If, like me, you’ve ever read an article or two (or two dozen) about blogging, you know which tips come back every time. How you need to offer quality content and graphics, how to promote your blog on social networks, how to create relationships with other bloggers in your niche… And when you have social anxieties, the last one is the kicker.
I’ve never been the outgoing type. As a child, people called me shy. When I grew older, it became obvious that it was less about shyness and more about being an introvert. Both this and very bad friendships through my teenage years led to developing social anxieties, to the point where I struggle on a daily basis to maintain healthy relationships. I have very few friends. I don’t go out of my way to make new ones. Going out with them is a nightmare. I crave solitude but I hate loneliness.
Which is fine (kinda) on a daily basis.
Not so much when you start blogging.
Because blogging isn’t simply about receiving, but about giving. For people to notice you, you have to make yourself noticeable — you have to interact with people, leave reviews, leave comments, follow, like, retweet… I’m not inventing the wheel by telling you that, right? Except… Well except it’s really difficult when you’re a newbie who doesn’t know anyone and has no idea how to create new connections with people. Worse, when doing so is mentally draining to you.
I second-guess myself a lot. Will I sound annoying if I say this? Will that person think I only review to be noticed? I have nothing worthy to say, so should I really say anything at all? What if they judge me? What if they don’t like me? Oh my god, what if they do like me and then I have to navigate the waters of a new friendship?
I wish I was being overly dramatic about it, but this is my daily life as a person crippled by anxieties.
It probably doesn’t help that so many people already have their squad in the blogging world, established friendships that make it even harder for me to go out of my way and find my little spot in the community. Because why would people care when they already have friends, am I right?
I am trying. I am forcing myself to like and comment on Instagram, to participate in Twitter chats, to join a few Facebook groups. But it is difficult for me, and I sometimes wonder if it is all worth it in the end. If blogging is worth the mental exhausting that comes from jumping through many anxiety loops. It is all a vicious circle, you see.