Overcoming Your Fear of Blogging

Hello Everyone in Misha-Land! Thanks so much for having me.

Today I’m going to share with you my fears about writing and what scares me to death when I sit down to blog each week. It’s a little bit dramatic, a lot personal and even more so about conquering my fear of hitting “submit” at the end of writing a post.

I have been journaling since I was a child and began blogging on Livejournal in 2000. These posts were filtered for only friends and acquaintances to see to keep up with my life. For a long time, I found much rejection from people who read my posts. I was judged in times of great pain, gossiped about when happy and general raked over the coals for being myself. It made my life a living hell because I also saw many of these people socially.

It seemed these “friends” didn’t know me as well as I thought. I slowly phased them out of my blog filter, one at a time. Eventually, I was at the point where every post I wrote felt it should be made private. I marveled at the point of that. I didn’t want to write my thoughts and feelings just for me, I wanted to share my life and connect with others as well.

For a time, I gave up blogging. My heart just wasn’t in it. I sat on the idea of wanting to blog for a few years but wasn’t sure how to start up again. I didn’t have any friends who blogged anymore and to write for the whole public to see, even though I knew I’d be lucky to get one or two readers, was terrifying. I had something to share that was important to me but I needed others to see it, otherwise I may as well be talking to myself.

I had so many questions this time around. What if I was rejected for being myself again? Should I put on a happy face and only post about specific topics, such as knitting? Or could I sprinkle in posts about how I’m feeling in my life as things happen? How much of me should I put out there? What if something I posted upset someone and made me lose friends again? (It did, but it was bound to happen.) What if a future employer read things they didn’t like? Would I not get hired?

I decided to take the plunge anyway. I created a new public blog and gave myself a fresh start. I chose not to tell anyone about it until I had a decent amount of content posted, as I was still feeling very insecure about the entire process. I fumbled my way through post after post, trying to figure out what worked and what didn’t. I was still struggling with how much of me to put out there and couldn’t see my way around it!

One morning, I stumbled across an article about this very topic. It spawned a great post that has changed the way I write my own blog. I instantly overcame my fear and now write whatever I want about anything I want without trepidation.

This is my advice to any writer, whether you are already published or just starting out, whether writing a book or a blog: Be true to yourself. Don’t be afraid to be who you are. You are one of a kind! Go share it with the world, it needs your voice. Hit “submit” already!

Bio 

Shannon Hunter is an Apparel Design & Merchandising major at WSU in Pullman, WA. She is also the fashion columnist for the university’s newspaper, “The Daily Evergreen”, and has her own blog here. She is an aspiring fiction writer who will be attempting NaNoWriMo 2012 in November and has been blogging since 2000. She hopes her urban fantasy trilogy will become a best-seller and allow her to design clothing and accessories on the side. Currently, she writes for several blogs, studies too much and spends more time knitting than she should.

Thank you very much for your inspiring post, Shannon. I also found out who my friends were when I started blogging. Anyone else have that experience?

Before I go, I just want to ask for some volunteers. Next week, I still have no takers and I don’t know why. 😦 It’s a great way to get exposure to new bloggers and it’s a lot of fun. I even give a them to inspire your thinking process without limiting your topics too much. November’s them is Keeping Track. See? Easy. I also need a guest post for the 9th, and they’re the last open GPF slots for the year, so if you’re interested, please e-mail me at mishagericke(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Edit: Thank you very much for the good response. More people than required volunteered to post for the next two Fridays! You guys continue to be awesome! X

Have a great weekend!

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29 thoughts on “Overcoming Your Fear of Blogging

  1. I only started blogging about a year ago, mostly to promote my self-published books. It never occurred to me to worry about what people thought. In fact, I've posted some rather controversial ideas there and never heard a peep out of anybody. People seem to either ignore you or they respond politely, even when they disagree. And I've met some really nice people that I now consider friends (mostly through Twitter, actually). Shannon, your experiences sound like the sort of things that happen to people on Facebook when their “friends” gang up to harass and make fun of them. I hope everything continues better for you.
    Misha, I can't do any guest posts, much as I would like to – I'm scraping to get enough material for my own two blogs!

  2. Glad you got the spots filled, Misha.

    Hi Shannon. Be true to yourself is important on blogs, when interacting with fans/people, and when writing our masterpieces. We want to be genuine. It's important, and it's so much easier to be ourselves.

  3. Shannon, sorry you've had so much trouble with 'friends' not being as compassionate and understanding as they should have been. Unfortunately, that is THEIR problem, not yours. It was a good way to weed out your untrue friends, but seems like a very painful time for you. Glad you have decided to be true to yourself and gather the kinds of friends that you deserve. Happy blogging from now on. 🙂

  4. Excellent post. It is hard to put yourself out there in the blogging and writing world. I always worry about what people think of my posts too. Thanks for sharing.
    Ps if you need a guest blogger, I can be a guest in the future.

  5. Thank you to everyone who has responded to my guest post! I feel very grateful to have so much support directed my way. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Awwwwww. I'm thankful that there are people out there in the writing world who “get” me and I don't have to censor myself any more. Keep in touch if you feel like it!

  6. I try to do that as well. I now have a filter in my brain instead of on my blog…LOL! I don't say anything I wouldn't be comfortable telling a complete stranger, that's for sure. One must be safe and protect themselves as well but also be allowed to move about the cabin (blogosphere) freely, as well. 😉

  7. Thank you for your kind words. I completely get that it's their problem, not mine. It just sort of happened before I knew what was going on and by then it was too late. I only speak to one of those people now, and he's my husband! 🙂 I felt like I was creating a forum for the vultures to feed. It was right when Livejournal came out and the community I spent time with offline all jumped on the bandwagon. I don't think anyone realized at the time how damaging it would be to our relationships, etc. Now they've all gone someplace else to feed anyway, like Facebook. 😉

  8. My experience is definitely what happens on Facebook now, only then it was a blogging program named Livejournal (before FB ever started!). I've now seen these supposed “friends” on FB and I stay far, far away. It's been 10 years and when I see them post it's all the same, like nothing has changed. Except I got out. 🙂 Thanks for the comment.

  9. Thank YOU for reading! I'm still wandering around a bit in my posts, meandering through topics and specificity but it's a nice journey this time. Eventually I'll catch the right wave and my topics will flow more fluidly, BUT you can't get more consistent than posting about your life in general, right? 😛 At least I've got that going for me. Hey, I DO have a direction after all… 🙂 LOL

  10. Misha – Thanks for hosting Shannon.

    Shannon – I felt exactly the same way about blogging and only fairly recently wrote on my blog that I was going to be me and be honest, whatever that was. I don't think there is any point otherwise.

    With the people in real life (as opposed to those friends we make online) some don't “get” blogging, so think whatever is published on there is free to ridicule. I also think with blogging, we write from the inside, what we are actually thinking and feeling, whereas in real life there are unspoken rules and we wear certain “masks” for certain situations, but on the blog, we just…are.

    It's their loss and I'm glad to have read your post. Thank you.

  11. Thank you. I understand the “mask” concept completely and it makes absolute sense that is what happens. Ironically, these people were ALSO posting their own blogs on Livejournal and we were all connected as “friends” so we could see each other's posts. I never ridiculed their pieces but for some reason they really went after me. And then of course were nice to my face in public. Drama much?!

    This may be TMI but it's the truth so I hope it's appreciated that I am sharing it as there are some good life lessons here on various topics people deal with in ife:

    When I think back on it, I remember something an old friend told me about how “they're just jealous”. (Which is a common way to make someone feel better but isn't necessarily true, lol!) BUT then she told me she was completely jealous of me and wanted to get to know me better so she could “know her enemy.” Odd, but the girl was a bit odd herself and she spoke the truth. We became friends for quite a few years because she was able to be so honest with me, but then, she turned on me as well. Shoulda seen that coming, right?

    She passed away a few years ago when we were no longer speaking but I think of her often. It's bittersweet. I think the rough life she had led and then becoming so sick with cancer several times brought out a side of her that pushed people away, and I was one of them. She was so lost towards the end and hateful. I had my own losses I was coping with and she said it was my fault these things were happening.

    Irrational, I know but it still hurt too much. I had given her MUCH leeway because she was sick but it was the final straw. I think she needed to take her pain out on someone and it ended up being me at the time. I had to let her go. I wasn't going to be publicly blamed for her dying any longer (on top of everyone else's abuse over the years). I locked my Livejournal up tight and never opened it again.

    She was the final person in a long list of people who tried to break me online. I've learned a lot since then. I'm happy, they're simply not. Online forums, etc are High School all over again. I'm no longer in High School but it appears some people are still stuck there. My old journal will make a great book someday, won't it?

    RIP Heather, and RIP Livejournal.

  12. i try to stay away from “hot topics” when blogging, but if they were mean spirited people it prob didnt matter what you said. that bully behavior is rampant. esp online with the young & thoughtless and anonymous cowards too who love to say things just to get a rise, their opinions are worthless. i'm glad you are blogging again! more should be aware! and more strength to you!

  13. You're so right. Be who you are and honest at all times. This is a community and that's the only way to be a successful part of it.

    I took my month off and now I'm back. Great to visit with you again.

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