A few months back, I wrote an article about why blogging could be the greatest therapy there is.
Indeed, there are clear upsides to using blogging as some sort of therapy treatment, such as learning to appreciate small things and developing self-awareness through reflection.
But it turns out it may not actually be enough a treatment on its own.
After more than a year of sharing online and becoming a better version of myself through sharing my thoughts and difficult episodes of my life, I find some major downsides to it too.
Blogging allows you to reflect and learn more about yourself. It doesn’t really matter what you write about because, in the end, it all comes back to you thinking about a topic and developing ideas related to said topic.
Those ideas will, without fault, come from your own experiences and demonstrate who you are and how you see the world.
However, while during therapy with a professional someone is actively listening in order to help you, readers are here for themselves. Not you.
Only a small portion of readers will take the time to reply.
That isn’t a complaint. It is just how we all do. Why would I comment on something I barely enjoyed or which interested me partially?
It’s just like there aren’t 4 billion comments on a video with as many views on YouTube.
For this reason, tough episodes may fall short if your readership is still small. Comments won’t be there to support you.
On the contrary, it may be useful if you just need to get it out of your system. But that’s not the case for every single episode.
For experiences you hope to get feedback on or opinions to help you understand, the lack of responses may feel like a letdown and leave you with a bad taste in your mouth.
Of course, that shouldn’t stop you from continuing to write. At least you’ve organized your thoughts on a topic and can move on, if just a bit.
A different time-frame
Writing as an anonymous writer isn’t the best solution when you want to make it a big part of your life because people will have trouble connecting with you as a person.
The goal of every non-fiction writer, after all, is to create a connection with the readership.
However, writing can also be a scary place as you leave your feelings out in the open and having your name stuck with a piece of writing is also something that can make anyone feel extremely uneasy.
When your name is attached to a piece of writing, friends, colleagues, family, and potential future employers will have access to anything you have written in just a few clicks.
This pushes anybody not anonymous to keep some things for themselves. After all, you don’t want to show how you are complaining about your boss if she could see it the same night, right?
For this reason, as writers online, we sometimes have to keep certain opinions and feelings hidden while at the same time trying to stay honest and true to our values.
This can be a complicated balance.
Any consistent non-fiction writer will tell you the same thing: what we write comes from our life.
Our daily life.
What we experience on one day reminds us of another experience or something else we have seen or read about and triggers a potential article.
It is not for nothing that we are seeing many articles about the change of payment system on Medium for the past week. The change was announced and writers are directly impacted. For this reason, the need to share and reflect on it is strong among writers of the platform.
But what about things we are not ready to share with the world then?
Those are better kept to intimate conversations or even therapists if need be.
Maybe we’ll be ready to share them later, but the probability of the wrong person reading the wrong article is just too high right now.
And we turn to the further past.
The stronger the feelings about a topic, the more afraid we become and the more we end up avoiding topics related to the present.
After all, what if a topic you wrote about honesty let slip the fact that you like that guy or that you hate your colleague?
Unfortunately though, the more you get away from that topic you hold dear, the more you let it eat you inside. You become more and more afraid and let the positive results of self-reflection found in blogging slip away.
Is there a solution?
It comes down to one very vague concept: Acceptance.
There is no “one solution” for anything and blogging isn’t the exception confirming the rule.
Yes, blogging has its advantages and is a great therapy method. I’ve used it as such and I can vouch for it without fault.
But it isn’t the solution to all your problems. Nothing is on its own.
Having close friends or family to talk to can be a great solution to expand and share your troubles with for instance!
And if something really is eating you alive, go talk to a professional. It is often looked down upon but it may just be the missing piece to your solution.