Do you suffer from Blogging Jitters?

Recently, I’ve written three blog posts, of which I’ve published absolutely none of them. Not only is this a little bit frustrating, but I’ve also been thinking about the reasons behind it, and for catching a condition that is best described as Blogging Jitters.

Not being able to click on the magic publish button, and to share the work which has had plenty of time and effort spent on it, may come down to some of these reasons:

  • Not being 100% happy with the quality of the post
  • Not being 100% confident that the intended message is being conveyed clearly
  • Feeling like the moment has passed

Maybe I’m reading too much into this. Maybe I’m being over analytical. Maybe I should have just taken the plunge. My gut told me otherwise though.

Publishing a post about the fact that previous posts haven’t been published is probably a bit strange, but I think Blogging Jitters is a subject in itself! With that in mind, I ask:

  • Have you ever suffered from Blogging Jitters?
  • If so, what do you think were the reasons behind this?

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  • http://twitter.com/iclairemeredith Claire Meredith

    Definitely! Crafting an article on a topical subject without being nervous that Someone has done it Much Better before, is a biggie for me. But after all, we each have our own take on a subject, our knowledge is built from a variety of sources and experience, and, unless we get comments akin to ‘get off the stage!’, I don’t think we should be jittery. However, that said, I would first work out exactly who it is you are writing for.

  • http://twitter.com/Libbys_Made_It Marion Bignell

    Hi Robert. Your third point about the moment being gone…….I often wonder if i am guilty of being very picky about what o write and suffering a lack of confidence in my abilities….then subconsciously agonising about it till I can use the “lost moment” excuse. Good to have the opportunity to think about it….Thanks! I look forward to seeing comments from more experienced bloggers as I am only a couple of months into it.

  • http://www.robertpickstone.com Robert Pickstone

    Hi Marion. I think sometimes people may see making a post as taking a risk, and this may lead to the confidence issue. Saying that, some may think the ‘moment has passed’ when it actually hasn’t – they have just talked themselves into it. I was going to post recently about my new job role and how grateful I am to those who helped me online, but I honestly feel like the moment has passed a little – it’s old news (or am I just telling myself that!). Thanks for leaving a comment and I look forward to reading some of your posts!

  • http://www.robertpickstone.com Robert Pickstone

    Hi! Telling a blogger to get off stage would be very harsh in my opinion, especially if the content is being given out for free! If it’s paid for, that’s a slightly different discussion. I think you’re right – it’s natural to have nerves (unless you’re very thick skinned or don’t care what readers think) and it’s also normal to have very different experiences which can lead to a post. Do you blog often Claire? If so, did you have different confidence levels with different posts?

  • http://www.inspiration.co.uk Ash Mashhadi (@inspirationguy)

    Rob, I can honestly say I haven’t suffered from Blogging Jitters and here’s why you shouldn’t either:

    1. Whenever you post it’s interesting and thought-provoking
    2. Whenever you post it’s your authentic voice that I can hear through your typed words and that can’t date
    3. It’s never too late to thank people for help of friendship. Thanks for yours, by the way
    4. You are over-thinking it. Do it; if you fail, that’s one failure down & out of the way, so you’re closer to success as a blogger
    5. When your gut says “better not send this one out, it might not go down well”, that’s your lizard brain talking. Ignore it (read Linchpin by Seth Godin for more)
    6. If you’ve gone to the trouble of writing and crafting the words and thoughts, those ideas deserve to see the light of day. Let them fulfill their purpose.

    At the end of the day, just publish. If it goes wrong what’s the worst that could happen? Will anyone die as a result? Will you?

    Occasionally, we all write some rubbish, but it’s usually only a blip – think of it as a stepping stone in the journey of finding your blogging voice. Step on and step up. We’re dying to know what you have to say; give us a chance to read it.

  • http://www.robertpickstone.com Robert Pickstone

    Thank you very much, Ash. Those are some kind words. Maybe I have over thought the last few posts, but in another way I think it is a good trait to only want to publish the best possible posts. It’s not a confidence issue – I have been blogging for a while and constantly do things which require more than a little confidence – but maybe I am over analysing my posts. The thing is, I know I’m not the only blogger who suffers from Blogging Jitters – some will admit to it and some won’t!

    Over the next few weeks, I will publish a couple of posts and see what happens ;-)

  • http://twitter.com/ACJon Jon Anderson

    There’s a very famous and relevant quote that has spawned books, careers and even exhibitions.
    “Publish and be damned” Arthur Wellesley, who is the First Duke of Wellington. This was in response to a publisher trying to blackmail him about printing the memoirs of one of his mistresses.

  • http://twitter.com/ACJon Jon Anderson

    Spot on Ash

  • http://www.robertpickstone.com Robert Pickstone

    That’s very interesting Jon – I will have to find out more! Maybe I should try and keep this in mind, or wipe it from my mind ;-)

  • http://www.inspiration.co.uk Ash Mashhadi (@inspirationguy)

    As I say, Rob, it’s never too late to thank people :-)

    I’ll look forward to reading your posts over the next few weeks. You can read my latest one here: http://www.inspirationzone.co.uk/inspirationblogpost.asp?serialnumber=129

  • http://www.jedlangdon.com/ Jed Langdon

    Rob, you are definitely not the only person that suffers from blogging jitters and that is a good thing. As Ash has said below, Seth Godin described this perfectly as the ‘Lizard brain’. This is the part of the brain that wants to fit in and conform, and not stand out. I’m betting that a lot of people have the same problem when they are about to send an email that is confrontational, or that is directed to people more senior than them. We are wired to keep ourselves to ourselves and not stand out, especially us English.

    I think blogging jitters are a good thing because they show that you are trying to push the boundaries and explore new ideas. It also means that your mind is open to change, because your brain is telling you that what you are saying isn’t necessarily a complete truth. After all, if it was a complete truth you would be totally comfortable with posting it, and the chances are hundreds of other people would have talked about it first. This would just be boring!

    Anyway, end of rant, but embrace the blogging jitters! They mean that you are saying something worth talking about. We just can’t let them rule us. When I get them, I just close my eyes and hit publish, or send ;)

    Great post, and brilliant comments too from all the people below!

    Cheers,
    Jed

  • http://inplymouth.com Lynne Mashhadi (@plymouthblog)

    It’s a good issue to raise Rob as I’m sure a lot of people suffer from it. It’s always a good thing to assess whether what you’re saying is of interest to people. However if it’s interesting to you (and it must be or you wouldn’t have written it) then it will undoubtedly interest other people too.

    I love the ‘publish and be damned’ quote that Jon reminded us of. Don’t worry about missing the moment as an interesting issue can always be revisited. The more posts you publish, the less you will suffer from blogging jitters, so GO FOR IT!

  • http://www.robertpickstone.com Robert Pickstone

    Rant away! Please!

    Without pushing boundaries, we would be living in a very boring place. Structures within a workplace, and within social settings (which can often be created in people’s minds), can often create fear. This fear can be the reason people don’t make that step. Another possibility though is that someone may be very comfortable within their environment and may not actually want change – this can come down to the type of person someone is and what really motivates them.

    I believe this can also be applied to blogging and the use of social communications. Brian Solis wrote about it a few months ago. Many people are sharing content they know others will like, but far less people are creating content and putting themselves in the firing line. How many bloggers out there really take risks? How many people share blog posts but rarely write one? Is this a comfort zone thing? Is this a case of sharing content you KNOW others will approve of? So many questions!

    As a side note, I also think there are some great comments below, and I find it interesting how many people are focusing on confidence in relation to the message that is being conveyed, rather the quality of the post. In my case, I’m almost always happy with what I’m saying, I can just over analyse the way in which I’m saying it which is slightly different. It can be like handing in a piece of school work – you know you could have written that essay a little better but it needs to be handed in anyway! Wait too long and the deadline will have passed (or the moment will have gone).

    Thanks

    Rob

  • http://www.robertpickstone.com Robert Pickstone

    Thank you, Lynne.

    I have heard many people give advice along the lines of “write for yourself and the right audience will find you – write just for your audience and you will struggle to keep them all happy.”

    The beauty of hitting the publish button can be the conversations that take place afterwards – they can encourage learning and have certainly given me even more ideas about what to post next!

    I mentioned this to Jed a minute ago and not sure what your views are – posting something which is not of highest quality can be like handing in a piece of school work – you know you could have written that essay a little better but it needs to be handed in anyway! Wait too long and the deadline will have passed (or the moment will have gone).

    Thanks again for spending the time to leave a comment – I really appreciate it :-)

  • http://raulcolon.net Raul Colon

    Robert,

    My friend @raffel published this great post days ago “Why fear should not keep you from publishing?” http://jimraffel.com/2011/03/22/why-fear-should-not-keep-you-from-publishing/

    It helped me get a post out that I had sitting there for weeks since I did not think It was right.

    I also have to agree below with Ash since his points also are good reasons to make sure you publish everything you write.

    On my side I over think everything and I run into the same issues you do is people like ASh and Jim that help me move forward with posting!

  • http://twitter.com/daleGmoore Dale Moore

    I’ve done much worse that suffer blogging (publishing a post) jitters: I haven’t even set up a blog yet! So what’s your recommendation for that Rob? Do I just stop thinking about it and start doing it? Is it mere procrastination or is there a deeper reason?

    I think the points you so eloquently raise above are very valid reasons. If we care enough about what we write, we will inevitably be over cautious and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s a testament to the fact that we want to get it absolutely right. I think this is completely normal and healthy and is the sign of a good, responsible blogger. So good for you Rob!

    But there are times when we just need to press that publish button :-)

  • http://twitter.com/GaryDayEllison Gary Day-Ellison

     Mine jitters are just wondering how much people really want to read my posts. I guess I shouldn’t as the view numbers are good and there tend to be comments left. Insecurity I guess!

  • http://www.robertpickstone.com Robert Pickstone

    I get the feeling that you enjoy writing posts anyway? So even if people didn’t read them or didn’t comment (which is not true) you would keep going because you write for yourself as well as for others?

    Sometimes I’ve published posts and thought that I am asking an awful lot for people to spend their time reading and leaving comments. These people have lives to live! Any views or engagement is a huge bonus. My last post probably offered more value and advice than any others, but received no comments but lots of reads.

    The stats and feedback you’ve had prove that people want to read your posts. Don’t over think it – that’s a problem I’ve had! Just speak to @inspirationguy:disqus on Twitter and he will give you the push you need!

  • Cover My Cast

    Oh Dear!!!! I’ve been reading your blog and found this; I’m embarassed to see that I posted here three years ago and only this month I’ve been holding back on telling quite an important story for our business………and I saw Ash this morning too! I should get cracking and get it posted – on Facebook & Twitter at least eh? ( I posted under my name…Marion Bignell)

  • http://www.robertpickstone.com Robert Pickstone

    I would love to read your next post, Marion! Many of us hold back from sharing stories now and again ;-) Do you want to leave the link here when you do and I’ll be sure to have a look! Also, say hi to Ash from me the next time you see him, he is a top guy!