Why I Don’t Blog

Blogging is scary. There, I said it. The thought that you just write down what you’re thinking on a particular subject knowing that anyone who wants to could read it is, quite frankly, terrifying. Not to mention that a lot of the time when I’m put on the spot like that, all that seems to come out is some half-hearted BS that I didn’t think through. I much prefer writing in the private confines of my own journal that I know nobody will touch. I like to avoid confrontation whenever possible and read over my work a million times before it’s turned in.

As someone who is so terrified of just putting my ideas out there for everyone, my stomach dropped when I heard that we would have a class blog that we would have to post on. I knew I was going to have to get over it eventually, and so naturally I was intrigued by Anthony Sullivan’s article, Why I Blog.  Of course I wanted to know why someone would want to just write something on the fly and have it scrutinized by experts in the field and laypersons alike. No time for painful revisions and careful restructuring? How in the world are we expected to do that? The article though, surprised me quite a bit.

The reasons that the concept of blogging frightens me so much seem to be the reasons that Sullivan loves it so much. While I worry that I’ve made mistakes or argued a point that might be disagreed with, Sullivan relishes in it. Apparently it can be exhilarating to be clued in by experts on why a point you’ve made isn’t necessarily the best one to argue. This does seem to be a good opportunity to learn about a subject, but still to me, it seems mortifying. Also unbeknownst to me, the idea of starting a dialogue through the disagreements elicited through a blog post makes me want to shrink up and crawl under a rock. Who would have known that debating could really be a good thing? I’ve always been too afraid to lose friends and make enemies by engaging in heated debate.

Sullivan’s article has forced me to reevaluate why I am so afraid of being wrong. While he enjoys starting meaningful conversations and learning from the experts, I shy away from it in fear of being made a fool of. Still, I find his writing style to be warm and inviting. The way he writes so conversationally is nice, almost like he is actually talking directly to the reader. Perhaps I’ve had it wrong this whole time, and being right doesn’t mean nearly as much as being wrong and being able to take the constructive criticism. And perhaps, in being so afraid of failure, I actually have failed, because I have stuck so closely to what I think is right that I’m afraid to try and talk about anything that is new.

So, in the words of my mother, I’m going to “put my big girl pants on” and try something that scares me.

4 thoughts to “Why I Don’t Blog”

  1. Hey Kristin,

    I really enjoyed reading your post (and maybe that will sound encouraging considering that blogging isn’t something that you enjoy.) Your honesty really comes across in your writing, which helps validate your ideas of fearing blogging.

    I can definitely understand why the “being wrong” fact of blogging sounds terrifying. After all, most people don’t like to be told “you’re wrong.” It’s not a pleasant phrase to hear. However, perhaps you can quell some of your fears by taking a new approach on writing. (The entirety of my blog post was on how we learn from being wrong on blogs.)

    Perhaps our biggest problem with “being wrong” is that we associate it with negativity. We feel bad about being wrong. We punish ourselves for not knowing it all, but, in actuality, no one knows it all. Everyone has something to learn, and likewise, everyone has something to teach. In fact, if someone corrects you on an issue, maybe that’s actually a really good thing. After all, if writing’s purpose is to teach someone something, this goal becomes even further achieved if you yourself learn something.

    1. Michael,
      I definitely am encouraged to hear you say that you enjoyed my post, and I totally agree that being wrong, or being told that we’re wrong, at least, is associated with negativity or being stupid. Slowly, though, I’m learning that this isn’t true, and the only way to effectively learn is to get things wrong. I guess that’s Shelly’s idea when she says she wants us to fail over and over again, because this is how we truly learn and discover who we are.

      On that note, I’m extremely excited to see where this whole blogging thing goes. I’m planning on breaking my old habits and not being afraid to engage in debates. This blog post was only the very beginning.

  2. I think it’s awesome that you were able to learn something so real about yourself by reading Sullivan’s essay. Ironically enough, you definitely argue a good point about being afraid to blog (something you said you don’t even like doing)! I agree that blogging can be scary. For me, it’s all the backlash that’s possible that stops me from blogging. I hate those trolls that search the Internet, looking for flaws in other people’s writing, just for the sake of arguing. But I also do think it’s important to try something new such as blogging, if it’s something you’re hesitant to break into.

    For me, it’s not so much the blogging that’s the issue. It’s the following up on my blogs. I’ve started and restarted blogs so many times because I’ve been too lazy to post something new or not willing to reread my work before I post it. I think people sometimes forget that blogging is a form of writing, so they post pieces that have spelling errors or grammatical mistakes.

    Blogging is fun, it just requires a lot of energy! But don’t be scared! I’m sure you’ll be great, once you get your feet wet a little. Good luck!!

    1. Thanks, Sara!
      It’s a process, for sure, but I will learn to get over all of the trolls and people who just like to start a fight for the hell of it. I completely understand what you’re saying about following up on your blogs, though, as I imagine it can be time consuming and disheartening (especially when you do have to deal with the occasional harsh critic) as with anything long term.

      I’m getting less scared and more excited as I read everyone else’s posts!

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