Writing Everyday – Overcoming The Fear

Sometimes you read something, and it just stays with you. Whether you like it, or not. Last year I read a personal opinion, an opinion which I did not agree with I must add, and it has stayed in my head. Hung around, niggling at me, eating away me.

Let me back track for a moment.

I blog because I enjoy writing, primarily. There are lots of other reasons why I blog, but it’s the writing that keeps me coming back. I may not be a stellar writer, but I enjoy it, so who cares?

Not long after I had first started this blog, I tried to take part in a challenge to blog every day. I managed to blog every day for half of the month before caving, but I still felt proud of myself. Fast forward a year. As a more experienced blogger, I decided to try the challenge again. Only this time, I didn’t make it past the first day.

Somehow I found myself reading an article about blogging every day. In the comments section below the article, there were lots of people talking about how much they enjoyed daily blogging, and how it had improved their writing. And then there was one lone, standout comment. It went something on the lines of, ‘The internet is already filled with massive amounts of drivel, why add more daily drivel too it? You should blog only about things that matter’.

Why it stood out to me among a sea of ‘daily blogging is great, yeah!’ comments, I really don’t know, but it did. I’d read it, and I couldn’t unread it.

Shortly after reading the comment, I read another article. This time it was all about ‘how to succeed at blogging’. One of the tips was to make sure you only post quality pieces, and that if it feels like just a filler post, don’t publish it. It’s an idea I’ve seen mirrored in many comments and many articles since. Basically, don’t write drivel.

I don’t agree with it. In my opinion your blog is your own space, and if you want to fill it with nonsense, that’s your prerogative. Despite disagreeing with the statement completely, it still stayed with me, and it has reared it’s ugly head almost every time I have sat down to write a blog post. Every single time I try to write, a little voice in my head asks ‘is this really necessary, do people really need to read this?’ It’s completely changed the way I blog, because from that moment onwards I always felt under pressure to write something profound and meaningful, and when I couldn’t find that, I just didn’t write.

This week I have been reading a book called Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind (catchy title, don’t you think). I don’t usually read self help style books, but this had been recommended to me, so I thought I’d give it a try. The book is designed to help us change the way we work, allowing us to always produce the best work we can. It’s written particularly for creative people, with wisdom from 20 leading creative minds. One chapter in, and I have read something that has again stuck in my mind, but this time in a positive way.

Frequency. OK, what I read wasn’t just one word, but it is that word which forms the basis of the section which has stayed with me. Gretchen Rubin, author of bestselling book The Happiness Project (which I really need to read) writes in Manage Your Day-To-Day about how important frequency is. I don’t want to go in to too much detail, because I would urge you to read the book, but she talks about how frequency keeps ideas fresh, sparks creativity, and, most importantly for me, keeps the pressure off.

‘If you are producing just one page, one blog post or one sketch a week, you expect it to be pretty darned good, and you start to fret about quality’ – Gretchen Rubin

That really resonated with me. I don’t post often, and when I do, I really worry about the quality. The fear of not producing my best stops me from producing anything at all.

After reading that particular section of the book, I felt like I’d had a lightbulb moment. I need to start writing frequently to eradicate the fear of writing that I have developed. To banish that little voice that has been asking ‘is this necessary?’ every time I write.

If some days I produce absolute nonsense, to further fill the internet with more ‘drivel’, so be it, because other days I may produce gold. Gold that I would otherwise not have produced, had I not written due to fear. Even if I write every day and never write anything truly wonderful, I’ll still be happy with that, because I enjoy writing. It makes me happy.

And really, that’s all that matters. In all areas of life. Do what makes you happy.

Do what makes you happy

Linking up with What I’m Writing

You can find Manage Your Day-to-Day here.

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  • Reply Steph Oakes January 26, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    I completely agree with the ‘do what makes you happy’ ethos. I blog as and when I need/want to and thankfully feel no pressure either way. At the end of the day it’s my space and if I want to fill it with drivel so be it 😉 I don’t have the inclination (or time) to post everyday but fully admire bloggers that do x

  • Reply Emma @sophieellaandme January 26, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    At the end of the day, this is your blog and you can write about whatever you want! Try and ignore the sad people who write unneccessary comments, it’s their opinion and doesn’t speak for everyone else who enjoys reading your blog. Keep going and like you said, do what makes you happy 🙂 xx

  • Reply Claire Witt January 26, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    Great post and i totally agree with freedom of speech especially on our own blogs, if people don’t like what they read then they shouldn’t read it!! I really blog when i want to id hate for it to feel like a chore so try not to get bogged down with lots of things.

  • Reply Katy January 26, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    I feel the same thoughts as you when I post a blog – ‘will this be helpful to someone, could they not find similar information elsewhere?’ – and I do find it brings that bit of a downer on things, so this is really helpful for me. I completely agree – the more I write, the better I write, and perhaps more frequent writing would take that pressure off (I’m a 2/3 times a week blogger, so not overly frequent). I also have a copy of The Happiness Project that needs to be read! Must get round to it!

  • Reply Rebecca | AAUBlog January 26, 2016 at 4:18 pm

    great post. I can really relate. I sometimes get a bit too caught up in wondering what I should or shouldn’t write about, but its my blog so its up to me x

  • Reply Rachel January 26, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    This is such a good post, life often gets in the way of everything and we just have to take whatever it is in our stride, chin up and off we go x

  • Reply Charlene maiden January 26, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    I totally understand where you are coming from!! I had wanted to start a blog for a long time but the fear of what others would think crippled me with fear, esp people that I know. I felt I would be judged or people would think I was being preachy. In the end I decided to do what makes me happy and I havnt looked back. I’m not the greatest writer but I enjoy writing my blog and I feel my enthusiasm comes out in my posts, surely that’s the main thing. X

  • Reply Ky January 26, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    This is a great post, I write for me firstly and then think about if others want to read it secondly. I’m probably doing it wrong but it makes me happy.x

  • Reply Zoe January 26, 2016 at 6:06 pm

    Oh I totally agree with the fact that you should write what you like! I wouldn’t write at all if I thought I had to write something ‘profound’ and ‘meaningful’ – that’s just putting up barriers before you even start! Write frequently, write what you like and write for yourself! x

  • Reply Funky Wellies January 26, 2016 at 8:13 pm

    I totally agree with you, your blog is your own space.
    Writing makes you happy, that is all that matters. xx

  • Reply DannyUK.com January 26, 2016 at 8:30 pm

    Great post. I’ve often thought that I want to blog more often, or at least have a schedule and a regularity to my post. I learnt a few years ago though that it’s not always possible to blog often. Life gets in the way. In the end I made a promise to myself that I’d blog about what I wanted, when I wanted to with the basic mantra “my blog, my rules”. I now feel that I don’t have to meet anyone elses expectations and that makes things soooo much easier!

  • Reply Lindsay January 26, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    I totally agree with you that if it makes you happy just write and you know I love your blog so would be happy if you blogged daily. I sometimes stop myself from writing something if I think it is not so great but I think if I wrote more regular I would start to become a better writer. I am looking forward to hearing more from you mrs xx

  • Reply Alice @ The Filling Glass January 26, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    This is a really interesting post. I am probably one of those ‘let’s not fill up the internet with random ramblings kind of people’, but yet I know that I am guilty of it at times. I agree though that we should do what makes us happy. I have started to practice my writing in a variety of ways this year, instead of only on my blog, to spark more of that creativity but keeping my posts more significant. Good luck finding a balance that is right for you. #Whatimwriting

  • Reply #TotsGoodReads Judging mums, poorly mums and tired mums | Tots 100 January 27, 2016 at 8:04 am

    […] I blog because I enjoy writing, primarily. There are lots of other reasons why I blog, but it’s the writing that keeps me coming back. I may not be a stellar writer, but I enjoy it, so who cares? Read more from Blogger Mummy Lauren here. […]

  • Reply Pamela | Life With Munchers January 27, 2016 at 8:55 am

    Everyone has their own goals and I think at the end of the day, you have to do what makes you happy. It’s impossible to do something you don’t enjoy. x

  • Reply Fi Ni neachtain January 27, 2016 at 9:18 am

    These are really good points but I also hold the stance that a blog is a person’s creative space so they can post whatever they like. I’m all about posting for yourself and not a potential reader, because at the end of the day, readers will come and go but it will always be your blog, your thoughts, your memories.

  • Reply LAura @ Life with Baby Kicks January 27, 2016 at 10:02 am

    Complete agree here – and yes it’s your own space so if it’s drivel then people shouldn’t come to read it. HOWEVER I find that sometimes what I think is a bit of drivel resonates with others and those drivel posts have actually been the gold you mention that wouldn’t have been written unless I kept brain dumping!

  • Reply Rachael January 27, 2016 at 10:02 am

    Interesting thoughts, and comments! I agree that you must do what makes you happy (and that’s different for everyone), and your space = your rules. I am quite mindful about what I put out there as I’m selling my writing (I write a lot of blogs for others) but I do also have space for random ramblings if I feel so inclined. I find a good place to develop a daily habit is 750words.com. But any blank doc will do – The idea that no-one would read your words can free you from overthinking things – and I’m written some of my best poetry using this freewriting method! 🙂

  • Reply nicola young January 27, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    I did a little ‘yay’ at the end of reading this. I love how you’ve looked at both sides of the argument and reached your own conclusion. Of course you can write what you want on your blog, but I do understand your feelings of wanting to make every post count. You don’t have to worry though, cos this one’s a cracker.

  • Reply Eve Redmond January 27, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    You’re so right. Everywhere I look it says in order to be a successful blogger you need to have only 1 niche and write consistently blah blah blah. I write whenever I feel the urge to write and blog which is most days. I write about parenting, weddings, relationships, anything really x

  • Reply Zena's Suitcase January 27, 2016 at 8:09 pm

    What a great article. I think you’ve had a lot to process here about what you want your blog to be. It’s your happy place and you should write exactly what you want.

  • Reply Cliona January 27, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    I loved reading this post because it confirmed for my in my own head that I should stick to what works for me. Like you, I blog primarily because I love to write and because it has been incredibly therapeutic in times of need. I’m also happy to write lighthearted posts or things that aren’t seen as ‘serious’. Having the mix is important for me so thanks for this! Also, I’m definitely going to check out that book.

  • Reply Maddy@writingbubble January 27, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    I love this post Lauren! I really think fear can put us off so many things, and I love that quote about frequency – it really resonates with me. I’ve decided this year to pursue my dream to be able to illustrate the children’s books I write – it’s a massive scary goal and this week I decided in order not to be put off by my fear I needed to just draw things and put them out there. I’m doing a daily #shapechallenge on twitter and now tweet a picture I’ve drawn every day. I’m finding it so liberating because I know whatever I produce is just one of many, so I’m not expecting it to be brilliant… or anywhere close. So yes, write what you want, when you want. If people don’t want to read it they don’t have to and I suspect you’ll strike gold more often than you expect – like with this post! Thanks for linking to #WhatImWriting

  • Reply Laura January 27, 2016 at 10:25 pm

    I agree with you totally. No one can tell you what is right or wrong to publish on YOUR blog. Write what you want and when you want. I’ve been trying to blog every day in January-I’ve failed, but I’ve posted more than I usually do and tripled my pageviews compared to December so, I’m pleased.

  • Reply Hannah Budding Smiles January 29, 2016 at 8:51 am

    I absolutely agree that your blog should be full of what you want it to be. Write first for yourself because it’s the record of you and your family. I have a vague blogging schedule but some days I don’t feel inspired to write and others I’m on fire, I think because my blog isn’t a main source of income for me I just feel it’s my space to do what I want with! Having readers is lovely but it shouldn’t ever make you stressed xx

    • Reply Lauren February 5, 2016 at 10:49 pm

      You sound like you have a very laid back approach to your blog which is absolutely how it should be, writing for yourself is the best way x

  • Reply Stephs Two Girls January 29, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    Love this post – so true, ‘do it for you’! As often as you can 🙂 Love your blog, you’ve never written drivel anyway… but think many of us share the same fears xx

    • Reply Lauren February 5, 2016 at 10:48 pm

      Haha Steph you are too kind, I’m glad you enjoy my drivel!x

  • Reply Carol Cameleon January 29, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    Hi Lauren, there are times that I wonder if anyone will read my posts but I think ‘their loss’! We should absolutely write when we want to write and if people don’t want to read it, so be it. There’ll always be an infinite corner of the net that needs filling, after all 😉 #wiw

    • Reply Lauren February 5, 2016 at 10:47 pm

      You are absolutely right, there is plenty of space to fill with our ramblings! That’s a great attitude to have 🙂

  • Reply Verily Victoria Vocalises January 29, 2016 at 11:31 pm

    This is a great post and I am SO with you on that quote – and the fact that this is your blog and your space. I have written stuff in the past that people have approached me and complained about, either by email or in person or in a comment on my blog but I just remember that they had to come to my corner of the web to find it in the first place. I wrote a poem about school run mums once and someone really took offence. Stupidly it wasn’t even about her and I told her that I could say what I wanted in on my blog if it wasn’t attacking someone in particular! #WhatIAmWriting

    • Reply Lauren February 5, 2016 at 10:45 pm

      Wow, I can’t believe people have actually complained to you personally about something you have written! Whatever happened to seeing something you didn’t like and just moving on with your day?! You are very right that they have come to your area of the web to see it in the first place! I love your writing, so keep doing what you are doing lovely!

  • Reply Antonia February 2, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    Writing every day is something I started many years ago, and it’s a great habit – it transformed my writing. I’m not so strict with myself nowadays, but it got me past the internal voice that said ‘that’s no good’, and moved me into a space of ‘write and see what happens’,

    • Reply Lauren February 5, 2016 at 10:39 pm

      I think you have it exactly right then, that’s what I’m hoping to achieve with my writing everyday.

  • Reply Sophie Lovett February 2, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    It’s so frustrating how we give those negative voices so much airtime isn’t it? I had loads of positive feedback on my blog last year, but all I heard were two negative comments made by members of my family along similar lines to what you’ve said here: what’s the point? It really annoys me that I wasn’t able to just brush them off – still haven’t entirely if I’m honest – because as you’ve so eloquently explained here the ‘point’ has very little to do with other people. Here’s to ignoring the haters and doing what makes us happy!! xx

    • Reply Lauren February 5, 2016 at 10:37 pm

      Those negative comments are definitely the hardest to shift, which is so frustrating! Even worse when they come from people close to us though. I agree, here’s to ignoring the haters!x

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