Fear of Blogging

As Udemy has immediately posted on my behalf on Facebook, I have now signed up for a program called SUM-it-UP, created by my dear friends Anastasia Ashman and Tara Agacayak. The purpose of it is to streamline your presence on the web so that you make the most of it. ‘Mine yourself for purpose and profit’ is the motto.

I had been intending to keep this step to myself. In fact, I’ve been resisting it for a long time. I’m fully aware that there is much one can do to polish up one’s web presence, so I latch on to many a miracle cure that winks at me from my screen. For a while now, Anastasia and Tara have been gently prodding me and generously sharing all their knowledge and good advice. Each time I read another article they post I know that, yes, if only I could take all the steps prescribed, I too might make social media work for me. Full of new enthusiasm each time, I throw myself at the task, only to meet total blockage. I suddenly feel paralysed, unable to blog or post one more word on Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin. I slump back in my seat, convinced it isn’t worth my while anyway, and wait until this latest bout of utter negativity dissipates.

It’s not writer’s block, no. Because in the meantime I did write a number of books, three of which have been published and one that is coming out in September 2013. And I’m not particularly shy either, having worked as a TV correspondent for many years and feeling quite at ease with public speaking. But when SUM-it-UP came along, and my cursor was once again hovering over the ‘sign up’ button, there was that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, a sensation of floating in a vacuum where anything I do seems doomed to remain pointless and without impact. I was about to surf away from the page, when I suddenly remembered something.

Recently I’ve rediscovered a process called Emotion Code, invented by the Californian Dr. Bradley Nelson. The principle behind it is that strong experiences create an energy charge, also called an emotion. Sometimes this charge can get trapped in the body and eventually start causing problems, whether they be physical or mental. What, I thought, if this paralysis of mine is due to such a trapped emotion?

I went through the steps and uncovered an event from when I was ten. I was in a huge crowd on a market square. The south of the Netherlands, my home country, was celebrating Easter Carnival. This medieval tradition dictates that for the four days that the festivities last, a ‘Prince of Carnival’ becomes the mayor of the town and spreads laughter and fun. Everyone dresses up in mad costumes and can basically do whatever they want. The idea is to collectively let go, to pop the balloon of stringent conventions.

The crowd surrounding me was craning their necks to cheer the Prince of the Carnival on the stage. I too stood on my tiptoes, delighted. For this Prince was also my dad.

Of course, I was immensely proud of that. As my costume I had made a cape, not quite as splendid as the one my father was wearing, but I had painstakingly decorated it with drawings and hand-written bits of information about myself. Naturally, I also shared my relation to the Prince. It was – if you will – my first blog.

That’s him, the tall and princely guy!

Soon enough I heard a snigger behind me. A handful of children were holding up my cape and reading the texts out loud. From their mouths my proud words suddenly sounded stupid and pompous. They made fun of my drawings, and, adding insult to injury, they refused to believe that I was really the daughter of the Prince.

I stood there in horror, feeling totally alone and defenseless. In my stomach was that same, powerless feeling that has, without my conscious knowledge, been haunting me ever since, whenever I was about to expose my inner self again.

Now that I have released the various negative charges of that memory from my system, I am curious to see what effect it will have. Who knows, I might start blogging properly. Meanwhile, I put my trust in Anastasia and Tara’s SUM-it-UP.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Anastasia M. Ashman says:

    Thanks for writing this, Jessica, and posting it, and especially, for sharing your fascinating insight about the emotion code in play when you consider committing to your online presence. Your cape-with-bits-of-info-about-yourself is a very apt analogy to the digital wake we trail behind us online.

    You are SO not alone!

    One of the reasons Tara and I created the new Udemy version of SUM-it UP is so that we could make it a richer, more dynamic, multimedia experience including tons of video coaching clips based on feedback from the participants while they do the program…and so far, a majority of that video coaching is not about “which tools, or how to use the technology” but rather around the emotions and vulnerabilities that *becoming visible online* bring up. Addressing this, and finding safe ways to explore and expand your expression of yourself online is foundational to building something that works for you. That’s what we hope to show you in SUM-it UP.

    Thanks again for so bravely sharing this insight. In doing so, you’re helping a lot of other people.

    1. Jessica Lutz says:

      Thank you for your encouragement, Anastasia. I have to admit I let this post sit in my computer for a day, before I shared it. But I did put it out in the end, didn’t I? 🙂

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