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I, Me, You, We: Overcoming Blog Performance Anxiety Through Community

2014 0 Work,

When I first started blogging in 2003, there were only a handful of blogs compared to today. We didn’t understand the implications of over-sharing your journal on the Internet, we didn’t fully grasp the complexity of the media. In fact, one day in 2004 when my daughter was about three months old, I wrote a post about her peeing on me and said something about us having just had our first mother-daughter standoff. Someone commented that I needed to find better material than just steeling Dooc’es posts. I didn’t even know who Dooce was at the time (that was my introduction to her) and felt ashamed I posted something so similar to her story that she wrote the day after I posted mine. (I wish I could find this article now. And hers. Most of my archives have been placed quietly in a cabinet, especially ones about my family and/or anything that might embarrass them going forward.)

Throughout my tenure of blogging, this happened many times. I would read something that sounded very similar to what I just wrote, or I wrote something similar to what someone else wrote a month ago. I became more paranoid that I was going to be seen as stealing or copying these other women’s thoughts. Obviously this is ludicrous. It’s very very possible we were all having similar thoughts because we were that similar in our life’s stage.

Instead of feeling community, I felt unoriginal.
Instead of being empowered, knowing others will understand and feel similarly, I felt like I had nothing to share that wasn’t already on the Internet.

Over the past two years something incredible happened; I grew up. I haven’t exactly “Arrived,” but I’m a hell of a lot closer than I was at 35. I’ve taken a few years to chew on my thoughts. To be a little quiet and sit with them. I use paper to journal again and I try not to email in a heated frenzy. Again, I’ve not Arrived, but I’m closer.

During this time my brain has been soaking in information from a variety of sources. I’ve consumed a hundred books on every topic from ADHD Diets, Gluten Free Studies, Girls in Tech, Women in Leadership Roles, Moms in Western Working Environments, Becoming a Leader, Failing Hard, Overcoming, Working with Snakes in Suits, and more. During this time, I realize how many people experience things I experience but have a slightly different take. I’ve been learning from hundreds of people willing to share stories, research, results.

This weekend, while at She’s Geeky, something clicked: I do have a unique voice AND there are others who express themselves in a way I resonate with. And that? IS OK.

The Improve: Asking Questions. Asking Questions. Ask Questions.
The Hiring: We’re hitting on tools, not on decisions.

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