Do You Believe In Yourself?

I received an e-mail earlier this week from a fellow blogger asking for advice on growing their blog. This isn’t the first time I’ve been asked this question. After much frowning of brows and scratching of heads I cobbled together a reply where I talked about quality writing, consistent themes and regular interaction with fellow bloggers. Something like that. You get my drift. Etc etc.

The reality is, I haven’t a clue. When I started writing almost two years ago now, it was because Fionnuala saw a talent in my writing and encouraged (forced) me to share it with the world. I never expected it to take off like it has and I never thought I’d now be looking at a blog with almost 9000 followers. One person, my wife, believed in me at a stage in my life when I didn’t believe in myself.

I don’t consider myself a particularly gifted wordsmith. Every day I marvel at the talent of fellow bloggers who, quite frankly, knock my clumsy prose out of the ball park. They have bigger, better stories to tell than me which they do with a skill, passion and verve that I struggle to emulate. Some of you people have no idea how good you are. Seriously. You need to go away and write a NYT bestseller. This minute. Now. Go.

Sooooo….what is it I do? Well, I try to post every day. I’m present, I’m here, that annoying relative who is always the last to leave family functions, making you think they have no home to go to. That’s me. Although I try to turn the annoying dial down to the bare minimum. Some of the best feedback I get is from people saying they look forward to reading my blog every day. I’m a familiar, comfortable pair of old slippers.

I seek to reassure people. To tell them they’re not alone, and there is hope even on the most desolate, windswept nights. I want to be a light, a strong hand hauling them from whatever deep pit they have fallen down. For I’ve been there but was unfortunate enough to survive and clamber out to tell the tale. The blog is a living testimony to that. I want to help, I want to put my own many failings to good use.

I want to make you smile, think, engage, and, most of all, believe. Believe in yourself. For there is a gift within you begging to be birthed, for all to see. For if you believe in something hard enough, then it will happen. Don’t buy that? Then check out that 15 stone, hungover, miserable couch potato who used to dream of running marathons and writing books. Six years later I’m doing both.

You see, I’m nothing special. But one day, the penny dropped. Just as Fionnuala believed in me, I began to bet on my own inherent ability. Initially it was a long shot, a Hail Mary pass of ridiculous proportions. But, occasionally, the long shot romps home first past the finishing past. Occasionally the Hail Mary bobbles and bounces into the grateful hands of the wide receiver.

So, my advice to you all, whatever you are doing, is to believe in yourself. You only get one shot and you’re a long time dead. If you have a dream, pursue it. With passion and tenacity. Let your talent breathe and your hopes soar high into the sky. Live the impossible. It’s closer than you think. That new life is there for the taking. All you have to do is reach out and touch it. Written by one who knows.

Do you believe in yourself?

What makes a good blogger?

46 thoughts on “Do You Believe In Yourself?

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  1. Though I can’t make assertions from personal experience, I believe a good blogger must offer good writing, be disciplined (something I still lack) and connect well with an audience. And for those of us who might feel daunted by this tall order, the secret isn’t perfection but hard work and consistency. Growth is only natural when we commit to starting and staying the course. Great results might not come immediately, but am sure eventually they would come as long as we are true and committed. Thank you Stephen for sharing.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Lol. Bribery! That’s funny. I have been Blogging for three years now, but my first Blog was Zanywildwords here on WordPress. I had no idea what I was doung, but a vicar friend of mine had suggested my starting a Blog some years ago, when I first went into remission from my cancer. I dismissed the idea completely. I wrote poetry and Reflections, but no one really saw them. But later in time the udea surfaced in my (rather stupid) brain! I decided to give it a go. I had no idea at all how to even create a Blog, so a friend did it for me. And Zanywildwords was launched. I didn’t expect anyone to read it. But they did! Much to my absolute surprise. I used to see that bell thing lit up and wonder what it was. I didn’t click on it for ages because I had no teccy know,edge whatsoever, abd was afraid of buggering up the site. I just kept posting poems and Reflections. About ALL SORTS of things. Gradually I realised what the bell thing was for. I had not been responding to anybody. And yay, I had got Folloeers. Not many, but some!

    Then, I decided that I wanted a dufferent kund of Blig especially about my Christian and spiritual journey, including about my blindness. And so Blindwilderness was born. At first no one came to it. I gave up. But then one day the number of Views suddenly spiked. I wondered what was happening. The numbers went down on my Zanywildwords site at about the same time, even though I HAD eventually kearned how to interact with people.

    Anyway……so I thought I had better start posting properly on ablibdwilderness. Very very suddenly I got lots of Views and my Followers increased in number. So now, didn I just have to post religious stuff? I was flummixed! I wanted to be able to post both religious and non religioys stuff. And stuff that was inclusive of faiths other than my own, and no faith at att. I struggled with how to do it, but then threw caution to the wind, as my Followers were growing in number, and I just posted ANYTHING. It didn’t matter if it was religious or not. My Zanywildwords site went to the dogs (poor dogs lol) and gradually my Blindwilderness site began to flourish. I was shocked! Then I started doing Word of the zday challenges. I have always loved a good challenge! My Followers incfeased again.

    I still only have just over 300 Followers, but the number is growing steadily now. I am grateful for that, but what I am the most grateful for is that people often tell me how inspiring my posts are. That makes my day. If I can inspre just ine person and help them aling this road that we call life, then it is worth it.

    I am guilty of pisting too much and too often. But my Blog is all that I have left in my life that I can still do, being utterly dependent upon someone else even for the very basics of life. It is now my lifeline. My only means of communication with others. Without it I would die. My lufe would be worth nothing. Just hour after hour of darkness, lying on a bed, for my condition has deteriorated.

    I am just very very happy that my number of Followers has grown, even though only gradually. Andbthe key really IS to interact with other Bliggers. Comment on their posts. Set ip a felationship with them. Make your Blog interesting, meaning putting all kinds of things into it, inclyding humour. I can’t do thus now as much as I could, and find vusiting other peopke’s Bligs difficult, as my sight and general health has got worse.

    I would say, Don’t give up. Keep posting. One fine day your Blig will suddenly take off, and then start to grow.

    Thanks Srephen, for YOUR Blig. For me, it was the TITLE of your Blig that drew me at first, for I have had my faith fractured too. And I wondered why yours was. I still don’t know the answer to that, but I love your Blig a yway even if I don’t always Like or Comment on it. Things still go in, as I read it, a d either move or touch me, or encourage me. Some things happen silently, without your even knowing about it.

    Thankyou for your Blog Srephen 😊

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Bless you Stephen. Thank you. And you will too. Thankyou for your prayers. My faith is intact but changed. Your prayers mean a lot to me. God bless you.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Hmmm I’m just here to blog. No dreams of “making it”. I’m just looking for courage and creativity to tell my story for me to heal. Of course I like it when it resonates with others, but it’s something I’m trying to also get better at. Poetry writing was never in my dreams. And then some folks appreciated my simply worded poems. I’m trying to believe in me.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I struggle with believing in myself, as I think many people do. I write because I must. It is a necessary thing for me. I love reading your stuff because you keep it real, and you definitely are encouraging as well as witty and funny and compassionate topped off by your terrific talent. I have no advice to offer as far as blogging goes. I’d say ‘just do it’. I am so glad I did it and a good part of that is because of all the wonderful people I interact with here. People like you!!!!

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  5. Your right just go for it. And like you I had someone I’d follow inspire me. Then someone just told me do it and I did. I didn’t know what to blog about, so I wrote. Then I tried to emulate the trends of other bloggers (big fail). One day, like you, I just wanted to write about me. My journey, whether it was spirituality, topics which I felt needed to be talked about, poetry, and short stories. I wanted my writing to reflect who I was and and what i was concern about. So I did. I do enjoy seeing my followers increase, but I rather delight in knowing my words have helped encourage others and given them hope to enjoy life.
    Meeting your blog I do enjoy your writing style. It flows naturally and adds a pinch of humor to sometimes a boring day. I read some of the comments and it isn’t quite as difficult to interact with readers. Just talk to them as if they were a close friend. I guess because I like to talk I don’t get bothered by sparking a conversation. As for my personal life, small talk can be a bit of a challenge, but I’m making progress. Have a great day! Congrats on making 9000 followers.

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  6. I don’t have any where near the followers you have and sometimes when I see the bloggers who seem so successful I wonder why I am blogging. But every time I think I will quit I get a comment/message from someone saying how my blog that day encouraged them or made them laugh. So I keep writing. And I keep believing that in some way I can/will help someone’s day be better.

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  7. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the encouragement! I often wonder how you post such quality work on a daily basis and still work full time, and manage to run marathons. Vitamins? Seriously, How do you manage the time?

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  8. I believe in myself but at the same time I am scared of opening myself up to scrutiny, given that many of the things I wish to share with the world involve very personal topics. This internet realm can be so cruel and I’d hate to try and do a good thing by sharing my experiences only to open a Pandora’s box of shame and judgement.

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