Here’s the Thing About Introverts with Social Anxiety: We Disappear From Time to Time

annie_sweater - 1
Where’d you go? And when are you finishing my damned turtleneck?

IN THIS ARTICLE:

Ok, so I’m really, really bad at blogging; Hey, it turns out that I’m totally ok with being bad at blogging; Redefining blogging success for myself


People come, people go
Sometimes without goodbye, sometimes without hello
She’s got one magic trick
Just one and that’s it
Ooh… She disappears

It’s like, now you see her, now you don’t
You think you’re gonna get to know her now, well you won’t
She’s got one magic trick
Just one and that’s it
Ooh… She disappears

–  M. Ward, “Magic Trick” (from the album Post War)

Welp, guys, I guess I’ve done it again. I promised regular updates to you all and I didn’t deliver — which is, like, a cardinal blogging sin. Don’t give readers any expectations that you can’t live up to. And now, writing a new blog post feels like sitting down to write that long-overdue response email to an old friend. When the longer you wait, the more shame you feel, the more the anxiety builds, and the less likely you are to ever write it at all. At first you think about whipping out one of those fictional, I-never-got-your-email scenarios you keep in reserve: “Oh man, sorry it took so long — your email was sent to my spam folder for some strange reason”; “I’ve been getting so many emails lately that this got buried in my inbox”; “My account has been acting really weird and sometimes my emails get lost!” You know the ones.

So, all of this to say that I haven’t updated in a while because my inner critic was being a total asshole. I was ashamed for having had this grand idea of reaching out to self-doubting introverts around the world and trying to hook them on crafting — just to abandon it at the first sign of my own self doubt. Classic me. I was embarrassed to have told people whom I highly respected that I was going to truly get serious about this site. Maybe I could turn it into an actual self-sustaining thing. I mean, I pay my bills by creating web content to help corporations build an audience  — why not create content for my own blog and build something for myself?

Furball and me in hibernation.

A few people I told were actually quite enthusiastic about the idea of marrying the world of arts & crafts (and creative pursuits in general) with social anxiety/introversion support. A few even visited regularly, giving me the initial energy to continue plugging away at it. Though terrifying (I mean, I’m terrified right now) it felt liberating to write honestly and openly about my anxiety in a way I’d never done before.

But then the site visits dropped, as they will. The thumbs up and hearts dwindled on social media. I became obsessed with the numbers. I did what everyone tells you NOT to do when tossing your own precious content into the vast, undulating, ever expanding sea of digital media and its mercilessly fickle audience: I was taking the numbers personally.

Of course I was failing at this, I told myself. I just don’t possess the grit…the determination a person needs for this emotionally grueling enterprise. I’ve got social anxiety for f*ck’s sake — nothing scares me more than the act of public self-promotion.

But then something happened between my last post and this one. I lowered the bar I’d set for myself. A LOT. Blogging success no longer means growing a large audience or, hell, even a small audience. [perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Sometimes if you build it, they won’t come. And frankly, in this age of content overload, they probably won’t.[/perfectpullquote]

Or not…it’s all good.

But hey — that’s ok. Maybe no one ever reads this post — or any other post I create henceforth. Or maybe a lone person, riddled with anxiety and self doubt, reads something I’ve written here and for a fleeting moment, feels understood. Or if someone surfs in and gets inspired to learn how to knit. Well if so, then praise be, ’cause that sure AF spells success for me.

2 thoughts on “Here’s the Thing About Introverts with Social Anxiety: We Disappear From Time to Time

  1. So many people surf in and out and never say a word…I remind myself of that every time I’m on my little phone, and try to command the useless keyboard, in order to comment on any number of things…things I think that I have SUCH IMPORTANT THINGS TO SAY ABOUT, and then 3 failed autocorrects later, I realize are maybe not that important 😉

    also, run on sentence. I’m glad to see you pop up whenever you feel like it!

    1. Hey, fabulous! As always, I appreciate your encouragement and solidarity to the nth degree. I feel a little bit less like a lunatic screaming into the wind. A little bit. 😀

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