A friend and fellow blogger came to me last week with a dilemma. She’s a stellar writer, but has been struggling with whether or not her Blog has value. And then something happened….

Here is a recount of her question, and my answer. What are your thoughts?

Rebecca writes:

As you may know, I have been toiling away at that blog of mine. Blogging does not come easily to me. As of this morning I had 65 blog posts and 9 followers. Two and a half months of hard work and only 9. I feel a lot of despair over that little 9. (Yes I know how silly that sounds. It gets worse) My ex decided this week that he would start a blog. The man is at times illiterate,has no grasp of phonics or grammar and cannot spell but he’s going to blog anyway. He’s blogged a total of 4 posts and already has 10 followers.

Here’s where my anger comes in. I feel that blogging was my thing. I made a big, life-changing deal about it. Developed a concept. Made a year long commitment. This isn’t something that I deem trivial. And now I feel like my thunder has been stolen. And a little like I’ve been slapped in the face. I feel like my ex and his blog have made a mockery of my hard work.

I think I’m being childish and would like to get over it. But I feel hurt by it. I need an impartial view on it. Right now I just want to vent about it in my blog, how unfair I think it is. And part of me wants to quit because if no one is really reading it, part of the fun has been taken away. I still talk to my ex and don’t want to resent him even more than I already do.

If you want to have a look at his blog… http://out-side-that-box.blogspot.com and thanks for listening.

Here’s what I’m thinking:

Aha! Before even venturing into the world of blogs written by exes, I have a few words of wisdom (if you’re ok with calling it wisdom).

If this was me – my initial reaction would be the same as yours. I’d be thinking What the hell – blogging is MY THING. Is he trying to make a mockery of me? How dare he?! Etc., etc.

Then, after that – I’d probably consider the following…

Maybe he knows about your blog…. which leads us to: IMITATION IS THE HIGHEST FORM OF FLATTERY.
If he’s writing a blog because he knows about yours, it only means that he thinks it’s an awesome idea. Who’s awesome idea? YOURS! Therefore, I can only deduce that he thinks you are awesome, whether he’s willing to admit it or not. 😉 (Monkey see, monkey do!)

Who gives a bucket of squid how many ACTUAL followers you have? Consider this: I have only a few subscribers to my blog, but ZOUNDS more people actually read it. I don’t rely on that little “followers” number, because it’s incredibly inaccurate (and depressing). I’ve had random unexpected comments from the web-universe and had no idea they read my blog. It’s like cockroaches – if you see one, there are 100. Same goes for comments and followers.

Conversely – your ex may have 10 followers, but think about this: how many of those people actually read each post? Are they actually getting anything out of these posts? How many of those people actually pass for human? Oh yeah – and WHO CARES who reads any blog but yours?! 😉

Let’s get one thing straight. What you have to say is IMPORTANT, INFORMATIVE, and FUNNY AS A FLYING PENGUIN. Keep doing it! Try your best to remember your goal, and don’t let anything keep you from it. In the grand scheme of things – your ex’s blog is just another whiff of stardust in this web-universe. It should not matter to you who follows or reads or comments on his blog – UNLESS his blog is important to you and offers you something of value 🙂

The only thing that should matter to you is the awesome effort you put into your blog, and how you feel about it. Are you proud of your blog? (Insert YES here). I AM! So who gives a rotten jellybean if all of your exes start blogs and have ONE MILLION followers? Your blog will still be your blog 🙂 CONTINUE MAKING IT AWESOME!

So toil away, dear writer. You are doing an excellent job. Try your best not to let your ex (or any other “writer”) distract you from your goal. The thing that matters most is YOU. The only thing you can control is YOU. #1 on your planet is YOU (and sometimes your kid.. but really, if you are on an airplane – they tell you to put your oxygen mask on first and I think that’s a pretty valid measure that you are indeed #1).

Why not try turning things around. Subscribe to his blog for kicks, and read it for squirts and giggles. You can start by silently chuckling at the sub-par spelling and grammar. Eventually that will get old, but that’s part of the process. You never know – he might have something interesting or valid to say. Take those nuggets of value with you and throw the rest in the trash (or the compost, if you’re environmentally conscious). Use his crap to fertilize your garden!! 🙂

In almost every situation, our initial reaction (before we take time to THINK) is a childish or negative one. This is the way it goes.

So take your breath,
and refocus on the important stuff,
YOU.

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