Social anxiety and the shut-in writer

My last day job often required to talk and collaborate with people all day, face-to-face.  Whilst I could do it if I required, it always left me with the feeling of having ‘lost’ something.

Before I joined the workforce 7 years ago, I was an anime-loving, website-building, games-playing nerd (and I say that with pride!), who made a good portion of her friends online via the big beautiful World Wide Web.  Friendships were easy to form from the safety of my bedroom, without a set of eyes staring and scrutinising me closely.

Naturally I loved to read.  Reading was another way of making new friends and going on exciting adventures from the safety of your bedroom.  To write is also to meet your own characters and visit any number of worlds and alternate universes, without the scrutinising eyes of a real human being.

Is this a simple personal preference, or a reflection of social anxiety or low self-esteem?

I think it may be the latter.

In me, it also translates to a fear of failure and a fear of criticism or not being good enough.  As a writer, it also meant I wrote:

  • Half-hearted drafts, before they were abandoned for not being good enough to continue with (never mind the fact that that is the exact point of writing drafts!)
  • Unpublished blogs and entries (they might be completed but they’re also my creations, my ‘babies’.  Afraid of critical feedback and disagreement, I kept them tucked safely in the ‘unpublished’ section forever)

But today, I want to stop being a shut-in writer!

I want to put my words and thoughts in the world, and I’m ready to hear what you think!  I want to know if you think if my writing is amazing, absolute crap or somewhere in between. I want to hear your suggestions for my improvement or any experiences and advice to share.

I want to stop being a shut-in writer, and I want to become a writer.

You’ll never get anywhere if you don’t try, and that would be worse than failing.

Dear shut-in or formerly shut-in writers, please let me know if your concerns, fears and your journey so that we can learn from each other.


(Image source: bLaugh)


2 thoughts on “Social anxiety and the shut-in writer

  1. I read somewhere that to gain something, one has to lose some amount of the other thing. I guess, to become a writer, one has to lose the caveat of social anxiety. I firmly believe until the post is not out there, I myself cannot judge for mass number of readers/bloggers as how that post is. Excellent post!

    1. Hi Aman, thanks for your comment! 🙂 That’s a great way to think about it. I’ll remember it and use it to motivate myself every time I’m not sure I’m brave enough to hit publish!

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