Guilt vs. Fear

Mike Duran recently posted a blog about blogging, specifically a condition he calls Shizo-blog. Here are the symptoms (copied word for word from his blog so you don’t have to read it if you don’t want to):

* You feel guilty for blogging because you should be writing your novel
* You feel guilty for writing because you haven’t updated your blog in two weeks
* You feel guilty prioritizing one over the other because with some creative management or self-discipline, you should be able to do both
* You feel guilty about feeling guilty because you expected this writer’s gig would be a lot more fun.

To add to the misery, he quoted from Rachelle Gardner’s blog, where she stated that one of the biggest turn-offs in blogs is when a writer has irregular or infrequent posts.

I have experienced all those guilty feelings from the list. I have been guilty of irregular and infrequent posts. I have been guilty of playing computer games when I should be writing (blogs AND novels). 

And I have discovered that feeling the guilt doesn’t actually motivate me to do what I’m supposed to do. I can happily play solitaire all day long while the guilt simmers in the backfield. At the end of the day, when I have nothing to show for my time, I just think to myself, “I’ll do something tomorrow – today was a mental health break.”

I seem to need quite a few of those mental health breaks. What’s going on? I love to write. I love the feeling I get after a long writing section that produces bunches of good words, all in the right order, and on topic. So why is blogging harder than writing novels? It’s not like I have a word count to meet. I definitely don’t run out of things to say (just ask my husband).

I’ve discovered the true problem: I’m worried that my readers won’t find what I have to say interesting. I’ll bore you into moving on to the next blogger before you’ve finished reading what I wrote. And you won’t leave me comments. And Google Analytics will tell me that only three people read my blog. And they only stick around for 3.4 seconds. And I’m one of those three people, checking to see if the thing actually posted.

So there you have it. The problem isn’t guilt. It’s fear. The solution? Quit being a wuss. Two readers isn’t so bad, is it? It’s better than none. 

-Sonja
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