Americans are big believers in individualism. You, my friend, are one unique-ass shiny snowflake. There never has, nor will there ever be, anyone like you. You can wave your unique pride flag high in the air and seek comfort in that. Seriously. And the truth is, for the most part, most of us believe it. We sing in the shower with belting pride, even though our mom may or may not have dropped the hint once or twice in our childhood that when we sing it sounds like a cat stuck in a bag being thrown up against a wall. That doesn’t faze us. We’re still astounded when “he never calls again” because we are a one-in-a-million catch and he’s a downright moron for passing up the chance of a lifetime to have the pleasure of our company. Further, how about that economy? How can there be no jobs? How can there be no jobs for a unique, brilliant, shiny little snowflake like myself? I deserve 6 figures! I went to college! I want benefits and paid vacations and disposable income!
But then, you talk to someone about starting a blog, and it’s a whole new ballgame. Suddenly, they start to crack. They’re into it for about 10 minutes. Anyone I’ve ever talked to about starting a blog has been someone that I talk to, in life or online, and I only talk to people that I find interesting. I know people that are sensitive, people that are charming, people that are downright hilarious, and people that know more about politics in their left eyelash than I’ve known in my entire lifetime.
So, I encourage these people to start a blog. I would love to be able to chuckle to the hilarious ones in the morning while I check my google reader. I would love to learn a thing or two about politics from my worldly friends. I know these people are amazing, so I think they should get out there and be a part of a worldwide conversation. I want them to get off their butts and be the amazing unique individuals that they are with me, slap it on a WordPress blog, and share it with the damn world.
For about 10 minutes, they’re into this. They know what I’m talking about (since they are hilarious and worldly and they know it) but then, then the fear starts to set in. “Ehhhh, what if I’m not a good writer?” “I don’t really have anything to say.” “What if I suck and am embarrassed?”
What just happened!?! I thought you were the unique shiny snowflake that demands euphoria! I thought you were the up-and-coming Julia Roberts! I thought you were Elle Macpherson’s doppleganger with a voice like a thousand singing angels?? What happened to all that confidence??
And there’s that damn ego again. It’s that same ego that makes you think you’re one in a million that makes you terrified of anyone thinking a single mean thought about you. Unfortunately, I don’t know if you’re one in a million. I don’t even know if you’re one in all of Arkansas. But I do know that that doesn’t mean you aren’t incredibly spectacular with something great to share with the world.
So here’s my message for you and your excuses-filled brain:
1. Get over the fact that people might say mean things about you.
“Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” – Dr. Seuss
People say mean things about me all the time. They don’t tell me all the time, but I know they’re saying it. I know people snicker about me behind my back, and I’m sure I’ve been made fun of before. Maybe many times before. But guess what? I choose to not care. I can either recede into a hole so that no one has a mean thing to say about me, or I can live and be myself and tell my one-in-a-million heart and passion and energy that anything mean they say they are saying because they’re jealous, because I’m happy. And I know who I am. And I’m not afraid to be who I am. And I’m lucky for that. And you know what? I don’t have any time to make fun of them, because I’m too busy having fun and being myself and enjoying my one little life on this earth. So there, problem solved, stop stressing.
2. Get over the fact that you will never be “the best.”
As my favorite person in the world Ellen Degeneres once tweeted (I can’t find the exact tweet, but you get the gist) – whenever you find something that you’re good at, just know a 10 year old in China can do it better than you.
But it isn’t about being the best. I can sell my marketing, blogging, and copywriting skills because I spend more time working on these things in a month than most people will spend in their entire lives. So guess what? They can either take a couple months off work and learn the things I know, or they can pay me to do it for them and get back to their business, lives, and particular realms of expertise. Similarly, you have insights and experiences that other people don’t have. You don’t have to be the best in the world, but if you know more about cooking than I do, I’d sure as hell love some good dinner recipes. I don’t want you to be a 5 star chef because I won’t be able to keep up - I just want someone a little better than me that can help take my cooking to the next level. If you’re REALLY good at cooking, then screw helping me and make a site targeted to other advanced cooks. Whatever you level is, there will be a market looking to learn from you. If you spend more time cooking in a month then I’ll spend in my whole life, you better bet I’ll buy a cookbook from you, because I’m sure it rocks. You have skills in something, so help a sister out and share them.
3. Get over the fact that you “have nothing to say”
First of all, if you legitimately have nothing to say then you need to be first person to start a blog. You need to have some motivation and incentive to get off your butt and find some things that you’re passionate about and can talk about and contribute to the world. If you literally have nothing to say, you must be the world’s most boring person. If I am ever stuck at a dinner party trying to make conversation with you, I will probably say I’m going to the bathroom and sneak into the kitchen to take shots. Then, I will probably puke on you at dinner. So, long story short, read some books, cook some meals, have some adventures, and find SOMETHING worth talking about, or there’s a good chance I will puke on you at dinner one day.
That said, if you do have enough to talk about to make it through a dinner party, then just figure out what it is you could talk about in writing, on the internet. Take some pictures of meals you make and rate different recipes. Put up anonymous conversations you have with weird coworkers. Share tips on poker. Tell us about coping with married life. Share. Because sharing encourages you to learn more, allows you to attract like-minded people, and forces you to articulate the things that you are used to just drunkenly blabbing about when no one else is really in the mood to listen. This way, you can start soberly blabbing to people that care, and it will help you grow. It’s a beautiful thing.
So, long story short, start a blog. If you’re short on time, then do your day job and spend the money to have someone like me build it for you. Either way, it’s an important hobby to have, that hobby of being an interesting human being that contributes something to the world. It’s important to learn how to have the confidence to put yourself out there, and the humility to not take it all too seriously. You are a unique shiny snowflake, now go kick some ass.