This is probably redundant. And you probably do not need a reminder, but I do daily. So now you’re stuck with my own reminder. Ha.
I get trapped often by the interwebs world.
“Hi, My name is Emily, and I compare myself to other bloggers/writers.” There, I said it.
I have my moments when I read a blog written by a mom of 8 perfect kids with the perfect house with white picket fences and Better Homes and Garden rooms and gardens, the perfect husband who fights super villans at night, makes uber bucks and builds beautiful barns and bathrooms on the weekend, she does perfect crafts and sells them on etsy, she runs a church on Sundays, has two kids who are Doctors that can cure every disease while working in a hut in Africa, she cooks better than everyone on tv, has a doctorate, and just wrote her 5th best-selling book.
I hate her, and she makes me hate me.
The self-pity then spins you into reaching for things that just aren’t you. You strive to be just like someone else and lie to yourself the whole damn time. You hide your own talents to be more, to be better, to be perfect. And all you do is perfect your own flaws. And then you break down. And then the hate sizzles, bubbles and boils over.
And you find your self drowning in coffee at your keyboard, looking for someone else to tell you how to be a better you. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.
Maybe it’s just me.
I doubt it.
The problem is that in emulating someone else you hide your own talents.
I’ve been blogging, journaling and “writing” for years. I’ve had a few supporters who repeatedly suggest that I push the envelope, that I have something there and that I’m missing out on a oppurtunity. Naturally I didn’t get it, and tried to do what I thought they were telling me… I tried to do what others did. I tried a homemaking type of blog… FLOP. Okay so then I tried focussing on politics… FLOP. Fine, how about witty stuff… FLOP. Well, I must just be a complete failure then because that’s what the masses of blogging queens do! Those supporters MUST be idiots. THEY LIED!
But because I never learned, I tried to dip my toes into E-Books. I thought I was being all smart and stuff and picked the topic of Dog Training, something I know tons about. feverishly I typed away. Then I shared it with a few close people. FLIP, FLOP, FLIPPITY FLOP. What the HELL!?!
Oh and then, then my husband really ticked me off, “This reads too much like a story, a novel. This isn’t your thing.” Like it’s my fault if he doesn’t get the flow. *insert 3 bottles of a wine induced pity party* And he wrapped it up with something along the lines of how I should write cards for Hallmark. I might have programmed a few lawyers’ phone numbers into my phone that night. That was NOT what I wanted to hear.
Why is it so hard to find my niche out there when there are millions of people succeeding so well at it?!
Probably because I am not them, and I had my mind-set on following their footsteps, instead of my own.
It’s difficult, having dreams similar to those around you. Seeing them succeed, seeing them doing what you want to do. Logically you think you have to do it like them, because it worked for them. That must be the one and only path to happiness and success!
It only brings self-pity and hatred.
And the first step to recovery is to stop perfecting your flaws. And to do that you have to discover your talents. PS. You have to discover them, they can’t be pointed out. I don’t know why that is, but for some reason you can’t own something that someone else gives you, you just never trust it. At least that’s the case for me.
But how do own your talents? How do you accept them without thinking you’re full of it, without thinking that you’re patting your own back over a huge pile of crap? I haven’t quite figured that one out yet.
Then a friend asked me a very tricky question, I wanted to poke her in the eye with a stale cheeto for being so hokey, but there’s a lot of depth in what she asked. Paraphrasing she asked,
Give yourself one compliment about your writing.
Immediately I thought, “Hell she’s going to laugh at whatever I come up with. She’s sooooo going to judge me on this one! Who am I to compliment myself!?!”
So pressed with time and the threat of her reaching through my computer screen to choke me I quickly scanned my mind for those times I actually felt “successful” at what I loved to do. The answer flooded my mind, “Emotions”.
My writing is emotional. Wait, do you feel it? There it is, peeking out of the depths of self loathing… I might have a knack at making my readers feel emotions. Maybe, I don’t want to get too carried away.
And you know what? As I sit here this morning, writing a novel of a post, it’s easy to connect the dots, and I’m not afraid to give my self a tiny pat on the back. My talent is not writing witty blogs, and that’s okay. I have a talent for telling a story. I have a knack for going on and on in great length to get my emotions out. And there’s actually people out there who feel a connection in what I have to say. And I’m not afraid to own it.
I’m pretty sure that that’s what my husband ment when he suggested Hallmark as a career. It wasn’t an insult, it was his way of saying “you might suck at writing how-to’s and such, but you really do have something with this mushy crap you write, but I’m a man and can’t say it that way.”
And it’s probably why my other blog that’s all from nights of spilling out emotions on a touchy subject has gotten remarkable response and views, while my others get zilch.
And it just might be what people have been trying to tell me all along.
And I could be wrong about it all.
But that’s not the point.
The point is putting yourself out there without the goal of someone else’s success. The point is to find your own talents and to own them, to accept them. To know who you are, and to not blur the lines. Don’t be afraid of encouraging yourself without worrying what others will think.
Life happens in between the edits.