How to tackle crippling self-doubt: 5 steps for 1st-time blogger authors

5 motivational steps to help self-doubting writers stop procrastinating about writing their first blog post.

Imagine creating a shiny new website, with an empty blog page quivering to be written on…and then abandoning it for 5 years.

Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Who would do that?

Well, me, actually!

Why would I do that?

Self-doubt. 

*What-if* scenario fears crippled my creative abilities.

I became a master of procrastination. Anything to avoid having to write my first blog post.

Why not just settle for a static author website to promote my anticipated books?

Because self-doubt has also stopped me finishing my two draft novels.

Sound familiar?

If so, then take heart because if you’re reading this, the 5 steps listed below have helped me.

Try them – they might just help you too!

How to chip away at self-doubt

1. Write down every reason why you want to start a blog.
  • Maybe to build an online platform to increase your chances of being accepted by an agent or publisher?
  • Maybe you want somewhere to introduce your creative world, characters, and ideas to your readers?
  • Maybe you feel isolated as a writer and want to connect with other people interested in your genre?
2. Make a list of reasons why you haven’t already written your 1st blog post.
  •  Maybe you have young children/other family members to look after?
  • Maybe financial hardships or job commitments have got in the way?
  • Maybe you suffer from a chronic health condition?

Make no mistake, these are all real, ongoing life challenges.

But beware – if you suffer from self-doubt, they also make great excuses for procrastinating over starting your blog. 

  • Maybe, like me, you’re afraid you have nothing interesting to say in a blog post?
  • Maybe, like me, you’re afraid of disappointing people, e.g., writer friends? 
3. Write down what’s the worst that could happen if you did write your post.

For example:

  • You might get interrupted and lose your train of thought halfway through.
  • You might run out of free time before it’s finished.
  • You might get too stressed or overtired whilst writing, adversely affecting other areas of your life.

Self-doubts:

  • Maybe no-one would read your post.
  • If readers didn’t like it, they might post negative comments.
  • If readers did like it, you might not have anything *interesting* left to say for a follow-up post.
4. Think about how you can avert your worst-case scenario(s).

Try this approach for minimising potential stress and overtiredness:

  • Don’t try to write your post all at once. Save it in draft versions. So, even if you only have 10 minutes free, once a week, you can still write a few lines.
  • Break everything down into a series of small steps – e.g., title, image, headings, paragraphs. Tackle them one at a time.

Celebrate each step you achieve. Use that *feel-good* factor to motivate yourself for the next one.

  • Pace yourself.
  • Have a notepad handy. Jot down your ideas as they come to you, in case of interruptions.
  • Add an image. It gives your post a professional look and makes you feel you’ve achieved something before you even write a word. (That’s how I felt, anyway!)
  • Work on a few lines or a single paragraph at a time. Save your draft! Then have a break. Relax your muscles. Recharge your physical and mental energy often. 
  • Take however long you need.
  • Read your completed post aloud to check it all sounds right. Proofread it.
  • Have courage – click *Publish*!

To minimise self-doubts:

Write about something that interests, enthuses or concerns you – write from your heart and you will find readers.

  • Enable your website’s setting that lets you vet all replies/comments for negative or spamming content before they become public. Reject any of those.
  • If you prefer, disable the reply/comment option altogether. (Though this means enthusiastic readers can’t interact with you.)
  • Don’t commit yourself to blogging every week. Wait until you have something you want to say. If you’re not stressed about new ideas, they’ll probably bombard you.
5. Join an online writing community on your preferred social media platform/s.

Interact online. You’ll soon discover you’re not alone. Other writers know what you’re going through. You can exchange ideas, experiences, and mutual encouragement in all areas of writing and blogging. It’s also a great way of attracting readers to your blog.

  • Popular social media platforms include: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. 
  • A quick online search for ‘supportive writing groups + your social media platform’ will guide you in the right direction. Add your genre to narrow the field.
  • If you use Twitter, please say ‘hello’. As @RosettaYorke, I co-host #turtlewriters there, a group for slower-paced writers.
  • Follow and interact with other blogs in your areas of interest – there’s a good chance you’ll get a visit in return. Fellow bloggers tend to be friendly and encouraging!

I hope these 5 steps will help you feel more confident about writing your first post. It may take a little time to get noticed amongst all the other bloggers – be patient! It’ll give you chance to get into your stride and find your blogging voice, without feeling too much pressure.

If, after five years, I can do this, so can you! Good luck!

Rosetta x

If you have any recommendations for friendly online writers’ groups, comments about my blog post, questions about writing your own post, or if you’d just like to say ‘hello’, please reply via the comments link below my author photo. I’d love to hear from you. 

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Author: rosettayorke

Time-travel & dark romance writer who loves happy endings. Lives in North Yorkshire, UK. Short story, 'Shifting Sands', coming soon in the EVERLAST anthology by Dragon Soul Press. Co-host of #turtlewriters, a Twitter group for slower-paced writers.

12 thoughts on “How to tackle crippling self-doubt: 5 steps for 1st-time blogger authors”

  1. Congratulations, Rosetta! Your first (wonderful) blog post and you’ve got likes. Congratulations, too, on your short story appearing in an upcoming anthology. Self-doubt can be crippling, I know. You’ve taken a step forward and it retreated. Thank you for the information. This is a topic I’m always interested in, as I’d imagine most writers are.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Christina. It’s lovely of you to say so, especially as you’re such an experienced blogger yourself and also understand about the ongoing challenges of pushing through self-doubt. I greatly appreciate your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yay so nice to hear from you and love you spreading your encouragement that you always show on Twitter here too ❤ 💖 💕
    Looking forward to hearing more and hope the courage from posting a blog means more words added to novels too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ((hugs)) Thank you, Kate. You’ve always inspired me with your blog and your writing, so your lovely comment encourages me enormously. Yes, I’m hoping *this* will help me get to grips with revising my novels. Fingers crossed & watch this space!💖

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Which just goes to show how much stronger we are as writers when we support and encourage each other!
        I thoroughly enjoyed reading your first story – good luck with your second manuscript. I’m looking forward to reading that one day too!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you RoYo. Writers are like babies. No one tells or teaches a baby to walk. They have the need to stand up and take that first step. Writers are the same. Something inside says “Write that down; it’s important. Do it.” Soon the baby is running with abandon and the writer is awash in thoughts and words.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a wonderful, uplifting & encouraging metaphor, Bob. Perfect for inspiring writers & bloggers with courage for any new undertaking. I wouldn’t be *here* now without lovely writer friends like you. Thank you so much. 💖

      Like

  4. Self-doubts go hand in hand with the dreaded ‘imposter syndrome’. As someone who is as emotionally up and down as a yo-yo, has the attention span of a goldfish with FADD (Yup, Fish Attention Deficit Disorder), and doubts herself in so many areas of her life, I really understand that.

    Look, my multiple personality imposters have started accusing each other of being imposters! Writer Imposter and Student Imposter hate each other! It’s amazing I ever get anything done!

    Or maybe it isn’t.

    Because I have dear friends: Rosetta, all these years you have helped me cope and rise above my own issues. No once. Not twice. Every Single Day.

    Don’t you ever doubt that.
    xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, how I’m laughing at your personality imposters fighting it out between them, Maddie! And yet, behind the laughter, there’s so much anxiety that any writer/blogger with self-doubt can instantly relate to.
      I’m so glad if I’ve helped you, lass, because you certainly help and inspire me constantly with everything you do in your life (on- & offline!). Our friendship is one of the main reasons I’m *here* at all!
      Thank you for being *you*. 💖

      Liked by 1 person

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