“I’ve only got, like 50 followers.”
“I’ve got 32.”
“I’ve got TEN.”
“I don’t know what followers are, but then I only started blogging last week. Why haven’t I won any awards yet?”
“I never get approached by any companies with any budget. It’s like, will you give us these 60 follow links for free and a complimentary bottle of bubble bath, and I’m like, talk to the hand Bubbles. Why aren’t I getting the big money gigs?”
“I hear you sister, I get approached by those companies ALL THE TIME. It’s like, we’ll publicise it all over our Facebook page. We have 15 likes and a couple on Instagram. It will be GREAT publicity for you. And I’m like, can I pay my bills with 15 likes and an Instagram post?”
“Well, I don’t get approached by any companies at all, so you must be doing something right. I, on the other hand, am a literal corporate pariah. No one wants to come near me. It must be the swearing. Do you think it’s the swearing?”
“Huffington Post have rejected me again. They obviously hate me. They hate my writing. I am a terrible writer. I am the worst of the worst. Someone please shoot me now, for if you are all failures, with your HuffPo articles, then I am just lying here, in a pit of rubbishness.”
This is how the blogging world feels sometimes. Like we are all competing with one another, and all being found wanting. Competing for the opportunities, competing for the awards, and competing to have the followers, those coveted followers who are probably only reading our blogs because they want us to read theirs.
The other day, someone referred to me as a “lesser known blogger.” It was intended as a compliment, but there was something about it that smarted; something about the idea of being “lesser known” that made me simply feel lesser. Something about it that made me jealous of all those so-called “bigger bloggers,” many of whom have been in this game for less time than I have, but who seem to have built a following which dwarfs mine.
I keep telling myself that my enemy is lack of time. All those others, I think, they are at home all day. They don’t have full time jobs. Most of them have husbands. Their children go to bed earlier than mine. And then I think to myself, am I just lazy? Are those just my pitiful excuses for my own lack of motivation, lack of ability, lack of success? Everyone has constraints on their time. Maybe the bottom line is I’m just not good enough.
And then I think, perhaps it’s time for a reality check. I have become so sucked into this world that I’ve lost sight of how and why I entered it in the first place. Did I start blogging so that I could work with brands? To win awards? To create an online empire consisting of flogging someone else’s products into a cyberspace packed only with my fellow bloggers, all there, doing the same thing?
No I did not. I started to be creative, to write, to record something of my life, to start to flesh out the bones of a book. And then I got sucked in. Sucked into the daily grind of Twitter, of Instagram, of Facebook, which I previously thought was a place for posting photos of life looking more glamorous than it actually was, and perusing photos of teenage crushes and feeling quietly smug when they became obese; and which now seems to have morphed into a vehicle for my own endless self-promotion; something that comes to me about as naturally as boiling my own head.
I didn’t start blogging so that I could participate in a never-ending race for popularity with other bloggers. We all have our reasons for doing what we do, but just because someone else’s may be different to mine, doesn’t mean that I should measure my goals, my successes-or for that matter my perceived failures-against theirs.
And so what do I do; do I remove myself from the race entirely, or do I keep plodding on, and hope that like the proverbial tortoise I eventually beat those hares who seem to have unlimited time and energy to race ahead in the blogging game?
No one ever achieved what they wanted by giving up, right?