Have you ever had an amazing idea only to sit down and be totally clueless on where to go next? That is exactly how I feel today.
My life is inundated with pop culture references, obsessions, and trivia to the point that at home and work I am known better for my love of Harry Potter than anything else. Every year myself and a group of friends traverse the three hour trek to Kansas City Missouri for Planet Comic Con where we submerse ourselves in 72 hours of non-stop geek culture and fascinations. My fiance and I look forward to this annual tradition more than Christmas.
With how important pop culture is in my life I decided to dedicate some of my writing time to the topic by featuring three “Fandoms” as they are lovingly titled thus sharing the wonder and fancy enveloped in them. Everyone I talked to said they loved the idea and thought it would be awesome! I was super excited to start writing and get the ball rolling with my first Fandom Friday.
Then I sat down to write.
I know why I love these fandoms. I know why I continually re-watch, reread, and delve deep into the realm of fan theories and fiction. I don’t know how to convey that to people who aren’t already fans or how to write about it in a way that is interesting to other people even when they are fans themselves. It took me 7 hours to write my post about Pokemon…
7 hours to write a post that I honestly got bored reading myself. Now, I have to make sure my inner-critic doesn’t use this as hay day material because it was my first try and well no one ever gleaned glorious from their first attempt. Wouldn’t we all love if we could just instantly be successful? I would!
As I sat here trying to write the second fandom feature (spoiler, it will be about Harry Potter) and trying to figure out an engaging format I started thinking about expectations again. Which led me to also think about success. I got so obsessed with the idea of this Fandom Friday idea being a huge success in terms of comments, likes, engagement, and praise that it wasn’t fun to write at all.
This entire blogging business was supposed to be for me, for fun, to help me heal from the struggles I have faced the last two years and beyond. Instead, I had built a bunch of unspoken expectations in the last couple weeks that started making it feel more stressful than entertaining. I was looking at my site statistics, how many views I was getting per day, how many likes, day dreaming about a reality where my blog was successful enough to become an income stream. I let my definition of success shift into something that doesn’t benefit me or anyone else because it was unrealistic.
This led me in turn to start trying to write posts that would be more entertaining to readers, more engaging, and better overall. While this is not inherently a bad thing to do, it is definitely bad to let the motivation for the blog become money rather than my own entertainment and happiness. It makes my writing feel forced and fake. I LOVE writing. I love reading. I love connecting with other people. I was so focused on what other’s thought of my blog and how to “get big” that I started avoiding writing because it wasn’t fun. Hence why Wednesday and Thursday I posted zilch.
Now, I know my fiance is going to read this, face palm, and call me out within minutes. Why you ask? Because this situation is ironic in the biggest way possible because when he was having the same struggles with his streaming venture I continued to preach “Just have fun and the success will come in it’s own time” “Be patient and authentic. People can tell when you try to force it” or “Stream because you love it not because you might make it big someday”. Yet, here I am right now doing the exact opposite and quietly sneaking around my own advice.
In a way he already called me out. A few days ago he pointed out that I am really really bad at taking my own advice apparently. He will love this part, he was right. I am. This is a turning point though because I don’t have to be bad at it! I can take my own advice starting today. It will take a lot of focus and effort but it is entirely possible!
I am going to try and realign myself with what success actually is and put a sticky notes on my monitor so I can’t overlook it this time.
Here is my promise to myself and anyone who reads this.
I will write because it brings me happiness.
I will share the wonderful, beautiful things I experience with others because there is nothing better than sharing magic with others.
I will post in my blog because it makes me happy.
I define the success of my blog by the feeling of excitement I get when hitting publish and the amount joy I get from writing.
I feel so much better after writing this. It is like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders.
Onward and upward from here. 🙂