I've had a lot of "Honest To Blog" ideas in my little blog notebook for a while now, but many of them I'm sort of hesitant (scared?) to publish. I'm not really sure why I'm hesitant, but I think it's because I start picturing in my mind the individual people who read my blog. Isn't that weird? We start blogs, we network, we build our readership and hope to grow, but as soon as we do, we shut down a very honest and open part of ourselves. Well, I do at least. I guess I can't speak for anyone else.
I think it started for me the first time I had someone approach me in public and introduce themselves as a reader of my blog. To me that's a staggering wake up call like "Oh hey! Duh! Real people out there read what you write! And sometimes you write dumb stuff!" haha It's as though I become much more self-conscious and guarded with each new reader I gain. Sometimes it's just the sheer surprise of who is reading my blog that really throws me for a loop. I've had people come up to me at my bar (!!!) and say they read, or in completely different states as I'm just doing my thing. Don't get me wrong -- I love it. I really do! It's so exciting and flattering (and terrifying) to meet the real people on the other end of the screen. People who continue to lift me up when I'm feeling down, shower me with support, and really help me enjoy this journey. But it's almost as if I have this silly fear of disappointing them in some way, by what I write or say or do. That doesn't even really make sense though. I don't mean to say I'm like some celebrity, because clearly I'm not, but what I'm trying to say is that even with thousands of blog readers, I'm (just) this slightly (totally) insecure girl sometimes who likes to share more than just the surface of things, but it's scary. Plus you always have people who follow you solely for the purpose of criticizing everything you say/do. I've been on the internet long enough to know that. Luckily I've come to terms with not everyone liking me so that's not the issue. But the people who genuinely like me/my blog, and read it daily? Sometimes that's a huge thing to live up to -- no matter if you have 7 followers or 70,000.
Does anyone else feel that way? How do you combat the fear of disappointment or rejection in those situations? I have a laundry list of topics that I'd love to write on, or have been asked to write on, but just thinking about those individual people who read my blog is what keeps me from doing it. Not because the topics are iffy or NSFW, but because with those posts I'll have to expose a little part of me. I'll have to be vulnerable. And to me, knowing the faces behind the screen is way scarier than writing to an anonymous internet. It's like being able to see everyone in the audience while I'm on stage... I'd rather have the blinding lights so I couldn't make out any faces haha
I've made a conscious effort to move my blog back to something more personal as of late. That's always been my intention but sometimes putting up pretty pictures is more popular than personal anecdotes and photos. I don't mind if I only get 10 comments on a personal post because like I said earlier in the year, I want this blog to be a scrapbook. It's a bit silly that I keep having to remind myself of that and I have to give myself these public pep-talks, but I'll do what I need to right? Knowing that family, friends of my parents, and even people I went to high school with read my blog is a scary thing. But I choose to put it out there, and I'm proud of it... I just need to learn to stop feeling so sheltered.
Over the course of the next few weeks/months, I hope to publish all of the articles I've jotted down in my notebook. The nitty gritty, personal posts that I've been too shy to write. I'll rewrite ones that need some tweaking, and I'll hopefully feel better about it once I hit "Publish"... Rather than speak from authority I'll simply speak from experience. Even if they get crickets, less than 10 comments, and the side-eye from the internet worldwide, I know I'll look back on those posts in a few years and scoff at my original hesitance and then I'll cringe at everything I ever wrote. That's the point of a blog, right?!
How about you? Ever felt this way? How do you balance the two?
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Honest To Blog is a
weekly free-writing feature where I share whatever is on my mind. No edits, no filters. Just unapologetic, sometimes offensive, always truthful thought. Click HERE to read all of the past posts in this feature.
PS: I'm having an Instagram closet sale today at 11am CST! You can follow @kaelahscloset on IG to shop! You can also view/comment items online if you don't have access to your phone. Just CLICK HERE!