In 1980, a mystical wizened green alien uttered the words that have destroyed many a perfectionist: “Do, or do not; there is no try.”
Those words have been emblazoned on t-shirts, coffee mugs, beach towels, posters, and God knows how many other items in the last 3+ decades. It’s permanently tattoed on my brain — and maybe yours, too, if you’re a GenXer.
What does it mean? It means that there’s no room for mediocrity. You’re either a success or a failure. This is NOT a healthy attitude to have, but I’m sure it’s one that some other Type – A people can recognize.
If you haven’t noticed (and judging from the lack of inquiries and feedback, I think few have), I haven’t published a blog post since August of last year. It’s not exactly writer’s block — I have a dozen posts half-written, and ideas for more. It’s more a massive crisis of confidence.
I regularly read a number of travel-centric blogs, quirky websites, and eloquent opinion pieces. Every day in scrolling through those platforms I see people who blow me away with their talent. I compare my writing to these authors, and inevitably I feel woefully inadequate, and that what I have to say isn’t meaningful, or funny, or interesting. So the site sits, gathering imaginary dust, making me feel more and more a failure.
What’s my new motivation? More fear, actually. Fear of looking foolish when I hand out my business cards and a new friend or prospective employer types out my web address and can’t find a blog published in the last 6 months. Yeah, that’ll really help me get hired!
See, next month I’m going to a fabulous gathering of savvy RV folks — the RV Entrepreneur Summit. Last year’s event was FABULOUS, even if I did wimp out and not attend all of the social activities. This year is going to be bigger and better all-round and I’m sure I’ll have more to say about it during/after the event.
As the name implies, most of these folks are either already full-time RVers, or planning to live a life on the road. Last year’s speakers and many of the attendees are already successful entrepreneurs. The majority are in the field of website design, blogging, and other digital communications – a natural fit for highly connected nomads in the digital age. Even those whose main emphasis is not in those fields have major presences on YouTube, WordPress, Instagram, and so on. Definitely inspiring, but also waaaaaaay intimidating.
In preparation for the Summit, I re-read Heath Padgett’s book The RV Entrepreneur. There’s a whole chapter on blogging with some helpful tips. The greatest takeway for me, however, is Heath’s emphasis on perseverance. He recommends writing at least 500 words a day, even if you don’t publish them. Well, heck. I feel like I just got permission to be awful.
By re-dedicating myself to writing (not publishing!) every day, I have to get better.
So I’m going to turn this around. Mediocrity is ok. Attempting something is, in and of itself, an accomplishment.
I need to remember that first and foremost, this blog is for me, so that I can remember what we did and where we went and when we replaced the whatsis to settle any future arguments that Shawn & I may have (yes, this happens a lot). The blog is an opportunity for growth, an outlet for passionate prose, and a way for this phone-phobic introvert to share aspects of life with my friends and family.
Onward and upward!
P.S. Yes, I’m looking for work. I’ve got experience I’d like to leverage in website quality assurance, proofreading, written communications (presentations, manuals, etc.), and general computer skills. Got any leads? Drop me a line!
You go girl! That’s the best motivation from my standpoint, having had your same issues: it’s for you, for your memories. Not to worry about any comparisons or any other opinion but your own. You’ll be great.
Thanks, Gail, for the words of encouragement and serving as a role model.
Welcome back, Andrea!! Looking forward to more!
Thanks Barb! We’ll stay in touch via Facebook & WhatsApp, too. 🙂
I have missed your blog and your insight. You are a great writer, Andrea…keep at it!
Thank you, Kay. When do you plan to start your own blog? 🙂
I’m so happy to see you back in the saddle!
Thanks for the constant encouragement, Dawn. Hope to see you soon!
P.S. Shawn just bought a drone! so we might need to get some tips from Mike, too.
You are a very interesting and talented writer. Fear not, the Force is with you always!
LOL – thanks AmyLynn!
If it makes you feel any better, I totally noticed you’d stopped writing. I always liked your writing and wondered why you weren’t publishing more but assumed you were just busy with other stuff. Blogging takes a ton of time and all. So I am sad to hear that you were lacking confidence but happy to hear you’re getting back to it. You’re an excellent writer and you’ve written about some interesting topics – things other people aren’t writing about – which is awesome. Those are the articles that stand out in my mind over time… like your prepper article. No one else has written anything about that, but it was a really helpful and thought provoking. Anyway, I think if you’re writing for yourself and because you enjoy it, you can’t go wrong. I look forward to seeing more articles from you.
Aw thanks for the HUGE morale boost, Laura!! I have a stupid grin on my face now.
Of course, we are always our own worst critic! You are an awesome wordsmith and should dedicate yourself to the daily habit. Even if you don’t post it immediately, you can go back, rethink and edit before posting. Keep the faith!
Thanks Buffy. Miss you!
Great to see you back! I’ve been checking your blog for updates.. Can’t wait to hear more about your adventures!
Welcome back!!! I have been anxiously awaiting your next blog post. I checked back here on your page about two days before you posted this one. So happy that you are back. I have always enjoyed your posts, from way, way back to the days of your Hines Park nature walk discoveries.
Thanks Victoria. My heart has been swelling and my eyes tearing up a bit to read these comments.
Looking forward to reading more of your posts. Keep writing. And if you miss your 500 daily words, no worries. Tomorrow is another day.