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Blogging Anxiety

Lately I've found myself feeling uneasy about the prospect of posting here.  The reason is:  I've gotten pretty irregular about it, have lost the rhythm, and have to get myself cranked up anew each time.   Sorta like going back to writing after some time away:  it's always harder to re-start than it is to just keep going. 

There are other factors in my hesitation:  I started alerting Facebook friends about many of the blog posts, a seemingly increased visibility which somehow makes me feel I have to meet a higher standard, say something more substantive than I otherwise would.  Not a lot of logic to that, but still it inhibits me. If I have to meet a higher standard, then maybe I should wait until I'm up to it: that's how the rationalizing goes.

So, my approach is to ease back in by stating the problem.  I've found that this is a good approach when I'm writing and start feeling all-in-a-tangle.  Once, many years ago I had an assignment to write a travel story for The Washington Post about North Carolina.  

Well, I've lived here all my life.  Therefore, I approached the typwriter (that's how long ago) without a notebook full of recent notes to supply and limit my knowledge of the place. Instead of  a conveniently finite resource,  my entire life was the notebook.  

I was stymied.

So I took out a sheet of paper to state in handwriting what the problem seemed to be.  I jotted down:  "This is a travel story about home and that is not an easy assignment."  That became the lede of my story.  Rarely does stating the problem work out as neatly as that, but it's usually helpful.   Simply beginning something tends to take the fear of it away.  Even the slightest initial action — like stating the problem –helps.   It's a good technique for anxiety relief.  

So now I've gotten myself started blogging again by stating the problem and letting that take me in an unexpected direction, back to the writing about home and doing work for The Post.  Wasn't so hard.  Now that I'm back at the dashboard, I'll be back here again more regularly. 

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Categories: enhancing creativity

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  • Mamie
    October 21, 2011 at 5:46 am Reply

    Add "worries too much about saying something that no one else has said" and you've pegged my blogging hesitation perfectly.  Especially the part about having a wider audience.  I thought this week about telling myself that I could quit blogging if I wanted to, if I was going to make it such a burdensome thing.  But every now and then something seems so compelling that I turn back to the blog to get it down and share it.  Thanks for the post.

    • October 21, 2011 at 8:09 am Reply

      Well, I hadn’t thought of that one, Mamie. But, now that you mention it, I do hesitate to talk about Steve Jobs.

      And it sounds to me as if you have a good system: blog when something is so compelling…. I do like your blog, the photos/the colors are terrific.

  • October 24, 2011 at 4:48 am Reply

    Another great and inspiring post, Peggy.  I look forward to the next!

  • October 24, 2011 at 11:13 am Reply

    Boy , do you sound human !  And good , glad you're back to more regular blogging .  aiki

    • October 24, 2011 at 3:33 pm Reply

      Thanks, aiki, resoundingly human. Although, I note I haven’t blogged the last few days since I wrote that. Think I’ll do that now.

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