A lot of us avoid putting ourselves out there because we lack the self-confidence, the means, or the time to do it. I’m definitely in this boat. It’s a large boat with lots of people on it. It has a nice buffet that I keep coming back to and stops at lots of ports of interest. But I think I’m ready to disembark.
Putting yourself out there is hard to do because you may be afraid of rejection or even of offending someone. And then consider the fact that what you do online is a permanent record of how offensive or illiterate you are. This is why there are so many people on that boat.
So why should you jump ship? Because there is always someone out there with whom your message or story will resonate. Even if it’s just a handful of people, I promise there’s an audience who is interested in your catalog describing each item in your collection of navel fluff. You may just brighten that person’s day, or give them some extremely useful information they were looking for. You just snorted incredulously after reading that, didn’t you? I’m serious though. Navel fluff has an audience! Everything has an audience! You think you’re alone in your weird habits, but trust me – we’re all weird.
I frequently thought about putting myself out there by writing a book or blogging because I love to write and love to make people laugh. I would constantly run through this list of arguments in my head:
- But my writing isn’t all that great. Have you looked at some of the blogs out there? Yeesh. If you can write at a 2nd grade level, apparently you’re qualified to write a blog. Shit – just look at this blog. The great American novel it is not…
- But nobody wants to hear what I have to say. Somebody does, I promise.
- But I don’t have time to devote to writing consistently. Have you ever heard someone tell you “Make the time”? That’s life my dears. There’s never time for anything unless you make the time for it.
- But people might be offended by what I say. Even fucking better! That’s what makes life interesting!
- But what if prospective/current employers look me up online and see what I say and don’t like it? A lot of companies look for a cultural fit as well as the experience listed on your resume. If they see something you’ve written, it will give them a great idea of what you bring to the table. And honestly, I’ve worked with enough hot messes that I can promise you companies are hiring them left and right regardless. So you don’t necessarily have to worry about what you’re saying online. If it’s what you believe and you’re not hurting anyone in the process, then I say do it.
- But what really happened to Jon Snow on Game of Thrones! Dude, are you even paying attention? Focus! Look away from the shiny object.
And I know what you’re going to say next (or maybe next after whatever you’re thinking now) – who the hell has time to write a blog a day or write a book or write a freakin’ grocery list? I totally agree. I work full-time, I have 2 kids, I have a husband, and countless other shit that gets in the way of me doing what I want. But that’s life. Everyone is dealing with an overwhelming amount of shit. But just shut up and do it. Seriously, shut up. You’re annoying with all this arguing and complaining.
Just think of it as keeping a diary. When you were a kid, I know you kept one. Even if you had 3 hours of homework ahead of you, you totally snuck in 30-minutes of vicious, angst-infested diary writing. Now you can relive your glory journal years with the latest thoughts ping-ponging inside your head.
Dear Diary. I’m so bummed. I just discovered I have a [hang-nail/runny nose/receding hairline/pick an ailment]. I can’t believe it. It’s so unfair. But good news. I posted a picture of my [hang-nail/runny nose/receding hairline/pick an ailment] online and somebody told me I could just use some Tea Tree oil to fix it. I went to the health food store and that cute girl I’ve been watching helped me find it and then asked me on a date even though it was obvious I had a [hang-nail/runny nose/receding hairline/pick an ailment]. I want to tell everyone I know about this miracle cure that practically guarantees a hot date so they can benefit as well. Best day ever!”
So, I’m putting myself out there like me or not. And I kinda have a feeling those people who don’t like what I have to say will end up being my biggest fans. “What will that offensive woman say next?” Right? Write on.
That’s what my inspirational poster would say by the way… “Write on” with a picture of a cute kitten wearing glasses typing at a computer keyboard. Or a picture of a cute baby would work too – but only if there are no keyboard typing kittens available.