One comment I hear from a lot of small business owners who are trying to talk themselves into starting a blog is: I can’t write.
I’m going to get all life-coachy here and tell you that: yes, you can write. You’re just afraid to write publicly.
I see this all the time when I kick off a new blog challenge. The fear of exposure. Publishing a blog post is almost like being naked in public, just not as drafty. You make yourself vulnerable.
- what if I make a mistake?
- what if I’m wrong?
- what if someone doesn’t like me?
Those are the kinds of questions that keep new bloggers from pressing that “Publish” button. I’ve seen a few actually break out in a cold sweat just talking about it.
The fastest way to get past that fear is – quit worrying about it.
You will make mistakes. You will be wrong. Some people won’t like you.
That’s true whether you are blogging or doing laundry. Don’t believe me? Just see how people look at you in the laundromat when you are folding a t-shirt. Everybody has an opinion on the best method, apparently.
Let’s talk about grammar nazis for a minute. Even though it’s the accepted phrase, I hate using the word ‘nazi’ to describe someone; it’s overused and a little extreme. I like to call them grammar grannies.
Sit up straight. Elbows off the table. Use the right fork. Plastic on the sofa. Everything is perfect, spotless, and in its place. All they do all day is clean and organize.
Grammar grannies have had a long time to perfect their grammar.
Grammar grannies want us to know they’ve spent years perfecting their grammar skills. Unfortunately, grammar grannies like to demonstrate that skill by publicly shaming people for making a grammar mistake. It’s vs. its. There, their, or they’re. Your and You’re.
Look, I get it. Using good grammar and spelling will help make you look professional. But we’re all human. We make mistakes. The beauty of blogging is: You can correct those mistakes!
Unlike print marketing, you don’t have to throw away all of your hard work when you find a spelling mistake. Just edit the blog post, fix the mistake, click “Update”.
It’s like the mistake never happened.
You’ll get better
Starting a blog is like starting anything new: you’re a beginner. You start with knowing the language and maybe knowing how to type, but you may not have done much writing since school. So you are starting at the bottom of a learning curve.
Experimenting, messing things up, half starts, and discarded attempts are all part of the learning process. With practice, you get better. Without making mistakes, you’ll never stretch yourself and grow.
Don’t expect that your first few blog posts are going to be any good. When I go back and read my first blogging attempts, I can see how much I had to learn. I refuse to be embarrassed by them, though. Instead, I rewrite and correct where needed.
Every skill is easy for someone who has never attempted it
It’s easy for them to sit on the sidelines criticizing the people who are doing the work. It’s certainly easier than it is to take the risk and make the attempt. The master knows that there is no end to the learning and no shortcuts.
What is keeping you from blogging? Let’s chat about it in the comments.
Their – possessive, belonging to them
There – a place
They’re – a contraction of ‘they are’
* photo by Kelli Wise, somewhere on an Interstate in Montana