You Do It To Yourself

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Do you remember The Bends, by Radiohead?

I bought myself a new copy and have been listening to it as I drive here and there. It’s a beautiful example of the good ole angsty 90s days, when flannel shirts and pain were the top fashion statements.

One of the songs, Just, has a repeating refrain. “You do it to yourself, you do, and that’s what really hurts.” As I listened to this, I realized that when it comes to blogging, very often our biggest obstacles are those that we put in front of ourselves. And that’s what really hurts.

What obstacles are you setting in your way?

There are so many ways that we can step on our own toes as we prepare to blog that it’s almost impossible to capture all of them here. However, perhaps some of these will resonate with you.

• I don’t know how to get started

• I’m probably the last person in the world to start blogging, so what’s the point?

• I have nothing original to say

• I have nothing to say that’s interesting

• I’ll probably make too many spelling or grammar errors

• It’s too much time

• There’s no way I’ll ever be as successful as the really successful bloggers out there

Stop it already!

If any of the above thoughts resonated with you, you need to hit the pause button on your brain and do some reprogramming. What’s really going on here? Do you really think you have nothing original to say, or are you worried that your original thoughts, carefully crafted, may not resonate with an audience? Do you find a lot of things interesting but you’re certain no one else would?

These are not productive thoughts, and even more to the point, they’re not true. However, they’re easy. It’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to the hard work of digging through your obstacles and getting your blog started, or getting your blog to where you want it to be. People like Stan and me can only help you once you are ready to stop grinding yourself down.

Some truth

A couple of months ago, I was singing the “you do it to yourself” song. I was really tearing down my blog in my head. I was thinking, “Oh man. Everyone is writing the same stuff as me, and they’re doing it better. I have nothing new to say, and my own way of saying the old stuff isn’t as (insert adjective here…smart, polished, interesting, etc) as the stuff I’m reading.

I was actually on the verge of taking a very long hiatus from the blogging world because I didn’t think I had what it took to keep blogging. I was building up obstacles faster than you can say “obstacles.”

There was really no reason for this thinking except what was in my own head. My traffic was down a bit, but traffic goes up and down like the people on the bus. Nobody was telling me that my writing was crap. No one was making fun of me because I was blogging about the same thing someone else was blogging about. It was me doing it to myself.

How did I break through? Well, in addition to some well-placed kicks to the hiney from some friends of mine, I came to a single realization. No one has ever blogged exactly like me, because, so far as I know, I’m the only me there has been. No one has seen the world, marketing, or Social Media through my eyes. We are all fully armed with unique perspectives as soon as we sit down to a computer. We just have to believe it is so.

What do you need to change the pattern?

So, what’s the deal? Are you ready to stop getting in your own way? Are you ready to let go of the self-doubt and soar with confidence towards your own voice, your own objectives, and your own perspectives? Stan and I, and any other people you look to for advice and help, can only help you to the point where you’re ready to be helped. We can’t get into your head and tear down the walls you’ve built in your path. But we can sure encourage you to take those obstacles out of your way and get working.

Stop getting in your way. Even if you don’t believe in you right now, we sure do. You can do it. We know you can because we’ve done it. Take a big breath, and let’s get to work. Let us know in the comments how we can help and what you need.

{image credit: music2work2}

About Marjorie

Marjorie Clayman is passionate about integrated marketing, research, and helping people find their way in Social Media. Marjorie feels community may take the throne from content and/or context in the near future, and she wants to help you find yours. Marjorie blogs at

9 thoughts on “You Do It To Yourself

  1. Pingback: The Power of An Editorial Calendar | Aim Above The Mark | Jason Sokol

  2. Lucy @ VideoCharacter

    Some of us just think negatively about what we do, we would never succeed if we still have these discouraging thoughts. The question for them is, Why did you ever start or why do you continue doing what you do when you don’t believe in yourself.

  3. Marjorie Post author

    Thanks, Mark!

    I love it when music gives me ideas for blog posts. I don’t know if that’s a good or a bad reflection of my life at present :)

  4. Mark W Schaefer

    Love it Majorie. Any blog that features Radiohead is a hit with me!

    You and I have both riffed on this theme of blogging and confidence, certainly the number one obstacle to blogging! Thanks for the great post!

  5. Brett Duncan

    Marjorie – so funny you mentioned the editorial calendar. I just started using one this week, and I can already see how it’s gonna help.


  6. Marjorie Post author

    Hi Brett,

    Sounds like you could benefit from an editorial calendar. Also, it never hurts to stockpile posts for later. I think most bloggers go through periods where ideas can’t get written fast enough, and we also all go through periods that are worse than the Blogger’s Sahara. Instead of posting everything in rapid succession, save 1 or 2 for those times when the well runs dry. It might even be enough to get you going again.

  7. Brett Duncan

    It’s so amazing how important perspective is when blogging. There are times that I feel like I can pump out 5 great posts a day. Then I’ll go for months with what seems like pure drivel. It really is a head-thing.

    The key is to push through, cuz it’s the consistency that seems to pay off in the long run.


  8. Marjorie Post author

    Hi Daria,

    I know that Stan offers a service that offers that kind of analysis, but I’ll tell you a trick that has helped me learn how to evaluate my own blog and others.

    Go to your site as if you were not the owner and creator. Say you happened upon it because of a tweet or because someone you trust suggested that you check it out. Can you garner what the purpose of the site is? Would you as a new visitor know exactly what you were going to be getting?

    This was a crucial test for me. My site is my name now, so it’s about what I want people to think of when they think about, well, me. Is that apparent if you visit my site? I think it’s getting there.

    I also have found in my own experience that if you feel like you are trying to cover too many topics, you probably are. If you don’t know what your core focus is, nobody else will. I have learned how to keep things more narrow on my site, and if I really have to get something out of my system, I see if another blogger is interested in hosting my babbling.

    Does that help at all?

  9. Daria

    Thank you for the offer to help! My biggest quandry is that I am having a hard time narrowing my focus. The general topic is working motherhood and tips and tricks for the things we face either at work or at home. However this spans a HUGE range of topics and I feel my blog is scattered. Also, monetizing the blog is easiest with ads, coupons, sales posts – but that seems to make the distraction from good writing even bigger.

    Any suggestions on narrowing it down and monetizing too?

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