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.