Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Blogging Stage Fright

I'm a little blogger - short and stout.

While there are bloggers out there who are stars in the Major League of Blogging - The Bloggess, Dooce (uh...I don't read her, is she still popular?), Wil Wheaton and the like, I am, personally, still sitting on the bench waiting to get 2 or 3 minutes of play time on the junior varsity team.

I've been blogging for years - YEARS, people. For the last couple of years, I've been blogging exclusively here - at Jane In Her Infinite Wisdom - almost daily about whatever came to mind and, since my mom started reading, "advertising" it via Facebook for Blind Betsy's sake. It's easier for her to remember to go to the blog if she's given a link to each new blog post at a place she regularly frequents. Cut her some slack, y'all. It's not that she doesn't love me. A) She's busy. B) She's BLIND!

Over the last couple of years I've gained a few regular followers. Some I know, some I don't know. Truthfully though, I have no idea who reads. I don't even know that my mom reads each and every one of the posts I make public (she's admitted she's had to skip a few during her busy seasons...which seem to be winter, spring, summer, and fall). Still...I put out content almost every day because it's what I do and because I hope that something I say might just hit home with just one of you. Maybe it'll help you. Maybe it'll help me.

An average day might see anywhere from 75-100 hits. My personal best, I believe, was a post I did last year during #reverb10 when I blogged about bacon and the link got re-tweeted by 2 or 3 people - bacon is, after all, awesome. At most, this garnered 175 views - obviously a personal best and, what I thought at the time, was a triumph. 175 people viewed that post in 24 hours!!! I'm famous! Ha.

But then...

Last night, just like every other night, I sat here at my laptop, drinking wine and pondering my day and mining it for blog fodder. I wrote a blog post - The Intimacy and the Cost of Blogging because it was what was on my mind. It was a particular hot spot for me given, in particular, Kris's re-emergence to the blogging community.

I had NO idea what was about to happen.

When I woke up this morning, after my shower, I logged into BlogHer to check to make sure there were no, unlikely, comments on anything I'd posted.

I didn't expect there would have been over 500 views of my post in just 9 hours. I didn't expect the 4 comments I'd received at that moment. Because honestly? Even the bacon post - with my replies included - only garnered 9 comments...a record.

How was I supposed to know I'd hit a nerve with so many?

As of this writing, over 1,500 people have read my post either on BlogHer or my actual blog. Several people - and literally all on BlogHer - have commented with their own 2¢.

I'm floored.

Also? I'm scared.

I've never received this kind of attention before - in ANY capacity - and I'm anxious, overwhelmed, frightened by the attention.

On the one hand, I'm exhilarated that so many people are taking an interest and commenting and sharing via several social media outlets.

On the other hand, you must know, I'm a wallflower and, most of the time, do what I can face-to-face to stay out of any and all spotlights.

Right now, I'm featured on the "What's Hot" list on all of BlogHer.

I'm scared.

Nearly all (except one) comment have been positive, reflective. This makes me ohsohappy! I've somehow managed to open up a dialogue - something open for discussion, worthy of some thought and discussion.

The one is...meh...whatever. Thank you, nonetheless, for commenting/ranting early on. It really was appreciated and relevant. (Seriously though, did you really hate my post or did you hate the idea that you'd have to be un-selfish and giving somehow?).

I've occasionally dreamed of being a famous author. Mostly, that entails me being lauded with any number of awards, kudos, and being appointed a laureate of some kind. The fantasy, as I told Peej today, completely overlooked the fact that I'd be read, scrutinized, judged for what actually mattered...

My writing.

Needless to say, as I've seen the view count, the social media shares, the comments rise on yesterday's blog, I've panicked in a way I've never panicked before.

Tonight though, I'm taking comfort in the fact that the comments haven't been about how I've blogged but about what I've blogged.

Tonight, while I've been frozen in blogger stage fright - not just about what you might say to me about how I write but in how I would follow up the attention - I'm grateful for BlogHer and its community. Obviously, the BlogHer community is special and inclusive. It's a community I hadn't truly appreciated before now. When you all feel passionate, you speak. This, as a blogger, feels extraordinary. Given that, on BlogHer, I've received 40 comments on one blog post and, on the same blog post on my own blog I've received not one (as of this writing) comment, I understand the power of a community and the ease by which we've been given the capacity to log in and post/comment/reply without further hindrance.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for your thought-provoking comments. Thank you for not ripping this oh-so-humble-and-shy blogger apart as she appears in the "What's Hot" list. Never has the spotlight shone so brightly on me, Just Jane, in her infinite wisdom. You all give me both fright (oh my heavens I'm so anxious and scared over the attention) and exhilaration over what I've said.

You like me. You really like me.


Gaelyn said...

Sometimes success is scarier than failure.

Elizabeth said...

It was a great post, completely worthy of a spotlight. :)

Just Jane said...

Gaelyn: Boy, is it ever!

Elizabeth: Thank you :).

Lori Anne said...

I don't just like you, I love you. Your genuine, real writing is so refreshing and relatable. The more personal the story, the more universal as the saying goes. It takes courage to face your fears, but that courage pays off. When we have an opportunity to face what we fear most, we see how strong we are. We also get clarity on what the foundation is that we stand on, to steady ourselves. In Buddhism, those critical comments are called our noble friends. They offer rare challenges to test our inner strength. Bravo Just Jane. You rock.

Lori Anne

Just Jane said...

Lori Anne, I just teared up. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your newfound & scary success. :)
I, too found you via the BlogHer "What's Hot" list.
Now, I'm pouring backwards through your posts.
I enjoy your style and content.

Have fun, breathe and keep writing your heart out.

alienbody said...

I do admit to a bit of blog envy. I do not ever anticipating getting that much traffic or that many comments, but I keep pluggin' away! Good luck and congrats - you are gonna do GREAT!

Just Jane said...

bonsteele: Thank you! I hope you're finding some of the archives entertaining (and I'm hoping I won't be embarrassed about any of them in the morning lol).

alienbody: Just keep writing. I didn't see it coming either and then wham! Here I am. And thank you :).

Unknown said...

1. Alienbody-- just you wait, your day is coming. No need for blog envy. :-)
2. JustJane-- don't be afraid, sweetie. I think I recognized your name maybe from Schmutzie, so my impression of you was "She blogs with the big girls" even before I read your post on Blogher! Also, I had to chuckle about your bacon post-- the first post of mine to get any attention was about soup, for Pete's sake. ???
Please keep writing and we'll gladly keep reading!

Just Jane said...

Melanie: I know! Isn't it odd what captures readers' attention? It's so random and huge and fabulous!

Unknown said...

Totally random. Maybe we can trade-- I'll write about bacon next and you write about soup and see what happens? He-he.

Just Jane said...

Ha! I like it, Melanie. I'm positive I can write about soup.