Wednesday, February 17

I have BPA - Blog Posting Anxiety!

There is something wrong.  I just know it.  Admittedly, I do have hypochondria tendencies that can pop up every so often, but this is real.  Typically, when I do suspect an aliment or injury, I run to Web MD to search for answers.  It was no help at all.  Nothing was matching.  Ever since February 14th, I’ve been experiencing the most confusing symptoms.  I am queasy, jittery, along with a slight itchiness.  After decades of teaching, I’ve got a pretty strong resistance to germs, but this just felt so odd.  What was bothering me and causing these symptoms?  Was I actually feeling… anxious? Could it be true?  Oh no, I have B.P.A…. BLOG POSTING ANXIETY.

It all started on Valentine’s Day.  I had been thinking about starting a blog.  I had been reading so many wonderfully written and thought-provoking blogs that I thought I would try it.  I decided blogging would fulfill my wordy ways, or at least in writing.  I looked around and decided to use I went through the usual mind-numbing sign up procedure.  (Thank goodness for the tab button to keep things moving.)  I was ready to opine. 

Since a slightly (larger than I would like to admit) part of my day involves Twitter and tweeting, I decided to write about the journey to becoming indebted to this wonderful medium.  The words just flowed.  I sat in front of the laptop and smiled as the words poured forth.  It has been such a positive experience and I was so indebted to others that it seemed as if I were writing a lovely thank you note.  Blogging was fun.

Next, I chose a pretty background, put in a visitor map, used Amazon widgets and uploaded my blog.  I didn’t know if it is considered to be bad Twitter etiquette (I had read quite a few blogs about proper Twitter etiquette), but tweeted that I had written my first blog.  Then, people actually read and responded to what I wrote.  I had comments.  My little map started filling up with dots.  (I really wanted to throw in a simile here about how great this felt, but I wanted to sound sophisticated.  Oh boy, those dots created some serious giggles.) 

Then, my little blog inspired another blog.  I couldn’t believe it.  When I read @aredden’s blog, I was in awe.  I actually touched someone enough that they wrote a blog because of my blog.  I was hooked.  I wanted to blog all of the time.  I wanted to fill the Internet with my thoughts, words, feelings, and opinions.  Then, I started to scratch.

I thought it was dry winter skin.  While I was typing, I had to keep stopping to scratch my arm.  Then I noticed that I was feeling a little queasy.  I finished the blog on “Inspiring Imagination” and went to find some Pepto-Bismol without posting the blog.  The next day I thought, “I must not have liked the topic.  I should start over.”  I started typing away and this time the topic was “Teachers without Technology.”  The red welts on my neck were growing and I kept the Tums next to me. 

Now, on day three since I posted the blog, I found myself reflecting.  Why could I write two more blogs in two days, but I couldn’t post them.  What was wrong? 

Suddenly, it hit me!  I have BPA. 

I had jumped in with the first blog, received some positive feedback and I was fearful I would fail and be judged.  I wondered why I felt this anxiety. I do NOT know a single person that I follow, except by their tweets and blogs.  Why did their opinions matter to me?  I thought about it all day…

The answer hit me.  I care so much because based on their tweets and blogs, I do feel as if I’ve come to know some of them.  More importantly, I respect them as educators and writers.  There opinions matter to me.  Consequently,  I was afraid of posting anything I wrote.

Now, I am working on the treatment for BPA.  The prescription: write and post.  I believe that most people lead busy lives and that their time is valuable.  If they come across my blog and they don’t like it, they can move on to something else.  I imagine it to be like changing the channel.  Regardless of the value to others, my blog gives me a venue in which to vent and express my self.  I can work on my goal of writing in a clear and concise manner.  (The concise thing is the challenge.)

So, hopefully, I will continue to follow the prescription for BPA and write and face my fear of posting.  And, by the way, if you are still reading, thanks!


Cathy said...

Nancy, you so perfectly described my feelings since starting my own blog a few weeks ago. I thought if I could get over the hurdle of the first blog post it would all be easy, but I seem to worry about each post more than the last. I worry about the topic, the tone, the voice, the content....everything. Somehow I manage to push the publish button every now and then. Loved your second post as much as your first....and feel better knowing about BPA. Is there a support group????

Nancy Hniedziejko (Nancy Ehrlich) said...

Hi Cathy,
Since I make up so many of the aliments I have, I'm not sure about the support group. It is so nice to know others are experiencing the same symptoms. Thanks for writing.

Barbara Day said...

I understand your hesitation. I proof-read and proof-read, before I click on that "publish post" button. I also feel sad if I think no one is reading it. Keep it up, Nancy. I'm really enjoying your blog.

Nancy Hniedziejko (Nancy Ehrlich) said...

Thanks for the comment. Your encouragement is very comforting and I appreciate that you "get it" I don't know what people did before spellcheck! I see that you teach fourth grade. I teach third grade this year, but I am moving with them to fouth next year. (I love fourth grade.) Thanks again.

Becky Johnson said...

I am a complete newbie as well, and I totally understand your apprehension. I am working with a group of 8th graders in a tech enrichment class and we are all using blogging as a way to share our learning. Since I am asking the students to blog, I felt I had to model it and blog as well. However, I have never considered myself to be a writer (I still don't). It is so nice to see others venturing into this inspires me to overcome my anxiety and go for it! I really love your blog, keep publishing.

Nancy Hniedziejko (Nancy Ehrlich) said...

Hi Becky, Thanks for taking the time to check out my new blog. I really appreciate your comments on Twitter this morning and your permission to use your title, "With Twitter, everyone is at your a virtual way. Love my PLN!" I'm about to start writing. Thanks again for the inspiration.