On Blogging and Insecurity
One would think that when you reach a certain age, you would outgrow your insecurity.
One would think.
It's pretty much par for the course in junior high and high school, but I don't know if insecurity always exits so neatly.
I first noticed this recent insecurity flare-up when I started to go to the Zumba class in my community. Well, it's not really my community - it's one town over; my community is like the slightly less-smart, less-talented, less-attractive younger sibling. Nevertheless, that was where it started.
First of all, I felt a little uncomfortable because #1, I didn't know anyone, and #2, I didn't know Zumba. I got over my awkwardness of Zumba soon enough and learned the routines, but it was the 'not-knowing-anyone' that threw me off balance. It wasn't so much that many of these ladies seemed to know each other; it was more that they just seemed so exclusive about it. In the 2 years I've been going there, I can count on one hand the number of conversations I've had, and on two hands, the numbers of smiles exchanged. Their big diamond rings, their designer work-out clothes, their plastic surgeries...I began to feel a little...well, insecure.
Now seriously, it is only an hour class, and for sure, it wasn't going to crush me. Big deal. But I didn't like how I was feeling.
However, my most recent bout of insecurity touched me a little more personally - with blogging.
I'm not a big-time blogger but my sister, who is more of a big-time blogger, kept saying to me, "Katie, you should self-host. You could write for money, you can amp up your blog design...I can help you with all of that."
I told her I wasn't ready for that; I liked what I had and wasn't feeling like I wanted to go anywhere. However, she did turn me on to SITS again (which I had known from my earlier blogging days). SITS is a fantastic blog support group that is huge, and it's where a lot of the more independent, big-time bloggers hang out (and small-time, too. It's for anyone).
Well, in January, a new SITS Facebook group started, which I immediately joined. And that was where I started short-circuiting. All of the sudden, I was bombarded with tips and etiquette and rules like: using Google+ instead of Facebook, having 'pinnable' pictures in your posts, sharing 10 items on G+ for every personal post you share, asking questions on Facebook to get discussions going, putting your blog link in the 'comment' section instead of the 'status' section, following X number of people every day, growing your Google circles, tweeting 3x a day, attending link-up parties, commenting and following back, knowing the best times to post on Facebook, G+, Twitter, Pinterest...
Whaaaaat??? Where am I???
While this is sage advice from the experts (I mean that seriously, not sarcastically), I was feeling overwhelmed. Completely. What happened to just writing??? Instead of being a content guppy in my pond, I felt like I was thrown into the ocean and was drowning.
Now, I wasn't trying to be these bloggers overnight - or even at all - but I couldn't help feeling very small. In some discussions, of course, numbers came up, and a blogger mentioned how she got 15,000 views in a month. Ummmm....I've been blogging seven months and I still haven't hit that number in total.
So, as best as I could, I took their advice (as every good, type-A girl does): I cleaned up my Google + profile, I made a Twitter account, I started following and tweeting and pinning and linking up....
And that was when I started to feel insecure. I felt like my tweets and posts and pins and links were being buried under a mountain of all the other posts and pins and links out there. I joined in on some link-up parties, and I felt like the ugly, nerdy girl who was trying to weasel her way in with the popular cheerleaders. Now, I know this is all in my head - and I hardly think anyone is judging me or giving me a second thought, good or bad.
But maybe that was the point - not a second thought.
Up until now, I guess I felt like the people who were reading and following my blog were doing so because they actually liked it. Not because it was a gratuitous follow or an obligatory read because I 'linked up' or I had 'followed' them.