Can TV shows teach us about real life? Sure! Here I cover What Can Grey’s Anatomy Teach You About Blogging.
Grey’s Anatomy is a popular medical drama about surgical interns and residents and the drama associated with their lives both in and out of the hospital.
So how can a medical drama teach us anything about blogging? You’d be surprised.
What Can Grey’s Anatomy Teach You About Blogging
If you are familiar with the show you know that there is a narration at the beginning and end of episodes that talks about the lesson learned during that episode.
Fear of Failure and Making Mistakes
From Season 1 Episode 6
A couple hundred years ago, Benjamin Franklin shared with the world the secret of his success. Never leave that till tomorrow, he said, which you can do today. This is the man who discovered electricity. You would think more of us would listen to what he had to say. I don’t know why we put things off but if I had to guess I’d say it has a lot to do with fear. Fear of failure, fear of pain, fear of rejection…Sometimes the fear is just of making a decision because what if you’re wrong? What if you make a mistake you can’t undo? Whatever it is we’re afraid of, one thing holds true. That by the time the pain of not doing the thing gets worse than the fear of doing the thing, it can feel like were carrying a tumour.
This is so true isn’t it? The show was referring to patients putting off coming to see a doctor only to end up making it worse because they waited. But in this could refer to the world of blogging too. How many blogging tasks you know you should do, do you end up putting off? So many times I was told how important an email list was and to get it started right away. However I just kept putting it off and putting it off and now my list is much smaller than it could have been by now and I missed out on lots of targeted traffic.
The early bird catches the worm. A stitch in time saves nine. He who hesitates is lost. We can’t pretend we haven’t been told. We’ve all heard the proverbs, heard the philosophers, heard our grandparents warning us about wasted time, heard the damn poets urging us to cease the day. Still, sometimes, we have to see for ourselves. We have to make our own mistakes. We have to learn our own lessons. We have to sweep today’s possibility under tomorrows rug until we cant anymore. Until we finally understand for ourselves what Benjamin Franklin meant. That knowing is better than wondering. That waking is better than sleeping. And that even the biggest failure, even the worst most intractable mistake beats the hell out of never trying.
From Season 2 Episode 13
Fresh starts, thanks to the calendar they happen every year, just set your watch to January. Our reward for surviving the holiday season is a new year. Bringing on the great tradition of new years resolutions. Put your past behind you and start over. It’s hard to resist the chance of a new beginning, a chance to put the problems of last years to bed.
These words of wisdom about fresh starts makes me think about what happens when you fail with your blog or business or when you have a set back. It might be something out of your control like extended illness or something in your control like choosing to step back from your blog to spend more time with your family. Taking breaks from your blog usually means lower traffic and abandoned followers but when you start over you get a fresh start.
Who gets to determine when the old ends and the new begins. It’s not a day on a calendar, not a birthday, not a new year. It’s an event, big or small, something that changes us. Ideally, it gives us hope. A new way of living and look at the world, letting go of old habits, old memories. What’s important is that we never stop believing that we can have a new beginning. But it’s also important to remember, amid all the crap, they’re are a few things really worth holding onto.
From Season 5 Episode 22
When something begins you generally have no idea how it is going to end. The house you were going to sell becomes your home. The roommates you were forced to take in become your family and the one night stand you were determined to forget becomes the love of your life.
If you’ve been blogging more than a year, is your blog where you figured it would be when you started? The longer you’ve been blogging, the more the answer is probably no. I still run two blogs I started 14 years ago but they aren’t the same as when they started. Your life is probably different than it was 5 or 10 years ago too. Not knowing what the future will bring does not mean you shouldn’t have a plan though. Make a plan for what direction you want to take and update it every few months. But be open to change and be excited to see where your blog/business/life will lead.
We spend our whole lives worrying about the future, planning the future, trying to predict the future. As if figuring it out will somehow cushion the blow but the future is always changing. The future is the whole of our deepest fears and our wildest hopes but one thing is certain. When it finally reveals itself, the future is never the way we imagined it.
Minimalism in the Face of Technology
From Season 9 Episode 13
We’ve all heard the buzz words: streamline, optimize, integrate, adapt. Every day someone comes up with a new strategy or tool or technology to increase our efficiency. The idea is to make our lives easier but the question is, does it?
Our world is so much different than it was just 30 years ago. When I was a kid there were no cellphones, digital cameras or tablets and the internet started when I was young but it was way different than it is now. These advances in technology can be great and can sometimes make things easier – except when they don’t. Evaluate new technologies and tools and if it truly is making things easier for you, great. But realize that not everything makes your work or life better and be ready to eliminate it if it’s not what you need.
To really be efficient, you have to eliminate what doesn’t work. You have to figure out what is important and hold on tight to the things that matter most.
From Season 10 Episode 5
Here’s what I learned my first day at medical school. Think long and hard before choosing to become a surgeon. It takes 100% commitment. You have to be on your A game every single time you walk into that OR. When patients are lying on your table, completely at your mercy, they need to know that when you make that first cut you know what you’re doing. No other specialty requires the time, the focus, the complete dedication… Except maybe being a mom.
Anyone can blog and they don’t have to commit 100% unless you are planning for your blog to become a full time professional business as well. That’s where commitment comes into play. Blogging Groups full of new bloggers are also full of questions like how often should I blog. You can find all kinds of different answers to that question too.
The thing is, quality and consistency are much more important than quantity. You need regular, loyal readers to keep your blog and business going and in order to have that, you need to be consistent. Blogging only once a week is much better than blogging 3 times one week, then once the next week then not at all for a month and then 3 times a week again. If you are serious about your blog becoming a full time job then you need to commit to that decision and go all in. Blog regularly but also make a point to take yourself seriously and treat your blog like a business.
What if your focus splits? What if you can’t be all in? Are you left with nothing at all? Maybe you just need to find a different path. Here’s what’s horrifying, what if you can’t give 100%? Maybe you just need to go back to the beginning and start all over again.
What Can Grey’s Anatomy Teach You About Blogging?
It turns out, quite a lot. I couldn’t pinpoint one episode to illustrate it but I have also seen the show talk about how other doctors are not your competition and that’s true of other bloggers as well. Very few bloggers are your direct competition. For example I blog about blogging here. I would want to connect with other bloggers like me, maybe share guest posts to connect our viewers. We could help each other out. We might all blog about blogging but we are not exactly the same and our ideal readers are not exactly the same. Our audience crosses over but are not identical.