The Gifted Blog

May 19, 2011

Lower Your Standards and Keep Going

I had just posted about having blogger's block when an item in G's Google Reader caught my eye. (I wasn't snooping. Sometimes we sit on the couch and I read the laptop over his shoulder...that counts as 'quality time', right?)

"Lower Your Standards and Keep Going," the title asserted:
The second-best advice I ever heard about writer’s block came from a quote in last month’s Atlantic Monthlywhere Sandra Tsing Loh said, “When faced with writer’s block, lower your standards and keep going.”   -Chris Guillebeau, The Art of Non-Conformity
Knowing a bit about Sandra Tsing Loh, I'm pretty sure that was meant to be ironic. But I resonated! Looking back over my list, I read the complaints of someone who was taking blogging entirely too seriously. Isn't this supposed to be fun? Aren't I my own boss for this thing? Wouldn't it be easier if I didn't have such rigid ideas about what needs to happen to write a great blog post?

Your comments have been wonderful. You helped me see I'm being hard on myself. And that it's okay to be spontaneous and honest when things aren't going so great. So I'm going to try to loosen up. Lower my stressful, self-imposed standards.

I hope to try some new things. See if you can spot them.

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{Image via Powerhouse Museum Collection}


  1. Sounds great Charissa! Let's see what you got!

  2. @Michele Pacey - Thanks for cheering me on!

    @Hanna K. - I know, right? A good reminder for any creative worker to relax a little and carry on!

  3. Hi Charissa,
    I can relate so well to the writer's block and lack of time. This combination can be a sure death for any blog. What helps is exactly what you describe...Not to take the blog too seriously (and I recommend taking lots of breaks). Blogging multiple times a week is very hard. It's nearly impossible to come up with a "brilliant" post, every time you hit the "publish" button, especially if there's not a very good reason to keep going (money?, recognition?, the feeling of community?).
    Blogging should be fun! It's like any relationship. Sometimes, everything is going wonderful, and sometimes, it requires more work and/or patience. Don't be too hard on yourself. Look at your phenomenal blog and all the wonderful posts you've written - you can definitely be very proud of yourself. I'm just very curious what happens next here on!

  4. Sounds like you learned a valuable lesson, and isn't that what obstacles are really all about?

    I loved your quality time over the shoulder, it absolutely counts!

  5. @annekata - Hm, taking lots of breaks...hadn't thought of that before! I guess in retrospect I remember times you've signed off for a time for travel, school breaks, etc. And you know, that's been just fine with me! I try to keep a regular schedule, but it's good to realize that a break now and then doesn't do readers harm and could actually do me a lot of good. Thank you for sharing.

    @DuhBe - Hi Luci; good point. I also noticed that after receiving so many supportive comments, I felt a lot more connected to my readers - definitely a good thing!

    Glad you think that shared laptop reading counts as quality time...between all our jaunts to Paris and romantic date nights it can get hard to squeeze it in. : )


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