is why I recently just decided to start writing a blog about my interests. Not for anyone else, just for myself. If others like to read it as well then hooray for me!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. “What if there were no pressure to be interesting, or wild, or unique, or marketable? What if the main ingredient in the recipe for a great blog post is simply the exuberance to share yourself?”

    I live my life like this! I have no choice really but to be interesting, wild, unique. It is why I blog. My exuberance bubbles over and I have to share so much of myself.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I could not have loved this more! I responded just as your friend did when so many people told me I should start a blog…and here I am, in the very beginning of this crazy adventure. Now, I feel as though the words you wrote are just the reminder I needed. Right now, I don’t have to worry about all the crazy stuff. I just start writing… and it flows out of. It feels right. Thanks for sharing!

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  4. Loved it… I’m gonna love what I love and share what I want in my blog, there’s no reason try to force an audience. Most likely wouldnt work

    Liked by 3 people

  5. From the past few days, my mind has been bursting on the question of “what to blog and how to make it ‘marketable'”. I could not believe that I was reading this just when I needed this kind of push the most. Thank you. Now, I am sure about what to write. Cheers!!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I write for me and I never worry about whether or not anyone reads my blog. in fact I stopped writing one blog and started another because of the people that were reading it!!

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  7. I think you just did that exactly what your post was about – wrote about something you had to share with others! I thnk this is exactly the message I needed to hear. I’ve been struggling a little with understanding why some blogs “write themselves” and others “beg to be written.” The difference is how I feel about the story I’m telling. Thanks for the insight. I’d like to re-blog this for others to learn too.

    Liked by 3 people