When I was a kid, I took piano lessons. So did my little sister and brother.
None of us particularly enjoyed practicing at first. After a year or two, they both quit. I’m not sure why, but I kept with it. Soon I loved playing. I played all through high school and college. Even got a scholarship from The American Guild of Organists to learn to play the organ; apparently churches are short on organists. (Side hustle alert: Churches are always looking for pianists and organists for Sunday services, and they pay a pretty penny.)
Years after my sister and brother gave up the instrument, I was talking with my piano teacher about why I succeeded and they didn’t. (I don’t mean this in an egotistical way; they succeeded at plenty of extracurriculars that I failed at quite miserably.)
My teacher, a sweet yet fiery woman with a petite frame and gray hair, said there’s a certain hump you have to get over when you’re learning to play the piano. It can be tough at the beginning, an uphill climb, but once you get over that hump, it’s downhill (if only slightly) on the other side.
For some students, it takes a year to get over the hump, she said; for others, it takes more. Once students get over that hump, they begin to enjoy the ride.
That was the difference between me and my siblings, my teacher said. I’d managed to get over the hump.
[Update: My sister says she probably never would’ve gotten over that hump because she doesn’t have rhythm. That made me laugh, but it’s a good point: we’re all good at certain things and not at others. Sometimes it’s smart to veer off course before getting over the hump to conquer something else.]
This same analogy applies to blogging.
Blogging can be hard as hell at the beginning. It can be frustrating, wondering whether anyone is reading what you’re writing. You might feel like you’ll never get where you want to be.
But if you stick with it, if you practice consistently and put in the work, you’ll get over that hump. And from there on out, you’ll actually — gasp — enjoy it!
Can anyone attest to this? If you’re over the blogging hump, what helped you get there? If you’re still climbing up that hill, what are you struggling with?
To give you a sense of the kind of ah-ha moments you’ll have during a course with Penelope, she’s the one who taught me (during a webinar, I think) to blog on the fringes of your topic, not just in the center. This is one of the best pieces of blogging advice I’ve heard, one I often share with my blogging clients.
Penelope may be a wee bit crazy, but she does a lot of things right on her blog, enough to land half a million visitors each month. If you’re looking to take your blog to the next level, this course would be a great way to get there. Find out more or sign up.