Personal Reflections

Wow… Starting a Blog Sucks Emotionally!

Yikes!  I started my blog with two goals in mind.  First, I wanted to express my thoughts and ideas about Buddhism, recovery, and the intersection between the two.  Second, I hoped to either find or in some small way help inspire a community of, if not like-minded, similarly situated people who wanted a place to freely share their thoughts.

Who would’ve thought I’d end up feeling like I’m back in high school.  (BTW, Why are there shows like Glee?  High School sucked, and never once did anyone break out in song.)  First, as when I started High School, immediately upon publishing my first post I desperately wanted someone to see it and approve it.  In fact, I really wanted many people to see it and many people to not only approve, but to come to me asking, “why haven’t you spoken before, this is exactly what we’ve bee thirsting for!”

Second, I quickly found what appears to be a fairly regular community of bloggers who sort of haunt the forums, helping out the newbies, and bestowing advice and critique.  Cool!  Just what I need!  But, quickly that High School thing kicks in and I feel like they are the cool kids with the cool clothes (i.e. blog sites) and I’m the dork wearing the stiff blue jeans from K-Mart and Buster Browns instead of Air Jordans (i.e. a blog site about, of all things, Buddhism addiction, and a heretical take on AA).

Don’t get me wrong – They are nice  – I’m the neurotic one!

Of course, as usual, my reaction is to flee – say, “hey this blogging ain’t for me,” close up shop and split.  Of course, that would achieve none of my original goals and only reinforce the bad feelings I’m experiencing.  So, the obvious answer is to blog on, readers be damned.  An unread or disliked blog is far from the end of the world (and certainly not uncommon).

That answer does however beg an additional question – how much of blogging is merely motivated from a childlike “Notice me!”, how much is. “Love me!” or “Respect Me!”, and how much is, for lack of a better phrase, a practice of artistic expression?  For most bloggers, I suspect, it’s some hybrid of the three.

However, as a Buddhist, and (apparently) a blogger I need to be mindful of this issue.  Further, as a Buddhist while I do understand the first two motivations, I must endeavor always to act from the right intention, and the ego inflation of the first two motivations just ain’t that!

I suspect the emotional anxiety is of benefit in that it has reminded me that I have this specific issue that I still need to work with.  That said I stand by my initial claim that Starting a Blog Sucks Emotionally!

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Discussion

20 thoughts on “Wow… Starting a Blog Sucks Emotionally!

  1. That is absolutely a beautiful post! I especially enjoy the last couple paragraphs regarding being mindful of the anxiety and feelings, acting with Right Intention, and finding the benefit of it! If I may be so bold, I feel you should know another benefit is that you are being of great service, for I feel the same! Honest and fearless. Keep it up. Thanks for linking to my blog, and I am working on putting up a similar section for like-minded blogs. I will surely put yours right on top of that list!

    Posted by sock9357 | May 14, 2011, 8:52 pm
  2. This is a good post because you are being honest about your own struggle. That makes me care about reading it. I believe every kind of important lesson requires some discomfort. Being born and reborn hurts! We all want to belong, and if you don’t already feel you do on the inside, response and acclaim from others won’t plug that hole.

    I think you’re doing good work in this article, and with yourself.

    Posted by Invisible Mikey | May 14, 2011, 9:32 pm
  3. Like Mikey, I liked this too. You got me with your title!

    People blog for many different reasons. I can assure you I NEVER expected to have the readership I do have. I felt my topic was too controversial and, for some, too confrontational to have an audience beyond perhaps my immediate family and friends (and perhaps the odd government employee).

    I started in November 2010, then had to go off-line for much of January/February (back up on February 17th). I’m 145 (I just looked) views away from 15,000.

    I never blogged for anything other than to record what was happening to help me push for change to the system. I wasn’t trying to attract readers. Then I got readers and felt I’d better live up to their expectations, so I try to write better! Plus I like writing, I have discovered.

    I added pages so readers would have a better idea of what it was all about, I fell off my chair when LifeWith4Cats presented me with an award, I ramped up my theme.

    What I am trying to say, to illustrate, is do not rush. Let it grow as you grow. I started out with one concept of my writing in my head – now I have a completely different concept. Maybe I really can write that book.

    Give you and your blog growing time.

    Posted by Team Oyeniyi | May 14, 2011, 10:04 pm
  4. Well suffering arises from desire, right? And mindfulness is the cure, so to speak.

    I certainly have a “notice me” impulse, can’t deny that. One can’t put something out there publicly and not have a bit of that. “Respect me” and “love me”? I don’t think those are motivations for me, but who knows. I want the work to be respected, sure, but if I get bogged down in how readers are going to feel about me personally then I won’t be able to get to emotional honesty.

    So long story short, my biggest motivation is making art, if I can use such a precious word. I certainly want my blather read (“Notice me!”), but in my opinion writing is much like your other pursuits: And its most fundamental it’s about doing the work.

    BTW: You weren’t the only kid in the wrong shoes and jeans 🙂 http://jamesostafford.wordpress.com/2011/04/14/22-life-begins-at-the-hop/

    Posted by James Stafford | May 15, 2011, 12:06 am
  5. You’re putting words to something we all feel. I had to smile!

    I’ll follow your blog with interest. My own comes from a similar angle: I’m a Buddhist working mindfully with an eating disorder. My goals are humble: I want Tricycle magazine to pick up my blog, I want to become an admired teacher in the Buddhasphere for my incisive wisdom about mindful eating………

    I’m finding that blogging about mindful eating is helping me deepen my practice in every area of my life. I’m definitely paying more attention throughout the day. It’s motivating me to meditate more regularly. I’ll be interested to hear what you learn through your own writing practice.

    Posted by The Mindful Feast | May 15, 2011, 6:57 pm
    • Thank you for your kind words. I checked out your site and really liked it. I subscribed and I’ll set up a link to it. One of my hopes with this blog was to connect with others practicing mindfulness and living the Dharma. I am especially interested in brining together people from different experiences with different takes. I hope we can learn from each other.

      Posted by The Habituated Buddhist | May 15, 2011, 7:28 pm
      • Thanks much for the link and the subscription — I’m honored.

        We have a lot in common — I’ve also been hoping for conversations with other people who are finding healing from addictions through mindfulness practice. In fact — that’s even more important to me than becoming a star on the Buddhist lecture circuit!

        Posted by The Mindful Feast | May 16, 2011, 11:22 am
  6. Hi, I found you from a comment you left in my cat showcase thread. One thing that struck me right away is your willingness to introdce yoursef in a courageous way. (even though you said in this post you found it scary) and you speak as someone with a good eye for detail.

    I hope you continue to blog with us. I suscribed. Although I wear a buddah, im not really a buddist. (at least I dont think so because Ive never studied up what that actualy is.) But lately I have been mighty curious to find out more about Buddism. (there is a huge temple not far from my home) I think your blog will be interesting and honesty is always interesting.

    Posted by midaevalmaiden | May 17, 2011, 7:22 pm
    • Thank you for your kind words, though I must confess, I think I was less “courageous” in how I introduced myself than I was brash. The forums are tough because I always feel I am coming uninvited into conversations. I feel a bit like that person who always buts into other peoples conversations with strange ramblings…

      Posted by The Habituated Buddhist | May 17, 2011, 7:39 pm
      • I felt the exact same way. And it gets even worse if sometime everyone else gets a comment reply except yourself. That happened to me once and to this day I still wonder why my comment was ignored.

        But the feeling like an intruder part will pass so quickly you won’t even notice it go.

        Posted by midaevalmaiden | May 17, 2011, 8:22 pm
  7. I started my blog to keep from going crazy. Really. I have 5 children at home and no adult conversation. I LOVE to talk, so a blog was perfect, right? The problem is getting somebody to talk back. Luckily, there are wonderful bloggers (especially in the forums) who will at least give a newbie a chance.

    I know I have some “notice me” and “respect me” issues stemming from the “mom blob” mentality, with the added complication of self-esteem issues. In short, I’m a mess. Blogging has helped with that, despite how insanely scary clicking that “publish” button is every. single. time.

    Posted by momfog | May 19, 2011, 12:22 am
    • Thank you for commenting. Yeah, every time I hit publish I feel a wave of anxiety, followed by a long period of fear of being misunderstood. Normally I see that I was in fact misunderstood, that nothing terrible happened, and the fear abates…

      I’m glad you felt a connection to this post!

      Posted by The Habituated Buddhist | May 19, 2011, 12:37 am
    • I find that blogging is one of the healthiest ways I am able to “talk.” For me, sometimes it is nice to simply rant and rave without being interrupted! I would like more interaction though. I’m not sure how to obtain it, and I find myself thinking thoughts such as “Everybody is missing out. Don’t they know what they are missing?!?!” I know that these thoughts are silly, and in reality I just would like to find people that can relate to me. I have found already through recovery, Buddhism, and blogging that there are indeed others who feel and think very similar to me. Patience is tough, and I know letting it happen organically is beautiful and is teaching me to let go of my attachment to the results I wanted.

      Posted by The Easier Softer Way | May 19, 2011, 2:16 am
    • What she said plus what you said in the blog squared and +1…

      In other words, I can relate… great post.

      Posted by C.M.Hardin | May 21, 2011, 7:25 am
  8. I’m stopping in to say it’s been a pleasure to see you within the community and also to read your posts. You are doing great – blog on! 🙂

    Posted by timethief | May 20, 2011, 4:48 pm
  9. Wonderful 🙂

    Posted by C.M.Hardin | May 21, 2011, 7:24 am

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