Visiobibliophobia or prosopobibliophobia is the fear of social media which can either be because you have commitment issues or because you have a fear of rejection.
Either way if your answer is yes, then we are on the same page. And, we are not alone.
But, it is surprising how less this is talked about. Social media may be all hip and happening but it is also scary and fad for some. Being a content writer, I see how many people approach us to write their Facebook and Instagram bio. We spend hours thinking which emoji will increase sales. It is serious, funny, and stupid at the same time.
I remember when I started my blog, I was super nervous. It was hard to connect it to social media, especially because my Facebook is full of family members and close friends. The fear of coming out as yet another #wannabewriter was real. For almost 1 year I wouldn’t dare sharing my posts on Facebook. I, with some guts, created a Facebook page. But again, I could not publish it. When, I finally published the page, I unpublished it within a week.
Talk about social media being boon, huh!
Okay, let’s be honest, it is a boon. Put to it this way, the social media is a platform and I have stage fear. “Urgh! Boring articles.” or “Typical angrezi poems.” were some of the most dreaded statements that scared my ass off. But, here I am writing another article.
How did I grow out of the social media terror? Um, honestly? I didn’t. Except my website post, there’s hardly anything I post on my feeds. There are like 50,000 social media guides asking writers to use 30 hashtags, post 3 times a day at so-and-so o’clock, keep a track of their follower’s interest, like a 50,0000 photos a day, and follow who-is-who of social media fame.
Dammit, do I have a life outside Instagram and Facebook!
But, again. Am I a blogger without an audience?
So, how do you get past this hell of a gallimaufry?
1. Have Some Confidence in Yourself
You can do it.
Commitment, consistency, and persistence are super hard. They can make you sweat, your heartbeat jump, and your mind anxious. But, there is no other way to success that going through them rather than around them. Around is a lengthy process – and way more time taking. Sometimes, you end up before reaching your destination.
Even if you do not have any self control, you can still try.
Try is a life saver and do not forget about the “what if” game.
- I actually write and publish consistently?
- I actually became famous?
- All my dreams are realized?
- It works out?
- I were being a total nutcase for doubting yourself?
Begin with small goals. There is no need to start a blog with an aim to publish each day or every week. 4 posts a month is also a pretty cool target and does not even sound tough. You can totally kill it!
Try not to procrastinate because research shows that procrastination eats the same amount of energy as doing what you are not doing. Procrastinating will only mean one thing – double efforts. Write it. Get over it. Lead a happy life. Or may be go back to sleep.
2. Have Some Confidence in Your Art
The biggest fear in me comes from doubt – “Will my readers like what I have to say?”. I am pretty sure many of us share this fear. But, let’s try to improve instead of molding ourselves to get a false fan base. I see poets copy each other all the time. You could just look at some poets feed and tell which famous public figure’s feed is imitated here (hint: most likely Atticus, Perry Poetry, or Rupi Kaur). Stick to your originality – we already have a Shakespeare and a J.K. Rowling.
Sure, some people are going to like you, some are going to hate you, and others won’t care you exist. But, that is totally normal. It happens with me all the time – at home, in school, in college, at office, everywhere. It happens with Emma Watson too. Just because 200 people on Instagram don’t like your stuff doesn’t mean the rest of 7,530,399,800 won’t find you absolutely awesome.
Ever heard the story of the poet Henry Charles Bukowski?
Today, Wikipedia introduces him as ‘poet’, ‘novelist’, and ‘short story writer’. But, what was he before all of this? He was a wandering hobo who took up many odd jobs until Jon Edgar Webb found him in 1960s.
Bukowski wrote thousands of poems and published over 60 books. He was known for his explicit imagery and profane language. However, he never changed just to try to impress a bunch of people. Born and brought up poor, he hardly had any fear of losing what he was generously offered – money and reputation.
Well, you can be that kind of risque by sticking to your writing style.
3. Hush That Stupid Voice in the Mind
I read somewhere “Our brains are designed to be efficient not accurate.” Next time your brain tells you that you won’t be able to make it, tell yourself he is just being your nit-picky aunt again.
Your negative thoughts are your defense system, satisfy them with a plan B not by dropping your dream plan A.
Sure you are gonna make it. Sure you are gonna be a famous poet. That novel is going hit the best-selling list. You are going to have your big, huge, humongous fan base.
Do not forget that J.K. Rowling or Stephen King were not found on Facebook or Instagram.
4. Ping The House – Being Traditional Ain’t That Bad Either
Keep honing your writing skills and sample your best poems or story outlines to send to a publishing house. Did someone just call me insane?
If you are waiting since forever to take this leap of faith then I think you know who is insane. What could go wrong? They will reject you, big deal!
I remember having a chat about getting published with an aunt and she said “If you are not rejected by 20 publishers, then you have written nothing great.” This may not sound meaningful but it is. Only mediocre stories and poems are a safe zone. Write 5 liners about losing love, women empowerment, being self-sufficient and you are good to go. But, do you really wanna do that? Do you really want to write something that you yourself are bored of reading?
Well, then take chances and hustle without losing confidence, intention, and positivity.
5. Do Not Leave Your Day Job
Been there, done that, currently working in IT.
I took a 6-months’ break thinking the day job is not leaving me enough time to write anything. What did I write in those 6 months? Hardly anything at all. I was too messed up in my mind about being broke.
Find a middle way – say take a job that leave you soon or that gives your enough space to write for yourself. Sure there is going to be the ideal job somewhere, probably waiting for you. This way, you will not have to worry about earning through your write ups. Once that kind of pressure if off you, you will feel less compelled to appease anyway with your writings. A free bird chirping its own song!
6. Do Not Compare
You might be comparing someone’s middle with your beginning, which is, unrealistic.
7. Shrug and Move On with That Post
Despite everything said and done, the fear of posting the wrong thing remains as horrifying as ever before. The neck-chocking-crotch-kicking compulsion of posting only the best quotes, pictures, and headlines have curtailed possibilities of trying anything new.
I still struggle with what to post. I post and delete, post and delete, and stick to delete because I cannot decide whether the picture goes with the rest of my feed. Does it go with the palette I have decided? The color scheme? The theme?
I really have to remind myself it is my feed not a theme park. I can say what I want, how I want, and in color of my choice. So can you.
These mantras help me from getting bummed by social media. I can write that which I want to write without worrying about the day when I will finally hit 1M on Instagram or be pursued by Neil Patel.