Talentless Hack


The other day Chestnut did an excellent post about Impostor Syndrome that you should check out if you have not.  The fact that it is a real thing, doesn’t actually help me personally get over being mired in it at times.  Right now I am fighting it massively as yesterday was the official first day of August and as such the beginning the periods where the posts start counting towards the totals.  The problem is I am personally feeling overwhelmed with doubt.  I am questioning who the hell I was to be thinking I should bring back Blaugust and at the same time try and cherry-pick aspects of the Newbie Blogger Initiative and other blogging community events.  What gave me the right to be the one to do all of this?

Even more so…  I question who I am to be giving advice to anyone.  Most of the time I feel like a talentless hack that somehow mastered the ability to get up in the morning and spew nonsense into blog form.  My claim to fame has always been longevity…  not actually being good at anything.  Who am I to even suggest anything out to another human being out there that is quite honestly probably already better at this than I am?  My experiences are not unique and my gaming interactions aren’t particularly interesting…  so why would I think that I should be documenting it and pushing it out there into the world.  To make matters worse…  I am not even good at life in general and I spent my days waiting for my workplace to catch on to the fact that I don’t actually know half of the things they think I do.

Ultimately…  this is what my brain sounds like every moment of every day.  There are times where it is really hard to push aside those little voices and keep moving forward.  The thing is though…  that I know I am not alone in this.  Almost every friend of mine that I get to know, has their own version of this cadence playing in their head telling them that they are not good enough or strong enough to do something.  It is very easy to let the voices win and slink back into the comfortable shadows trying to keep anyone from noticing you disappeared.  The early days of my blog is filled with periods of time where the voices won, and silenced me.

I would accidentally find myself falling behind in posting because life happens, and then it became this massive barrier to get past to start again.  I kept thinking that in order to make a post… it had to be good enough to make up for the amount of time I was gone from the blog.  So if I was gone a month…  then when I started posting again I needed something truly epic to talk about in a time when nothing in my life felt epic at all.  Even to this day I never really understood what prompted me to start the experiment of getting up every single morning and writing anything that came to my mind.  But the repetition and routine allowed me to push past that barrier and just start up again and the track record of doing it for so long…  gave me empirical proof that I could in fact pull a post out of the ether every single day.

I am not a good writer.  There are people who are participating in Blaugust that absolutely are, and take their craft extremely seriously.  My blog is not one of those.  I have come to accept that fact and instead focus on sharing my story with you the reader.  I occasionally have nuggets of wisdom to pass along, or an interesting life experience…  but more often than not it is the simple act of getting up and sharing something real with you every single morning that keeps this process going.  It is a weird protracted one sided conversation that I am having with you, serialized a single day at a time and largely that is the method of communication that feels the most comfortable at times.

I can imagine that I have no readers at all and that I am just chronicling my ideas for my own purposes.  I can imagine that I have a large audience out there when I want to feel more important.  The act of creating something and thrusting it out into the world can be extremely therapeutic at times.  I will admit however there is not a single morning that goes by that I don’t have to sort of hold my breath and push the publish button without thinking about it too much.  This is why I don’t really edit my posts and you get them in their natural raw state…  typos, word swaps and all.  If I were to think about what I was just about to throw out into the world I would mire myself in the all too familiar cycle of analysis paralysis and self recrimination.

There are members of this initiative that talk about how they carefully edit each post to pair down the number of words, and that is brilliant advice if you are in fact the type of writer that can take it.  For me personally…  this blog is more compulsion than willful act at this point.  The more I think through the process the more likely said process is to fail.  The more I examine something the more I get caught in a loop of inaction because sitting in that silent place where I am forever weighing the outcomes occasionally feels good.  The inertia of analysis is a pleasant thing.  Every single morning is a struggle and to make up for my own failings…  it is like I have tricked myself into hitting that publish button when I am still very much half asleep.

Over the last several years I have built up a level of honesty with my readers and part of that is sharing my own failings.  I am not good at this and I have no right to be kick-starting the return of Blaugust.  I did it however for the purely selfish reason of wanting to see more people out there doing the sort of thing that I do on a daily basis.  I want more windows into other worlds where I am can sit down and partake of these elongated one-sided stories myself.  I missed having a thick blogroll full of tales to experience any time I needed that to escape from my own frustrations and troubles into someone else’s world.  I have no right at all to give advice but I will continue to share my experiences, because it seems to be the thing that I need to do each day to feel normal.

10 thoughts on “Talentless Hack

  1. What gives you the right is that you were the one who stood up and did it. You have just as much right to be here doing this as anyone else and you’re the one who actually did it.

    I’ve also found one aspect of doing well at most things is, in fact, longevity. You never get good at something sitting around thinking about it, you get good by doing it.

    Also, I’m here because of you. Your effort brought me here. I wouldn’t be doing this if it wasn’t for Blaugust. Hearing about it put the idea in my head. We all have demons, but you have the power to reach out and touch people you don’t know in spite of them.

    Keep doing you.

  2. You’ve done a fantastic job getting this Blaugust up and organized. Clearly you made it appealing to a wide range of people who now get to tell their stories. Combining Blaugust and NBI was pretty inspired.

    If you did not write appealingly and from the heart yourself, perhaps you wouldn’t have drawn so many. You do, though, and now you have a larger audience for your thoughts, perhaps. It’s a good thing.

    I wondered if the huge response might have taken you back a little. It’s ok, you’re no imposter. You’ve got thoughts and talents to share and have created something pretty wonderful.

    Thanks for all of this! Atheren

  3. I think it’s fantastic that you not only brought back Blaugust but re-ignited the NBI as well. I really missed the NBI last year and exactly like you I missed the influx of new blogs to my blog roll, but I would never have had the energy or the initiative to step up and get it all started again.

    I definitely don’t suffer from imposter syndrome or anything similar but feeling confident about what I post myself in no way translates into feeling confident to organize something on this scale. That takes an entirely different level not just of confidence but of authority, both of which you are amply and admirably demonstrating. You may not feel confident but the results speak for themselves. Brilliant work!

    Also, don’t underestimate your writing skills. Your stuff may not be as flash or fancy as some but no-one in this corner of the blogosphere is a better communicator and that’s what it’s all about in the end.

  4. Bel, you are a spectacular person. I know hearing it won’t help, but you really are a wonderfully special person.

    Thank you so much for doing this. And for what it’s worth, *I* look up to you as a mentor, and a leader in this small little niche of a world we bloggers have carved out for ourselves.

    Thank you for everything you do.
    Chestnut recently posted..Some Last AdviceMy Profile

  5. Tons of people dislike leading, so if anyone brave enough stands up and points in a direction with a clear goal, a surprising number will be game enough to follow. 😉

    As for my own tastes in reading, I find myself more drawn to those espousing more of a Peter Elbow, than Strunk & White style. Real words, even if blocked, stuttering or full of errors, from people who have found something they want to communicate, somehow have more power and more draw to me than something polished to a gleam but lacking a soul.

    But hey, everyone’s different. Different people will find what works for them, and their audience who likes their style will find them.
    Jeromai recently posted..Blaugust: Free Ideas Lockbox!My Profile

  6. Honesty is the best policy, and you are really awesome Belghast. This post really helps assuage my own worries, since I, too, have the same thoughts rolling around in my head throughout the day. I’m pretty much a random and ‘go with how you feel today’ kind of blogger, I never have a set theme or idea to talk about. Which, at times, creates a lot of hesitancy and insecurity in me to continue even writing.

    I’m really thankful that you brought back Blaugust, while I never heard of it until last month, it got me back into blogging and enjoying something that doesn’t need to be so structured all the time (i.e. school).

  7. I would say (just for starters) that your blog is extremely accessible, natural and above all very human. By that I mean you have all the ups, down and conflicts that we all share. You write consistently honest posts and I think that is why people enjoy them so much. I know I do. It’s the style of writing that’s best for you and you do it well.

    As for all those questions, I would simply turn them around the other way. Why should you not be able to encourage people and share your experiences. They are just as real and valid as anyone else’s. Why would your advice be any worse than their’s? I think you’re far better equipped and experienced to run an endeavour like Blaugust, than you think.

    Tread boldy.

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