On… Blog phases, comparisons, & writing anxiety

Standard

I go through phases on my blog. Some weeks I love writing and there just don’t seem to be enough days in a week to post. Other weeks, I’m at a complete loss about what I want this space to look like, so I just don’t write at all- and when I do, I’m never happy with the result.

Erin wrote a great post earlier this week called ‘The Comparisons‘ that made me realize that’s exactly what I’m feeling, but for my blog space. Although Erin was referring to the comparisons of love and life, I think the idea that she talks about works for every area of our lives.

I definitely compare myself to other writers and bloggers. Sometimes it doesn’t bother me in the least, but there are other times that I think to myself “why am I even DOING this?! It’s so pointless!“… Even though I know that it’s not to ME. Just, in the grander scheme of things it feels that way.

I still have a really big problem knowing that the people I know in real life can read my blog any time they want. I don’t MIND that they do, but still when people who know me in real life read my blog, I can’t help but wonder if they see me differently afterwards. That gets me all stressed out and then I just go through the ‘no-blogging’ phase because I’m not sure how much I feel like sharing anymore. It’s the weirdest thing, honestly, because I know my blog space is open and I love when people read it. It just makes me feel very… vulnerable.

Writing about everything that happens in my life for the world to see basically opens the doors for judgement, criticism, and a slew of other things that make me very anxious. Some days that just doesn’t bother me one bit, but every once in a while it makes me close right back up, and I feel like I’m starting at square one.

I’ve written about this a few times in the past; how difficult it is for me to be honest online even though I WANT to be. I think, what it comes down to, is the fear of people judging me for my writing. I can’t stand the idea of being vulnerable, and I can’t stand the idea of not knowing who comes by here and who doesn’t. I sometimes tell my real-life friends to just not tell me when they read my blog because I’d rather not know, but I guess it doesn’t matter either way in the end. It’s just when people say “I read your blog!” and don’t follow up with anything else I get really antsy.

I realize this post has basically no coherence anymore, but sometimes just writing about the fear of writing itself is enough to move past it for a little while. So here I am, announcing once again that although I love to write and I love that you are reading this, it still makes me very anxious to know that you are. I’m not LOOKING for compliments for my blog, but I think it’s just another step at staying honest with myself and with you, if you’re reading this.

In the end, I just want to be happy with what I do. I love to write, and I sincerely hope that I’m not making a complete fool out of myself when I do it. On most days, I don’t feel that way. But sometimes it’s nice to just put my fears down in writing. It reminds me that they can sometimes be really silly in my head (and less so out loud) but it also gives me something to look back on.

Do you ever get nervous or anxious about your writing? How do you overcome your writer’s block?

Advertisements

17 responses »

  1. I feel like this a lot, especially recently. I decided to take a break from blogging, period, for a little bit. I want to start up again, but I need to figure some things out first. I’ve jumped around a lot because I never thought about it as much as I should have, so my next foray into the blogging world I want to be permanent, and the only time I’ll move is if I’m changing servers and hosts, so no one will realize it’s happening until it’s happened. So, I completely understand what you’re saying. When I start up my new blog, whenever the time comes, I want to have figured out my stance, how personal I’ll allow myself to get, and brainstorm family- and in-person-friends friendly content that I won’t regret posting about. I’m going to take the advice of some people whose articles I’ve read on starting a blog, and at least have an idea of the first ten or so posts I want to write before I showcase my blog. I also want to have a schedule I feel comfortable I can commit to that way I don’t ever feel like I’m slacking or neglecting readers. Blogging is something I really enjoy, and I want to do it the right way next time.

  2. first of all your blog posts are some of my favourite online. i can relate to your fear of honesty and i’m facing mine by answering the 365 questions on facebook. the problem i keep coming to on my blog is am i getting right. i think you are but it doesn’t matter, you need to be happy with it not us.

  3. You know what, I think even the most accomplished bloggers feel that way on some days (or at least I hope so)…. I have a lot of the same phases and thoughts around blogging. I constantly compare myself to others (even though I don’t even want to be like them), because I don’t get how I can write about something and get very little response and then somebody else writes about the same things and gets tons of feedback. I know it’s not about the comments, but it is a little bit about feeling appreciated, liked and respected and it sometimes makes me want to stop blogging alltogether.

    In the end, it’s all good though – we’re all different people and if we decide to put ourselves out there, we have to expect doubt and hesitation sometimes. I think your blog is lovely and I love reading here 🙂

  4. I definitely feel this way. I think everyone does. I think everyone gets self-conscious or tired or anxious about what they’re doing. I think that’s what helps people hone in on their strengths and get even better. I definitely know family and real-life friends read my blog because a lot of my traffic comes from Facebook. I just try to keep my blog as normal as possible, and I don’t get too emotional or nitty-gritty. I have to be pretty safe. But through that, I’ve been able to develop friendships and take that nitty-gritty offline with people I’ve met online. So that helps.

    I think as long as YOU are getting SOMETHING out of blogging, all is good. 🙂 Everything else will come and go, but feel a sense of satisfaction at the end of the day is what will keep those bad feelings at bay.

  5. Yes, I constantly get anxious about my writing! I want to make sure people are reading and of course, liking everything! I don’t think it’s something most people need to worry about because as long as we’re still writing, people are still reading it! No judgment here, enjoy what you do!

  6. I love reading your blog, just so you know! I feel like that a lot (as you’ll have noticed from my frequent blogging breaks lately!) and sometimes I write whole posts only to delete them and decide that I don’t want anybody knowing. It’s so good to feel like a part of the blogging community though!

  7. I totally understand this feeling and struggle with it daily. In a weird way, I think it’s a good feeling because it keeps you wanting to write more and interesting content (not that that’s required, but it means you don’t just do the same thing over and over…those blogs bore me). I love reading your posts and I’m glad we got to know each other 🙂

  8. I struggled with this as well. There were times I’d schedule a post and wake up in the middle of the night and take it down before it posted. But then I got to the point where I decided that if those who know me IRL view me differently/less favorably after reading my blog, then they shouldn’t be in my life. These days I am not sure who all reads it. I know some friends do, but most don’t comment. I am always honest on my blog, but I don’t always tell everything that is going on because it takes me time to process everything, you know?

    I think you do a wonderful job – just keep on keeping on!

  9. I’ve taken a two month (tomorrow!) hiatus from writing of (almost) all forms (I started a gratitude journal at the beginning of the month, but that’s all the writing I’ve done for a long time). I completely understand.

    I wish I could be honest in my blog. I mean I AM 100% honest, but I wish I could say it all, you know? I feel I’ve invited too much of myself to be completely personal in my blog. It sounds silly, but it’s true. I want to be more anonymous so that I can just SAY IT. (It’s hard to not say it.) It’s a fun line to balance on.

    I love your blog. Love. I agree with Lisa and everyone else. You do such an amazing job – only stop if YOU need to stop. We all love you.

  10. I feel you! I try to be somewhat anonymous just cause I don’t think I want people to judge me by what I post about and then I feel like I’m censoring myself a bit too much and well removing all my personality from the blog. Grrr! I hope you figure it out (and then let me know so I can too!)

  11. Thank you, you have put voice to so many of my blog-related fears and anxieties. I think in any kind of artistic expression, it is so much harder, sometimes, to be vulnerable to friends than to strangers. When friends tell me “I’m reading your book” my stomach knots with anxiety. When I was a child I used to sing solos in national competitions; that was fine, but when asked to sing at my own school, stage fright almost crippled me. Like you, the thought of friends reading my blog, seeing how I interpret my own life or thoughts or dreams, makes me ever so nervous. I’m glad I’m not alone.

  12. Oh, girl. I am so with you on this entire blog post. I now have my mom’s CO-WORKERS reading my blog. Sometimes, it can make me so itchy to think about my words they are reading. I pride myself on the fact that I remain open and vulnerable on my blog. I don’t sugar coat things or leave things out and I know readers appreciate that so much. But it still makes me feel very anxious whenever a post goes live to know about everyone who could read it. Writing is one of my biggest passions but it is also causes me so much anxiety because writing puts it all out there. It’s as if I’m putting my heart right on the Internet and allowing people to stomp on it if they choose to.

    So it’s hard sometimes. I try not to think of all the people who read my blog. (Not that I have millions of readers, ha!) I try to just blog for me, for what *I* need to talk about at that certain moment.

  13. Pingback: January: 2 weeks in « Press Play.

  14. Pingback: 10 blog posts that are rattling around between my ears | Simply Paul

  15. I’m probably saying exactly what the 15 previous commenters said, but I think we all feel that way. Sometimes I just post pics or crafts and feel like I’m not sharing enough…then I’ll write something personal…and it will sit in drafts for months because I feel too vulnerable or silly to publish it. And I feel you on the weirdness of family/friends reading it. My mom will say “Oh I read your little blog the other day and yada yada yada” and it just makes me feel weird. Like she’s not meant to see that side of me. Weird, right? I think it’s natural to act differently with different people…but then the blog is organically and freely YOU…exposed for ALL to see, and that can be intimidating.
    But don’t fret. We all feel this way, but that doesn’t mean we should stop. PLEASE don’t stop blogging. I love reading your blog! I’ve never met you, but I feel like I know you & that we would be friends…and that’s the coolest. So don’t stop what your doing. 🙂
    Hope that helps.

  16. Sometimes bloggers need to read that other bloggers are going through just this mentality, so thank you for putting it out there! I would love to share my stuff more, but for some reason I get this twisty stomach feeling when I think about my family potentially reading it (even though there’s nothing BAD in there, and they’ve always supported my writing!). I think you’ve pinpointed the exact feeling we all feel, and it’s just a great reminder.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s