Post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess
Because I have been a writer for close to two decades, I learned long ago that I needed to grow a thick skin and that I couldn’t sit around and wait for the Muse to inspire my words. When you work at a daily newspaper, inspiration and the Muse are not your friends, but a daily deadline and having three stories to churn out for each issue certainly motivates!
When I first started out, I held my breath every time an issue hit the newsstands because I was certain someone was going to call and take me to task for something. I read and re-read and then read again once the editor was done editing my articles. I didn’t want to have a mistake, a misplaced comma, a misspelled name or an incorrect date come back to bite me in the butt. Yes, I realize that newspapers post corrections on a daily basis, but I didn’t want one of my articles to be in that correction section.
I eventually moved on from the grind of the daily newspaper to the daunting task of owning my own magazine. With every issue I wondered, “Is it good enough?” “Have I given the subscribers their money’s worth?”
Enter blogging and its immediacy. Now I no longer have to wait to be called on the carpet if I make a typo or state an incorrect fact (which thankfully those occasions are rare), because a reader can comment within moments of my having made the post go live. AAAhhhh, what’s a blogger to do?
It seems that self doubt and self esteem go hand-in-hand for many pet bloggers. What can you do to let yourself know that you’re good enough — in fact, you’re fabulous! — when it comes to your pet blogging? Here are some tips for self esteem and the pet blogger:
- Be kind to other pet bloggers. Before you fire off a, “this post was horrid and you’re a rotten person” comments, stop and think if that is really the way to handle it. If you’re a writer chances are you’ve been involved in writing groups at some point and if you were in a good one you were likely confronted with a “compliment sandwich” if the group critiqued your work. A compliment sandwich is one that sounds like, “I really liked the theme of the story, but I thought the characters truly didn’t seem to fit the scenario, but I think you’ve got a solid idea here.” See — a compliment, a criticism, and a compliment. Truly, is it necessary to lambaste someone publicly? Think about how you’d feel if you received a comment like the one you’re considering leaving and perhaps tone it down a bit.
- The best person to compare yourself with is… yourself! While you may want to emulate the success of a pet blogger you admire, if you spend your waking hours thinking, “I’ll never be as good as, as prolific as, as popular as XYZ blogger” then chances are you won’t. It’s a self fulfilling prophecy. I suggest you strive to compete with yourself. Make today’s post better than yesterdays. Work on growing today’s social media numbers up from yesterday’s. It’s great to have a goal to become as popular as XYZ blogger, but don’t do it at the cost of your own self worth. Your writing and your pet blog are unique and that is what sets you apart!
- Perfect is great, but perhaps not the be-all and end-all. If I waited for my every thought, my every post to be PERFECT, chances are I wouldn’t write a word. I want my posts to be error free and to give the reader something to think about or perhaps an action plan to implement, but perfect… I can only hope. If you’re worried about not being perfect, then find someone you trust who can edit your posts before they go live; that may enhance your feeling of “this is a great post!”
- You made a mistake… now what? As I have learned, I am not the center of the universe! Truly? If someone comes to a post I’ve written and takes me to task, yes it will sting and if it’s really a bad comment I may consider throwing in the blogging towel. I admit to giving into bouts of, “I’m never gonna write again!” but the thought passes and I am back at the keyboard. I made a mistake. Yeah, it sucks. It’s what you do afterwards that sets the tone. Correct the error. There. Done. It’s easier to correct an error on the internet than it is in a newspaper article — believe me on that one.
- Building your own self esteem is necessary for good mental health. If you learn to let small mistakes roll off your shoulders you will stop making mountains out of molehills and that could potentially reduce your stress. You will feel less of the “weight of the world” on your shoulders. If you build up your self esteem you will be less likely to resort to self-sabotage (that goes back to the, I will never be as good as XYZ blogger). The higher your self esteem grows, the better able you will be to accept that you may not be perfect, but you’re “good enough.” You’ll be happier and isn’t that an ideal life goal!?
Do you suffer pet blogger self esteem issues? What do you do to overcome self doubt?