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You Are Enough

What if the next time we sat down to write, we didn’t worry about being interesting, we didn’t worry about being liked, and we didn’t worry about being reblogged?

I recently told a friend of mine — a single mom who works in the healthcare industry — that she should write a blog about her amazing life. Her response to me was, “It’d be the most boring blog in the world. I’m nothing special.” That’s a direct quote. Nothing special? She’s raising three kids on her own, works in an ER in a massive city hospital, speaks three languages, and she studied opera in college. If she’s not special, I don’t know who is.

Her response really surprised me, and it reminded me of someone from my past who was the flip side of the self-confidence coin.

In my early 20s, I was taking a class with an outrageously flamboyant teacher. She found her life so interesting and loved telling us wild stories of the minutiae of her day. She could probably tell a story about boiling water and make it enjoyable. One day, after making us roar with laughter, she shrugged at us in disbelief and shrieked, “Stories just happen to me!”

My mouth dropped open. She really thought that more stories “happened” to her than to other people.

“Anything that gets your blood pumping is probably worth doing.”
Hunter S. Thompson

I was taken aback by the hubris. It was such an absurd statement because…well…stories happen to everyone. Did my teacher lead a more interesting life than my nurse friend? Nope. What made her a great storyteller is that she saw herself as the fascinating main character in the wild story of her life.

And she was right. But guess what? We all are.

The most frequent question I field from bloggers is, “How do I get more people to read my blog?” I suspect they want the answer to be something SEO-related, and I hate to disappoint, but my answer is almost always, “Pick a topic you want to talk about. Choose subjects that you can’t wait to write about, whether a million people will read your blog, or just your best friend.”

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”
Albert Schweitzer

What if there were no pressure to be interesting, or wild, or unique, or marketable? What if the main ingredient in the recipe for a great blog post is simply the exuberance to share yourself? I bet we could excite readers just as much by writing about finding a killer sale at Marshalls, as we could about winning the latest season of Project Runway.

There is such a divide between a story that needs to be told, and a story that reads as if it were written out of obligation. The writers that I admire the most are those who can write about any topic, and draw me in with their exuberance. A writer’s moxie makes any story magnetic.

I am drawn in by their passion, not by their perfection.

What if the next time we sat down to write, we didn’t worry about being interesting, we didn’t worry about being liked, and we didn’t worry about being reblogged. What if, when we opened up a new post in our editors, we started by thinking, “I cannot wait to tell you this story…I might explode if I don’t share this with you.”

If we love our stories, our stories will be loved.

When you sit down to write, before you put pen to paper (or cursor to screen), think, “I can’t wait to tell this story!” Inject that feeling into the whole text. Sometimes, I think, “You’re not going to believe this…!” while I write a story.

Come up with your own variation on the theme, and write with energy and excitement.

When you read through your older posts, can you feel the difference between the posts you were enthusiastic about writing, and those you wrote in order to hit a deadline?

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  1. This was awesome! I am so glad I read this today…I definitely needed too. I literally just telling my husband yesterday people probably will get bored with my blog because I do not have crazy outrageous stories.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. thanks so much, it makes me feel better about writing about what i am passionate about and nothing more. thats true authenticity and I know our generation of bloggers need more truthful authenticity and passion more than boring blogs. =) thanks for writing this!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Awesome read! As a new blogger on wordpress, I wholly appreciate these words- it recentered why I should write in the first place. But as a human, I ultimately want to share my mind with others. I think when we write to express ourselves, we’re creating a bridge to connect with others that can only be done so through these intangible forms.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Loved it !
    I truly believe that Happiness is the key to success. Do what you love. Love what you do and success will follow.
    As a new Blogger this post is definitely inspiring.
    Thank you !!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hmmm! I am a 73-year-young recovering stroke survivor learning how to use this modern tool, and am discovering that I am in need of a WordPress mentor! There is SO MUCH to learn; so much to figure out how to use; and, so much of me forgetting how to use what I have just learned how to use! In addition, I continue to struggle with AADD (Adult Attention Deficit Disorder), IPDD (Information Processing Deficit Disoder). A person with such challenges struggled enough with just a typewriter, reading textbooks, watching movies, and trying to be understood by the rest of the world. Now, that I find myself continuing to make myself understood with all the technological tools, I think about the needs of people like me, and many other senior citizens. I think “Wouldn’t it be great if there were software user specialists who have mastered all the tools of any software who could teach the rest of us. Such help could be through Skype (or similar) conference tools. This would eliminate the specialist from having to teach the same things over and over again to new people. This teaching would have to be structured so that the learner could actually follow along in the software as they are learning. Any takers out there?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Really great post. Thanks. my blog is 9 months old now & I’ve been having a bit of a wobble lately worrying about not getting more views, but you’re absolutely right, passion is the thing. It’s a joy to be able to sit down and share thoughts on stuff I love (even if those things are very geeky and frivolous) that’s the main reason to keep going and it is a reward in itself (although views and comments are nice too). Thanks for the timely reminder of this!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have had negative feedback about my blog, but not much. I always write how it is AND if I have something to say I will say it.

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  8. Thank you, Robyn! Your thoughts have totally encouraged me to let myself go with my passion, and stop worrying about getting a good “grade” from those who might read what I am writing about!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Very good article for novice writers. It is very good advice because there is so much bullshit writing out there often in the form of movies. Most of it is done to make money and becomes a burdon, a sort of Psychological problem on one mind even for life.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This fiend that worked in the healthcare industry should write as often more than not there are many humorous stories related to bad doctors, crazy patients and the sick westernized culture we all live in.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Brilliant post. On so many levels. Happiness is definitely the key to success, no doubt about it. I love the idea of the story that needs to be told. The first time writing my book I felt like I had to push it out. After I butchered and rewrote it, it only took 3 months because I was so excited and energized to truly tell my story my way, without inhibition

    Liked by 1 person

  12. What a good post, I totally agree. Started blogging two months ago from a wish to have fun, write, share and maybe reach some people. Doing ok so far, but staying chilled about it because it’s still FUN! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Thanks for reminding us that we can all find joy and passion and excitement in our lives, no matter what we are doing, or where we are, and those feelings will definitely carry through into our writings.
    One of my best feel-good moments was after what was supposed to be just a routine trip to a department store that turned into a spontaneous adventure with my daughter, Tara, who was in her early teens at the time.
    Tara and I tried on women’s hats and scarves and then made glamour poses in the mirrors, in the toy department, we played with all kinds of dolls and big trucks, making ourselves laugh like crazy with our pretend little kid voices. Then we pretend-shopped for a bedroom re-do for Tara and we had a ball hunting down the right paint color, wallpaper, rugs, sheets, curtains, bedspread, etc. We took pictures of all of our choices so that we could try and put them together in a montage later on my computer.
    We were still laughing as we made our way back to my car, only to realize that we had completely forgotten to get our original intended purchase!
    My daughter told me, “Mom, I love you, and it’s so great that you can turn an ordinary shopping trip into something so much more fun! This has been the best non-shopping shopping trip I have ever had!”
    I still tear up when I remember her telling me that.
    Grab joy and happiness however and whenever you can! Play like the little kid you once were! Be spontaneous, be silly! Stories will come to you like moths drawn to a light and when they do, infuse them with the joyousness and the happiness and the silliness you experienced and your writing will reflect all of that out like a wonderful mirror of your soul.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you for sharing this lovely anecdote and reminding us that life is what we make it and it does not always have to cost money to enjoy life and relationships. Even when life seems hard, as the saying goes: “if life serves you lemons – make lemonade!” A touching story. And I love your comment about us attracting stories like a moth to a light.

      Liked by 3 people

  14. You touched on a lot of things that a blog can be about but is there proof that any of that really works. I write to be creative that is why I have an on going book in the making in my blog

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Definitely! Over my year away from blogging, I sent most of my posts to private. I’m bringing them back one at a time and finding that of the 1000, there’s no rhyme or reason (in terms of topic) that makes me think a post was worthwhile enough to bring back. And no rhyme or reason to the ones my readers want to see back. The only common theme is the enthusiasm that went into it. 🙂

    Awesome post, and Beautiful message. I totally agree with the idea that we all have amazing stories to tell.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I love this particular quote: “The writers that I admire the most are those who can write about any topic, and draw me in with their exuberance. A writer’s moxie makes any story magnetic.
    I am drawn in by their passion, not by their perfection.

    Liked by 1 person