One of my favorite movies is A League of Their Own, which had the infamous line, “There’s no crying in baseball!” There might not be crying in baseball, but in the blogging world? There’s plenty of crying. Plenty of crying.
Yesterday, some people I follow tweeted a link to Erica Douglass’ blog, specifically to a post called The Failure Manifesto. If you know anything about Erica, you know she’s not a failure by any stretch of the imagination. She was an entrepreneur at a young age, which is hard enough, but ended up selling her company – at the age of 26 mind you – for $1.1 million. Like I said, not a failure.
Except, she feels like one right now (or at least did when she wrote that post). At the time of me writing this post, Erica has 118 comments on hers, and quickly skimming over them, not a single one says, “You’re right. You’re a failure.” In fact, all of them, from what I’ve read, say one of two things: 1) You’re wonderful – keep your chin up or 2) I’ve felt the same way at times. Many comments say both.
This isn’t a post about Erica and whether or not she’s a failure. This is a post about how we all feel like failures. Not all the time, hopefully. Not even most of the time. But sometimes, every single one of us feels like a failure. We want to give up. We want to scream. We want to lay in bed all day and cry. Sometimes we do.
I asked on Twitter to be sure – Bloggers, do you ever have moments when you feel like a failure? Before I was even done writing this post, I got replies:
@verschof: Definitely – like when I slack off and don’t post, or when I don’t improve in anything… man, it sucks!
@RobotsPJs: I think that’s WHY most people blog.
@duffbert: just “a” moment???
@estherschindler: Depends on def’n of Success.
@mheusser: Au Contrare! Occasionally I have a moment where I feel successful. I try to enjoy them.
There have been months where I’ve cried because I don’t know how I’m going to pay my bills on time. There have been months when I’ve calculated the time I spend on my blog versus the return I see…and cried. It’s not even a financial thing, either. I’ve cried about people leaving rude comments. I’ve cried about not having enough time for my friends or family because I have blogging responsibilities. I’ve cried about not being able to figure out something technical or something with my blog’s design.
I don’t know for sure, but I’m willing to bet that Darren Rowse has cried. And that Chris Garrett has cried. And that Liz Strauss has cried. And that Yaro Starak has cried. And that Scott Stratten has cried. And that Deb Ng has cried. And that every other blogger I respect has, at some time, cried. Or at least wanted to.
It doesn’t matter how popular or well-respected you are in your niche. Frustration doesn’t care how many followers you have on Twitter. Self-doubt doesn’t care how many people subscribe to your RSS feed. Pity doesn’t care if you’re paying the bills with your blog or if you still have a day job.
I have no advice on how to love yourself more, and no happy way to end this post. I could say, “It will be ok,” but I think we all know that already. So I’ll just leave you with this:
You are not alone.
Allison Boyer is a writer for BWE’s blog and the owner/manager of After Graduation. She feels like a failure at least three times a day.