Inspiration can be hard to come by at times. The beautiful thing about it though is that when it hits us, it can feel like real world magic. My inspiration for starting this entire blog came from a girl named Allie who writes what I believe to be the best blog on the web. Hyperbole and a Half is s comedy blog with writing and illustrations that I would like to say has a similar tone to mine, only 1000% more amazing.
Allie's blog is the one that I look to each post and think, "dammit, I love her and I wish that idea was my idea". When I started my blog I wanted to have clever illustrations like her, then I ran into the hurdle of having zero artistic ability in that department. I wanted to cover kooky topics and make them relatable like she does. In a non creepy way I want her to be my best friend forever.
Yet everything she produces makes me worry that I am inadequate. How could my blog possibly matter in a world that has hers?
For a long while she stopped writing. She came back with a post a few months ago about her depression and I thought maybe that was her way of trying to work through it and I'd see more. I was wrong and there was another span of silence. The link on my favorites bar (next to Weather, Google, NPR, Dictionary, Wikipedia and my blog, if that is any indication of how high she ranks in importance) stayed there and I would regularly click on it. Each time in the few moments it took for the site to load I would hold my breath and hope. Some days when I checked I even thought to myself, "I need her today... if she is there today will get better". Each time I was left without a new snippet from her and I actually missed her. This girl who I've never met and could crash into on the streets and not recognize, had become important to me.
Then today, while casually web surfing, there she was. I read the post like a starved squirrel after winter. The topic was part two for the original depression posting. It walked me through some feelings and situations that I have been in myself, including an undertone of inadequacy. After reading it twice I was upset that the brilliant Allie could ever feel inadequate. To be fair she never officially says she does feel inadequate or that it is part of her depression, but I felt it. I could see myself in her all the days I was down and didn't write in my blog, feeling like it wasn't enough.
Time passes slower and faster all at once when I stop writing. Every day is a day that I'm disappointing myself for not trying harder but then when I check in months have gone by. A collection of dozens of disappointing days all lumped together.
"Why bother?" -- the self defeating question between me and the world. It is a deep fear of rejection, disappointment and inadequacy. After a long stretch of not writing I worry that people won't want to read anymore. But wait... after Allie took a long break did I stop reading? No. If she disappeared for years and then came back would I like her any less? No.
I checked my stats. On the days I leave a status on Facebook about a new post I consistently have at least 50 people who read my blog-- even after a long hiatus. That number is certainly higher than the consistent 10 I had last year. Imagine where I could be if I keep pushing forward and give it my all.
Allie had over 400 comments by early afternoon today, everyone saying how thrilled they were to see her back. She obviously went through something very personal that she needed to sort through, and my life mirrors that perfectly. So I guess what I would say to her (and hopefully someday to myself) is that she is wonderful. When she works hard, what she produces makes her exceptional and the world is better because of it. Self doubt affects us all sometimes, but I have the utmost faith in her to always deliver, especially when she isn't even trying. She is always enough.
Someday I hope there is a blogger out there who reads what I write and it inspires her to do the same. Allie did that for me and for that I am eternally grateful.