Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The 3 Emotional Stages of Creating a Blog Post

These past few months of blogging have made me realize that it is not an easy job, at least in terms of the emotional strain it has on your health (seriously, I've gained more gray hairs putting this site together than Obama has during his Presidency).

And that's A LOT of gray hair!

That is not to say that blogging does not have its emotional benefits as well, and I'll definitely address that.

Without further ado, here are the key emotional stages which occur while writing something for your blog:

1. Worry

This is the most prevalent emotion I've experienced in the times between blog posts. Usually I will feel excellent after writing a decent post such as this one, and that feeling will carry over for a surprisingly satisfying amount of time.

I typed "satisfying" into Google images and this is what came up...

However, once that moment passes and I haven't written something for a while (i.e. one day), then I begin to become a bit worried. I start to have doubts about my abilities to write, I have imagined difficulties coming up with new creative topics, and I start picturing all of my readers and fans (you know, the five of you) jumping ship while spitting upon my blog's corpse as you find some other oasis of online entertainment to spend your valuable internet browsing time.

Usually this worry presses so much against my mind that I am convinced to come up with something to write in order to make it go away.

So in essence, the "worry" stage isn't too much of an issue as it often serves as a catalyst towards the creation of new and awesome material for your blog. However, it is important to note that if you are thinking of blogging useful or interesting things, you will often be worrying about what to write and how exactly you will want to approach each post.

For some people, that may be too much anxiety to handle.

2. Doubt

"Finally!," you shout, "I've created the best blog post of all time!" "Everybody will think I am a genius for writing this!"

"I'm so awesome, I'm going to jump a hundred feet into the air to demonstrate my feeling of accomplishment! Wait a minute...what's all this glowing energy emitting from my abdomen? It...it burns! AHHHHH!"

Not so fast old sport! While the feeling of creating a substantial post is indeed invigorating (I will expand upon this soon) and you should definitely congratulate yourself for the effort, it's integral to the blogging experience that you are aware of the dastardly feeling that rears its ugly head within minutes of you sending your new creation out onto the internet on its maiden voyage: doubt. 

The "Doubt" stage is similar to "Worry", except for the fact that the former only begins after you have posted something while the latter happens before you do anything.

There are many things to doubt about your post, such as: did I write without grammatical errors? will people find what I have to say interesting? is what I wrote unique? will people actually come to my blog for this? could I have made the same point on an internet forum instead of a blog? what if there is a forum which addresses this issue better? etc etc and so on and so forth.

These are just a few samples of some of the thoughts which may run through your head after creating a post. Furthermore, oftentimes this problem is exacerbated when you begin to casually browse the internet.

Case in point, I've found that browsing the internet has become much less enjoyable after starting to blog seriously because it makes me second guess what I post when I come across either another great blog or a site that addresses an issue similar to mine. Is my content on par with theirs? Do I look like a joke compared to them? Why is my point of view worth anything more than theirs?

These are all valid questions and concerns, and the only way to get over all of this is to just keep telling yourself that you are awesome and that what you've posted is unique (preferably while NOT in a fetal position in some random corner of your place of residence). Additionally, it's important to try and vary your content as much as possible to keep your posts fresh and exciting (because everyone LOVES political commentary all day every day!).

Eventually you will write something that people enjoy and find worthwhile, just be aware that you WILL doubt yourself at least a couple of times before reaching that point of success.

3. Joy

You've gotten past your worries, you've conquered your doubt, and now all that's left is the fact that you've just added another great post to your blog and are one step closer to success.

This is the stage I mentioned in the "Worry" section, the one which lasts for a while and leaves you feeling on top of the world. During this stage you feel like you have all of the fans and attention in the world, and that just maybe your blog will become the next big thing if you just keep up with the good effort.

Furthermore, this stage is usually complimented by a period of increased traffic to your site, which makes you feel like a cool kid in high school (which I never experienced because I was super lame), and just might get you a couple cents in ad money (nobody said making a living off of blogging was easy)!

The best part of this stage though is that you feel like you've truly made a difference in the world. With your post, you've sent out a signal (however weak it may be) into the vastness of the world wide web, and maybe, just maybe, someone will see what you have to say and think it is significant or important. Considering how difficult it was to get your ideas and opinions out before the internet age, that's a pretty cool facet of blogging in and of itself.

Even if nobody reads your post (trust me I know the feeling), you've at least made something that will be immortalized on the internet for years to come. And who knows, perhaps someday, maybe years from today, somebody will come across what you thought to be a useless and unpopular post and think it is the best thing since canned bread.

This stuff is awesome! Stays fresh much longer than bread of the sliced variety!

I hope that I've convinced some people that, despite its emotional pitfalls, blogging is a genuinely enjoyable and intellectually stimulating experience that just MAY make you a famous celebrity one day.

Don't take my word on that last part though.

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