by Niall Doherty

There’s this pressure you experience as a lifestyle blogger. You feel like you always have to put on a good face, write about how great your life is, and share with readers all the amazing lessons you’ve learned. And then you feel like a charlatan when that inevitable ebb comes.

I’ve felt like a fraud several times this past week. After spending two months in the sexually repressed land of India, I decided to hit the dating scene hard here in Thailand. So I’ve been going out pretty much every day and making an effort to be social and chat up attractive women. I’ve had some fun with it, but I’ve also struggled with a ton of internal resistance and self-doubt.

Worst of all though is the feeling of hypocrisy. See, I’ve written plenty about flirting in the past, thinking I had it all figured out. But nope. Here in Thailand I find myself bumping up against the same old fears, having to relearn the same old lessons.

It’s a similar story with my writing. This article makes it 356 that I’ve published on the blog. Since I committed to posting twice a week two and half years ago, I’ve never missed a deadline. So you’d think I’d have this writing thing pretty well sussed by now, especially since I’ve doled out plenty of howtowrite advice in the past. But nope. I still struggle with it. I feel like I’m battling a severe case of mental constipation trying to write these very words.

Do you know what I’m talking about? Have you gone through similar yourself? You think you’ve got a certain part of your life handled, but then all of a sudden you find yourself ten steps back, wondering if that progress you made was just a mirage all along. You ask yourself… Who am I, really? Am I the guy sledding down the hill with a huge grin on my face, or am I the guy trudging back up again, dragging that heavy sled behind me?

At times like this, I cling to processes. I hang tight to them and try ride out the storm.

The process for improving my dating life is to go out regularly and interact with women. I know if I just keep making myself do that, even on those days when I really don’t feel like it, everything will come good.

Same with the writing: If I just keep making myself free write a thousand words a day and publish two posts a week, even if those posts kind of suck, it will all eventually come good again.

So the dirty little secret of this lifestyle blogger, and I suspect all the rest, is that I’m still struggling, even with those things I thought I had figured out a long time ago.

And that’s okay. Caterpillars, butterflies, all that good stuff.