Care: to have a liking, fondness, or taste
I can talk about myself adequately. I can share about myself when others ask me to, tastefully slipping in highlights and evoking laughter in between, yet when it comes to the act of writing about myself, I get shy. Writing requires a bit more thought than speaking. I have a habit of speaking and later regretting things I’ve said – the wording, the tone, the circumstance. I’m truly only adequate when it comes to speaking. With writing, it’s nearly impossible to speak without thinking. Each of my blog posts is something I write and read over and over to myself before publishing. I agonize over sentences and capturing my conversational tone, saying the words out loud like I’m an old-fashion animator making faces in a mirror to properly capture the exact emotion I’m going for. I want to write with precision and clarity when I give myself the time to taste the words.
I’ve always felt that if I committed to the act of writing about myself, composing a story about myself, reading out loud about myself, hitting publish about myself… I’d look like a dick. I feel like it would come off as self-indulgent and arrogant. Check out this girl who can’t stop talking about herself.
I don’t want to be that person.
I want people to come to my blog as a resource for their lives and a reference to my offerings when I become a proper life coach. Sure, I want to share about myself as well, but it’s not about me. I want to help people and not have one big me-fest, ya know? I mean, let’s look at one of my recent posts: Losing My First Love.
This post is deeply personal, and it’s something I wrote for myself. At the same time, heartbreak is a universal human experience people relate to. I felt good sharing this story in a public way because I thought my pain and suffering could comfort people who find themselves in a similar place. This post was cathartic, but I was still considered others.
I’ve always tried to stay focused on making sure my posts offer something to people. Sure, I’ve blundered and face-planted a few times, missing my mark and falling short, but that’s the way it goes. I’m not going to write Thriller every time. I’m constantly learning and growing in the blogging space. I’ll learn one thing, and it opens me up to 50 other things I need to learn.
A recent lesson: I’ve had a major disconnect in the way I view my blog.
I personally read blog posts to learn and better myself because I aggressively want to be my best self. I’m always plotting ways I can be better, look better, think better, live better, grow better, anything and everything better. I fail a lot (a lot) of the time, but my mind keeps racing with ways I can try again and have another go. It’s a shock when I realize everyone else doesn’t think this way. I only occasionally read personal posts, so I didn’t expect so many people to say they enjoyed reading personal stories when I rolled out my reader survey last month
Sure, I thought people would check the box, but I didn’t expect it to be the second most selected category (one vote behind Lifestyle posts).
All this time I’ve been blogging, I never felt like people would want to read about me – my life, my personal thoughts and feelings, my experiences and stories. I thought people would skip over the posts or only care if they were a 100%, all-in follower. And to make someone a 100%, all-in follower, I thought I had to exclusively create content that offered something to them. I didn’t consider people might be looking for someone to relate to in small, simple, human ways – ways they can find themselves in another person and not feel so isolated in their experience. Not everyone needs to walk away from a blog post with a new tactic or strategy for their existence like I do.
Humanity and vulnerability are enough.
I lowkey feel like an idiot because, like, I knew that, but it didn’t totally click. I’ve been so self-conscious about not being able to measure up to this impossible standard I’ve imposed on myself, I didn’t allow myself to see how responsive people were to me being myself. Like, I didn’t expect anyone to be interested in My Summer Highlights. That was a post for me to remember my summer, but I got three sincere, sweet comments on that post! That post was completely self-serving, and people still liked it. I have these sweet readers who read my blog because they like me. Like, that’s bananas humbling and heart-warming.
I had one respondent say reading my blog makes them feel like they have a friend. They don’t expect me to be perfect and have it all together – they simply like that they can see someone trying to. Just… this survey made my heart feel so warm and like I’m actually talking to people when I put up my blog posts. I’m speaking and people are choosing to listen. You guys actually care about me, and it’s so wild I can’t fully wrap my head around it.
I’m not saying I had massive engagement on my survey, but the responses I got are genuinely appreciated. I got new ideas for content I hadn’t thought of, and I’m going to prioritize some ideas I’ve had on the back burner. I’m not going to pressure myself to post every week because I want to make sure I’m delivering quality content, but I will work on being consistent with posting. I’m planning on putting out some personal content for a few weeks as I work on my coaching-esque content.
I’m thankful to all of you who read my blog, leave comments, follow me on social media, and are perfect, supportive sunflowers. I feel more confident in my blog now that I know people actually care about it. You’re my favorite. Thank you, thank you, thank you.