Wednesday, July 23, 2014

One of my shame stories

Several months ago, I wrote a post about how I sometimes wish my blog were bigger.  I got a comment from a very well meaning, kind, and successful blogger asking why I wanted that and if I was sure that being big would be worth my time.

And it sent me into a shame spiral.  Which I haven't come out of.

Several months ago.

(This is not intended to call anyone out. Don't dig through the archives to find the comment. You probably wouldn't hear it the way I did anyway.)

I have a lot of shame wrapped around the idea of trying, of wanting.  It was hard for me to say I wanted to be bigger and so I felt like I'd been slapped. Being successful was good enough for this person, but me? I didn't deserve it. I should stay small.  Who did I think I was anyway?

Which of course isn't what she really said.

It was hard for me to say (and so, well, I didn't) "what I do here is important to me. I value it. I think it matters. And because I think it matters, I want it to be seen and heard.  I want people to hear my voice because my voice MATTERS.  It's worthy.  People need to hear me.

I have a story that matters, and when people heart it, they will be better for having heard it." [SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP, scream my demons, IT'S NOT OKAY TO SAY THIS. EVERYONE WILL HEAR YOU. EVERYONE WILL *KNOW.*  YOU ARE WRONG. YOU AREN'T GOOD ENOUGH. WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE???]

I know she was asking me an actual question. I heard it as a rebuke.  I thought I was being punched in the stomach.

"Why do you want to be bigger?"

Because I want connection. Like all humans do.  Because I want people to hear me and think, me too. Because I think there are so many more people out there who would think that if only they heard me, if only I stepped out of the shadows.  Because I can change the world. With my words.

"Is it worth your time?"

Yes.  Yes.  Yes.

Months of that festering in my stomach. We have to tell our shame stories out loud or they own us. The only way out is through.


  1. I've thought about this a lot too, how I wish my blog were bigger. Not for the recognition, not for the fan base, but for the connection. To me, nothing is more valuable than knowing we are not alone.

  2. I hear ya, and I second the first comment! I have thought this about my own blog too, but i guess one good thing about being small means less pressure in posting, right? . . . Right? :)

  3. I've done this, too. Where it feels like everyone in the world is feeding that voice in the back of your mind that keeps sucking you back into the tarry depths of self depreciation. No matter how many people tell (or yell) that you're good at what you do can drag you out of it. And it SUCKS there.

    You will get bigger. It happens slowly. And it will be well deserved when it comes. I wish you much success. I often read, but rarely comment. I have trouble with thinking no one cares what I have to say. :) It sounds like you know where I'm coming from. I hope my voice is helpful to you today.

  4. I think we all feel that way. I think we all go through that. Likewise we all go through the opposite. I was ready to pack it up and shut it down because I just don't feel like real me can really be me and let it all out on the blog because then real people will know what I really struggle with. And God forbid that happen.

    But as for the going big. Something has happened recently and I guess I just don't care anymore. I guess because I have my small circle of support (like you) and that's what matters.

    Once you have that, you're golden. I've given up on the idea that I'll ever make money, get the chance to test drive a car for a weekend, or get a sponsorship to BlogHer :)

  5. So so proud of you for telling your shame story. Sending you so much love. If we don't bring it out into the open, then it festers. Of course you want recognition. You are a writer. You want your words to be heard so that people can say "me too". That is the greatest gift of a writer - that connection with the reader.

  6. This is a beautiful story, thanks so much for sharing it. I found your recent post that was shared by someone I know on Facebook and liked it so much that I started looking back at your old entries. They resonate with me, especially about the shame. What you say is true, shame will own you if you don't let it out. But it's so very hard to do! By the way, I'm brand new to blogging and can relate to what you say about wanting a bigger blog and desiring connection. Thanks for your honest writing!