Bear with me, this is going to seem convoluted. Back in 2012, I was gearing up to become the ‘Instagram girl.’ On the advice of an industry professional, I was going in strong, and I was going in niche. What set me apart? Instagram. What was I going to focus on? Instagram. No other platform or medium was going to take me from my path or distract my energy from my one thing.
Fast forward to December 2019, and I am still spewing out the same excuses when I’m asked why I don’t blog…
- It’s already hard enough to find time for Instagram.
- I’ve missed the boat, there are too many amazing bloggers out there.
- What possible value could I offer?
- Why would someone want to read my blog when they can follow me on Instagram?
- I’m a photographer, not a writer and,
- I don’t want to diversity, I’ve done very well with what I have built, and I don’t need a blog to validate my existence.
Spoiler alert; all of these are bullshit reasons. The real reasons why I don’t blog are as follows:
- I’m scared.
Okay, so it’s only one reason. I’m scared.
To many, it might seem like I have it all together. I have a sizable Instagram audience of delightful people who seem to like and trust me. I’ve poured my heart and soul into that platform and shared many parts of myself.
BUT, the beauty of Instagram is that it allows you to hide behind the image.
I have a multi-faceted business that includes online courses, photography tours in Zimbabwe, and running my own EVENT! I’ve presented to thousands of people and been exposed, through interviews and podcasts, to hundreds of thousands more.
BUT I don’t want people to see me.
I have a lot to say, a lot I want to accomplish. I have a purpose, and I am becoming clearer and clearer on my path.
BUT I’m scared that you’ll judge me because of my grammar or my vulnerability.
A blog. Having a blog announces to the world that I want people to care about what I have to say. Instagram was an accident. Instagram allows me to limit myself to the length of a caption and the fact that many only go for the image, not the words. Instagram is safe.
For the past 7 years, I’ve been saying, “one day, I’ll blog.” Well that day is today. And I won’t be having this professionally edited (as I told myself I would when I started blogging “one day”). And I won’t be asking friends to read it for me to make sure it’s “okay.” Because I trust myself. And I believe that I have something to share with the world and that magic can’t be limited to Instagram alone anymore.
You might not know it to look at me, but I am not immune to the curse of perfectionism and of feeling ‘not enough.’ But that ends now.
So, the reason why I don’t didn’t blog is that I’m scared. And if you’re scared as well then, I suggest that you don’t blog either. The internet is cruel, and it is filled with critics. Every word you say or photo you post is at the mercy of attracting the worst kind of hatred. Any fear you’ve ever had of being judged will be realised. The nasty thoughts in your head will be voiced aloud by strangers. But if you can get past that, then you will be truly free.
I swore that this week would be the week that I write my first blog post. But, until last night, I was still unsure. Until I stumbled across a Brene Brown presentation on Netflix. She quotes Theodore Roosevelt;
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt
And follows up with this;
“I want to be in the arena. I want to be brave with my life. And when we make the choice to dare greatly, we sign up to get our asses kicked. We can choose courage, or we can choose comfort, but we can’t have both. Not at the same time.” – Brene Brown
I also want to be in the arena. I want to live a meaningful life, to lead a terrifying existence. This starts with overcoming fear. It starts with doing this one thing that scares me, and then another and another. It begins by telling the world who I am and what change I want to evoke in others. It starts with this blog.