Let’s talk about blogging fears

Let’s talk about blogging fears. Earlier today I attended the Oxford Brookes University Health and Life Sciences Research Conference 2013, and enjoyed some inspiring sessions. Amongst them, there was a session called “Blogging for healthcare and life sciences: What is the potential for academic development, research and teaching?”, by Marion Waite and Anne Osterrieder. It was a brief, engaging session covering some basics about blogging. We also discussed some of the most common barriers when it comes to blogging. That is, the things that stop us from posting our thoughts on our blogs. Lack of time aside, I was particularly interested in what I like to call apparently some people already call the blogger’s block.

To me, the major block is the idea that what I post will make me look less professional, and possibly stupid. In essence, my 3 main barriers are:

  • It’s all up to me. When I have published before, there has always been some kind of peer review process. For instance, my latest paper on the British Journal of Dermatology went through a few comments and modifications. Any published scientist will agree that that is a rather annoying process. But, nevertheless, I find it reassuring: if these experts decided to publish my stuff, it can’t be that bad. In a way, it’s someone else’s decision, so the mistake cannot be all mine. However, when it comes to blogging, I am here alone, typing. The decision of posting and the consequences of it are all my responsibility.
  • Language barriers. Not being a native English-speaker makes me very insecure when I blog in English. When I have blogged or written for the Web in my native languages Catalan and Spanish, I have never felt this insecurity. I have lived and worked in Oxford for many, many years, and my British family and friends say that my English is good. So I guess it is not that bad. But still, it lessens my confidence.
  • Blogs are not always good. I have seen more boring blogs than I can remember. I am also lazy, so unless a blog is really engaging, well written and relevant to me, I stop reading after the second sentence. So I worry that people will find my posts boring, irrelevant, badly written, too long, and so on.
These are my 3 main barriers. What are yours?