{an impasse}

I can’t count the number of posts I’ve written since I began this blog that expose my self-consciousness, my self-doubt, and basically, my selfishness. It’s difficult, this business of blogging. We all want to say that we write for ourselves, that numbers don’t matter. But when you’re writing, hoping to make something of it, numbers do matter. Comments do matter. Page views do matter. And when you don’t reach those goals, it can be rough.

I see bloggers that started around the same time that I did who have twice, three times as many followers, and I can’t help but feel down about it. Is it because they are “blogging for themselves?” {I call bullshit}. Is it because they are more beautiful, more stylish, better writers, better designers? I don’t get it. I have put my heart and soul and energy and time…basically, I’ve put everything that I have into this blog. And when you start a business, that means you put even more into it. You put your faith that eventually, someday, it will become your livelihood. And to be honest, I’m becoming more and more discouraged that I won’t be able to make anything of myself.

Maybe today is an off day. We went looking at apartments, and I hoped, if only for a moment, that I could be one of those people who make a living doing what I love. And make enough money to live in a nicer apartment, one that I can work full time for myself in. I’ve been blogging for a little over a year, and I started my business less than six months ago, but I’m becoming more and more discouraged. And I can’t help that thought from rearing it’s ugly head that I’ll forever be destined to sit behind a computer screen, one that isn’t mine, living someone else’s dream. And I can’t lie. It’s enough to make me cry on a daily basis.

I know what I want. But I don’t know what I want. I’m confused and emotional and have put too much of myself out there to turn around now, I know that. What would be the point? I’ve “taken breaks” from blogging, hoping that they would help clear my head, but they only made me more anxious. But why should I be so selfish to believe that anybody cares about what I have to say? Maybe it all was just a joke. But it isn’t. Not to me. Some people do this for fun, and that’s how I started. That isn’t how it is now. And that’s hard too. It’s hard to realize that something amazing has happened to you, but that’s it. That there’s nowhere to go from here. That I’m at an impasse.

I’m young, I know that. I turned a whole twenty-five last week. Sometimes I get intimidated by the older bloggers, the older event planners out there, thinking that they think I’m too young for this. But God. I’m trying so hard. I’m trying so hard that my heart hurts. And the thought of failing makes my heart break. I don’t want to fail.

I need help. I need help figuring out what to do, because I don’t know what to do. I’m doing it all by myself, without any guidance whatsoever. I taught myself how to run a wedding. I taught myself how to write and how to blog. I taught myself Photoshop and Illustrator and HTML. I taught myself how to create a Wordpress website. I learned, firsthand, blogging etiquette and marketing and how to feel comfortable in social situations. But here’s a secret: I’m so painfully shy it hurts. I was a political science major in college. I was going to go to law school. And the only thing I’m comfortable with right now is the damn contracts I have my clients sign.

But. And this is a big but.

Just because I’m comfortable with it doesn’t mean I like it. I love this blog. I love my readers. I love my clients. I love weddings and I love putting myself out there. But it’s hard. You have no idea how hard it is for me.

So that’s it. I’m going to keep going, but you have to know, it isn’t just for me. Some bloggers say that they do it for them, but I don’t do it just for me. I love it, more than anything, but it’s for you too. Again, maybe I’m selfish for thinking that I have something important to say, something that anybody cares about. But I need to keep going. I have to keep going.


Sar said...

I think blogging insecurities are normal! But just remember, you may be someone else's blogging inspiration (hello, almost-500 followers!). <3 Sending you love.

Christianna said...

I think that sometimes all of us who do life on our own terms feel this way. We flip things on their heads and we don't take the "no's" that get flung at us. But it doesn't mean that we don't feel them. Your blog is amazing! I know just what you are saying, so many blogs have started after mine and they are growing in leaps and bounds,but it doesn't mean your left in the dust. It just means that you are being you and the people who read your blog give an ish!

It might be hard now, but just imagine the day where it all happens for you, in one way or another and you get to look everyone in the eye and say "I did it, and I did it on my terms"! What an awesome day that will be. But don't forget to embrace the little victories, cause they are what create the big picture in the end!

You're awesome girly!

Emily said...

This post could not have been easy to write, but it is beautifully written.

I, too, have reached an impasse often- though for a different reason. I can't tell you how often I have started a blog happily and carried on...until I began to attract followers. I would quake under whatever expectations I thought they might have of me, and deactivate the blog. I have never accrued more than 40 followers, because I freak out knowing that so many are reading.

This time around, I have vowed to stay committed and trust in my followers. I will NOT let myself delete myself again!

But you, Joelle, already have the courage to put yourself out there ...and that is no small thing. You write for a group of 500 people, all who value your opinions, taste, and find you absolutely charming...and that, too, is no small thing.

You may not attract thousands of followers (though I actually think you probably will), but this does not mean that you have any less to offer.

Keep your head high, and keep going. You have the courage to get there, and so you will.

Jenny said...

I experience the "I'm not good enough" feeling quite a bit, and I always tell myself I'm good enough because I care enough to feel not good enough. Those who want to be the best succeed. I don't feel like I can offer much advice but I do know you should always do what you love. Being happy is much more important than being rich!
Good luck!

Stephanie said...

I'm so so shy too. It's painful and embarrassing. I wish there was something I could magically do to make me super outgoing.

There are many days when I just want to give up on blogging. I say I do it for me, but sometimes I don't. I do it for recognition- sad, but true. And, I barely have any followers. My blog has changed a little bit lately so my family can see our new life in CA.

There is so much I want to do (actually become a wedding/event planner like you), but I don't quite know how to jump off that cliff and start it. I struggle with it everyday. If only money wasn't an object and I thought people would trust me and I had the confidence in myself. Someday...I do have notes going about "my business" and how I want it to be.

And, for the record I love your blog! So thanks for doing it for me! :)

Recently Roached said...

I think we all go through this at one point or another. It's obvious though that your blog is read and well-received! :) Know that you are appreciated!

Harriet said...

I'm sorry you're having a rough time. I think we all get caught up in comparing ourselves to other people (bloggers or not)... it can be hard to keep perspective.
I hope you don't give up. :)

Jenny in Ohio said...

Here's the thing Joelle, I've never seen you comment on other blogs, certainly not mine, and I've been reading for a long time. Maybe that's not true- maybe you do comment but, to get more readers, you need to return the favor.

Smidge said...

I've been bloggin for years and I am nowhere near as er popular(?) as you are.

I don't know why some are more than others, but in my opinion it is quality of readers and comments that matters. I love all my readers and the insight they give me. It is much better than lots of coat tail hangers or 'love your blog/outfit/cat photo' type comments.

Kristina Streeter said...

I understand this most more than I would like to admit. I have been blogging since 2007, but learned about the blogging world in 2010. My first few months it took off big, and now it kinda hangs in the same place. Gain some followers, lose a couple. Back and forth. And I realized since the holiday that the comments just aren't there they like used to be. It's hard to not take it personally.
And although some days I do blog for just me, most of the time it's for others. And like you said in your post. The followers do count, whether I want to admit that the number isn't important. It is. I took away my GFC widget showing all of my followers, and replaced with just a GFC follow button, trying ton convince myself that those numbers didn't matter, but they do. When they stay stagnant it's a bummer. When the comments don't come in like I would hope, but the page views are there I start thinking it's me.
I think you do a great job on the blog! Keep it up!

Christina @ The Scrappy Housewife said...

We met yesterday on Blog Brunch and as promised I popped over to check out your blog. I found this post by accident (or was it?). Basically, this post sums up my entire blogging journey right now. I'm so frustrated, disillusioned and confused. I *want* this to be my life, but I don't know how to get there. At all. I've not been brave enough to put it into words on my blog, but you've inspired me to consider it. You've got one more follower in me! :)