“The finest steel has to go through the hottest fire.” — Richard Nixon.
If you’re in the early stages of your blog, allow me to empathize with you. I too am a newbie blogger with the same ups and downs, constant self-questioning and blind faith as you. I too write to a near-empty audience without the guarantee of applause, and I too must believe in myself when nobody else even knows who I am.
Feeling uncomfortable is natural and healthy for newbie bloggers like us — it’s part of paying our dues. But instead of flinching from your discomfort, why not embrace it? Why not use it to drive you that much further past the masses who settle for comfort and dare I say…mediocrity. If you can to learn to leverage your challenges to your benefit, not much can hold you back from the wild success of your dreams.
So without further ado, here are the five most obvious signs you’re a healthy, thriving new blogger:
- You’re anxious. You want results and you want them now. Unlike that boring nine to five desk job, blogging represents a bright future which you have the freedom to create. It’s something worth waking up for and nurturing, even on Mondays. Anxiety is a good sign because it shows your blog is alive and breathing, itching to grow and blossom like a restless child.
- You’re lonely. You have two readers, and you’re of one them. This is how we all start, but if you keep writing, they will come. Just ask fellow new blogger Nathan, who says “I’m still writing consistently, and seeing steady increases in readership.” Does it get any simpler than that? Nathan understands the ancient Chinese wisdom that states, “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”
- You’re tired. If you’re like me, your blogging is competing for time normally set aside for something else, like sleeping. Or time with the family. Or surfing when the waves are good. Chances are you didn’t quit your day job to start your blog, so being tired is a perfectly normal side-effect of new blogging. Gary Vaynerchuk of winelibrary.tv says it best in this speech (at 12:15): “Work nine to five. Spend a couple of hours with your family. Seven to two in the morning is plenty of time to do damage.”
- You’re intimidated. We blog in the shadow of giants — bright and cunning bloggers who have been doing it longer, command all the readership and clearly have more fun than the rest of us. This should intimidate you as a new blogger, but it should also drive you to learn everything you can about them, their stories and their methods. What you learn will make you stronger and smarter, and before you know it you’ll be up there too. See also: Power of the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy.
- You’re obsessed. Being obsessed is just another way of saying you’re committed with passion. Your readers will know and appreciate this because it will show in your writing without any overt effort on your part. Obsessions are healthy because they supply your blog with ideas, information, charisma and creative energy. Following your fixation will eventually lead to a blog that is uniquely you and not a copy of someone else’s great idea.
Remember — it doesn’t pay to be comfortable. Embrace your challenges like a mountain climber or astronaut would embrace theirs — with gusto, courage and faith. Now more than ever is the time to push forward..