(Note: I’m using blogging as an example here, but it could apply to other situations in your life.)
Here’s a question you might have asked yourself at some point:
When should I stop working on my blog… if it feels like it’s not going anywhere?
When should I stop trying to get guest posts published?
When you’ve submitted your first post and got no reply…
When you’ve submitted your second and got no reply…
Or maybe when you’ve submitted your tenth post, and still got no reply?
When is it time to stop?
When should you call it a day?
After twenty submissions…?
Surely after fifty you should give up!
Well, here’s the thing:
If you have a goal (like getting published on a site you admire), and that goal means a lot to you… then why stop?
Why give up… at all?
I know that sounds crazy.
[And I’m not a proponent of never quitting.
If you hate writing or it makes you consistently miserable, then why bother doing it?]
But let’s look at it another way:
Let’s say you submit your first guest blog post, or you write your first post on your site.
And then your second.
And then your third.
And you get no traction.
You think nothing is happening.
No responses, no comments, no feedback.
Let’s take a closer look at this:
Is nothing happening?
I don’t think so.
See, even if you don’t get a single response:
So, getting no response to your work straight away isn’t a bad thing.
There’s a lot going on in the background you don’t know about.
Plus, we all have blogs for different reasons!
Don’t get caught up in other people’s blog dreams.
Get clear on why you are writing yours.
Is it to get clear on your thoughts and put them to paper/screen?
Is it to provide information and help for people who might be going through something similar?
Is it to be a super-blog and have thousands, if not millions, of subscribers?
Is it a personal project — something you’ve never done before and wanted to try out?
Doing this will help you maintain momentum.
If you’re writing to get clear on your thoughts, you don’t need fifty thousand subscribers to do that!
If you want to provide help and info for people, you might be doing that with the 10 or 20 readers you have right now.
If it’s a personal project, perhaps you can just enjoy the process of finding the perfect fonts, colours and design for your beautiful site.
So, sure… stop if you feel like you can’t go on or give any more.
Stop if you really hate writing your blog.
But if you’re stopping purely because you haven’t had the response you were looking for yet, I encourage you to keep trying.
Rome wasn’t built in a day.
The successful bloggers you read or follow didn’t create their best work in the first week of their blog.
Nope — they went through the same things you did:
They wrote to a small or non-existent audience.
They tried again.
They wrote some more.
They wrote some things that were really, really good.
And they wrote some things that were actually pretty crap!
They didn’t have blogging fame and fortune in the first month of writing.
And neither will you.
So keep writing.
Submit your work.
Get a rejection (or even worse — total silence!)
Write some more.
Submit some more.
Tweak your work.
Be honest and ruthless: Which of your posts would you want to read?
Which will genuinely help people?
Which are you most proud of?
Test a few articles out with your friends and family.
Write… write… write.
Create… create… create.
Be open to rejection.
And then, just when you’re least expecting it…
Your first acceptance… ;)
(And then you celebrate, and start the process again :)
There is no shame in trying, and trying again.
But giving up… when you haven’t fully discovered your best work or got right to the core of you?
Now that’s a real shame.
What do you think? Share in the comments below!