Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Self-conscious blogging


I don't know about other bloggers, but I don't spend a great deal of time crafting my posts. Although I don't usually sit down and hammer one out in five minutes, I rarely spend more than a few minutes here and there during a day to write one. And I more rarely ever do a lot of rewriting or deleting. So, although my posts may not all be great art, they are for the most part genuine.

But sometimes, like in yesterday's post for instance, I catch myself being extremely self-conscious. And I'm pretty sure it shows in my writing. I start worrying about being too negative or repetitive. I try to soften stuff or interject a self-depreciating jab. And all of this happens when I start to think I'm writing for an audience instead of for myself.


Okay, I've been blogging for almost a dozen years. And occasionally I've had regular readers. But experience has taught me that very rarely do regular readers stay regular readers. I can only guess at the reasons without wallowing too far into self-doubt and blaming it on my writing. For the most part I think it is just a byproduct of the way life is now. There are just too many things tugging on our attention spans to focus on anything too long.

I admit to being a television binge watcher. I devour entire seasons of shows in a few days and hungerily move on looking for more.  But when it comes to blogs, I can't say I really read many myself. Part of the reason is that when I find a blog I like, they stop blogging or honestly I get bored. They either post too much or too little. And I'm just as guilty of having a short attention span as the next person.

The other barrier to people reading blogs regularly is that most of them (like mine) are available completely for free. And what I've learned in my professional marketing career is that when people get something for free they don't put a great deal of stock in it. It has no value if you don't have to do anything or pay anything to get it.

So I get why I don't have hordes of people hanging on my every word. Which makes being self-conscious when I write even more ironic. But still, I can't help but put part of my personality out there when I write. So even if no more than an occasional person reads it, I do feel vulnerable.

You can pretend to be thick skinned about the things you create. But I have never been able to avoid being defensive about my writing. It's like this feeling I get when I go to some street fair and an artist has a booth where they are displaying and trying to sell their art. It is something I could never do. Because it would be painful to watch strangers carelessly appraise your talents and move on to buy a wind chime at the next booth that was made in China.

I suppose it is okay to be a bit self conscious when I write. The alternative seems to be to be blatantly oblivious and self absorbed.

Oh well. Things could be worse. I could be writing poetry.


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