The Awkward Blogger.

It is a pretty well established fact that a great deal of writers in the world are awkward and insecure about themselves. Oh, sure, there are the rare few that are imbued with a sense of self-accomplishment, almost to the point of annoyance, but I think the majority of us scribblings out there tend to be on the quiet, introverted, or just plain shy side of the fence. I myself am the type to be pretty quiet at first, but, once I’ve broken past a certain barrier, I’m pretty bright and enthusiastic (read: I never shut up). Either way, I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who goes through what I’m about to talk about today, and that is the feeling of being the Awkward Blogger. Or, in classier terms, the turd in the blogger punchbowl.

You see, I follow a lot of blogs. A lot of them. More than I could ever conceivably keep up with, so I don’t always read every post and I miss a lot. Every so often, though, I’ll want to comment on something I read. Sometimes, I don’t, and part of that is not having anything I feel is worthy to contribute to the conversation (the bigger part, really), and the other part of is this feeling of being the Awkward Blogger (or the Annoying Blogger, for that matter). That, when I do get around to commenting on these blogs that I respect and admire and follow, that I’m, in a sense, wasting my time.

A lot of these other bloggers are “bigger names” than me (which doesn’t take much). They’re more entrenched in the writer community that I feel I’m just lingering on the outskirts of. They’ve sold thousands of books when I’ve barely breached 40, so, a lot of time, my Awkward Writer Self feels like an Awkward Blogger in making comments on these blogs. As though my comment comes into their inbox and they groan, rolling their eyes, and think to themselves, “Ugh, this girl again?” And then they dutifully reply in a polite fashion as best suits the blogging community or go on with their lives wondering where people come up with the idea that they’re even remotely equal.

Which is ridiculous, I know. There might be a kernel of truth in there for some people, but most of the writer community is genuinely warm and welcoming and friendly. But there’s always that little feeling in the back of your brain that makes you feel that you’re not ready to roll with the big names, that you’re like some little mosquito that takes a bite and causes a flare of imagined annoyance to these other authors that you respect and follow, even if only for a blip in time. What in the world could I possibly have to contribute to the conversation but insipid little comments about myself and my less successful forays into this brave new world?

I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. So today’s post is an open forum for all of us to have a moment to express our ever-present self-doubt in ourselves. Because even when I’m confident, I know it’s always there, hovering like a dark cloud.

And it’s also a chance for me to sit here and declare my answer to the question of what I would have to contribute: Who cares? Even in the event that some of my fellow bloggers may groan and roll their eyes when I chime in on their posts, made in a public forum, I do have something valuable to contribute, and I am pretty awesome, and, should it be that this syndrome is not imagined and I am a turd floating around in the blogger punchbowl, I’d rather be a turd than a pig stuck with the stick of self-righteous importance since, let’s face it, it’s the damn Intrawebz, and we’re all equally lame and irreverent and stupid and awesome and incredible and important.

so, if you ever groan or roll your eyes when you get a comment in, get over yourself. And, if you think people groan or roll their eyes when you comment on their blog…fuck ’em. Comment especially hard next time.


    • So I’m not the only one! It doesn’t strike me all the time, but enough that I feel I actively censor myself sometimes on some of the more….let’s say intimidating blogs. But it’s really a silly fear sometimes, so I’m trying to not only conquer it, but crush it, too!

  1. I try to comment as much as possible because I like to think that they will comment on something I blogged about, (insecurity coming out). Like you, I sometimes don’t comment because I don’t feel I have anything to add that has not already been said. I’m certainly not a big name and not even a little name as writer’s go. In my opinion, most bloggers like to hear what the rest of us think. There are times though, where a blogger will write a post just to clear the air or their head.

    • Even when I’m just clearing my head, I know I like to hear other thoughts and opinions. Why would other bloggers be different? They’re not, but sometimes the neurotic mind constructs up these sorts of things. But we’re all in the blogging biz to share and interact, and comments make the blogging world go ’round!

  2. Well, being very new to blogging (aside from two posts in early 2011, I started last week), I actually didn’t feel like an awkward blogger until I read your post, but now I do a little bit. (Just kidding.) I do often feel like I don’t have something to contribute to a post, but I feel that it’s my responsibility to give feedback, even if it is only a simple “I agree with you! Thanks for the post.”

    A small part of me agrees with Dennis, in that I’m hoping that some of the bloggers I comment to will reciprocate, but it’s not really even that. In the end, it’s about camaraderie, and sharing our thoughts and experiences.

    If a blogger doesn’t read my post (or worse, doesn’t like my post) then that is his/her choice, but it’s not going to stop me from posting. I’d rather try to offer insight and encouragement and have it ignored than not offer it at all.

    Thanks for the great post!

    • LOL, oh no! And here I never intended to sow the seeds of my own blogging neuroses onto other bloggers, but, umm, misery loves company?

      I’m glad the post inspired a little more than just an agreement, too, although you’re right. As a blogger, it’s great to even get just that little bit of acknowledgement that someone read your post and liked it enough to say so. I know I cherish every bit of feedback I get; why would others be different, even if they have hundred of people saying about the same thing?

  3. Oh my…I feel that way every time I comment on your blog, L.S…. not because I do not feel what I have to comment on is insignificant, but because well you know… I am your mom… and the eye roll and the groans I am used to… but as a fellow writer and blogger, I am enthralled and love your writing. I have always been your first and number one fan. So many blogs in the blogoshpere and yours is one I read religiously. I would read it even if I was not your mom… < fuck em hehe….

    • Okay, let’s be fair, here. As your daughter, I am genetically unable to avoid rolling my eyes and groaning at your comments! It’s just a part of my physiology, you know! So you’re the exception. : )

  4. I suppose this is the type of post that warrants a comment! We all feel insecure from time to time, but I don’t usually feel insecure about commenting on posts. If someone doesn’t want to hear from random people on the internet, then they shouldn’t write a blog. I used to feel more insecure about “speaking up,” but the Socratic method in law school took care of it.

    • Maybe that’s the trick; I don’t post about commenting enough to get more comments. Hehe. I agree that, yeah, it’s a public forum, and that’s a pretty open invitation to opinions, but sometimes I just get the feeling that my frequent opinions are just annoying. I imagine law school’s pretty good about breaking through that; I’ve actually found that my current intense sales job helps with confidence, too. Good to know those skills can translate into other aspects of life.

  5. I get awkward blogger syndrome when I’m reading big-name authors’ blogs/livejournals/tweets. It’s intimidating, although lately I’ve been trying to force myself to comment and respond anyway.

    • Me, too! The way I’m starting to see it, if they don’t respond or they just roll their eyes, whatever. But if I comment and there’s a chance that they enjoy it and it even starts up a conversation, how cool would that be? But it would never happen if I don’t take the chance…

      …even if I risk saying something totally dumb, which is bound to happen eventually.

  6. I must confess, I do not read the blogs of many larger authors, although considering it now, it might be that I don’t feel I have much to offer. I prefer the blogs of newer writers or aspiring writers, or some blogs that have little to do with writing at all. On those ones, I like the interaction. That isn’t that it should be there every post, but if I comment, it is nice to have a response. Also I like to have some return on my blog from time to time. If I was just commenting on someone’s blog and they give little back, then in a lot of cases (not all) will lose interest in their blog. If you want to receive, then you give a little back, is my general philosophy to blogs.

    I follow a lot of blogs, but really, there are a core that I try to hit most of their posts (probably because they are more interactive), and the rest I visit from time to time, or if something stands out to me. Partially that is down to the amount of time I can spend reading, and partially that is because the interaction makes the blog worth it. I can practise with no interaction on a notepad!

    • Yeah, I definitely have a few I’ll always try to read (though I don’t always succeed) and comment when I can think of something that isn’t lame, and I know it’s terrible of me to look for feedback when I’m not always the best about responding to comments on my own blog, but it can be kind of discouraging when a blog you follow and support a lot never seems to give you much in return. It really drives a wedge between you and that author, I feel. Ah, well. You’re totally right on the “give and ye shall receive” bits. I wish I was better at the giving sometimes…

  7. I can’t say that I’ve ever felt awkward when posting on anyone’s blog (I’m so vain I think this blog is about me. Not really). There are times I don’t comment because I don’t feel that I have anything new to add after reading the other responses. But that’s just me (I’m Hubbard, hear me roar). I do think it’s a shame that anyone feels that way, we’re a community of writers and dreamers and should help support each other, but again that’s just me, and if I felt anyone were rolling their eyes at me I wouldn’t support that blog any longer, after all, this is a public enviroment and if you can’t play nice with others then piss off!
    But more than anything I want to learn how to ‘comment harder’! By the bristling beard of Thor I want to lightning stike the comment board of bloogers with affluent superiorority complexes! I want to comment with highlighter quotes and bold print capitals! And I want brownies. It would be great if I could find a website that offeres brownies.
    Superfluity aside, great post as you can see by all the comments, go get ’em tiger!

    • Oh, great, so I’m the only one with the crazy awkward blogger neurosis, is that what you’re trying to say, Cyclical Moonbeam?

      Usually, when I’m “commenting harder,” it means I have a really determined look on my face and possibly wind up laughing maniacally to my roommate about how I’m clearly ruining this person’s day by daring to insert my petty comments onto their precious little blog.

      …because, yeah, people totally feel that way. This is my brain sometimes. It’s a magical place, filled with sunshine and unicorns and a lot of make-believe issues…

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