BLOGGING FEARS

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Photos courtesy of Pexels

Earlier this year, I came across an article, a letter that had been penned by a young woman named Holly Butcher, who was dying of Cancer, she was only 27 years old. As I read what she wrote from her deathbed I was brought to tears by her message. This young lady obviously didn’t want to die, she hadn’t done all the things she wanted to do, she thought she had all the time in the World to pursue her goals and dreams, like most of us do, yet her time here on Earth was unexpectedly cut short.

We always think we have time, so much time, but who knows how much time any of us really have left.

At the time, when I came across Holly’s article, I had been toying with the idea of writing a weekly Blog. The more I thought about it the more I wanted to do it but I was afraid. I had so many fears about all kinds of things, some of which were justified; while others were downright silly and completely unwarranted; but then I thought about this dying girl and how she will never have the opportunity of doing anything she wanted to do ever again so I decided to do what one of my favorite quotes postulates – “Feel the fear and do it anyway.”

Fear of Oversharing

In this day and age, where everyone shares everything on social media; even the dark and very personal, I sometimes feel old school in thinking that not everyone needs to know everything about me. I am not fiercely private (not like my husband) but I don’t broadcast everything either.

One of the things I discovered in my research about blog writing is that as a blogger one has to have a niche, something to blog about that you’re actually good at and can give expert advice on. So we have our beauty bloggers, our fitness and health bloggers, our fashion bloggers, travel bloggers, lifestyle bloggers; a plethora of blogs are out there with something for everyone.

However, the only thing I consider myself an expert in is my work and myself. I thought damn I have some really interesting cases but I can never write about them for fear (there’s that word again) of trampling on the attorney/client confidentiality clause. So I was left with my only other area of expertise, which meant writing about myself, my life, my very own experiences and that’s where my fear of oversharing came into play.

One should always be authentic with one’s writing; but where does one draw the line between authenticity and telling too much? Let’s face it, some of my stories, despite being heartfelt, are downright embarrassing, for example, this one 5 Lessons I Learned from my Divorce. However, if a writer desires to remain authentic then he or she must speak (write) openly and honestly about all experiences despite the fear of the embarrassing overshare.

Fear of Being Trolled/Stalked

I once had a stalker. I said “once” because I sincerely hope that he is in the past. Believe it or not, this stalker came from my work website. He was never a client nor a potential client but he must have liked how I looked in my pictures or whatever it was that I had to say on my work website because he proceeded to send me weekly emails and leave daily (sometimes several) voice messages on my work phone. This freaked me out!!!

It started in May 2015. At first he would send one email weekly, then it grew into a few emails per week overtime it became a few emails per day. I never once wrote back because based on his emails the guy was a loony. So after months of unanswered emails, he started calling my work phone. I immediately blocked his number, but he still got my voicemail whenever he called so it gave him the opportunity to leave a message and he oftentimes did. He was unintelligible and rambled on and on about nothing or some old cases or problems that he had. He always left his phone number and asked me to call back. I never did. After a while, he must have realized his phone number was blocked because he then went back to his non-sensical emails.

He would take a break from the emailing and phone calls for a month or two then he would suddenly reappear, and start his incessant emailing and calling again. It was nervewracking.

The sporadic email stalking went on for 2 years, which was way too long; before I finally called my web-designer and told him about it. I had no idea my web guy could go in and see where the messages were coming from and block any future messages from coming through to my website email from him. When stalker guy realized he couldn’t email me anymore then he went back to calling. He even left a message alerting me to the fact that something was wrong with my website because he could no longer send me any emails. I kid you not!!!

Anyone remembers how John Lennon got died? He was killed by a crazy stalker who flew all the way from his home in Hawaii and waited outside John Lennon’s apartment building in New York City and shot the Beatles group member to death as he entered the building. The murderer, since then, has done a few interviews from his prison cell, where he gave no real reason for committing the murder more than he was influenced by the book, The Cather in the Rye.

During those 2 years of weird emails and voicemail messages from stalker guy, John Lennon’s story was prevalent in my thoughts. Obviously, I don’t have John Lennon’s fame and harming me will not bring anyone any kind of notoriety but people are certifiable crazy and you never know who is who.

The only thing that made me feel somewhat safe is my husband’s reassurance that he “wouldn’t let anything happen to me” (yeah, I know; but I believed him) and that based on the guy’s voicemail messages and emails he was “probably harmless” but I live in a world of ‘you never know’ so putting myself out there in the form of blogging is a major deal for me because ya know; you never know.

Fear of Not Being Read

Let’s face it, every writer wants to be read. What’s the point of writing if your words aren’t read by others. Unless, of course, the writer writes for therapeutic purposes only; but once the writer hits “publish” he/she wants his writing read.

Most writers want to know that their writing doesn’t suck, or at least I do. We all want to captivate our audience. I won’t speak for all Bloggers, but as for me, I want every word of my piece to be read, from beginning to end; the views are not enough, I want people to actually read what I write; and appreciation of my written words validate me and makes me want to continue to tell my stories.

The fear of not being read at all almost prevented me from ever starting my blog. What if no one cared to read what I had to say? What if people thought I had nothing interesting to say? What if I said it in such a way that I wasn’t able to excite curiosity or attention? What if I couldn’t evoke emotions from my readers? What if I really couldn’t write as well as I thought I could?

All of these fears almost crippled my attempts to start a Blog and almost prevented me from putting myself out there. The truth is, writing has always been my first love, above the practice of law and anything else I have ever attempted, writing is and will always be my first love. I have been writing since I was in high school, and even though I had stopped for a while because the responsibilities of life took over and I pursued other goals, I had never given up on my first true love.

I am sorry that Holly Butcher died but I am glad that the letter she wrote from her deathbed gave me enough inspiration to feel the fear and to do it anyway; to sit down at my laptop, punch those keys and gave me enough guts to hit “publish” afterward.

Thank you, Holly!

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68 thoughts on “BLOGGING FEARS

    1. Yeah, it’s tough to try and figure out, especially these days where everyone is sharing everything. I’m not a fan of the ‘overshare’ so I tred very lightly where that is concerned.

      If I’m typing and I’m thinking that something feels like TMI then I go back and delete it.

      Like

  1. Beautifully written. I think it’s about finding the right balance and what is acceptable to you. Some people share tons as you say- some people not much. I do think however that people who read blog posts like to get to know a little bit about the person they read about πŸ˜ŒπŸ™πŸ»

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love this post. I have always had anxiety and depression. I never took anything for it and worked it all out in my head over the years. It really comes down to walk towards the things you fear. Don’t run from them. If you’re depressed, stay busy and keep good people around you. My biggest fear of starting a blog 2 years ago is I wouldn’t follow through and would simply stop writing. I also feared I wouldn’t have enough content. I started out writing one blog a week just like you. For the last year I publish everyday, twice a day.

    The stalking… that’s just scary and I can’t imagine living with that for 2 years. My daughter had to get a restraining order against some clown, but thankfully it was a preemptive strike and nothing ever happened. But those sort of things should always be taken very seriously.

    On a final note… who cares if nobody reads it. It’s great to get likes and comments. I enjoy the attention from my 1300 followers and over 40,000 hits to my blog. But I remember back in the days when I played in bands in the late 70’s and early 80’s. We played our music for US. It was for our pleasure to make music. It was great that a bunch of people showed up and sometimes we even got paid, but it was always about the ROCK.

    Write about whatever you want. It’s YOUR life and Your blog! πŸ™‚ If you keep at it after awhile it will begin to take on a life of it’s own. But you’ll be the one creating it.

    All of your posts have been scheduled to be promoted on phicklephilly starting 1/5/19, every Saturday at 3pm.

    That will definitely get your site more traffic. I can also show you some ways to improve navigation on your site.

    So keep writing and enjoy the ride of life. It’s fleeting and fragile.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Charles, my woderful and engaging reader Charles! I do love it when you comment on my posts. Your commentary is always insightful, encouraging and extremely complimentary.

      Yaaaay, thank you for scheduling my posts to run on your site. It’ll be great exposure for my Blog, espeially with you having over 1300 followers. I’m totally psyched about this. I hope to keep writing great content that your readers will love.

      I do get what you’re saying about the “who cares if anyone reads” notion but if I’m being honest with myself, I do care. I want readers. If I didn’t want readers then I’d just write in my journal. Hahaha. I want people to enjoy reading my writing just the way I enjoy reading a good book. I want people to want to come back week after week and read more; that will keep me inspired and motivated.

      I am very interested in learning how to improve navigation to my site. Oh, hell yeah! I will send you a private email on the subject and then we can take it from there.

      Thanks again for reading and comemnting, Charles. Your words and advice are full of wisdom.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Amazing piece! I love your authenticity. One of my biggest fears is oversharing and not being heard. I’ve always been a very private person and blogging has been a way for me to express my emotions. However it frightens me the idea of writing something that means so much to me and it not being understood or even looked at. I do get consumed in this fear from time to time but now I try to focus my energy on expressing myself without expecting people to relate nor understand. As long as I share my truth and it’s authentic to me that’s what matters. Thank you for sharing this with us πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Ash!
      Thanks for stopping by…I hear you on the notion of being misunderstood and unrelatable; since we never know who is reading our blog posts. It’s tough to put ourselves out there, especially our true, authentic selves but it is so worth it when we come across readers that get us; which is exactly what has happened here. I am glad you happened on this post because you seem to get me and I totally get where you’re coming from with your comment…Like you said though we have to “focus” our energies on expressing our truths. It’s the only thing that matters.

      Thank you so much for reading. I appreciate your commentary.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re so right! It’s scary putting your authentic self out there but life wouldn’t be fulfilling if we hide who we are. As long as we are being honest with ourselves and our expression, the right people will always appreciate it. It’s my pleasure… a great post 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey Racquel! If you did not put it out there that you feared whether people would read your blog, I would never have known. Your writing is bold, funny and from the heart which makes me look forward to reading each and every one of your blogs. Write on my friend…we are here waiting to read.

    Happy that the stalker is now just a bad memory. So many weirdos out there.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think that when we open up and write from our personal experiences, we connect with our readers in a deeper way. It’s the best we can do.

    Your stalker sounds very scary. I had a stalker when I was younger, too. It was not fun. You do read horror stories about stalkers. Stay safe!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. πŸ™‚ I will admit, that the majority of bloggers do appreciate it when people take notice of their blog.

    And, tell me: why would someone choose to ignore your blog?

    You seem to have a loyal fanbase (Which means, you are doing something right).

    Do have yourself a wonderful week!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Hey, Hey Girlllllll…
    This was such an inspiring write-up. My mind went back to Holly and how she probably thought that maybe her passing on would not make much difference in the world; I sure would like her to know that although her life was cut extremely short, she’s still changing lives and causing people to take fear by the horns and ride it out.

    Oh Wow about the stalker – you’re so right. We never know who people really are and I’m one that doesn’t like to put anything past them either. I always say people are dangerous because you never know what they’re really thinking. I hate you had to go through that for two years!!! oh my!! – I can imagine you being on edge and the John Lennon tragedy was horrible. That’s almost as bad as the Christina Grimmie situation, which was sooooo sad – obsessed fan, got into her concert and she hugged him and he pulled out a gun, shot her and himself. Come to find out he had been stalking her for quite some time and thinking that she was his wife and so on and so on, I just know a beautiful spirit is gone. You never know about people.

    I had some similar fears with blogging – but then again, I don’t think people read it enough to think about following or stalking….LOL LOL LOL. But hey, you never know right??. I’m so glad you trampled fear and did it anyway, I would never have met you if you haven’t and I love your posts. True Fan/without the stalker tendencies =)

    Hope you’re having a great Day, Sis.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sorry to hear about your creepy stalker, here’s hoping he crawled back under his rock for good! But I know what you mean about not wanting to share everything, there’s a fine line between wanting to be honest and truthful and not expose yourself unnecessarily. There was a time vented everything… family trouble, relationships et al. It bit me in the ass big time so now I tend to keep my posts light. Truthfully, I doubt I’m worth the effort it would take to stalk!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Here’s hoping he crawled back under his rock for good”…Girl, you and me both!!!

      Venting is great because sometimes all we have to do is to let it all out to feel better but unfortunately we have to ensure that we vent through the right channels. We learn from our mistakes and we also learn from others’ mistakes. I am hoping to learn from yours and I’ll try to be careful with the oversharing. My husband is so fiercely private every time I mention him in a post I have to re-read my sentence 10 times to make sure I am not violating his privacy. LOL. πŸ˜ƒ

      As for my son, after I posted this one about him http//:www.racquelwrites.com/2018/07/20/mothering-from-the-sidelines/ he has forbidden me to write anything else about him but who’s paying attention to a 14-year-old?! LOL

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Your husband sounds just like mine. I told him I quit blogging years ago because he had a fit I was sharing things with strangers. Geesh, I wasn’t spilling bedroom secrets! But he’s fiercely private as well and hates social media.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks for sharing this. I enjoy reading personal insights and stories because people are interesting! That’s so scary about the stalker. I admit to that same fear. I’ve taken a few steps lately to reduce my vulnerability online , but I know a determined person can do a lot of harm. Especially in this age of extreme political fanaticism. For some it’s not enough to agree to disagree, they aim for revenge on those they believe are destroying what they value. You just never know . But anyway, I think your writing is very good. Keep I up!

    Like

    1. Hi P; that’s the reason I stay away from commenting on or even readinng the political posts. Your politics is your business and mine is my business. I simply won’t get into a debate about your opinions versus mine; or who is right versus who is wrong; especially with those who aren’t brave enough to post a profile picture of themelves or use their real names. They hide behind anonymity then try to bait ….Ain’t nobody got time for that. Keep your opinions and I’ll keep mine.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. All bloggers have fears and doubt – even after they start publishing regularly. I’d even venture to say that those bloggers who have thousands of followers and comments ALSO have fears. I don’t think they will ever go away. They may dim or quiet, but I think they will always be there. We humans have such fragile egos and we’re always looking for the easiest way to accomplish things; so when something goes left, many throw in the towel exclaiming it that it just didn’t work out. it’s the few that keep going despite all the things that go wrong that will find success – and I’m certain you are one of those few.

    You already know I love your blog posts and truly look forward to reading them – I’ve even bugged you when you were “late” in your posting schedule. Focus on writing for those of us who yearn to learn about you, who look forward to laughing with (or at) you and who want to learn from you. WE are your audience and the “we” is growing. That already makes you a successful blogger in my book.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Wonderful piece Rakkelle! I love how you included personal experience about blogging in this. There’s most definitely lots of things to fear, with writing, living, with almost everything… Fear of failure is usually how the list begins… You though, have succeeded to catch attention and more with your blog! I’m sure I’m one of many who feels such a way. Thank you for the encouragement to feel fear and try it anyway:) Well written!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My sentiments exactly!

      When we get really old and we are seating out on our front porch looking out at the stars and reminiscing about our youth we will be happy that we faced the fear and followed our dreams of public writing.

      Thank you for reading and commenting, black little mermaid (love your pen name, by the way).

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Hello Rakelle I am very happy you got over your fears by writing such wonderful blogs. You have a protector to keep you safe from stalkers in your husband and your web guy. I am sorry Holy died also without reaching all her goals. Have a great future with fun, love and endurance in your work.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Inspiring piece. I’m grateful you overcame your fear and chose to start this blog, to write and share You and your experiences. I find your blog very interesting and I find myself clinging to every word until the end. You have succeeded in getting me to read your blog and so congratulations are in order….you followed your true love, it’s reaching readers like me, and is appreciated. Inspiration!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. For me, blogging has been incredibly therapeutic, it also helps me to communicate much clearer and more concise in my day to day life.

    I know that my blog probably turns a lot of people off, yet I persist.

    I enjoy your blog Rakkelle, you have a knack for expression.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I enjoy the views inside your mind revealed by your blogs. Some heart views too… and bits of Soul.

    This thing that you do where you feel the fear and do it anyway… you show up and write… that’s bravery.

    Thanks to Holly for inspiring you to continue to drop words of blessing. Kudos to you Racquel for honoring Holly’s memory in this way. Really touched my heart.

    On another note, I’m looking forward to a blog post (or three) on fashion … you’ve got great style… of you feel inspired to write on that topic 😊.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awwww, what a fantastic comment. YOU HAVE MADE MY MORNING…Thank you! Thank you!

      You’ve just given me an idea – I will do a piece on fashion. I do love clothes. I’m not an expert, never worked in the industry but I agree I do have some style (if I may say so myself) so I will definitely do a piece on fashion. Great idea! See now YOU are inspiring me. πŸ˜ƒ

      Like

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