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New to Blogging? Ditch the Fear of Judgement

Posted By Ellen Jackson 10th of November 2016 Writing Content 20

New to Blogging? Ditch the Fear of Judgement | ProBloggerBy ProBlogger psychology expert Ellen Jackson.

You will become way less concerned with what people think of you when you realise how seldom they do.

David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest.

I wrote my first blog post two years ago, after a seven-year hiatus from writing.

It was not an intentional hiatus – it was fear-induced. I was scared of feeling. Of feeling inadequate. Feeling incompetent. Feeling like a failure. Feeling judged.

I wrote that first blog post quickly. I didn’t edit. I didn’t think. I just wrote. When the writing stopped flowing, I hit publish and posted the link to a Facebook group.

I had started.

New to Blogging? Ditch the Fear of Judgement | ProBlogger

It’s not you. It’s everyone.

The fear factor in blogging is big, and not just for newbies. Experienced bloggers still wonder how their thoughts will be received. They feel the fear, but do it anyway.

Putting your work and words into the world is terrifying. You’re vulnerable. You’re exposing your soft underbelly, flinging your arms wide and saying, ‘Here I am. Judge me.’

But what if no one is judging you?

What if that judgement, that fear, those feelings, are all in your head?

Stop reading minds.

We’re all mind readers. We’re forever in other people’s heads, planting ideas in their minds, putting words in their mouths.

‘They’re going to read this and think: ‘She doesn’t know what she’s talking about.”

‘Everyone has written on this topic before. They’ll know I don’t have any new ideas.’

‘They’ll think I’m an idiot if I write about that’

But you know what? They’re not thinking about you. They’re too busy thinking about themselves.

Psychologists call the assumption that others are critiquing us a ‘thinking error’. It’s a form of cognitive distortion. We believe we know what others are thinking based on our own fears, thoughts and ideas.

It’s not reality. It’s your belief and perception, and it’s not helping you. Spend too much time imagining what others think of you and your words and you become paralysed by your fears. You think and overthink and worry and procrastinate.

You’ll never get that blog post out there.

That’s what I learnt from my long break from writing. That my fear was perception, not reality. I was feeling inadequate and feared failure, but that was about me. It was not about anyone else and playing make believe was frustrating and limiting.

New to Blogging? Ditch the Fear of Judgement | ProBlogger

To get over it and get my writing out there I remind myself that:

  1. No one will die. It’s a blog post, not neurosurgery.
  2. There’s a lot of information on the internet and whatever I write will sink eventually. If I write and publish, my ideas might have their moment in the sun. They may help someone else. If they sink without a trace, the only thing lost is my pride.
  3. What if I succeed? A great blog post is a small step on the road to success. Why not start here? You have to start somewhere.
  4. You can’t please all the people all the time. Nine out of ten people might hate what I write. But what about the one person who reads it and says, ‘Wow, that is so helpful?’ That’s the person who needs me to write.

If you’re new to blogging and you’re hesitating, worried about what others will think do this: Write quickly, write from the heart and hit publish. Don’t read minds. No-one’s judging. I promise.

 

About Ellen Jackson
Ellen Jackson from Potential Psychology is a psychologist who does things differently. She writes about people and why we do what we do. She coaches, she teaches and she helps workplaces to do the people part better.
  • Good post. I tell my friends this over simple Facebook posts. No-one cares, or remembers!

    • Great post.

      Most new bloggers have many fears. Even I had when I launched my first blog in 2010. I had feared whether I’ll be successful or not.

      I had feared when Google rolled out frequent updates. I feared when others were succeeding.

      Now, I’m successfully making money. In the end, what matters most is, persistence. Continue even if you are not getting results.

      Just make sure you are focusing on yourself not others.

    • We’re tricky, complex beings aren’t we Gary? We do all get caught up in what others think at times. I always try to ask myself, ‘Is this helping me?’
      Cheers.

  • Hey Ellen,

    You are absolutely right. I have experienced the fear of the judgement. In my starting days, I used to think what would people think about my blog posts?

    As each topic has been covered but still the main thing is that we all have our own writing style.

    The bloggers shouldn’t care about anyone. I mean who have the time to judge anyone else?

    Every blogger is trying to figure out about his/her blog.

    You have brought up an amazing post.
    Thanks for sharing with us.
    ~Ravi

    • So pleased you liked it Ravi. You’ve got a great perspective on the world :-)

  • I have a start a blog but I don’t understand how to promote my site?? Can you tell me what i do?

    • There’s so much information available online for this Ashley. Try the ‘Start Here’ page here on the Problogger site. Good luck!

  • hi, Thanks for such a inspiring article.
    Most of the new bloggers struggle at the very beginning about writing posts.
    And this article will help them gain confidence.

  • Phoenicia

    Encouraging article.

    I have been a blogger for two years and those same thoughts came flooding through my mind. It would be unrealistic to expect the majority to enjoy reading my blog as I simply do not appeal to everyone. Of course I would like my blog to be successful but with readers and followers who are inspired and educated by it.

    I have a passion for writing and will not allow my insecurities to stop me from doing so.

    Keep up the great work!

    • So pleased you like it Phoenicia. I’m forever reminding myself that my writing will only appeal to a small segment of the reading population. It does help to get over that fear and to get your words out there.
      With best.

  • Den

    Such a timely post for me. It reminded me to make more output.

    Thank you for this reminder!

  • Hey,

    Blogging is not like a recipe where we add this ingredient, then this ingredient, mix it all together and out pops the cake in the picture, every time. The setting up of the website is pretty straightforward but once we’ve got that part done, we can go in all kinds of directions and be successful.

    Blogging changes constantly. Sometimes being overwhelmed makes new bloggers latch onto another blogger and the way that other blogger does things. It might just be that we’ve got an idea that nobody has thought of or tried, or were too afraid to pursue because it wasn’t the right way to blog. Eventually, thanks for sharing your wonderful information with us.

    With best wishes,

    Amar kumar

    • You’re right Amar. We’re all learning new stuff every day. I think that’s what keeps blogging fun.

  • Thanks for sharing with us some inspiring!
    All writers need this and the most difficult for us it to start and keep the passion state for a whole writing life. Such articles pretty helpful for keeping and I always read such content for a fresh breath.
    Good luck!

    • Glad you liked it Tonya. I think our writing passion varies as we grow and change but sticking with it is the key if it’s something you really love to do.

  • blogging exactly the same as creating a song for the composer. If you want good content we have to wait when mood and inspiration come. so it cannot be imposed for granted.

  • Precious tips about building a good structure for a blog post. These are so valuable tips for new bloggers. Dear Ellen, thank you for helping us improving our writing skills.

  • Another situation that can beset bloggers is to have their blogging or self-publishing activity deemed a frivolous activity like, perhaps, scrapbooking or something similar.

    This is more so if it is an activity that you spend most of your time on, even if you have a day job or run a business.