I have always liked writing, I suspect as a blogger I am not the only one and in fact thats a pretty stupid thing to say. Nonetheless it’s true, as a school student English was always one of my favs and I loved our creative writing portion of our GCSEs. My teacher probably didn’t when I handed in a 40 page A4 story… In another life screen play writing would have been the dream, the emotive gritty scenes I see gracing our screens never fail to set me off. Anyway I became a lawyer not a writer and when throwing in my legal towel to take up the challenge of SAHM blogging was really the obvious outlet for me.
Thus far I have loved it, especially the writing aspect, which ironically is a relatively small part of it. Like many I have had writers block or times when I have needed a break but one thing that has always kept it going is requirement to write. Until recently.
Recently something happened, something more than writers block. I couldn’t write.
It wasn’t because I didn’t have the ideas, they were there in droves. Neither was it the lack of time.
I found myself in the midst of a very big confidence crises. I was suddenly very aware of who my audience was. I know that there are bloggers who read my posts and I know there are people I know offline, family, friends, aquanitences who read them. I know what you are thinking, thats great you moron, you have readers that is clearly a good thing.
Yes it is. Mostly.
I was however suddenly very aware of these people. When I was writing posts or thinking of posts I couldn’t help but think ‘well so and so won’t like this’ or ‘XYZ won’t appreciate this comment’ and so on. Blogger appropriate posts were not always mummy friend appropriate posts and vice versa. I couldn’t find a way to please everyone. I was worried some people would think I was an ungrateful cow moaning about my children and then I worried others would think I was soppy ‘my kids are all amazing joys even when they’re being shits’ type.
The result of all this was that I wrote nothing. Sensible solution huh?
So how did I get over it?
Well I would love to sit here and sprout out inspiring comments like ‘write for you’ ‘write like no one is reading’ ‘be you’re own audience’ but I can’t. I don’t completely buy that. Yes there is certainly merit to it and I am trying to adopt said philosophies as best I can but ultimately we are going to think about our audience and whether people will like what we publish, we’re human.
What actually helped me most was taking a break. Fortunately the Christmas break came at just the right time as the break was forced upon me. It gave me some time off and some time out of my head. It allowed me to get over myself, get a reality check and some much needed perspective. Taking a step back sometimes really can be the best medicine. The time off and away from something, even something you love, can remind you why you loved it in the first place and make you want to get back to it.
So where am I now? I do still have some of those niggles in the back of my head when I am writing or going to hit publish but I am not letting them stop me writing. It is often a case of mind over matter but just taking the plunge and hitting publish can also be liberating. I am writing what I want to write and trying not to dwell on what EVERYONE might have to say about it. You can never, after all, please everyone.
What about you? Have you ever had a confidence crisis? Has it stopped you doing something you loved and how did you get over it? I would love to hear from you.