Do you ever find yourself doing things that you really don’t want to because you’re told (and know) that they’re good for you? I’m sure you do. Everything from getting your five a day, to shopping around for car insurance. You put it off and put it off, until eventually you get it done, and you realise that it wasn’t as bad as you thought it was going to be. If anything you actually feel quite good for doing it. Perhaps you feel relieved, not only that but you ask yourself why you avoided doing it for so long in the first place. However, within a day or two, you’ve forgotten about all of this, and have gone back to hiding from it again. You convince yourself that it took such a gargantuan effort the last time, that you deserve some time off from doing it again. This is how I feel about blogging.
I’m told that writing regular blog articles for my website is a good thing, but blogging does not come naturally to me. For starters I’m a very private person by nature, while I’d like to have more recognition for my art, being famous really doesn’t interest me. Ah, but surely hardly anyone will read this I hear you say, so there’s no danger of fame, right? The very chance that more than a handful of people might read this, already fills me with dread. I’m a largely quiet person who likes to keep himself to himself. Facebook and social media in general are completely foreign to me. I’ve somehow built up a reasonable social media presence, but it has not been easy, in fact it’s actually been quite painful to do. Every time I’ve dabbled in social media posting for more than a day or two, I always get a positive response, plenty of enquiries, and usually sales and commissions.
Shhhhh I'm in disguise!
I’m in awe of those artists who can create their wonderful work while taking work in progress photos, videos, and generally doing a fabulous job of engaging with their followers and promoting themselves. For me, once I’m painting, that’s it, I can’t divert my attention to anything else, if I do my creative flow stops, and it’s quite hard to get back. I'm not organised enough to schedule posts, so I go through long periods of not updating my website and social media when I'm busy painting. Once a painting is complete, urgh, now I have to sell the thing, and I’m back to the bit I hate….making posts and getting attention! It's at this point that I realise that I've neglected my followers for months, and they've forgotten all about me!
Another thing that holds me back from blogging, social media posting, and other engagement with followers, is that I really have no confidence in my ability to string a sentence together. This despite achieving an A in GCSE English Literature, and a B in English Language (way back in the day when the world was black and white, and everyone wore a top hat….and that’s just the ladies). I’m clearly not completely hopeless at writing. Perhaps this leads nicely into a future post on Imposter Syndrome. Until I write that one, there's a good article here from Erika Lancaster.
I’m hoping that by writing regular blog entries, that blogging might start to come more naturally, and I might finally get over some of my fears of attention and self promotion. Anyway, this is my first of I hope many regular posts, so strap yourselves in and get ready for the ride of your life! I’m not being even slightly sarcastic, honest.
If anyone would like to share any tips on how to get over the fear of blogging and become proficient at it, please leave a comment below.