Thursday, October 21, 2010

I am not The Pioneer Woman. And that's ok.

Let me introduce you to The Empress. 

 She is the writer behind Good Day, Regular People.

 And she is fantastic.

We were actually supposed swap blogs last week, but the Empress is busy, and I am lazy, and so it didn't happen until today. Which? Is perfectly ok with me.

My guest post is titled "Top ten ways to find your voice, and keep your blogging passion" (you know you want to go read it).

And I am nicknaming this post by The Empress: "I am not The Pioneer Woman. And that's ok." (In fact, that's what I'm going to put in the Title line. Score.)

She has some very wise words that we all need to read. So, without further ado, I present:

Maybe I'm Unique In This, But I Highly Doubt It

Helena and I have decided to take on "What To Blog" and "How To Blog" as our guest post swaps through the PugsTribe Humor Bloggers via SITS e-harmony date match. And, may I say, so far so good, I'm definitely not losing this cute little chicky's number.

Let's talk about all things Comparing here.

Comparing ourselves to other bloggers, other blogs, other posts.

It's natural, we can't help it, and nothing will kill and shoot your blogging mojo down faster than looking at someone else's blog and saying, "I've got nothin'. I'm just pushing the chair away, turning off the computer, and it was nice while it lasted, but I got nothin'."

The thing is, we are all different. We bring something new and unique to someone's world, and those we strike a chord with, will return. The readers that like us, will come back. We can't be all things to everyone. I mean, yes, some can, like The Pioneer Woman...who, holy hell, just go look over there: what CAN'T she show you is more like it.

But, for the rest of the human blogging race, we can only offer who we are, and our own special experiences and style.

We can always improve, learn new things, take on a technical bit of new knowledge, improve stick figurin', and photography know how. All those things are ways we can get better, or offer more. But, for the most part, we can only give what we know.

What I've learned, is that I have to have faith. I have to have faith that there is something in my writing and my blog, that feeds someone out there what they like.

If I go to a blog, and see all sorts of stupendousness there, and then I head back home with my head hanging, well, I can barely lift my shoulders off my knees high enough to hit the keys on the keyboard.

What I have learned to make myself do is:

1. Straighten up that spine.

2. Take a deep, deep breath.

3. Put on a smile, literally.

4. Put the fingers on the keys.

5. Tell myself I am who I am. And only I can do that best. Only me.

6. Just do it. Type away. Smile. Check for typos. Then Post.

If you love to blog, and love to connect and find people who get you, then keep doing it. Don't look at what someone else can do that you can't. Don't tell yourself that someone is so much better than you, they know more than you, their blog is so much cooler than yours.

Just don't.

Your love for what you do, and for who stops to check on you daily, will cross over into those fingertips that tap the keys, and put words out there that will speak to someone.

In other words, only listen to what the good voices in your head tell you to do. The bad guys, pfffffffffft....shove them out the door.

Thank you, Empress. I have struggled with this a lot over the past year, and I wish we had met each other sooner.

So what do you think guys? Did anything stand out to you?



Anonymous said...

Glad I found you through the Empress!

Anonymous said...

Both yours and The Empress's swap posts struck a cord with me. I'm always constantly comparing my blog to others and it does make you miserable.

Thank you for helping me realise I'm not the only one to do this!

Hazel xxx

Anonymous said...

hi Alexandra! I loved Helena's post about blogging and now I love this one that you've written. I really do appreciate it when bloggers write about these issues that often no one talks about.

You've hit this one on the nose for me. I often will read someone else's more eloquent/funnier/more concise blog and immediately think that I've come up short. In a split moment I also wonder if I should change the style of my blog accordingly. Actually, not for a split moment - I'd actually done it 4 times before I started (and stuck with) the blog I have now. Sometimes (okay, all the time) I get longwinded and sappy but after about 30 posts like this I realize it's just who I am, and if I try to be anything else then I'm just not going to be able to stick it out. It's like being in high school and trying to be someone cooler or more hip or whatever you are not. You can only pull it off for so long.

Having said that, it never hurts to try and find ways to improve one's writing. That is what I am trying to do. I just need to remember the difference between improving and feeling like I am coming up short.

Thanks so much for this! And as always, your encouragement has played a huge part in my being able to keep writing. Hugs xo

Unknown said...

That is exactly how I feel!

Anonymous said...

I love it & she is absolutely right! We all have different experiences & stories and that's what makes each blog/blogger unique. You just have to keep telling your stories until you find your voice & somebody will listen.

Chantel said...

This was great! I definitely compare my blog to others. A lot. This was great advice.

Also: I just read your guest post on the Empress, and it was awesome too! You have great tips. I really need to implement them more.

I am going to try and write more of what I want to read.


The Zany Housewife said...

Great post! You both said it perfectly.

Alexandra said...

Thank you, Helena, for the guest post swap, and for being who you are.

You and I are a success story with the tribal hook up.

Well, we're not a tribe, together, but we did meet through a tribe match up attempt, so, sort of, we're a tribe spin off.

It worked out well, and it is a pleasure to know you.

And I will be back, like, permanently.


Rachel Cotterill said...

I came across from the Empress's blog - enjoyed both sides of this swap :)

The Blogging Goddess said...

I love the Empress, and you rock. Your post over there was fantastic! And, I really love you because I can subscribe by email, which is the only way I ever keep up with any blogs!

KLZ said...

I'm not entirely sure I believe that you're not The Pioneer Woman. Because you're pretty amazing.

PS I also am a big fan of email subscriptions. Thanks for that.

Macey said...

The Pioneer Woman is freakin' amazing. It's why I don't go over there that much. Blog Envy...Life Envy...whatever.
But The Empress and YOU are BOTH FREAKIN' AMAZING and GENIUSES. :)

Kimberly said...

Booya and amen.
Seriously have to do the blog for you. Make you happy. Who knows, maybe the top blog dogs read your stuff and think "Damn, I wish I was Kimberly"

Jean Has Been Shopping said...

This is an excellent and encouraging post. I'll admit, I felt overwhelmed a few months ago, but then put that aside and forged ahead. I'm glad I did because I was able to meet my great SITS PUG TRIBE!

Mama Mary said...

I fight the "so and so is so much better than me" demons all the time. But you're so right. We gotta just push through! So glad to be on your same tribe! Awesome guest post!

kaley said...

just what i needed! :) i am queen of comparison and know that i need to just stop!

thanks again - also, i gave you an award in my new post!

The Girl Next Door Grows Up said...

I am here via The Empress and I have to say that I love you both! 2 fantastic and relatable posts.

Thank you so much!

viewfromdownhere said...

Great post! I always compare myself to other bloggers out there, but it never does me any good...I blog because I love to write, and that's all that matters, right?

Love the post!

Grace Adams said...

I found you through the Empress, and I'm glad I did. Enjoyed your post on her spot and her post on yours.

Marília said...

I sure have my share of jelousy when reading other amazing bloggers. But then it´s just smarter to stick to what you can learn and how you can connect with that amazing blogger, right?

Joey Lynn Resciniti said...

I strive to keep only the good voices in my head, but it's really tough. It's more fun even in my own mind to focus on the negatives.

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

Don't keep looking at your stats either. Nothing is more discouraging than constant stat checking. They are up, they are down. WHY??

Shell said...

I think what helps me is realizing that EVERYONE has a blog that they look at in envy. Except maybe the top 1 or 2 bloggers, but they don't count. But, everyone else looks at another blog and wishes they could have written that post or had that many readers or whatever it is.

Tiffany said...

i pretty much do everything alexandra says so, yeah. points taken and noted. she ain't my fairy blog mama for nothing.

and i promise i don't use the word 'ain't' on the regular. just when i've had too much sweet tea and living in the south starts to seep in.

Unknown said...

Thrilled that you two found one another and that Empress helped me find you, Helena!


Unknown said...

Both of your posts offer some fabulous perspectives on blogging! It is so, so hard not to compare ourselves to others- there is amazing talent out there. We just need to remember that the talent should inspire us to continue on and improve instead of backing away from the computer. Thank you, as always!

Thought Bubble Ten said...

So good to be a beneficiary of your collaboration. I'm new to both your blogs but feel you both have plenty to offer. This post is great example. Thanks :)

mypixieblog said...

Gosh, I just heart the Empress so much.

It's something I have definitely struggled with forever as a writer, and, more recently, as a blogger. I have realized that I'll always come short if I compare my writing style, my posts, the number of visitors/commentors to my blog with some of the other bloggers out there who are clearly way more established than I am. But I've tried approaching it from a different angle: it gives me something to reach for. I WANT to improve in every way, so why not learn from the best?

You guys make a great blogging duo--so glad you were matched up together :)

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