That Awkward Moment – Writing A Blog Post Then Promoting It.

PERFECTION IS A FANTASY

Once you finish writing a blog post and then publish it, you panic.

You see a word or two you want to change, a sentence that could be phrased differently.

And you think. Who would want to read this? It’s crap! It needs another revision. You backslide into “this isn’t good enough syndrome,” and get stuck in the weeds.

Literally and figuratively.

Writing IS like weeding. You’ll always find something you want to pull and toss.

Stop oppressive gardeningAfter bagging hundreds of dandelions you caught choking the life from your somewhat greenish lawn, you’re ready to drag the bag to the curb. You grab it, then stop.

You spot a dandelion at two o’clock. It taunts you. “Come and get me, plucker!”

“Me, too!” another one screams.

“And me!” laughs Dandelion #3.

You drop to your knees and continue yanking and bagging. Every time you think you’re done, more dandelions appear.

The same is true with writing. You’ll always find a weedy word you want to extricate from the page.

But don’t let your proclivity for perfection paralyze you.

Your post may not be perfect. But, Damn it! It’s close enough.

Restrain the obsessive beast in your brain by setting a deadline before you start to write. When you reach the deadline, stop and say, “I’m done! Really done. Now, what?”

It’s time to promote your post.

CLIMB OUT OF YOUR SHELF

The brain

The brain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How does a writer reprogram their brain from writing to promoting?

For a writer who’s thrilled when anyone reads her work, the thought of promoting it can be terrifying.

But don’t give in to your fears. Push past that fluttery feeling in your gut and seek out other like-minded souls on the Internet.

Join Twitter, FacebookPinterest and other social media sites.

Find your tribe: people you want to hangout with. Join a writer’s group on Facebook.

After you find your tribe, don’t bore them by only talking about your writing. Join the conversation.

Just like at a cocktail party, if you meet someone who talks at you, not with you, you make excuses and walk away. You avoid self-absorbed people who tell you how great they are. The same is true with social media.

Don’t monopolize your tribe mate’s time by promoting your work. Promotion is NOT one-sided. Promotion IS interactive. Make friends. Say hello. Share a post. Ask them about their day.

Then something amazing happens. Your tribemate cracks a joke. You LOL. And someone shares your post.

The more you meet people and engage them, the more comfortable you’ll become with social media. After a while it will be fun… maybe too much fun, maybe a bit addictive. That’s when you need to take a breath.

Learn to manage your time, so you don’t stay online for hours, or days, and lose focus of your passion. Take a break. Quit the Internet. Reboot your brain and write!

 

This post is based upon the recent Twitter chat, “How to Overcome Self-Promotion Anxiety As A Writer,” hosted by Amanda Chiu of Atomic Reach #AtomicChat.

Thanks again for inviting me to be a guest on the last chat of the year.

42 Comments That Awkward Moment – Writing A Blog Post Then Promoting It.

  1. Ron

    Faaaaaaaabulously written post, Lauren! And just for the record, I think it IS perfect, just the way you published it. You spoke so much truth! You are so right about perfectionism. And you’re also right about promoting ourselves. In fact, I’m learning to do that with my photography and using social media; supporting each other.

    And yes, it is so important to take a break, quit the Internet and reboot our brain (and soul). I did that this past summer and it did a world of good.

    Thanks for sharing your brilliant insight! And have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
    X
    Ron invites you to read Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas!My Profile

    Reply
    1. Lauren
      Twitter:

      Thank you, Ron. It’s so good to see you. I’ve been reading your posts in Feedly. Sorry I haven’t been around much. I’ve been trying to figure things out, work on how to focus my blog. I needed lots of time away.

      Where do promote your photography on social media? I don’t use Instagram. I have an account but have been pretty busy with Twitter and Facebook.

      You, too. Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

      Reply
      1. Ron

        No apologies needed, Lauren. I totally understand because I’ve been absent from blogging too. I took almost two months off from blogging over the summer.

        I use Flickr and Instagram to promote my photography. I used to have both a Facebook and Twitter account, but didn’t use them much.

        Have a super week!
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        Ron invites you to read Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas!My Profile

        Reply
  2. Katherine
    Twitter:

    I just tweeted in the last hour. Was it self promotion? Nope… it was bashing the company who CHANGED THE RECIPE OF JUJUBES!!! My bad. But WHO changes the recipe for Jujubes!???

    The dandelion line reminded me of when we had a huge wash up of starfish. We kept trying to save them… throw one in, find another, another, to where you physically could not save them all. But we tried!

    Reply
    1. Lauren
      Twitter:

      My philosophy has always been “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” So, why the hell would they change the recipe for jujubes? Have you heard back from the jujubes boneheads?

      Poor starfish. At least you tried. But I don’t give a damn about dandelions.

      Reply
  3. Victoria Marie Lees
    Twitter:

    Man! Do I hate weeds. Sometimes I need to not look any further at the post after uploading it on my Adventures in Writing blog. Thank you for these tips, Lauren. I’ve shared them generously. I’ve also joined your Networked Blogs. I’ll be back. All the best in 2016!

    Reply
  4. Lauren
    Twitter:

    Hi Victoria,
    I hate weeds, too! I’m probably the only person who doesn’t look forward to spring. : )

    I’m glad you found the tips helpful.

    Thanks so much for the shares and follow on Networked Blogs. I need to write another post!

    Reply
  5. Rebecca Perlstein

    Wow! How a propos given my most recent post. This is just the read I needed to refuel my inner self promoter. Thank you for the words of advice. My blog has laid fallow and definitely needs cultivating.

    Reply
    1. Lauren
      Twitter:

      I need to follow my own advice. : ) I’m glad you found the article helpful. I’ve got to get focused on churning out more blog posts. I’m working on too many writing projects. It’s time to cut back.

      Hope you’re enjoying your weekend.

      Reply
  6. Imran Soudagar

    Perfection is harmful. Over the yearsci have always tried to be a perfectionist and it has certainly hurt my performance. Each time I want to hit the publish button I end up finding some mistake and again try to fix the problem and make the post a perfect one, hence I end up writing few articles than I could have.

    Reply
    1. Lauren
      Twitter:

      I try to stop myself from revising after publishing. Really the best thing to do is let a draft sit after writing it before publishing it. You’ll be able to look at your writing from a new fresh perspective.

      Reply
  7. Stefan

    “The more you meet people and engage them, the more comfortable you’ll become with social media. After a while it will be fun… maybe too much fun, maybe a bit addictive. That’s when you need to take a breath.”

    Really? I do hope so. In the beginning it is very tough when you basically write only for yourself. Although you do imagine how your tribe might actually be but then you are still months aways from interacting it.

    I do hope to spark some conversation soon, it’s kinda lonely in the begining 😉

    Reply
    1. Lauren
      Twitter:

      Hi Stefan,

      It’s true about getting more comfortable by meeting and engaging. It has gotten easier. I just need to write more.

      Writing is a lonely process. We need to meet and engage in order to stay sane… just not to engage to the point in which we can’t seem to find the time to write.

      I think you’ve sparked a great conversation here.

      Thanks so much for commenting.

      Reply
  8. Stefan

    Hey Lauren,

    how did you get through the first weeks/months when you were still trying to find your audience?

    I know what I want to to blog about but I am not sure if anyone cares ???? I’d love some honest feedback from people so I can get an idea of what my audience is really worried about.

    Have a great week-end! ????

    Reply
    1. Lauren
      Twitter:

      The first weeks/months were easier to get through than now. I’ve been blogging for seven years. You should blog because you want to and are passionate about what you are writing about. I started my blog in 2009 after I lost my job. I had no focus of what to write about and didn’t think about my audience. I would have done that differently, focused my blog on what it was like to be unemployed. I did that for a while and then I started writing whatever came to mind.

      I still don’t know what to write about. : ) But, I recently discovered that it’s okay not to know. The important thing is to write as much as you can without burning out. I would try to write two or three times a week (if you can) on the same day each week for consistency. And you will eventually find your audience or they’ll find you. Try to find a tribe, bloggers who write similar topics. Check out BlogCatalog and even blogging Facebook groups.

      I’m trying to write once a month at my blog. But I haven’t been successful yet. I’ve been writing some content posts as well as blog posts on Huffington Post. I’m trying to manage my time better. That’s a biggie — time management.

      I’ll try to stop by your blog and take a look.

      Hope this helps. -Lauren

      Reply
  9. Stefan

    Ah, ok, Lauren, now I see. I didn’t see that you were having this blog already for so long.

    Well yes, I have a cause as to why I blog and this is what motivates me. What I didn’t do until today is schedule my activities, meaning that a lot of times actually I didn’t write although I intended to.

    I’ll take your advice and from now on I will use Tuesdays and Thursdays to write, whether it’ll be a long article or just a short recipe with nice pictures.

    Thank you for the heads-up! 🙂

    Oh and BTW: It looks like your commentluv plugin is broken. At least for me it shows an error message like this:
    Error. Parsing JSON Request failed.

    I’m sorry but your board won’t neither let me post a screenshot, nor a link to a screenshot.

    Reply
  10. Indigo Ocean
    Twitter:

    I’ve heard it said many a time that blogging is 20% writing and 80% getting someone to see what you wrote. That resembles my experience.

    And you know, once you get used to it, I’d say the interactive part around blogging is actually just as fun. It’s where you start getting people you want to connect with to see you beyond the small talk. You start with a deep conversation around an exchange of ideas you both care about.
    Indigo Ocean invites you to read What is Full Being Business?My Profile

    Reply
    1. Lauren
      Twitter:

      Hi Indigo,

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      Yes, you are right. I’ve met some great people blogging and tweeting. Getting someone to see what you wrote is the hardest part of blogging. Though these days, getting my butt on the chair is just as hard. I’ve been taking a hiatus from blogging to figure out the focus of my blog, but worrying about focus is keeping me from writing.

      Reply
      1. Indigo Ocean
        Twitter:

        I had the same issue almost a year ago. I put up a new website for my more focused consulting work, moving it away from my “name site,” which already had a blog. I was so uncertain as to how to differentiate the two blogs, that for months I just didn’t blog at all. Finally I started just sort of wandering around the page, leaving a trail. I suppose it does mean anyone reading my old articles might be like “so what’s the audience here?” but that’s what it took to get me writing at all. Now I’m seeing it all emerge (about 90% clear) and am excited about writing again. So if you can bear letting the world in on your meandering focus, just start wherever you are on a given day and see where it takes you.
        Indigo Ocean invites you to read What is Full Being Business?My Profile

        Reply
  11. Haroun Bisharet
    Twitter:

    I was like “Am I the Only One Like This” then the clouds gone out and there you are smiling at me saying “You are not alone”. You cleared my mind and made me feel normal after reading your well written, entertaining article. All my life I thought I was crazy for doing the stuff you narrated on your post. Thank you for bringing me back home.
    Haroun Bisharet invites you to read Places To Visit Before You DieMy Profile

    Reply
  12. John

    Thanks for the useful article and interesting site. I have a beard blog and also try to share useful and interesting information. You really helping people to develop their business. I will try to implement most of those I have read.

    Reply
    1. Lauren
      Twitter:

      That’s great. You’re now reaping the rewards of consistent blogging.

      I think that’s a pretty good ratio. : ) I’d like to know how you achieved your ratio.I bet you have great time management skills.

      Reply
  13. hari

    Thanks for this Post it will help a lot for me. I am a new blogger searching for comment luv enabled blogs but this post is just awesome

    Reply
  14. adam smith

    Dear admin thanks for sharing such information. Your article is a very useful for blogging works and provide us good information about blogging.

    Reply
  15. Phillip Vanarsdel
    Twitter:

    This is a great post to share with our content writers here at Polka Dot Design. We have quite a few that draft blog posts and write product descriptions. It can be quite the challenge to come up with new material each time when you have to write for 10,000 product descriptions. Thank you so much for taking the time so research and write this post.

    Reply

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