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.