My Blogging Anxiety

17 Feb

I have always been an autobiographical writer. I don’t have the imagination of Roald Dahl or J.R.R. Tolkein. I can’t create worlds, and when I try, it’s never as good. My writing is at its best when I am writing from my heart. I am a storyteller of my own personal experiences. This last week I was at a bar with my Dodgeball teammates, and I was telling them a story from when I worked at the hospital in Reno. All eyes were on me. Everyone was laughing and staring at me with rapt attention. When my story concluded, my one teammate looked at me with wide eyes and said, “Do you have any more hospital stories?” I live for those moments.

I’ve been wanting to blog more, write about my life and my experiences. Like most writers, I am writing/perfecting stories in my head throughout the day. But something happens when I put myself in front of the computer.

I had kept a blog throughout high school and college, putting all my teenage angst and brand-new college experiences on the interwebs for all to see. This was before Facebook. Facebook has changed our world, how we view ourselves, how we can shape ourselves to be viewed by others. But when I was a college freshmen, it was a brand new thing, only available at mine and a handful of other universities. So I put my blog link on my about me.

I remember the moment blogging changed for me. It was the day before heading back to Reno for summer break, post-freshman year of college. My friends and I were all at a party, drinking beer, taking lots of pictures, saying our proper drunken goodbyes. At some point, a couple of my friends came up to me and told me that they read my blog.

Ah, how nice, I thought. My friends read and enjoy my blog! This is a new and exciting experience!

“So who’s the third guy?” they all asked me.

My heart sank. I knew exactly what post they were talking about. The one I didn’t think anyone was ever going to read. It listed three guys that I was flirting/involved/interested in? I don’t really remember the gist of it. But the third guy. I remember. I wrote about how I secretly cared for this person. How when he had a bad day, I wanted to make it better. How I desperately (at the time) wanted to be more than friends, but I didn’t want anyone to know about it. Now everybody knew about it! Throughout the night, different people came up to me asking me who it was. The very boy in question even came up to me and asked me who it was. But I was too young and self-conscious to simply say, “You.” I never approached blogging the same way.

The same situation has been somewhat occurring in the last year. Boys that I’ve dated or become involved with tell me they’ve read my blog, found the link on facebook, or that they googled me and found articles I’ve written elsewhere. I’ve always appreciated it immensely, especially when they gush about liking it (how flattering!), but then I find myself sitting down to write a blog and worrying about every person I’ve dated ever or been friends with ever or briefly met ever reading my blog and judging me.

I love writing that is honest, that discusses serious emotion, complicated situations. This is the kind of writer I want to be. I just don’t know if I’m brave enough to do it.

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