Gossip. Linkbait. Breaking news. Politics.
All these things draw big traffic to the top websites listed on Technorati.
Yesterday I read a wonderful post over at the BlogHer website, Getting Over My Insecurities and Writing Through It which caused this to be my 4th blog post in less than 12 hours!
I want to write.
I want to write something that will make you laugh. I want to write something that will make you cry. I want to write something that will make you nod your head in agreement. I want to write something that will make you shake your fist at your computer monitor in anger. I want to make something that will make you think. I want to write something that will make you appreciate what you have a little bit more.
I want to write something that will make you jealous. I want to write something that will make you want to be my friend. I want to write something that will make you hate me just a little bit. I want to write something that will make you pick up the phone to call someone to tell them you love them. I want to write something that will make you want to hug someone. I want to write something that will make you want to turn on your music and dance all by yourself. I want to write something that makes you wish you were a kid again. I want to write something that makes you want to grow old.
It was really very touching to me because it spoke about what I want to do when I write but sometimes feel like i’m not the best storyteller. As I write this post, I have 95 posts that have never left draft mode. I am very thankful that my blog has done well, earning a Google Page Rank of 6 and even got a linkback from Lifehacker for an article on Google Voice a few months back. The ongoing challenge is making my blogging as free flying as my words, thoughts and actions.
I used to self filter a lot in real life. I would think of something I wanted to say but hold back for fear of being judged. It felt like a form of paralysis. Each time I could tell I had made the wrong choice because I would dwell on not speaking up. Sometimes the situations would anger me, other times annoy but any way you cut it, I was not expressing myself to my own satisfaction. I was able to overcome this by doing things that helped me break free including:
- Improv comedy classes
- Practice saying things before I said them to someoneJ
- Journaling situations I had experienced
- Getting advice from more outspoken people
Lifehacker used to require approval before you could leave comments. I’d found out about it in 2005/2006 and began to follow the delicious ideas of how to use technology to save time. The concept was entirely new to me and eventually led me to David Allen’s book, “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress Free Productivity” otherwise known as GTD. Finally, I worked up the courage to apply to be a commenter and got the above invitation April 13th, 2006. Boy was I excited! I was going to be a part of the Lifehacker inner circle!
Guess what? I got comment stage fright. That’s right. I wasn’t even writing the main meat and potatoes blog post and over-analyzed my potential comments to the point where I decided against commenting. I just didn’t feel what I had to say would add that much value. Later, I was to learn this is called “Lurking”. Lurking can be done on:
- email lists
- social networks like Twitter
Back in they days of party lines where multiple homes would share a single line, I’m sure there were lurkers just listening in and not talking. See I think if I were a guy it would be creepy but since I’m a girl it’s more geeky uncomfortable than creepy.
photo credit: kungfootv
Why is this a problem? Because part of me wants to engage, to be considered entertaining and funny but other parts want to avoid the spotlight and being noticed. Twitter has been hugely helpful in helping me. With a commitment to be transparent on my blog and Twitter, I’ve openly shared thoughts, ideas, goals and intents that I normally would have kept private. Thankfully, by sharing this information, it has helped me move forward. People have been supportive, have been able to identify with my struggles and have given good feedback.
I will always be an introvert who prefers to spend time alone but I feel compelled to be more social and over the last two years, I’ve made gigantic leaps as if I were running an Introvert marathon!
Now face face when I’m talking to one other person? I’m golden. We can laugh, chat, discuss, brainstorm or just sit quietly.
Add a person and now my brain get a bit tangled. Who to talk to first? Am I making enough eye contact with the second person?
Add a group and now I actually change from my seemingly outgoing and friendly self into “Super Introvert” where I take the role of listener. Now, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing because then I ask a lot more questions and make note of who I want to talk to one to one later on.
- How do you deal with small groups vs big groups?
Thankfully, I have some really good friends and folks in my life who are just fine with how I am. Plus, it has become so much easier than it was a few years ago. I get frustrated because it’s hard to control my reversion to Introvertism. It’s sort of like having the hiccups in church. Some of my friends are real charmers like Brad. He can walk into a room not knowing anyone and 12 minutes later have a group gathered around him while he and several of them are bellowing with laughter. He has a true gift. Hope to connect with him in Las Vegas while I’m there for Blogworld!
And for Lifehacker? It took me almost a year to post my first comment and made about 30 over 3 years:
That’s it. That’s my piece. I’m going to continue efforts to not self censor when writing and continue to read other blogs for inspiration!