Blogging in a Whisper: The Secret PostJune 17, 2015
Last week, I posted a blog post saying I’d rather write nothing than not write the truth. And then … I wrote nothing.
The post had a great response, and a lot of people who responded were writers and bloggers and artists that I respect very much who admitted that they struggled with the same problem of feeling fake because of self-promotion. That response was humbling and affirming at the same time, but I still haven’t written anything since then.
The day after that blog, I wanted to write about a movie trailer, but that didn’t seem important enough. (I wanted to compare tone of the trailer of Matt Damon’s The Martian to the tone of the book, which I totally loved reading.) Then I wanted to write about a Birmingham retail development that’s trying to pass itself off as being local when it isn’t, but that topic needed more research and was too big to start writing about. I’ve been the Goldilocks of blogging — I’ve got topics that are too big and too small, but nothing seems just right.
I wrote last week that I’ve become scared to tell the truth, and that’s true. But it turns out the problem might be bigger than that. I might be scared to say anything. Scared that what I have to say isn’t important enough, or isn’t interesting enough, or that it won’t get me likes on social media or traffic on my blog.
I’m scared, and I’m also overwhelmed. Writing a blog post isn’t just writing … it isn’t even mostly writing, usually. It’s adding links and shooting selfies and promoting the post on social media (and then it’s responding to those comments once the post goes live). For whatever reason, I don’t seem to have the stomach for all that stuff right now.
So, here’s an experiment: I’m going to write post this blog without a lot of linking and editing. (I’m going to do a little editing. I’m not a monster.) And then I’m going to post it (gasp!) without a photo and (double-gasp!) without social media promotion. Maybe that means it’ll reach five people instead of 500 — but if there’s one thing I wanted to get across in The Localist, it’s that individual choices, thoughts and conversations matter. So maybe you five people who actually found this blog and read this far are the ones who really matter anyway.
Carrie Rollwagen is author of The Localist: Think Independent, Buy Local and Reclaim the American Dream, creator of 30 Days of Local Praise and co-founder of Church Street Coffee & Books. Find her on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @crollwagen.