Why Fear is a Blogger's Best Friend
Blogging is not for the faint of heart. You will be judged. You will feel like a loser, an outcast, a wack job, a hack. Every time you click that publish button you're putting your reputation on the line, and some readers won't like what you have to say.
They won't understand where you're coming from. They'll not read carefully. They'll misunderstand your intent. They'll be annoyed and put off by your point of view.
And they'll excoriate you for it. They'll leave ugly comments. They'll bash you on social media. They'll dismiss your 10-hour, 1200 word opus with a nasty word and some change. They'll think nothing of it while you're left alone to ponder and second guess yourself for the umpteenth time.
Blogging is painful, even if you bend over backwards not to offend anyone or push the envelope on your niche. But here's the crazy thing: That fear roiling around in your gut? That dread. That nausea and faint smell of failure . . . it's a sign you're on the right track.
Because, you see, if you don't stand for something, you stand for nothing.
You're uninteresting and not worth being read. When I don't feel intense fear before posting an article, then I know it will be a scoop of vanilla ice cream. To dull to gain readers, generate buzz, or compel people to buy whatever I'm selling. Yes, if you write something divisive, you will lose readers - every single week. They'll unsubscribe and promise to never grace your website again.
But you'll make a dent. You'll grow a strong, rabid fan base. You'll become someone everyone in your industry knows and has an opinion about - good or bad.
This isn't to say that you should write anything with the express purpose of angering your readers. You shouldn't, ever. But if what you believe, down deep in your soul, rubs people the wrong way, then so be it. In fact, you have a duty to write about it. It's the only way to move people and make a difference in this world.
Thus, if you feel a gnawing fear drop down into your loins, like you're at the nadir of a roller coaster, then you know you've got something. You've got the one ingredient you must have to become a hotshot blogger. You have your best friend disguised as your worst enemy, who will provide for you what you've always dreamed of:
A position, a perspective that divides like a scythe and will allow you to quit your day job and make a living on a laptop from anywhere in the world.
Yes, it's possible. But the question is, do you have the guts?
Until next week . . .