06 Apr Why I Feel Awkward About Blogging
So, I’ve had this idea for a post rattling around in my head for quite some time now. I’ve always put off actually writing it because it felt too personal.
Which is ridiculous because blogging is personal.
Although I set up this blog a year ago last month, it took me a long time to actually get it fully set up and ready to get down and do the thing I wanted to do. Writing.
I started writing posts in about July 2016. One every two weeks. Hardly a large undertaking. But by the time October rolled around, my routine had kind of just fizzled out.
I work two jobs so it’s very easy for me to use the excuse that I’m too busy and can’t find the time (but funnily find more than enough time to watch back-to-back episodes of Always Sunny…)
I can’t pinpoint exactly why I fell out of my routine but if I was to blame anything it would be anxiety, self consciousness, and the old excuse of, “there’s already so much great writing and impressive photography out there, what can I possibly bring?”
Once you start getting into this pattern of thinking it’s hard to escape it.
I realised that I feel awkward about blogging. I feel awkward telling people that I have a blog and I even feel awkward sharing my posts on social media.
Why is this? Why would I feel awkward about those things, you may ask in exasperation?
I guess what it really boils down to is a confidence thing. I have the confidence to sit down and write what I want to write but what scares me is putting it out there for all the world to see (as if that level of people would be reading it…)
What I hate even more is the thoughts of people reading my writing and smugly sitting back and poking holes in it in some way. I feel like one jibe could make me throw my hands up and not want to do it anymore.
Or when I share a post on social media, my mind goes into overdrive thinking about people clicking through, reading a tea post and thinking “Why on earth is she writing about tea. Surely there are more important things in the world to write about?!”
So, as you can see, I feel awkward about blogging because of very silly, far-fetched reasons that I will sit and worry about after I’ve clicked the publish button.
I guess I feel awkward about blogging because of how personal it is and how you end up projecting a certain image of yourself through your writing that people can criticise or praise as they please.
So, how do I get past the crippling anxiety that “people” (these unknown, scary people!) are going to take the piss out of me? (It sounds so ridiculous putting that worry into writing, so ridiculous)
Well, I really enjoy writing and I always have. I love the buzz of having a new post finished. I genuinely feel happier and more content when I’m working on pieces of writing.
Fear of criticism is a stupid reason to not do what I love so I just have to try and beat the anxiety down, tell myself if I’m criticised for anything I’ll deal with it when it happens and just, y’know get on with it. Get on with doing what I love.
Hannah Gale recently had a superb post up about “Letting Go Of Trying To Make People Like Me.” It was relieving to read about another person worrying about readers not liking her stuff.
Ending with the line “Life is too short for dwelling on the idea that maybe you’re not enough, because I promise you, you are.” I was just sitting there like YES, THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I NEEDED TO READ.
I’ve officially been putting a blog post up every week for two months now. And while for some that may not seem like much, for me it is monumental.
Generally by this point I would have fallen out of the routine, succumbing to my anxiety and low confidence and opting for the comfort of watching more Always Sunny instead (I really have been watching an awful lot of it.)
And do you know what? For all my worries of people criticising what I do on this blog, I’ve only ever received positive encouragement from friends and fellow bloggers.
For instance, I noticed that Scott has a quick link/app for this blog when I was borrowing his phone to make a call the other day. Which made me smile.
And, I was chatting to a friend a few months back and mentioned going to Pattisserie Valerie and he said he had read my post about it on the blog (my blog!) and was thinking of going.
Whilst reading through old tweets that I’d liked, I found one from a friend replying to an article I had written that just said “I don’t know if I’ve told you this before but I really admire your ability to get shit done.”
These things all may seem so minor but they honestly make so much of a difference to a person who’s worried about being criticised all the time.
When I’m having a mini-crisis about whether I should continue with what I’m doing, I turn to these little friendly pieces of encouragement to affirm that I’m actually doing okay and need to go easier on myself.
Do you suffer from a similar anxiety about blogging? Let me know. I’m genuinely interested.