All of the people that are year round gym enthusiasts bemoan the influx of people to the gym in January. They complain that there is no parking, people don’t understand machine etiquette, and so on and so forth. I do understand where these people are coming from in a sense. I can never feel all that sympathetic towards them, however, because I cannot ever wish for people who are trying to better themselves to fail. I cannot wish that each of those people that got a gym membership and a new pair of sneakers- that want to increase their health and their confidence- will quickly fail and discontinue their pursuit of their goals. I cannot wish that those people who see 2017 as their year, the year they are finally going to accomplish their fitness goals, will fail simply for my convenience.
How difficult can it be for someone to attempt to enter gym culture in the first place. Not knowing how to use the machines, feeling uncomfortable in the new work out clothes, embarrassed when you think you are going to knock out an easy 30 minutes on the elliptical only to discover that you are ready to pass out after 10 (you begin to wonder if anyone will notice if you get off the machine after 10 minutes). What if instead of giving that person the looks like they are an idiot for even showing up, people showed the person with improper form when lifting some techniques to prevent injury? What if instead of being upset when someone interrupts your circuits, you show them what you are doing and ask if they want to join in? This is the point where many of you might be wondering why I am still talking about the gym. I promise there is an analogy.
In January, I see all of the complaints about crowding at the gym but I do not see posts bemoaning the new years bloggers (thankfully). I like to think that the writing community is more supportive and inclusive than many other communities. There is one question that keeps coming to mind over and over this week while I come back to my writing after the holidays. I wonder what the writing community would look like if we took the next step. Instead of just allowing these new blogs to exist without constantly belittling them and hoping that they drop their pursuits quickly, what if we gave these people some extra support?
Starting a new blog is a difficult decision for most people. Most people write in their first post about how long they thought about it before beginning one. Or they didn’t know how to start. Or they thought it would be pointless because no one would read it. Or they worry they are an awful writer. So how wonderful would some positive affirmation be right from the beginning? How incredible would it be from the very first post people felt that their voice was reaching someone? I wonder how many more people would stick with their resolutions to blog in the new year if they felt this immediate support from the writing community.
So how long would it take to help smooth the transition into blogging for someone that is breaking out on their own in 2017? Think back to the very first post you ever wrote. If you are anything like me, you checked all of your likes and comments and were thrilled which each and every one. It amazed me that anyone was interested in reading what I had to say. Taking two seconds to read and provide some kind of feedback on a post can be such a small sacrifice on your part that pays huge dividends in the life of a new blogger.
My call to action for all veteran (and new bloggers) is to break out of your comfort zone of the normal people you follow just for 5-10 minutes a day. Read one or two new blogs per day and leave some feedback. It is such a small sacrifice for such a potentially large impact. To all of the new 2017 bloggers, I wish each and every one of you all of the luck as you embark on one of the most difficult but most rewarding efforts (hopefully) that you will undertake this year!