How to Worry Yourself into Blog Silence

Even though I already covered the topic of Writer’s Block in Nothing I Write Will Ever Be Perfect, I want to write a new article that explains a similar effect from a different cause.

My boss reads my blog.  I’ve written, deleted, and rewritten what seems like a hundred other ways to dance around the issue, but that’s what I’m trying to say:

My boss reads my blog, and knowing this has caused me to become frightened.  I’m afraid that I may write something that could cause me to lose my job.  I mean, being fired because of your blog content is not quite unheard of.

Still, I suppose it’s silly to get so worked up over it that I stop writing completely.  After all, I mentioned LifeReboot in our first meeting, and watched him write its URL along the top of my resume during the interview.  I assume he checked it out, and he still hired me.

What has me worried, though, is something he said during a private meeting:  He thanked me for not publishing any details about the company, my workday, or my gripes in my blog.

So despite it being something I believe I shouldn’t worry about, I still manage to worry quite a bit.  I worry hardcore.  I’ve worried myself into blog silence for over two months.  I lie awake at night worrying about what my readers must be thinking, fearing they are disappointed or fed up with the lack of new content — or at least the lack of an explanation.

At the same time, I worry about what there’s even left to write about.  I work for a 24/7 media company, and I put in long hours.  In other words, it not only steals my energy but it also consumes much of my time, leaving little else to experience and write about.

Right now it feels like I’m making excuses, though.  In the past few months, I’ve been back to Jersey for Thanksgiving.  I saw my family, friends, and old co-workers for the first time in over a year.  Although I could have written about that, I didn’t.

In the past few months, I’ve heard from an old friend who experienced an inspiring LifeReboot of her own.  Although I could have written about that, I didn’t.

In the past few months, I’ve been approached by two different publicists that have sent me books they want me to review.  Although I could have written the book reviews, I haven’t.

I dunno, I guess I’ve just felt like lately I’ve been in a bit of a tight spot, and I’m confused about what to do about it.

For a long time now, I’ve chosen to do nothing.  What’s difficult is that every day I do nothing, it becomes easier to continue to do nothing.  Every day I don’t write, it becomes even easier to think “I’ve already gone this long without publishing anything, so what’s another day?”

I’ve had enough of this mindset and the sleepless nights it causes me.  Ironically, it’s 1:54am right now, I work tomorrow morning, and I actually got up an hour ago in order to write this so that I could fall asleep earlier.

(“Got up an hour ago, so that I could fall asleep earlier?”  Saying that out loud makes me realize that might not make any sense, especially if you’ve never had a case of Writer’s-Block-Induced-Insomnia.  Trust me when I say that to me, in this moment, it makes sense.)

As for How to Worry Yourself into Blog Silence, I believe the steps are clear:

  1. Allow any potential opinions about, reactions to, and comments on your blog worry you into a state of paralysis.
  2. Keep worrying, and/or never snap out of it.

But if you’re like me, to not write is suicide.  In spite of your struggles, you will eventually snap out of it, and blog on.

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10 Responses to “How to Worry Yourself into Blog Silence”

#1 Rosie on 30, Dec, 2008 at 4:45 pm

I was so happy to see this post today. I started reading your blog about a year ago, and even though you don’t post very much now, it’s still one of my favorites. I’m glad you called out your boss reading this and turned your worry into a great post. I hope you continue your LifeReboot and find a great place to be in your work. Please keep writing, I look forward to see what you do next!

#2 OXM on 30, Dec, 2008 at 9:29 pm

I know what you mean. The longer I take between posts, the more I worry that I must come up with a masterpiece.

#3 Jinno on 31, Dec, 2008 at 5:38 pm

Happy New Year, indeed. I’m happy to see you do another post, even if I clicked the link on accident. I ’bout gave up hope on your blog and got rid of the link. Glad I didn’t.

I can see your concern with your boss reading the blog, though. It’s probably a good idea to express some censorship over what you write. At the same time, you shouldn’t censor to the point of intense writer’s block.

Nothing you write will be perfect, but writing nothing is as far from it as you can get.

#4 Raghav on 02, Jan, 2009 at 7:13 am

Hi Shaun!

Happy new year 🙂

Not being able to express what we want is probably depressing, but well, we probably do that most of the times in our lives. (U wish ur talkative colleague would stop boring u with his endless speeches about stuff u don’t even know/care, but u wont tell that to him because u r not that mean/u wont wanna hurt him/u probably need some help from him!)

I know that example was not similar to Ur’s, but what I’m saying is that some censorship is probably good. U can always save the drafts of the stuff u wanted to post, and save them for posting after u change to a better job 😛

Guess it’s hard, but we’ve gotta live with it

Keep blogging 🙂

#5 Paul on 04, Jan, 2009 at 2:38 am

You’re an inspiration to a lot of us out here. Keep writing, keep blogging. If it’s something you love keep doing it. It’s a new year full of possibilities! Don’t let your boss or anyone else get you down. Let alone deter you from doing something you love.

In my opinion I could give a rats ass about what my boss or my coworkers think. Yeah I wonder the same thing when I write but in all honestly life is too short and I can’t make everyone happy. Look at it this way if all fails make up a fake company name, coworkers, boss, etc and simply put that in place of your real company, boss, coworkers when you write =).

Best of luck! I’ll be sure to keep reading!

#6 Slave to the rhythm on 11, Jan, 2009 at 7:49 pm

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#7 AJ Kumar on 19, Jan, 2009 at 4:10 am

talk about intense accountability. I bet that applies for many people (their boss being able to read their blog)

#8 D'Bo on 28, Jan, 2009 at 8:34 pm

Ok, I’m ready to leave a comment now. My supervisor turned me onto this site. He knew I would like it. He knew my personality and outlook on life. This is a great site. Its nice to be able to go to a site and know you’re not going to accidentally read about the latest murder or tragedy. Its nice to come to your site and read about the lessons you learn as you travel through your life. Keep living. Keep experiening every lesson life offers. Keep encouraging people to be free and honest with themselves just by reading your blogs. You never know who you might inspire with your words. Never stop blogging. Thank you.

#9 Rose on 07, Dec, 2009 at 7:31 pm

Oh my gosh, my boss reads my blog too! I have the same worries every single time I write anything. I’m so glad I’m not the only one.

#10 Slave to the rhythm — be an original on 04, Jan, 2010 at 2:42 pm

[…] comeback with a bang, the killer post. That sure is a reason to procrastinate some more (I’m not the only one dealing with this […]

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