I am. I'm Afraid.

When you share your life on the internet, you have no control over who reads about it and how they react. I haven’t always been open about certain parts of my life with people I know in real world. I haven’t shared every aspect of our infertility struggles with some friends, and never discuss my relationship/personal life with my employer. But as soon as I write about any of that on the blog, I lose that privilege of setting limits and leave the door to my small world wide open. Anyone can walk in and snoop, and not everyone is going to be nice.

Another fear I’m struggling with is that no one will care about what I have to say. I’m afraid that the post won’t be seen and read. Or it will be ignored. Because I spent time pouring my soul out in a post that might never get noticed. I’m not as much afraid of negative feedback as I’m nervous that there won’t be any feedback at all. I guess, I’m afraid that my writing will be worthless.

I understand that I do not have to share every little bit of my personal life with everyone, but I want to be able to be open about how I feel. I want to be personal in my personal blog, I want the reader to be able to relate to me, I want to find support or guidance if I can, and I want to make a connection with the audience. I feel like I won’t be able to accomplish that hiding behind an anonymous blog, or constantly worrying about what the people I’m not really close to will think about my post. So here I am, with 7-8 posts in drafts awaiting the verdict.

I know that I’m not the only one out there with material sitting in drafts. We are afraid that we will be judged, that the post is not good enough. The fact is, however, that something moved you to write that post. There is energy and emotion behind it. Most likely, there are people who feel exactly the way you do, or share the same opinion on the subject you are writing about. I feel like the more I wait and edit it, the more damage I am doing to it. I’m now not writing about how I really feel or what I think, but create some modified and censored version of my feelings.

As I was writing this post, I came to realize one thing. Nobody is going to give me a solution on how to fix this problem of being afraid to publish some posts. Many bloggers face it, and best we can do is support each other. It is normal for human nature to worry and be afraid sometimes. Only I have the power to make a decision, because nobody knows me better than I do. Whatever I choose to write about, it’s going to be a part of my life. If I want to talk about it, and if I’m choosing to do it online, I guess, I have to be ready to face the possible consequences. Or keep it safe until I’m ready to click “Publish".


*I have a post about jealously, fear and sadness I just wrote after a particularly upsetting dream last night ...it's sitting in my drafts. Perhaps I'll share it soon*




Comments

  1. A little fear is good; I would say healthy in a positive sense. Reflective thought about a post sounds smart to me. Keep it up!

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  2. I can definitely relate to this fear. And I don't really have any good advice or thoughts about how to overcome it, except that thus far, the things I've been most hesitant to post-- the things that are deepest, scariest, the most real...have brought the most life. When I get them out there, there's support and love and understanding and honest dialogue and never once have I regretted it. And I guess that gives me courage for the next time.

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  3. Fear is real. Overcoming it is hard. Post what you feel and don't worry about how others feel. The people that matter will encourage you. Stay strong!

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  4. I know what you mean. Fear is actually what kept me from starting a blog for so long. What if people didn't read? What if no one commented? Or worse, what if people only posted mean comments?

    In the end, I realized that I wanted to write for ME. And that was enough.

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  5. I think that blogging is all about putting your strong feelings out there for the world to give you feedback. If you don't take a chance and put out your strong feelings (whether negative/positive, happy/sad, etc.) then you won't really enjoy writing anymore. And that just won't do! I also find myself engaging more with the writer if the feelings are strong, whether or not I agree with them. So yeah. I say jump in feet first. :-)

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  6. It is scary! I edit myself all the time even though my blog is relatively anonymous. It's really hard to not worry about the feedback you will receive. If you publish...I will read!

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  7. I can relate completely to this fear. I am afraid to open up, but I am afraid that if I do not open up it is all for nothing. Thank you for opening up!

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  8. Thanks for this post! It gave me the courage to put a post up today. :)

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  9. The best writing comes from the heart and is filled with emotion. It is cathartic and healthy and should be cherished. I understand deeply the fear of clicking that publish button but I also understand the freedom that comes with expressing who and what you are. Speaking as a friend, I will never judge you. Speaking as a writer, I understand your fear and have some idea of the will-power it takes to overcome it. Whatever you decide, know that people are reading and interested in what you have to say :-)

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  10. Blogging can sometimes be scary and most of the time therapeutic. I love blogging because I want a place to let out my feelings regardless who it offends etc. I want a place to type with my bad spelling and grammar. Luckily we all have those wonderful followers/friends that will comment and read any post you put up, regardless how silly, not making sense etc.

    I find your blogs to be very interesting and insightful!

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  11. We definitely care, or I can speak for myself, and say that I do :)

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  12. See - some of your fear is for not...look at all the comments! You definitely reach an audience and we care what you have to say, even if we don't always respond. Sometimes our biggest impacts are left when we didn't even know we had an impact at all! As said before, fear can be good, making sure we don't go to far. But we also have to decide on whose opinion really matters. Write with those people in mind - the rest can stuff it! You are you, don't change you, we like you!!

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  13. So true, all of what you've written Janet...at least it is for me as well as you. I think because much of what we share in this particular blogging community is about the rawest, most vulnerable parts of ourselves, it can be scary to share that and face the possibility of dead silence. But over time I've realized that I always feel better after sharing the harder stuff on my blog, partly just because it's 'out there' instead of eating me up inside. And I think it's fair to say that no matter how weird or twisted or sad we think our feelings are, there are others who feel the same and can relate. And I agree: if we prune and censor ourselves too much, I feel like we'd end up being just another version of that shallow facebook universe... (I actually have the same problem with comments, feeling so worried on occassion about how others may interpret my feedback that I over-censor myself).
    It's your space and ultimately only you can say what's comfortable to include. But please be assured that I am one reader who cares and will keep reading and commenting!

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  14. Thank you to each and every one of you for the thoughtful and encouraging words. It means a great deal to me. I have infertility to thank for some beautiful and amazing friendships and that is a great gift indeed. xoxo

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  15. I hear you... the no feedback is hard. Especially when you can 'see' that many are reading your posts. I agree, as bloggers we need to support one another. I have some posts that are viewed almost 1000 times, and I'm lucky to get a couple comments! What's that?! Now that I'm back in the blogging saddle (and being sucked into the world of blogs again), I am having a great time discovering new blogs and trying to make a point of commenting, even if it's just to say, "I was here and hear what you have to say". Not everyone feels comfortable putting themselves out to the world, but they need not be afraid of commenting for those of us who do. ;)

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  16. I am sorry to be a lurker. I've been reading your posts for 6 months now and am starting to "care" what I am reading. I do hope you continue to share your thoughts.

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  17. Hey Janet, just wanted to let you know I am still reading every post and definitely thinking of you guys and your struggles.I just read from my phone and can't comment on blogger :(. Thinking of you lady!

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  18. i am so happy you shared the post. i LOVE all you share. i love coming to your blog and knowing that i am going to get to really know how you're doing. you're so real, janet. you don't sugar coat. and i really love that. i remember when i first started blogging...when i wrote that i was going to be using a sperm donor, i almost crapped my pants. literally, when i pressed publish. lol. but then i felt this huge release (off my shoulders, NOT in my pants ;))
    keep doing what you're doing. you rock. <3<3<3

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