On Blogging with Anxiety {How it Works for Me}

Everyone is different. Everyone’s experience in life is different. Everyone’s experience with mental illness is different. Today I am talking about my life as a blogger with social anxiety {I also suffer from mild general anxiety and chronic depression, so those factors come into play as well}. My experience may not be the same as anyone else, but it is my experience.

When I first started blogging- many, many years ago- I was both terrified someone would read what I had written, and terrified that no one would. Sending my first post out into the world was incredibly hard. But, sending posts out in the relatively anonymous world of the internet is a million times easier than trying to talk to a stranger in real life. {And I’m a retail manager in charge of hiring, training, and coaching employees and dealing with customers on a regular basis, but that’s a whole other topic for a whole other blog}.

Once I got used to blogging, it got easier to send posts out to the world. But I still feel a little bit anxious every time. Will people like it? Will someone post a mean comment? Will anyone read it at all? As I’ve gotten more followers, I feel both more confident and more scared every time I post something new. Confident, because there are a lot more people reading my work and so far {in my book blogging life} no one has posted anything mean. Scared because the more followers I have, the more likely my posts are to be shared, exposing them to even more people who might be trolls and post mean things. In case you haven’t figured it out, my biggest blogging fear is to have people comment mean things… I’ve seen them on other blogs and have gotten a pretty awful comment on an old blog I wrote many years ago.

The hardest posts for me to write are reviews and discussions, because there are so many varying opinions out there. I have a couple of discussion topics that I really want to share my feelings on, but I am so afraid of any push back from other people. I take everything very personally, so any negative comment feels like an attack on me personally. Putting myself out there with discussion posts and reviews is a really big risk for me. I will work on a post for hours, or days, and still hesitate to hit publish. It has helped now that I schedule most of my posts in advance, because the threat isn’t as immediate if I am scheduling a post versus immediately publishing. But there is still some hesitation. I have written full posts that just sit in my drafts folder because I can’t make myself hit publish. Some of them end up in the trash folder because I know that I just can’t send them out to the world.

Memes are by far the easiest posts for me to write and post. This is probably why I do so many of them! When I am sharing a list of books or sharing quotes from a story, I don’t feel threatened, because while I am still choosing which content to share, it is ultimately not something that comes from deep inside me. I also feel a little more comfortable answering specific questions, but still have a bit of trepidation when posting these.

So if blog is so anxiety inducing for me, why do I do it?

Because I love to write. And because, while actually being around a lot of people makes me super nervous, I crave connection with people. And because I have to face my fears and work through them, even if they may induce a panic attack. This is one way that I can safely push through and reach out into the world. Ultimately, writing this blog helps me to open up to new people and creates a platform for me to test myself {like adding regular discussion posts}. While anxiety has held me back from so many things in my life, I have found that every time I can push through, it’s been worth it. I’m not always successful, I still miss out on so much in life, but at least I feel like I’m making some sort of progress.