J.R. Reed changed the name of his blog in a moment of panic, but now he’s back with confidence.
December 14, 2009 will go down in history as the day I added my two cents to the blogosphere.
That was the day I launched Sex and the Single Dad and the thrill of seeing fifty three page views on that first day wasn’t as thrilling as I imagined it would be but it was still pretty cool.
For the next year and a half I pounded away on the keyboard and built a following but had a nagging feeling that having the words “Sex” and “Dad” in the title were actually hurting my chances of building a bigger community rather than helping it.
I based that on the fact that on an average day Google would send more than a hundred people my way after they searched “Dad daughter sex,” “Sex with dad” or other twisted variations of those words.
Most of the searches came from Iran, France, Greece, Turkey, Pakistan, Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas and I’ll admit I wasn’t completely surprised at where they came from but it doesn’t make the searches any less disturbing.
Looking back I now realize that my thoughts of changing the blog name coincided almost perfectly with the crash of my self-esteem. I went from feeling like I could conquer the world (or at least my little part of it) to wondering why people even bothered reading the “crap” I was writing.
I’ve struggled with self-esteem my whole life and I’ve also recently come to realize how much I really cared what people thought of me. I say, “Cared” because I’m working hard to change that about myself.
I continued to struggle with the blog identity and before changing the blog to Reed My Writing I consulted with several bloggers who I built relationships with and whom I have a ton of respect for.
They all told me to stick with what I had so I took their advice. A couple months later I went back to them with the same question and they once again told me to stick with what I had.
My self-esteem got the best of me and I eventually changed it to Reed My Writing. Yeah it’s a clever name but it’s also extremely generic and vanilla. When I’m feeling like myself I’m not vanilla. Not even close.
I was happy that I stopped getting disturbing searches but wasn’t thrilled with the plainness of Reed My Writing. Almost as soon as I changed it I started second and third guessing that decision.
During the Sex and the Single Dad days I felt like some people perceived me a as a pervert because of the name and during the Reed My Writing days I felt like I had the personality sucked out of me because of the generic brand I had created.
It got to the point where I truly forgot who the real J.R. was. I wasn’t pretending to be someone else but I certainly wasn’t myself.
I turned into a hermit and when I did pop my head out of my hole I mastered the art of self-deprecation. I didn’t want to hang out with my friends because I was sure they didn’t want to hang out with me. Why? I didn’t want to hang out with myself so why would they want to hang out with me.
Throughout this prolonged funk I contributed a few pieces to Good Men Project and to be completely honest I was shocked when I was invited to merge Reed My Writing with them.
I was excited for the opportunity but reality quickly set in and I was once again down on myself because I knew that I wasn’t getting nearly as many page views as most of the other blogs that had merged with GMP and my self-esteem once again went into the toilet.
I know that life isn’t about page views but I felt like GMP had faith in me and that I was letting them down with my mediocrity. I came up with lame ideas for posts and was getting frustrated at my lack of creativity.
My frustration was growing to levels I haven’t seen in years and I kept beating myself up and wondering where the real J.R. was. I like the real J.R. and others like him too and my inability to locate him began to take a huge toll on me.
A few weeks ago Lisa Hickey (GMP’s publisher) suggested that I go back to Sex and the Single Dad. She pointed out that the name Reed My Writing is very bland when compared to some of the other blogs at GMP and that it doesn’t “grab” the reader and make them want to read it. She was absolutely right.
With this post Sex and the Single Dad is officially back and is hanging out here at Good Men Project. I’m not all the way back to feeling like the real J.R. but I’m working on it and I’m confident that I now know where he is and what I have to do to get him back.
None of this would be possible without the love and support of my amazing Muse, the belief in me that Lisa and Noah from GMP have in me and two GMP editors, Joanna and Justin, who both have taken the time to talk with me and help me out of my funk. These five people have shown me that I’m not the hopeless cause I thought I was. I want to publically say thanks to all of you. You’ve helped more than you know.
I recently started going to therapy and now realize that pretty much every bad aspect of my life comes from my lack of self-esteem and my fear of success. I want to be successful in life and I know I can be.
I struggled with self-esteem and self-doubt most of my life but in my late thirties I finally came out of my shell and was really happy with myself and with my life. That all came crashing down a few years ago and this time it was worse then before. Why?
Earlier in life I knew I wasn’t happy but couldn’t figure out how to be happy. This time around I knew that I could be happy and I was beating myself up because I lost it and couldn’t find my way back. In the words of Lit,
It’s no surprise to me I am my own worst enemy,
‘Cause every now and then I kick the living shit out of me
I don’t know about you but I am absolutely my own worst enemy. I mentally beat myself up on a regular basis and I’m tired of it. I know I’m on the road out of my self-doubt and worthlessness and for that I’m very happy.
Once I figure out how to completely overcome the fear and feeling of worthlessness I know the real J.R. will be back and will be better than ever. Consider yourself warned.
My Own Worst Enemy lyrics are from the band Lit.
Photo of confidence courtesy Shutterstock.