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Do You Ever Feel Foolish?

Do You Ever Feel Foolish?

FoolPutting your thoughts out there for the world to see can be frightening enough. What happens when you make a blunder and feel like the whole world is laughing at you?

It could be that you are ashamed of just being a blogger. There are a lot of social circles that look down on blogging. You see this a lot in Digg comments. Either they think it is too nerdy or they are confused about what a blog is.

Maybe you are afraid of making a public mistake? Ask anyone who has been blogging for a while and I am sure each will have an embarrassing story to tell. It’s inevitable at some point you will do or say something you wish you hadn’t.

There is a parallel between blogging and public speaking. It’s putting your reputation on the line in a scenario where you might stumble. While you have more opportunity to edit a blog, in many cases once you hit publish your thoughts are public.

So what can we do about it?

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  1. Feel the fear and do it anyway – There is more benefit than risk if you are sensible.
  2. Change your name – If you must, post under a assumed pen name.
  3. Don’t publish instantly – Post in draft and take some time to review and edit. Check your facts. Ask yourself if you are happy to reveal what you have written about.
  4. Make friends – I can’t tell you how many times my blogging friends and loyal readers have come to my aid when I have gotten into trouble with particularly vitriolic attacks. The support system you can get from fellow bloggers is wonderful.
  5. Don’t sweat it – Writing is a sure fire way to get knocks. It is inevitable. But this is no reflection on your writing, just that the audience is going to contain those folks who like to pull others down rather than create something of value. Expect it and do your best to ignore them.

We must overcome our fragile egos to achieve anything worthwhile. You might as well get some practice in by blogging!

Do you have any tips for a timid blogger? How have you overcome the fear of embarrassment? Please share in the comments …

View Comments (7)
  • Interesting article, I agree with the parallel to public speaking. But what if you’re not cut out for either? Some people must reach the point where they would rather be a reader than a writer.

  • I’m not at all timid or afraid of expressing my opinions and views, whether through blogging or in public speaking.

    I’m naturally Assertive (not Aggressive), so the best thing timid writers/people can do is to ask themselves “What is the worst thing that can happen if I say or do x,y,z”.

    Then answer your own question with how you would respond to the particular problem, and that can help ease the fear and anxiety from speaking your own mind, or trying to be a people pleaser.

  • @Tom – I am sure there are people who would rather be a reader, and that is totally fine, but I would encourage everyone to at least try to comment :)

    @Lin – What is the worst that can happen is a good question to ask. So long as we stay realistic :)

  • I like to quote the famous phrase “pearls before swine” from the Bible occasionally when I’m writing a post that I think may make me feel like an idiot, or just misunderstood. It’s true that sometimes we write stuff on our blogs that people might misinterpret or criticize, so I think there’s a lot of fear that goes with that. I try to remember that not everyone’s going to understand my brain, and that’s probably a good thing! haha!

  • #3 is particuarly good advice. I would add that you should not write what you would not say face to face to a person. The anonymity of the Internet makes people brave.

  • So many truths :)
    Blogging is a lot like public speaking … but also completely different! How many of these tips can you apply to public speaking?
    Also, it sometimes seems that the audience is against you from the start when you blog, but with you from the start when you are giving a talk.
    I like ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’, though.

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