Blogger’s Block

Once in a while I find out someone I know “outside” my Social Media world has picked up and read my blog:  a colleague will mention it in an email exchange, a supplier will mention it in a telephone conversation.

For some reason, when this happens, I find it hard to write the next post.   The reason is that I have “the fear” – fear that I’m going to write something too risky or that will breach confidentiality.  Knowing someone has read my blog makes me question myself and seeds of doubt grow in my mind.

I take great care whenever I write a post.  I might get my inspiration from an event or a conversation, but all my stories are transformed in such  a way that it no longer resembles the reality which inspired me.  My characters (“friends”) are fictional, and over the last six months their names have all started with the letter “D”  (had you noticed?).    The whole point of each post is to make a point:   it isn’t to expose, humiliate or demonise any particular person or any particular organisation.

There are lots of subjects that I want to write about.  But I can’t.  It would breach confidentiality, or I would end up in muddy legal waters.   I have a rule of never writing about anything that I’m currently working on.  And there’s some topics that are still too close to projects that I have completed, but I still feel uncomfortable discussing them in a post.  It’s times like these that I really wish I was anonymous, as then I think I would have more freedom to write.

Having said that, I enjoy writing this blog and it has benefits.  One client took me on because they had read my blog and liked it.  I find that  my relationships with new colleagues or other contacts develop more quickly if they have read my blog as they understand how I think and they know my views.  (The down-side is that our relationship isn’t on an equal basis, as I don’t have the same background information on them, but this is easily overcome).

One time a coachee quoted my blog in the middle of a coaching session.  (It took me a while to realise!)  We went on to use the subject matter of that particular post as part of the coaching session. I honestly believe it helped the coachee develop a greater level of insight into the issue.

I know the fear is ridiculous.  It often takes two to three weeks to over-come the fear.  In that time I struggle to write posts, but continue to do so to meet my self-determined target of at least one post per week.    I won’t let the fear beat me.



3 comments on “Blogger’s Block

  1. Sukh Pabial says:

    I understand the anxiety you’re describing. When someone at work comments on a blog post I’ve written I’m reminded that my audience is closer to home as well as cyber space. I’ve learned though, as you say it makes me write more considered posts that are applicable to a wide range of readers. I’m then sure to keep things anonymous just as you do. However, even anonymous bloggers have to be wary of instances they describe in case a clever reader pieces 2 and 2 together, so don’t think the green is necessarily greener.

  2. pinkwizarduk says:

    I felt exactly the same with my last blog post. I was inspired by experiences that had happened but my hands were tied in terms of what I could write about without it being linked to the Company I work for, or their employees. I think we are best to create a ‘fictitious’ experience which has some elements of the truth and perhaps write it as and when we are inspired but ‘publish’ it a few weeks or months down the line, to limit the risk of breaching confidentiality.

    Glad I’m not the only one who feels the ‘block’!
    Thanks, Lynsey

  3. Kevin Ball says:

    Good thinking, Karen.

    I had a related experience this week. Taking up paid employment has made me wonder about my on-line presence. Does it say the things that I want people to hear from me now and how does it play with my employer? With no time to do anything about it, I sat in an interview last week where a candidate spoke about my blog. The writer in me (needy, wanting to be read and loved) was excited. The manager (controlling, requiring respect) was anxious. I told them both to shut up and listen: the candidate was enthralled with this glimpse inside my mind (misguided soul) she wanted to engage in the discussion where she felt I was wrongheaded, keen to know how to action some of my more fanciful ideas. She felt it was a great way to get to know the person she might be working with. I felt it was a good vehicle for knowing her thinking in an interview.

    My employer may yet have different views, but right now I think I have a taste of how blogging may yet be an even richer experience than it was before.

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