So you’re thinking of spending more time on your blog.
Actually, you’ve been thinking about it for quite a while.
Thinking about it. Talking about it. But not doing it.
Something is holding you back. In fact, a whole list of things. You lack time, confidence, money, ideas.
You’re tired, stressed, busy, sick.
So you’re waiting for the perfect blogging circumstances.
Waiting until you have buckets of spare time, an overload of great blog post ideas, a guaranteed audience, perfect health… the list goes on.
I’m sorry to break it to you, but those perfect circumstances will never occur.
Your reasons for not blogging will always be there in some form and in some combination.
You will always have to face down the demons of no time, no support, no money, no confidence, no ideas, or ill health.
And when you realize that almost everyone faces these same problems, your reasons start to look a lot like excuses.
So let’s call them out, one by one.
If any of the following excuses sound like what’s holding YOU back from becoming a profitable blogger, consider them busted.
1. People might not like what I have to say
Blogging can be jarringly personal – like ripping your heart out and offering it up to strangers. Even if you’re blogging on a non-personal topic like business, pet care, or math education, your writing is out there for the world to see and judge.
Like it or not, putting your ideas in the public domain and running the risk that someone might not like them – even hate them – is the price of entry for being a successful blogger. If you think your blogging heroes aren’t nervous each time they click “Publish” then you’re kidding yourself.
But putting yourself out there yields some major benefits. You’ll attract a crowd of like-minded readers and get to hone your blogging skills the tough – but highly effective – way: in a trial-by-fire.
Yes, you may have to deal with haters. Everyone does.
Like the time someone left a 400-word comment on my blog complaining about two typos in my post and saying he imagined me as a crazy-haired, frazzled woman who couldn’t take the time to proofread or use Grammarly or another grammar checker tool.
But over time the haters become more amusing than frightening. You’ll realize that while they’re complaining, you’re blogging.
Remember, if someone has a negative reaction to something you wrote, that means your words are powerful. Your writing caused someone to react.
And that’s got to be a good thing.
2. I don’t have anything new to say
Everything under the sun has been done already, right? Feeling like you shouldn’t start a blog because you can’t add to the conversation as a new blogger is only natural.
But it’s not just about what you say, but rather how only you can say it.
Take this post for example.
It’s certainly not the first post ever written on busting your excuses and writing through your fears, but I’ve put my own spin on it by viewing the topic through my personal lens of experience. No one has had exactly the same experiences as me, no one has worked with the same students and mentees on the topic, no one has read exactly what I have read, and no one thinks just like I do.
The truth is that genuinely original ideas are rare, even for the top bloggers and writers.
Instead, bloggers attract fans due to their personality, writing style and personal viewpoint – not because they pack their blog with hundreds of startlingly unique, never-done-before ideas. Few bloggers can do that.
3. Lots of people blog about my topic already
Let’s say you want to start a blog on gluten-free baking. You run a quick Google search and discover that someone else – lots of people, in fact – already had the same idea. And some of them have been blogging for years.
Why would anyone want to read your blog?
Let’s flip this viewpoint:
Lots of blogs on your topic exist because lots of people want to read about your topic.
And they’re hungry for new information, better information – even the same old information written only the way you can write it.
Let’s take writing as an example, since that’s my topic. You’d think that niche would be at its limit, but every year I see new writing blogs starting up and succeeding.
Even within the sub-niche of blogging, you’ll find dozens of variations on the theme. A new blog might focus on the craft of blogging, the use of psychological techniques to draw more people to your blog, using guest blogging to get more traffic, blogging to generate affiliate sales, blogging to sell information products, blogging to sell ads, blogging for clients, or another of the many slants you can take on that topic.
Lots of competition isn’t a valid excuse for not blogging – it’s a cast-iron reason to blog. In fact, Jon tells his blogging students: “If there are not already popular blogs in your niche – get out of there!”
So don’t be afraid to plant your stake in a topic that others are already covering. You can approach a subject in an infinite number of different ways, and put your own personal spin on it.
4. I don’t have time to blog
Your days are packed. You’re running around from morning till night, and you sure as heck don’t have spare time to work on a blog every day.
Let’s get something straight: we’re all busy. We all feel like: “Everyone else is just kinda busy, but I’m really, truly, jam-packed busy”. But if we all feel like that, we must all be wrong. Right?
Successful bloggers are just as busy as you are, if not more so. The guy you’re so jealous of who churns out post after quality post doesn’t have a trust fund and a maid. Like you, he has a job, a family, volunteer commitments, pets, school functions, chores… the list goes on.
So the question isn’t “Where are you going to find the time?” It’s “How are you going to make the time?”
Carry your smartphone and tablet everywhere, and take advantage of those random 10-minute blocks of free time to write – while you’re in line at the supermarket, in the dentist’s waiting room, or in the car waiting for your kid to get out of school.
It’s not perfect, it’s not pretty and sometimes you might look a little crazy or obsessive. But you have to do it because it’s what real bloggers do.
And don’t just work on your blog in the scraps of time that open up in your “real” life. Schedule blogging time into your calendar. Make it a non-negotiable date with yourself.
If you wait until you have the time, it will never happen. So make the time.
5. I don’t have a clue where to start
You make a list of all the tasks that need doing on your blog and become frozen with indecision. Should you work on your blog design, brainstorm some post ideas, build your social media presence, or do one of the other 200 things on your list instead?
It’s enough to make anyone quit in frustration.
Here’s a tip: start anywhere. Seriously.
As long as you do something, anything at all, you’ll be ahead of the game.
It’s the only reliable way to break through the paralysis of indecision.
My secret is to make a list of everything I need to do, and then choose tasks based on how much time I have, how much energy I have, what I’m in the mood to do at that moment, and my intuition on which tasks are most urgent and important.
So you may find me working on a guest post for 30 minutes, then writing a post for my own blog for another 30 minutes, then spending 10 minutes writing one of my Morning Motivations for Writers emails for the following week.
As a blogger, often it doesn’t matter what order you do things in.
Create a list of everything you need to accomplish and start chipping away at it.
6. It’s not the right time
Maybe you have a chronic illness and don’t want to commit to a blog until you feel better. Or you’re in the middle of a divorce. Or your bank account is too empty.
Every time you think about starting your blog, you tell yourself, “It’s not the right time. As soon as I take care of problems X, Y, and Z, I’ll get started.”
But the truth is by the time you’ve fixed X, Y and X, new problems will have taken their places.
So guess what? There’s never a perfect time to do anything. As a wise person once said, sh%^ happens. So if you wait until conditions are perfect, you’ll be waiting – well, forever.
You don’t have to go gangbusters on your blogging goals when times are hard. But if you take tiny steps towards those goals – steps so small that they’re easy no matter what your situation – you’ll gain a sense of control over your life that helps put your problems into perspective.
When life calms down, the smart blogger takes the opportunity to get ahead of themselves, in preparation for the next perfect storm.
And before you know it, you’ll make the subtle transition from fair-weather blogger to all-weather blogging hero.
7. I’m too exhausted
You’re running around all day taking care of little ones or working the 9-5. Then you make dinner, clean up, put the munchkins to bed – and you’re too wiped to do anything but melt into the sofa and watch Top Chef.
In other words, you have no energy left for your blog.
This excuse doesn’t fly. You know why? Because nothing gives you more energy than working toward a goal you’re passionate about.
So if you’re too tired at the end of the day to work on your goals, the answer isn’t to abandon your goals – it’s to set more exciting ones.
Using myself as an example, I run my own business and homeschool my four year old, so at the end of a typical day my only desire is to delve into my Kindle and sip a hot cup of English Breakfast.
(And when I don’t have a project on the go, often I do just that. Why not?)
But when I was struck with the idea for my last e-book, I was so excited that I magically had the energy to work on it every night until 1:00 am, and then again in the morning. I got that sucker done – all 180 pages, including the marketing plan and organizing interviews with 20 writers – in just three weeks.
Try it yourself and see. Fire up the laptop and work on your blog after hours, and see if you’re not hit by a burst of energy and inspiration.
8. What if I fail?
You don’t want to fail. Of course you don’t!
No one actively wants to be rejected, or worse still, ignored.
So you take the safe route by not working on your blog. No blog = no chance to freak out as a quick check of Google Analytics tells you no one cares.
But guess what? Not getting started is just another type of failure. You end up in the same place whether you try and fail or whether you don’t start at all: without a successful blog and kicking yourself.
At the risk of sounding cliché, the only way to fail is not to try.
If you try blogging, you have a chance of succeeding and a chance of failing.
If you don’t try, you have a 100% chance of failing.
Which is the less risky choice?
9. What if I succeed?
At the same time bloggers fear failure, they often fear success too.
Subconsciously, you may worry that you’ll lose your friends, because they’ll envy your success and no longer want to socialize with you.
I hear similar worries from my mentoring clients who want to write for magazines. One minute they’re afraid they’ll never make a sale and their pitches to magazine editors will be met with a big fat silence. But the next minute they’ll say to me frantically, “What if two editors accept my idea at the same time? They’ll hate me!” Whaaaaa? Which is it?
But you are right: if you do succeed wildly, you will probably lose some friends. It’s happened to me and honestly you’re better off without them. The problem is theirs, not yours. If friends spew envy and make catty remarks about your blog’s success every time you see them, they’ll just be holding you back from becoming your best self.
Don’t let the thought of losing fake friends at some point in the future stop you from getting serious about your blog today. There are so many “ifs” here it’s not even funny.
10. I don’t have enough knowledge yet.
There’s so much to know about blogging! You’re inundated with tips, courses, books – even other blogs – on how to start a blog, and that next one might have just the information you need to skyrocket yours to success.
So you keep learning, and learning, and learning – and never getting off the launch pad.
The problem is no clear finish line exists. No one can tell you, “Okay, you know enough now, you can stop learning and start blogging.”
The best way to learn is from experience. Sure, take a class or read a book to get you on your way, but then set up your blog and start posting. You’ll learn directly from your readership’s response – or lack of response – what works for you and what doesn’t.
And don’t worry: even if your early posts are terrible, they will soon be lost in the sands of time. Check out my first posts on the Renegade Writer blog, from 2006, if you want proof.
11. I don’t have enough good ideas.
This is the biggie.
Even if you can get past the other excuses, this one is usually bubbling beneath the surface.
What if you can’t come up with enough good ideas to keep your blog going?
How do you remain passionate enough to generate idea after idea and write post after post on the same topic? You may have some great ideas now, but can you sustain posting week after week, month after month, even year after year?
The good news is, you don’t need to worry about having hundreds of post ideas in the bank to keep you going forever.
In the early days, you’ll want a bunch of knock-your-socks-off post ideas to get you going. But once you’ve hit your rhythm, you have many ways to keep the ideas coming.
For example, to come up with fresh ideas you can:
- Be prepared for inspired moments. You’ll have times when you’re suddenly hit with a dozen great post ideas at once – usually in the car, in the shower, or while drifting off to sleep. Carry a notepad or your smartphone so you can take advantage when the muse visits. You can even keep a pad and pen in the bathroom. (Hint: Do not take your smartphone in the shower!)
- Get your readers to do the work. If you’re running short on ideas, survey your readers on a free platform like SurveyMonkey to learn what they want to read. Prompt them to ask you their burning questions. You may discover you’ve been neglecting topics that your readers crave.
- ‘Steal’ ideas from social media. Hang out on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to find out what friends and followers are actually talking about right now. Which topics are trending? Which provoke the fiercest debate? And which the most confusion? Use one of these topics as the starting point for your next post as a surefire way to deliver the goods even when inspiration eludes you.
And remember, you don’t always need fresh ideas. Instead you can:
- Invite other writers to the party. Once your blog garners enough readers, writers will be clamoring to write for you. They’ll pitch you so you don’t have to be the source of all the ideas. And it’s great to have a fresh voice on your blog now and again.
- Refresh posts from the archives. After a while, older posts are buried by newer ones. Resurrect them by updating old information, expanding on the points made in a list article (each one can be its own post), or combining several short posts on similar topics into a roundup.
- Take your cue from the season. For example, many bloggers used Thanksgiving to run “thank you” promotions, share lists of what they’re thankful for in their industry, or offer tips on how readers can use gratitude lists, journals, or meditations to enhance their own lives. In January, many readers will be looking for a fresh start in their careers or personal lives, so posts full of ideas and strategies to help with this are bound to do well. And posts like these practically write themselves.
See what I mean? You don’t have to have hundreds of fresh ideas in the bank before committing to your blog for the long haul.
It’s time to ditch the excuses
If these excuses – or heck, any excuses – are holding you back, keep in mind that every successful blogger faces their own demons. They’re not naturally immune to the fear, the uncertainty and all the other obstacles – they’ve just learned to plow through and take action in spite of them. Take a page from their books and let your passion guide the way, instead of your fear.
Don’t tell yourself and others what you can’t do. Tell them what you can. Ditch the excuses – and just write.
92 thoughts on “11 Lame Excuses That Successful Bloggers Never Make”
Thanks for having me, Jon! I look forward to everyone’s comments.
A fun, friendly writing voice you’ve got there! Enjoyed the read.
What a joy to see your name pop up here, Linda! I always look forward to your Morning Motivations and the headline on this post in my inbox compelled me to open it up and read all the way through. I love your observation about how everything’s been done, but not in your unique voice. So true. Fresh content is a fresh perspective, not a brand new topic.
Thanks, and I’m glad you like the Morning Motivations!
I do not have any of these problems but some others.
Hi Linda, great post.
I like your idea of guerrilla writing, I certainly struggle to fit in writing amongst my other commitments.
I think creating a posting schedule is one of the best ways to stay on top of your content creation.
“If you don’t try, you have a 100% chance of failing.” very true.
Thanks for this list, Linda. I suspect all writers deal with these critical voices and excuses at some point in their process. The best thing to do is just DO IT ANYWAY. I think blogging allows us to develop our platform and our message on the fly, with real readers offering real feedback as we go. It’s great to have conversations with readers about topics we care about.
I am a terrible perfectionist, but the fluidity of the interwebs makes me feel like there is less at stake. Blogging, even imperfectly, is all part of developing a larger message or vision. I’ll craft that with more care when I write my books. In the meantime, it’s stimulating to connect with likeminded writers.
Good on ya, writer friend… Be well, and use your powers for GOOD!
Love this. I never get tired of posts about excuses – it’s something I’ve struggled with for a looong time and now, I finally got it. Some great points in this post, too.
“Do It Anyway” — Yes! I’m actually working on an e-book called Write It Anyway, about how to bust your writing excuses. And I love how you used the fluid nature of the Internet to help overcome your fears. Heck, if you make a mistake on your blog, you can change it with the click of a button.
You make a great point when you say that it’s not all about saying something new per se, but how you say what you say. I’m with Marina; these aren’t my particular problems but I think it’s important to realize that we can all make excuses and we need to figure out why and how to stop. By the way, I loved Write Your Way Out of the Rat Race… And Step Into a Career You Love.
I’m so glad you enjoyed the book…thanks for reading it!
Maybe it’s just me, but if any excuse comes up I still post. My recent act: I take lots of time writing. My results don’t reflect the time invested so I take less time for the same results.
Rory’s quote from you reminded me of the Michael Jordan quote, “You miss every shot you never take.” Yogi Berra couldn’t have said it better.
Good list, Linda.
Well said, Linda. And definitely true, all the way!
Yup, I pretty much suffered from all of these at some point. Great list, because it makes me feel less alone. Blogging can feel so solitary sometimes, so it’s good to know others out there feel the same way. Getting over #10 was the hardest for me; I feared I was not a true expert. But then I realized that sometimes it’s more interesting for people to read about someone who is struggling to grow than someone who is already an expert. Thanks.
A great read Linda! Thank you for all the specific questions. They’re very powerful and stimulating.
Number 4 is a good one for me and I solved it by getting up early…4am. It’s my time to be creative. It’s quiet and I get 2 -3 hours in before anyone else gets up. It really energizes my entire day too.
You’re so right about writing for your readers and asking them what they want to hear. I get many ideas to write about by asking my readers and…it’s in their words, which is an added plus because it helps me know what they feel, it’s their real words and feelings and I’m able then to write for their specific needs and wants and questions.
Thank you for your wonderful encouragement! You always inspire and you always create such a useful outline to follow to be successful.
My very best – Michael
nice post…i really loved your number 1 point and the way you addressed the time factor. That has been one of my excuse..am too busy. I will take your advice to put it in my calendar. Thanks once again
Hah, good point on the fearing success comment. I always get worried, “If clients 1,2, and 3 all want me to do work for them, then how am I going to find the time to get it all done?”
I still fear that even though it’s never really been a problem. Somehow, it all works out.
I know! And I say if clients 1, 2, and 3 want work from you, the correct response is to do the happy dance — and then negotiate your deadlines! 🙂
Linda, great to see you in Jon’s playpen! My biggest trouble is that I only blog when I get the itch, so I post only every 2 weeks or so. (Not itchy enough, obviously.) I do tend to write longer posts too.
I know there’s no magic formula for how often you should post, but the scant traffic I get tells me I’m not doing something right, so I’m going to change the frequency and the word count. (Perhaps just once a year, but a 20,000-word post. Yeah, that ought to work.)
Tom, I recently learned that while you’ll want to post frequently when you start out, once you’re established you can slow down the posting. I’ve been at it for 7 years and have just decreased from 8x/month to 2x/month. I haven’t seen any big declines in my readership or list subscriptions.
You nailed it, Jon! I’m sharing this to our email list. BTW, our list came from signing up for our free blog topic generation tool. It’s a pretty good solution for Problem 11. It takes 47 minutes and results in over 60 topic ideas for everyone who puts in some effort. It’s all video and fill-in-the-blanks. Zero pressure or hassle from humans.
I really enjoy your topics.
Fear is a huge factor for not starting a blog, especially if you tell family and friends what you plan to do. Yikes! Your dream of starting a blog can be killed in less than 2.5 seconds. If you want to start a blog, it’s best to keep it to yourself. Only share with like-minded people.
Create your website, put up a Stay Tuned page and guest blog (build-up a following). I recommend Jon’s GuestBlogging Course.
Thanks for a helpful article Linda. There is a lively debate on this topic, with Chris Brogan posting Stop Making Content Just to Make It which seemingly taking the contradictory point of view.
Linda and Chris, I believe, are both advocating for content marketing and productivity. Linda points out the lost opportunities when you blog infrequently; Chris focuses on the costs when you blog too often. (I guess Goldilocks is the model blogger!) If Linda and Chris are both right, something else is going on.
The unstated problem: volume doesn’t trump effectiveness. Trying to spend your way to content marketing success by starting an “arms race” is a sad but frequent occurrence that can be avoided. My post, 5 Behaviors to Win at Content Marketing Arms Races, advocates creating content marketing volume, but strategy- and user-centric volume. To me “lame” means using bad blogging strategy, expending too much effort and trumpeting questionable success metrics in the name of content marketing effectiveness.
Oh, Jon, oh Jon……you have unveiled my excuses: #1 and #2. Mostly #2………I’m a DIY blogger and when I’m in between projects, it’s really hard for me to post “Hey, here’s what’s going on!” type of posts because I’m concerned that the grand finale type project posts are the only thing people are interested in. Truth of the matter is that my writing style and humor as usually well-received, so it’s possible to leverage that, along with a few tidbits or resources that people may still find valuable. I’m no longer going to be able to use those excuses. Ya just called me out on them 😉
Serena @ Thrift Diving
Truthfully? I’m now a full-time blogger — and make good money selling my courses, mentoring, etc. — but when people ask what I do, I cringe to tell them I’m a blogger. People automatically think blogger = unemployed.
Oops, meant this as a reply to Amandah’s comment.
‘finally got my blog looking semi-decent, and yesterday was the big day to finally start writing my first post. I needed this article badly! I spent the day doing everything except writing — entirely out of fear. Numbers 1, 2, and 3 pretty much cover it. Thank you a million times for this article, it’s just the kick in the backside I need!
Wow, good luck on your new blog!
Great post, Linda – and I can definitely relate to most of these points, not just in writing but in business and many other things.
If I can just stay out of the “what ifs” and projecting into the future and just focus on doing the important stuff each day, it definitely helps.
Sometimes we just have to take the next step even when we can’t see what comes after that. 😉
Wow, good luck with your new blog!
Jon, I like the list and can relate to it. I felt many of those points, including the “having something significant to say”. I finally decided I would blog for me, then, so as to get all the thoughts in my head out on paper.
I also worried about having enough to say, but found my self routinely creating posts with 800-1200 words.
Trust yourself, it will come!
I have seen in the past that the biggest factor preventing me from doing anything was hesitation; that feeling that everything is not quite in place for you to start publishing to your blog, or opening the doors of your new business.
I have learned that we just need to get out there and do what needs to be done. I have had failures in the past, but I have learned from them.
My blog has just started out, but one thing that I have realized is that patience is more important than anything if you want to be successful.
My biggest enemy in my blogging efforts is time. I just don’t seem to have enough of it to do what I want to do. Time to prioritize and re-organize I guess.
Hello; Thanks for sharing this excellent guest post with us. Off of this article i visited her site and decided to subscribe to her email updates. You are right having competition in your niche should not keep you from blogging. I recently passed the most established company in my niche through determination and hard work. they have been in business selling amusement equipment for 16 years and i have only been doing it full time for 6. I blog and take advantage of social media where they don’t. I also have been building relationships with other bloggers by posting comments, sharing their posts, and exchanging emails with them. And many of the bloggers who have become friends and who have helped me are in niches that have nothing to do with mine. That’s just the way bloggrs are. Most of them are hard working generous people who will love to help you learn and grow if you just ask them. Many will volunteer as long as you put yourself out there. and this post proves what you said about using guest posts to let your readers do some of the hard work. this was an excellent post easily up to the standards of any of the blogging super stars and you didn’t have to write it. I am currently about to post my first interview post. I put the word out in my niche that i wanted to do interviews with leaders in my industry. so far i have had only one taker. I have a phone call scheduled for wednesday to finish the question so i’m hoping to have it out by friday. and i believe a lot of the other leaders of the amusement industry are going to want to be next. thanks again for this great article and take care, max
Hi Linda and Jon
Great list of Lame Excuses.
There will always be people who love you and others who also hate you. You can never please everyone. If one gets a bruised ego easily, try your best not to be writing something that could be controversial, but still put out good content to make people think. I have quit visiting a blog because she obviously didn’t read my comment correctly and after that she blocked me. It was nothing about her, but for some reason she didn’t want any bold statements on her site. Actually when I look back I think it was rather funny, I don’t think she liked the word “corny” when I was referring to myself…go figure? I think people need to have a little common sense and you don’t have to let nasty comments on your site, it is your real estate.
I agree if you need any motivation to do something it is probably not for you. I read that if you have to be motivated, then it is something you really don’t want to do. You make time for something you love to do. It is surprising how energetic one feels if something fun is happening, but yet on a normal day you have no energy to even read a book.
“If you have to be motivated, then it is something you really don’t want to do.” Interesting, and I’m sure it’s true! I’ve also heard that motivation comes from within — it’s not something you get, but something you have.
Love this & I’m now going to pop it into my BlogHop group so it can be read by all ..Thank you
Great article! I think we need this kind of inspiration especially this time of year. Nos. 8 & 9 resonate strongly with me. I’m not sure which of them holds me back more — fear of failure or fear of success. By the way, I read your morning inspirations every day. Love those!
Thanks for the kind words about my Morning Motivations for writers!
Thanks for the kick in the pants, Linda. Early on I had struggles with #11. I think everyone does at first. All great points – and a fun read.
You rock! This was an amazing article. My favorite line was “nothing gives you more energy than working toward a goal you’re passionate about.” Thank you for the timely reminder of why I started my blog. I’ve only been writing for 3 months and I keep wondering if it is worth it. This reminded me that I’m writing for the passion, not the audience. When I write for myself, the articles are always more interesting and fun.
“Start anywhere”. Wisest words any aspiring blogger can hear. 🙂
I’m a firm believer in starting where you are and taking a step toward where you want to be. Doesn’t matter too much which step you take first, or how wobbly it is. Look at toddlers — they survive walking like that for a whole year, right?
You are obviously passionate about what you do and it shows in your writing style. I feel as if I know you and this is the first time I’ve been exposed to your writing.
I’ve heard myself say all of the above, so guess I’m a normal blogger 🙂
One of my very first posts was a quote from Khalil Gibran which relates to your encouragement to get started anywhere…“A little knowledge that acts is worth infinitely more than much knowledge that is idle.”
I used this quote to propel myself forward and START the blog.
Thank you for these helpful ideas and your persistence with blogging!
Love that quote! I hope you don’t mind if I steal it for one of my Morning Motivations for Writers emails next week. 🙂
I really like that example you gave, Sophie. My 18 month old has this cute little wobbly walk and he still stumbles every now and again. But he gets back up and walks again. And he’s a lot better than he was when he first started. Imagine if he decided not to walk because he wouldn’t be perfect at it right away.
This is a really inspiring article. Thanks!
“if it doesn’t come bursting out of you in spite of everything, don’t do it” – Charles Bukowski, So You Want To Be A Writer. That line always springs to mind when I read posts like this. I think something wants to burst out of all of us. It gets suffocated by what we think we should write about, how much traffic we hope to get, who we’re afraid of offending, etc.
Okay, can I steal that quote for my Morning Motivations for Writers emails too? Nice one!
Sometimes we don’t stop to notice that the other people who seem to be doing more than us are also weighed down by the same, if not more, tasks, doubts, feeling of not having enough time.
This reason alone should be able to help us create the time and inch closer to our goals, doing a little of this and a little of that most of the days – it soon compounds. And the journey is sure to put a smile on any face, yea Linda?
Such a great post! I had a lot of those problems when I first started, but soon learned to just jump in and go full speed. I still don’t have really successful blogs, but am working on it. I think the points you made about just starting something is so important. We all get too intimidated that we won’t do it “right”…just do it and forget about “right.” There is no right way anyway! That’s what makes blogs individual and unique is that they are done with the writers personal flair. Putting your own ideas and spin on your blog is what makes it good.
My book, 62 Blog Posts to Overcome Blogger’s Block, is another source of inspiration. It will help you get rid of excuses for #11. While it will not give you topic ideas, the book will help you generate creative blog post ideas. Purchase your copy on Kindle.
You certainly have me covered here! I am pretty sure that I am guilty of all of these, but I have a particularly pernicious version of #10. As a web developer, I have found that there is always yet anouther plugin, css fix, email list tweak that has to be attended to before I put fingers to keyboard and get down to the business of actually writing. I read this list and realised that actually, there is no point in giving yourself excuses, the only one you are failing is yourself.
So now that I have finished leaving a comment here (and thus avoiding writing for another 15 minutes!) I am reaching for my latest outline and getting to it – I promise! 🙂
I’m sorry to say you’ve got it all wrong.
You simply cannot drink English Breakfast tea in the evening. Enough said.
Try one of these instead (I have no connection to this site, I just LOVE drinking tea)
I’ve been looking for a new tea to drink, but I have to say I only like black — not green or herbal. I see this one has a decaf Earl Grey, which will do. Thanks!
These are some really lame excuses and I don’t think I ever had any of it. However, I know a lot of people have some of them (if not all). Since you shared it, I am sure you have seen a lot of people making these excuses. Isn’t it amazing?
Thanks for sharing.
Thanx for the kick in the pants, Linda. Today, I will be working on my next post – which is long overdue!
I made up a little graphic that says “Do it anyway.” You definitely run into a lot of these excuses when you struggle daily with anxiety and depression. You could remove the word “blogger” and replace it with “wife,” “sibling”…. Just getting up and brushing your teeth every day is a struggle.
So I’d like to add that if you are like me and have said one, two or, heck, all of these excuses, *dont beat yourself up about it.* The longer you languish in it, the less time you have to invest in your blog.
Also, I want to add that when you’ve overcome one of these excuses, even if it’s something small, celebrate it!
Nice to see you on here, Linda!
Thanks, Williesha! I love your idea of making a sign to remind yourself to just take action. And you’re right — no point in beating yourself up about it. What’s done is done — time to move on.
I always equate finding the “perfect” time to write to finding the perfect time to have kids. When is the perfect time to have kids? When you’re tired of all that free time and disposable income? Um, no. There’s NEVER a perfect time for anything; you might as well just do it (write, have a baby, go for a run, etc.) now.
Are you a Doctor or a Psychologist? Honestly, your post says alot about why I have not started blogging. Why I keep postponing my blogging days till I get a better job. When will that be? Don’t know.
Thanks for exposing our weaknesses and why we need not to wait for a better time. The best time is now!
Thanks for your Morning Motivation. It’s helping!!!
Are you a Doctor or a Psychologist? Honestly, your post says alot about why I have not started blogging. Why I keep postponing my blogging days till I get a better job. When will that be? Don’t know.
Thanks for exposing our weaknesses and why we need not to wait for a better time. The best time is now!
Thanks for your Morning Motivation. It’s helping!!!
Thanks for the motivation! It seems I’ve been guilty of going here and there and pretty much everywhere I can to learn new things, but when it comes to working on my writing I never find the time! Gee, maybe if I stopped dawdling around and just go do it already maybe I’ll get something done.
Enough said, I’m going to go do some work! There’s never a better time. Thanks again Linda for the motivation to get going again. 🙂
One word, Linda: OUCH.
For the past few months, I’ve been reading (your stuff, and many others), creating lists, tweaking my writer website, reading, monkeying around with MailChimp, designing the perfect business cards, reading, changing the banner on my writer website…well, you’ve heard this before.
As I was reading your list, I’d read one and think: “Oh man, that is the biggest excuse I’m making right now!” Then, I’d read the next one. “No, THAT is the biggest excuse I’m making!” It just kept getting more and more painful as I read. (I think that is a weird compliment, actually.) You have touched the appropriate nerve in a way that I needed right now. Thanks, Linda, for ALL your work to inspire us.
And congrats on being the last blog post I read for a while. Sorry, but I’ve got some writing I need to go do…
So I made your day more painful? Mission accomplished! 🙂 Seriously, I hope everything goes great with your blogging!
I think I made most of these excuses in one way or another. And when I come up with an attack plan there is always another excuse hiding behind the bushes.
I don’t see excuses as a problem, in most cases they are a reflection of some of the adversities I experience on my journey. In most cases my excuses becomes a problem when I start get comfortable with them. Or it is no longer an excuse it has become an habit.
Most excuses if I take some of the action steps you suggest can be great tipping points that brings me to the next level.
Ready here to attack my next excuse.
I made your day more painful? Mission accomplished! 🙂 Seriously, I hope all goes great with your blog!
Sorry, that was meant for Cory — I get so confused with the “Reply” buttons above and below every comment! 🙂
Excellent post, Linda. I’ve been sitting around, feeling sorry for myself because I felt like my few weeks old blog was destined to be a flop. Did I mention I have all of two posts on it right now? I love this list, as much as it hurt. Thank you.
Oh my goodness, it’s MUCH too early to call your blog a flop! It took me like five YEARS before I felt the Renegade Writer was truly successful. But we started it when there were few resources on how to blog, so now the learning curve should be much quicker. Get some posts up there, build your social media presence, and I hope your blog takes off!
I’m insane, right? Haha! Thanks for the encouragement. I think I have a confidence problem, but I’m slowly but surely learning how to overcome it.
Nicolia, My blog is only a few months old and the bully in my brain mocks, laughs and belittles me that my creative writing endeavor is destined to flop too! SO, I am having to train my brain to let her hyper-alert, criticisms go and allow her to witness the desire in my heart, which brought me to this canvas of communication in the first place. My heart encourages me to keep showing up- that posting a weekly commentary is training my brain in the art of creating a successful blog. -Zella Mai
Wow, you must have read my mind! Everything written here has passed through my mind a dozen times. I’ve been working on my blog’s theme forever, and haven’t written one post yet. My obsession with having it “look” perfect is my personal excuse for not actually writing.
Thanks for the great tips. You just might have inspired me to take that scary first leap!
Well, what if you’re not getting any visitors? Zip. Yes, I’ve started seeding the cyberverse with my writings, and improving my blog header, but nothing so far. The people on Facebook aren’t talking about weight loss. so I can’t survey anyone with Survey Monkey. So what to do?
That stinks! I can’t tell you what might be going wrong — there are so many variables. Have you thought about hiring a coach who can help you figure out what you need to do to get more visitors?
I had the same difficulty for about a year. Website, writing a few posts but no visitors. Then I started making comments ( mostly not about tea though) on other blogs and forums and leaving my website address. Now I get a tiny but steady stream of visitors; about 8 or 10 per month, which is a HUGE confidence booster. My advice, fwiw, would be to concentrate on joining existing conversations for a while.
Thanks for sharing your insights with Mary!
I like this post because it illustrates that the mind will conceive countless reasons why you should not pursue blogging success, or success in any area of life for that matter. At the end of the day, after all is said and done, you could either act and have a 50% chance of succeeding, or not act and have a 100% chance of failing.
May 26th I began my blog. I post each Sunday- a spiritual musing that relates to letting destructive habit go. The urge to hit the “unpublish site” button has been intense.
I am envious of the people who have commented on your post that they do not have any of the 11 lame excuses.
Musing my thoughts onto paper has always felt like I was quenching something deep within. Entering into this new (to me) realm of sowing some of those thoughts into a public format has been a mixture of quenching and fear. Thank you for addressing some of those fears and essentially cheering me on! -Zella Mai
I came across this blog post from Penelope Trunk: http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2009/04/21/8-reasons-why-you-wont-make-money-from-your-blog/?utm_source=sidebar. I know it’s really, really hard and a lot of work, but it’s not that impossible to monetize your blog, is it?
Interesting post! It’s not impossible, but Penelope is right that it’s very hard. I ran my blog for YEARS before I started earning significant income from courses, etc. BUT — a good blog leads to other opportunities, like paid writing assignments and e-courses. For example, when Carol Tice and I both won the Top 10 Blogs for Writers award a couple years ago, she hired me to work for her at the Freelance Writers Den and we started doing courses together that make up a good portion of my income.
I think this applies to a lot of creative people and maybe all of them. I work in the music business and I certainly see it in songwriters. Something the professional songwriters in Nashville do though is set appointments to co-write with people and also treat their writing like a job — they show up, put on the uniform, and get going. The successful bloggers I know take a similar approach.
Great post for a new blogger like me. Thanks for sharing your experience. Good luck
[ Smiles ] Linda, you are right about making the time to blog, because if we were to wait for the perfect timing, it would never happen!
It never ceases to amaze me the inspiration that finds its way to me when I need it the most. I literally just sat down to do some writing that I have been putting off, plugged in my headphones, and… that’s about where I was before the dreaded “what am I going to write about?” started drumming in my head.
Needed this today. Perhaps Friday the 13th ain’t so bad after all. 🙂
HI,This is a great post ,always i want to learn new things,Thanks for Sharing Article
Really liked the first point. There is this swing wanders the net “Haters gonna hate”. So what? It’s not like you have to raise your children with your “followers”, right? These are all excuses. Some people say: “I don’t have time”, “I’m tired”, “I’m too old for this s%*#” and many other things. Ask yourselves: “If they can, why can’t I? They are human like me”. This is a huge article, very openminded.
Thanks for your tips, very useful and helpful to me. Really nice post, Bang!
Thanks for the warm-hearted kick-in-the-pants, Linda. Have you been spying on my again? Bought and adored your book, _Write Your Way Out Of The Rat Race…_. I’ve been evangelizing about it to all of my writerly friends who could also use that friendly keister boot.
Thanks, Lori! Glad you liked the book – and this post!
I just came across your post again and I’m really impressed. It’s a moment of I wish I’d read it so long ago. But then, maybe I wouldn’t have appreciated the wisdom on offer as much then. So thank you for taking the time to write and publish it.
Thank you for giving some valuable tips to become a successful blogger.I hope this will help me a lot
Good post–I’m sure we’ve all experienced at least a few of these at some point. One of the best ways to focus, I find, is to start from the top-down and identify exactly what audience I’m writing for, and exactly which need of that audience I’m looking to fulfill. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with writing articles that may be thematically similar to other stuff that’s out there (there’s nothing new under the sun, after all), and put in a more specific context for a specific audience, the “same old same old” can still be really relevant and helpful.