The Fear

Confession: I’ve lost my blogging confidence. My posting mojo has gone AWOL. I’m facing The Fear of  self-publishing.

I used to quite happily bang out a couple of hundred words of an evening if something had caught my attention or there was some experience or learning I thought might be usefully shared.

Not only that but I have multiple blogs to compartmentalise my externalisation of thoughts on different matters – here you find my ideas about online communication, there you see the frustrated music hack at work, yonder my yearnings for a finely crafted C90 compilation, there my half-cocked attempts to run a 5k charity race. Yes, I was spreading my thoughts across the interwebs like butter on hot toast!

The last couple of years have seen my involvment in the blogosphere wane although I’m pretty sure I’m the only who noticed. It’s easy to put this down to busy years and bad times but when I felt totally unable to post something here yesterday I really started to question what had changed.

It took me a while to put my finger on it but I think it is a legacy of having recently completed my Masters – something which takes a different mindset to blogging. For my dissertation I was definitely working with a right / wrong in mind and going through myriad checks, improvements, citations and iterations to get to the finished piece.

Blogging is more about ideas and opinions though. Yes, there’s little point in someone sharing information which is clearly wrong in some technical or practical way but when you realise you’re doing little more than throwing your opinion into the online conversation The Fear begins to recede.

So, for me at the moment it’s about changing gear from academic writing with the aim of approval and a certificate at the end to just trying to be helpful, in some small way, online. What’s the worst that can happen? Someone disagrees – brilliant! That means there is a conversation – my blogging is as much about me learning from others as it is about sharing what I think I know.

Dan Slee, ever the champion of blogging particularly about digital comms in local gov, suggested a weekly blogging club to encourage me, and other lapsed bloggers, back into the habit.

So, if you need peer pressure and an editorial calendar to get you going in 2012 then join us – post by noon each Thursday, check the hashtag #weeklyblogclub or follow @weeklyblogclub on Twitter and be mocked by other club members should you fail without providing a note from your mum.

And like all resolutions I make this one with the full intent of seeing it through but I’m also prepared to get a mocking by mid-January (at the latest) should the muse disappear again.

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8 thoughts on “The Fear

  1. Great first blog for the Weekly Blog Club, Sarah.
    You are right, of course – academic writing can be very different. The great thing about the blog format is that it’s up to you.

  2. Brilliant.

    You weren’t there only one who was genuinely a little mournful at your reduced blogging. But it’s understandable with the pressures of work, life and a University qualification.

    With New Year, there’s new approaches and maybe sparing 20 minutes to mull over things no matter if it’s just 200 words is definitely worthwhile.

    Go you!

  3. Thanks both – and thanks for the idea and work on making Weekly Blog Club happen so quickly!
    I find that I get stuck in cycles – the less I blog, the more I procrastinate about blogging, the less I blog but also, conversely, the more I blog the more ideas I have and so the more I blog!
    I’m hoping to get back into a regular pattern of blogging and perhaps try shorter posts here and there – although that isn’t a style I’ve particularly used before.
    Anyway – here’s to a great 2012 with lots of interesting and useful blogs from all in Weekly Blog Club and beyond 🙂

  4. A great first post Sarah. Love the bit: “mocked by other club members should you fail without providing a note from your mum”.
    I ‘phoned my mum but she was out, so I’ll just have to blog after all

  5. Just read your first post and really enjoyed it! Well done for getting started – hope the practice of blogging weekly is useful to both of us as well as anyone reading!

  6. I know what you mean Sarah about getting out of the habit of blogging, it’s certainly happened to me. I hope you find #weeklyblogclub helps you get your confidence back.

  7. Hopefully if we all support and worth with each other the #weeklyblogclub can grow into something, dare I say Epic..

    I’m sure the structure of the club will help those of us who don’t blog as often as we’d like to…

    Nice blog Sarah.. looking foward to next week already…

  8. Thanks Peter and Louise – I’ve enjoyed your first posts for #weeklyblogclub too. I think it’s great that it’s spurred people on to start blogging or take it up again. Here’s to many more great posts and hopefully more people joining in with the spirit of the club over the coming year!

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