Why Pushing too Hard Can Stall Your Success

Even when you can't see what we're holding, our body language tells you that we're talking on a cellphone

Article by Wendy McCance

Today was going to be the day that I worked on my book.  I wasn’t going to go near this blog to check stats, reply to comments or anything else blog related.  Well, so far I have done everything except to work on the book.  I have straightened up the house and started some laundry, took a nap and scoured the internet for one reason or another (not for anything productive).

I have written one post a day on this blog almost 100% of the time.  It’s addictive and I enjoy it.  I also feel like I am not completing a goal or staying as focused as I would like if I don’t write.  I admit it, I have a blog addiction.

Today I was reading my email and came across a video on how to land on the front page of the Google search engine.  The idea was to do guest blogs and then your numbers would soar and you would end up on the coveted front page.  Maybe there is some truth to this, but if you type in happiness or life I am already there.  Although my blog shows up on the front page of these searches I can assure you that I do not have thousands of followers.  I do have 80 followers presently which I think is great for someone who has written this blog since the end of February.  Just over 2 months of writing.

I was thinking about these stats when I had an epiphany.  Why am I so wrapped up in numbers?  I started the blog because I had a lot on my mind.  Initially I was writing for myself without a thought about who would read this or how many people would become fans.  I was writing because I loved it.  I was hooked and it made me feel good.

When I didn’t take into account that there might be an audience, my voice was completely raw as though I was writing in a personal diary.  As time went on and I became aware of others reading what I wrote, I was still completely straight forward, but the knowledge that others were there did make my voice a little lighter and my topics a little safer.  What I have realized is that I don’t want to lose the edge to my writing and I don’t want to focus on the addiction of reading the stats page.

This brings me back to my epiphany.  When I did what I loved without thought of where it was going, I had some great moments.  I was invited to join a “by invitation only” group, I got a great review, articles got published , I was nominated for 2 awards and I really got to know some wonderful readers. Once I started focusing on the end result and pushed to make it happen, things stalled out. My comments slowed down, the energy I felt every time I was on the blog felt weak and I haven’t had the same big moments I was experiencing on a regular basis previously.

It’s important to have goals and go after your dreams.  There is a difference though between being aware of what you would like to see happen and forcing the process.  I can be impatient and need to learn to relax and move with the flow of this blog instead of pushing every angle to the hilt.  I don’t want to turn people off like a used car salesman.

Have you ever had an experience like this on your own blog or because of some other situation when you wanted a certain outcome and pushed too hard for its success?  I would love to hear your comments on moments like this that you have had, what made you realize that it wasn’t working and what you did instead.  As always, I really appreciate hearing from you and gaining some additional insight from your experiences.

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Wendy McCance

Wendy McCance is a Michigan based freelance writer and social media consultant. Wendy has gained attention as the founder of the popular blog Searching for the Happiness which can be viewed in 9 local papers online, including the Oakland Press. The combination of writing skills and social media knowledge is what makes Wendy such a powerhouse to work with. Stay tuned for opportunities to advertise, guest post and as always, have your questions answered.

To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: mccance.wendy@gmail.com

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19 thoughts on “Why Pushing too Hard Can Stall Your Success

  1. Great insight! It’s important for writers to build/maintain/expand their audience and platform so their voices can be heard. I recently just published a book on amazon that I will be having on free promotion soon along with maintaining my blog and my FB fan page. With blogging, it definitely becomes addicting! However, I don’t view it as an addiction; I view it more as a necessary habit since I am working on making writing my Full-Time Career.

  2. This blogging can become obsessive . You described it perfectly. The fun does come out when it becomes about the numbers (been there done that).

    I did my blog to help whoever needed / wanted to laugh at our daily lives. I find when I stick to what I find funny it is better than when I stress over what others find funny.

    I’m Finding staying true to ourselves is the best route.

  3. This post reminds me of “how creativity works.” One cannot push oneself,but be must be relaxed so one is open to free association and the flow of ideas, out of which inspiraton rises. I find at times, I need to step away, and when I come back, amazingly, everything is clearer and falls into place! I am a writer of commentary and of literary essays and would love for you to sign in and follow my posts. I will follow your blog.

  4. Hi !
    Thanks for passing by my blog 🙂
    I started mine just because I was originally posting my photos on FB for my friends but did not like the fact that FB could use my pictures without even asking for my authorization. It’s my sister (who’s writing her own blog for a while) who convinced me to start my own photoblog.
    I’m glad I did it because I can write now to people from all around the world and I really like it 🙂
    Good luck for your book !!

  5. I write my blog for the sake of getting my voice out there and tuning it. The larger my audience the greater my ability to market a book or attract a publisher. This is clearly not everyone’s goal. I am a stat guy and have been my whole life. I love watching and planning methods to increase my visibility. This is me. I like the stress and the sense of growth that data provides. All of this being said, I am writing less and I know it. The balance will return as it is all quite cyclical if you stay with it long enough to derive a large enough sample. I enjoyed this post and your blog.

  6. Best post so far!!
    With the kind of blog you do I think you shouldn’t feel compelled to write something every day. If you do, great! If you don’t, don’t. Maybe some days the creative juices will be flowing and you’ll get the inspiration for two or three posts. That’ll make up for the other days. But it’s much better when whatever you have to say comes from the heart. People can usually tell.
    As regards the stats page, I’m new to blogging too and also look at it. My fascination with the stats isn’t so much the “how many?”, but much more the “where from?”. I didn’t start to blog with the intention of ending up with millions of people reading it. I just like to write and I think with my type of blog it’s a bit of therapy too (probably long overdue!).
    Anyway, good luck and keep on blogging whenever the mood grabs you!

  7. Great post Wendy!
    I think everyone starts a blog for different reasons, having said that, one doesn’t start a blog if it were for your eyes only….right? Totally reasonable to check the stats (too many times a day)…especially at the beginning. It’s human nature to be appreciated and liked, but it shouldn’t be the focus or the drive behind your blog. I’ve actually lasted a lot longer than I originally imagined….I didn’t think I would have the time. I told myself that if it became more of a work than fun, that I would stop. So far, I’m still here. Just have fun, and see where it goes. Sorry for rambling…

    • I really appreciate your insight. I definitely don’t see it as work, but I just realized I was getting a little too intense. I just have to scale back a little and enjoy the ride.

  8. Thanks so much for writing this. I’ve been observing from the sidelines — wondering when & if this realization about the importance of ‘self care’ and related adjustments to ‘pacing’ might occur with & for you. It’s gratifying to read your words. With all the focus on achieving, it’s comforting to read of others who are realizing, as this plays out in their own lives, that they really can take steps to improve & succeed while also focusing on & attending to ‘self care’ as well. Continue on … at a comfortable pace for you. Thanks again.
    http://www.resultsazwell.com

    • Hi,
      Thanks for your comment. As this blogging thing is still new to me, I feel it’s just as important to admit to the ups and downs I am experiencing writing a blog instead of just focusing on stories. Thanks so much for your insight.

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