Monday, June 25, 2012

Nerves about Blogopolis 2012 and blogging in general

Ok, so I wrote the other day that I want to get back into blogging and yes, that is true (I think), but I am really still unsure, and not feeling confident about it at all.

I've signed up and paid for this blogging conference which I'm quite excited shitting myself about. From reading the class schedule it sounds like a beginner's course to blogging which you know, isn't that intimidating at all. I've been studying for the last few years, so I know how to be a good student and pay attention and write notes and learn shit. What I am bad at though, is meeting people. Going to events on my own. Small talk. I'm feeling nauseous just thinking about it. But the ticket was about $117 so I'm going. That's like half my weekly food budget right there! I'm going. I'm getting out of my comfort zone and going.

These are the things that are worrying me:

1. I'm shy

I'm terrible at going up to someone and saying hi, I'm Vanessa... My son, Noo, on the other hand goes up to everyone and says "Hi, I'm Noo. What's your name?" and then goes on to refer to that stranger by name at every chance. For instance, he always introduces himself to our waiter if we go out for lunch or a coffee. He even says "thank you [insert waiter's name here]" (eg Daniel, the name of our waiter recently up at Katoomba) as we leave the cafe. Noo is three and a half.

He amazes me all the time. He always introduces himself to other kids at the park, at the shops, anywhere. Mostly they are too embarrassed or shy to respond but it doesn't bother him. I, on the other hand, would be mortified if I tried to talk to someone and they turned away. My kid has the knack. The knack of meeting people. He was born with it!

2. I'm shit

I've been reading a lot of other blogs out there, especially a few of the big super star blogs with over a million hits, and while I realise these bloggers are fabo writers and they deserve all their hits and success, it makes me feel small and silly and like I don't have a place amongst them at a conference. My writing feels juvenile and irrelevant by comparison. Does the blogosphere need my voice?

3. I'm unorganised

I don't have business cards, I don't have my own domain, I'm not even sure if I want to continue to be the Babbling Bandit. I looked up those words on Google the other day. Babbling is something that a baby does and a bandit is a thief. I'm a baby-talking outlaw!

Originally I came up with the name Babbling Bandit because of the fact that my writing is like babbling ramblings and the bandit part is a play on the term lap-band. I'm too afraid to change now because I've synced up all my other social networks to the BB so I kind of feel committed to it now... but anyway, this is an issue I'm hoping to get advice about from Blogopolis if when I go.

4. I don't want to be hated

I stumbled across this amazing blog the other day called Tune Into Radio Carly. God, this chick can write! I found her blog particularly interesting because of her studies in communications, particularly in reference to her research on blogging. I have studied (nowhere near to the same extent) some of the same material for my Internet Comms BA. But it was her post talking about "Keyboard warriors" that really got me having second thoughts about diving back into blogging again.

My blog so far has been a personal account of my weightloss failures journey since getting my lap-band in 2009. There are also smatterings of stories about my struggle with depression and anxiety, my recovery from drug and alcohol addiction and a big dose of detail about Noo. There's plenty of ammo there for someone to have a go at me about my life and my choices but in the two and half years or so I've been blogging no one has ever said a mean thing to me. But if I try to push a bit harder and get more exposure for my blog, from learning about that at this conference, am I going to make myself a target for these so called anonymous haters?

There has only been one comment since I started that stopped me in my tracks. It can found on this entry and was an anonymous comment but I knew who it was when I read it. Fuck, it completely freaked me out! Knowing someone from my old life, my pre sobriety life, had read my blog felt weird. I felt exposed on such a strange level. I wrote a response about it here. The thing was, he didn't even write anything nasty. It was actually a lovely comment, but it felt WEIRD! I actually thought about giving up this blog and moving to another name.

Now what if other people I used to know came across my blog? I tried so had at first to keep my real name and my blogging handle separate but with all the cross over of social networks it got so complicated trying to maintain more than one identity. Should I care about this?

In real life I will tell anyone that I am in recovery, I have mental health issues and I have a lap-band. These are just facts. Whatever. It's the feelings I write about in here that expose me. That make me feel raw but which I feel I need to write... but do I really want anyone to read them?

Going back to Carly's post regarding horrible comments she talked about and linked to one particular blog that had experienced an enormous amount horrific bullying. Despite having an hugely successful blog with well over two million hits, appearances on prime time TV and a book published, Sandra Reynolds at The $120 Food Challenge had been victim of what sounds like a vicious hate campaign.

What I don't understand is, why? Why are people so horrible? I am not going to go into the specifics of Sandra's situation, because quite frankly I don't know enough about it, but what I just don't understand is why people hide behind anonymous comments and spew forth such hatred and judgement. Even if they do use their name, what is the point? Move on! Don't read! I mean, for fucksake, her blog is about cooking on a budget. She's providing a service. My blog is about whinging about my fat lazy arse, about being anxious and fearful about some of life's everyday challenges tasks, and about when I can't go to the toilet! I mean REALLY! Reading that last sentence over just makes me think I should pull the whole fucking thing from the interwebs and save anyone from ever having a chance to read it, let alone time to be horrible and mean. Like Hannah from Girls said in season one's final episode... there's no one who can hate me more than I already hate myself. But do I really want to give the haters a platform to show me their bile? Or maybe I'm getting too far ahead of myself to even think a hater would read my shit.

The Hipstamatic has caught my mood quite well.


For godsake woman! Lesson number 1 in meeting people has got to be have a positive and likeable demeanour...

Lucky I've four days to work on that.



Jules said...

I'm shy too and I am old and I don't tweet and I don't blog all that much and I don't have electronic things to take with me but I will be there and if we meet I promise to talk to you!!!!!

Jules said...

I am shy too, I am old, I don't have electronic thingies to take with me, I don't tweet, I only blog when I feel like it but I do promise to talk to you and not walk away if we meet!!!!! I guess we will both enjoy it somehow!!

The Babbling Bandit said...

Thanks Jules. Look forward to meeting you on Saturday!

Deb said...

I'm not hugely shy, but can relate to your point about feeling a bit intimidated. I've actually been blogging for three or so years, but am still such an amateur. It was only this year that I decided to get my own domain names (I have two blogs) and try to take it more seriously.... but I compare myself to others - even new bloggers who have sponsors and prizes and stuff and wonder what I'm doing wrong!

I think my biggest fear about NNB2012 is that I'll feel alone in a sea of people; or start to worry that I've got nothing to say (and who do I think I am blogging about crap anyway). That sort of thing!

I also don't want to feel like some groupie (slash Loser) - overly impressed by some of the big names who'll be attending!


Bree @ Twinkle in the Eye said...

You're not shit, most of us are unorganised and you're not going to be hated! As for the shy thing, apparently you can bring your kids - bring Ned and he can break the ice :-) See you there Vanessa! Bree

KatieP said...

Same boat! I keep repeating "outside my comfort zone is where the adventure happens".
See you there sweetie ♥

jenn @ mountains and musings said...

Hey Vanessa, I couldn't help thinking about how well you write as I was reading this post. Chin up, lovely, this weekend will be fabulous! Glad I stumbled upon your blog :)

The Babbling Bandit said...

Thank you for the encouraging comments! I really appreciate it and I'm feeling a lot better tonight. There seems to be a lot of first timers going so I'm sure together we will be ok! V.

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