Day 3 of the "Blog Every Day in May" challenge.
"Things that make you uncomfortable"
This is another tough topic. While I could go on and on about how uncomfortable it is to talk about politics with morons or make meaningless small talk with co-workers or wear a thong, there’s something much more personally uncomfortable that I struggle with daily that relates to this blog. I'm uncomfortable telling people that I have a blog.
Hello, my name is Sara and I have a blog.
I’m not sure why I’m so uncomfortable with admitting that I’m a blogger…that I blog…that I have a blog. I’m actually quite proud of this blog. I’m proud of my writing and of my photography. I’m proud of my posts and the people I've met through blogging. I like to joke that no one reads my posts, but I've seen the stats - it gets read. Last year this little blog was even a finalist for “Best Personal Blog” in the Riverfront Times (a local paper in St. Louis). I’m so proud of that! And yet, my blog is not something that I feel confident enough to advertise or promote. I’m shy about it. When someone I know tells me that they read one of my posts, I get nervous. Of course I’m also absolutely thrilled and honored that they’d read what I have to say, but it’s a little weird putting yourself out there and knowing that people you know (IN REAL LIFE) might actually read it. What if they hate it? What if they think I'm ridiculous? What if they don't agree with what I say? Isn't it funny that it’s easier to write down your innermost thoughts and feelings on the internet for strangers to read than to actually talk about them face-to-face sometimes?
It’s not that I’m uncomfortable with the “blogger” title or that I think blogging is anything to be ashamed of. Other bloggers probably get this, but a big part of me is worried that a non-blogger won’t understand why I have a blog in the first place. Inevitably the first question that they ask is "What's your blog about?" and it's uncomfortable saying, "Um...me." By telling people that I have a blog, I worry that it gives the impression that I’m full of myself. That I think I have such an amazing and exciting life that I need an entire website dedicated to documenting my every move. Or that I believe my thoughts are so novel and important that I need to share them with the entire world. (Cue the music: "She's so vain...she probably thinks this blog is about her.") That’s really not what blogging is about.
Having a personal blog is inherently a bit narcissistic, but I don't think that’s necessarily a bad thing. When I first started blogging, I wrote for others - I wrote to keep my family and friends updated on training for a marathon. As time went by, I kept writing for myself; as a creative outlet, a place to put my words. Now, after five years of blogging, I still write for myself, but I write for others too. For my readers. For my friends. For my friends’ friends that somehow found this blog and liked what I had to say. For that girl I met a few weeks ago at a wedding that told me that the New Mommy Confessions made her feel normal after having a baby when noting else did. I write for YOU…because I love you and I love that you’re here reading this. To me, blogging is about being part of a community. It’s sharing a little sliver your life with others. It’s about connecting with people around the world I’d never have met otherwise. It’s about encouragement and getting/giving advice and knowing that you’re not alone. There’s nothing uncomfortable about that.
I guess it all comes down to being scared of being judged which puts me firmly outside my comfort zone. By telling people I have a blog, it gives them the key to open a door to my soul. It makes me exposed. It’s a real life glimpse into who I am. It’s a key I can never take back. I try to be honest and authentic on this blog and it’s hard opening yourself up to others, to criticism, to negativity. Not everyone is going to like what I have to say. As a people-pleaser, that’s scary.
Anyone else out there feel uncomfortable telling people they blog?
Why, do you think?
How you do handle it?