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A Good Enough Guide to Starting a Blog

Whispered fears run through your mind, freezing fingers as you’re typing, blocking drafts from being published, stopping sites from going live.

What if your writing isn’t good enough.

Your spelling, your grammar, your recall of old rules from school: not smart enough.

Your style: not witty enough.  Not engaging enough.

Your ideas: not thought through enough.

Your content: not significant enough to match your theme, your topic, your mission, your passion.

Your drafts: not brilliant enough to match the plans you had, the dreams you dreamt, the blog you saw unfolding in your mind.

Your position: not expert enough.  Not authority enough.  (I mean: who do you think you are?)

Your voice: not clear enough.

Your desire to make a difference: not enough to clear the bar.

To which I say: enough.

Willing to Stand Out
And ask instead:

If you are learner enough to learn new styles of writing on the web: for writing that flows fluidly, for connections made through words.

If you are responsive enough to let your style evolve, to see what works and folk engage with.

If you are open minded enough to explore ideas with others, to share your thoughts half-formed, still imperfect.

If you are moved enough by your theme, your topic, your mission, your passion that you can set your fears aside.

If you are human enough to accept that your words, your work, your site design might not be perfect, but is still worth sharing.

If you are free thinker enough to share your thoughts, fears, hopes, dreams without being expert, without the defence of authority.

If you are kind enough to encourage other thinkers, writers, dreamers as you go.

If you have courage enough to hear yourself sing.

If  you have desire enough to make a difference come what may.

If you have heart enough to feel the fear and do it anyway.

Then, with apologies to Kipling:

You’ll be a blogger my friend.


I drafted this a couple of months ago, inspired by someone who was holding back from starting a blog.  I hope you’re ready to roll now :-)

Photo Credit: Willing to Stand Out, by Joanna Paterson

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  1. CoffeeJitters (Judy Haley) says:

    Love it! There is a time and place for perfectionism, but there is also a time to expose your own real imperfect self

  2. Marian Kerr says:

    What a wonderful post.

    Perfectionism is just another form of fear! It paralyses the impulse to write and sucks the joy from the proces. If we share from the heart and express our authentic self without apology then we are, indeed, good enough. I’d rather connect with another person heart to heart than be told that my writing is technically ‘perfect’ or ‘correct’.

  3. Nicole Steinbach says:

    Love it and totally agree.
    Since I started my blog, it has really changed form and tone, even shape (check out the goofy background and color scheme now!). And I have changed and grown immensely with confidence and joy about my blog, my writing, and - dare I say it? - me.

  4. Karen Wallace
    Twitter: karenwallace

    Stunning my friend, stunning! And have you been peeking behind the scenes at my ‘old’ blog?? :) So many drafts, so little published…

    Kind enough, Courage enough, Heart enough… describing you, so well. Thank you for all you inspire, all you encourage, all you hold true…

  5. Twitted by Sffarlenn_net says:

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  6. Judy Adamson says:

    Hi Joanna - you’ve said the same things as I wrote about perfectionism and Artist’s block - only you’ve said it a lot more elegantly and in a way that makes more impact!

  7. Janelle says:

    If I had waited until I was perfect in my mind, it would never happen. I started with a blog called Life Less Distracted and I am glad I did - I learned so much about myself and I have tightened up my own writing skills along the way! Great blog, thank you much!!

  8. Bo Mackison says:

    Yes. All true. It is only a blog if it is written and then sent out into the world.

    I love your apologies to Kipling. LOL.

  9. Tweets that mention A Good Enough Guide to Starting a Blog | Confident Writing -- says:

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  10. Robert Hruzek says:

    Right on the money, Joanna! That’s exactly what got me started - just to get off the fence and jump right in. You know what? The water’s fine!

  11. Joan Swan says:

    Thanks for posting this. I’ve been putting off my blogging for exactly these reasons. I’m definitely OCD in certain areas of my life and blogging is one of them…because I worry about that public persona and what others will think. I so appreciate you taking the time to remind us that imperfection and being ourselves is not only okay, but preferred. Now to work through those barriers and get back to a regular blog schedule. Thanks again! Joan

  12. Cindy says:

    Very well put, thanks to Richard Scott for posting the link to this post.

  13. Karrie says:

    Great post! Very inspiring. Its funny that you say “feel the fear and do it anyway,” the book by Susan Jeffers is how I got past my initial fears of writing something in a longer format.

  14. Emily says:

    Thanks Joanne. This is very helpful. You prodded me out of a blogging slump. :)

  15. Clara Mathews says:

    Great advice: “If you have heart enough to feel the fear and do it anyway.” I LOVE it!

  16. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    Judy just so, imperfectly real, and all the more lovely for being so.

    Marian this is probably the thing that I love most about blogging, it can free us from that perfectionism, the getting stuck before you start, because it’s a medium that celebrates and thrives on the authentic and flawed. Takes a while to get used to when you’re swapping from other writing mediums, but addictive the more you get into it…

    Oh Nicole that’s brilliant… yes, you dare say it. That’s one of the things that writing lets us do… grow, and be.

    Karen I wasn’t peeking, honest! Thanks for your kind words, greatly appreciated, as ever

  17. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    Judy I just happen to love playing with words. It’s my compensation for not being able to paint ;-)

    Janelle that’s a good point - although blogging lets you write your own way, it also helps you stretch and improve, as you learn by doing, and the feedback you get.

    Bo yep, it’s the sending it out into the world that lets the magic unfold…

  18. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    Joan it really is the way to make connections… don’t make the schedule too hard when you’re getting started. You might find it useful to think of one topic or idea and then doodle a few post ideas round about it? That way you’ll have a few posts to get going with before you’ve had time to wonder how you’re doing…

    Cindy thanks - not sure where the link came from, but I’m grateful for it too

    Karrie I’m sure that book helped lots of us get past fears and barriers… I know it helped me a lot a few years ago, and I still dip into it when I’m getting over-stuck

    Emily I am glad :-)

    Clara I like heart based writing because doubt and fear can’t touch it. Something I’ll be writing a bit more about soon.