BEHIND THE SCENES: Changes I’m Working On

Happy Monday! Here’s what I’m working on (aka overthinking but like, strategically) this week.

Migrating from hosted (wordpress.com) to self-hosted (wordpress.org).

This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while but been 1) too afraid of f-ing it up, and 2) unsure whether “Blushy Ginger” was going to stick as the long-term domain.

I am still very much afraid of f-ing it up, and if you happen to see this blog go dead sans redirection, you’ll know that I succeeded. In f-ing up.

The plan I’m trying to accomplish is to migrate this blog and its content to sadie-hall.com. This is a domain I already own and used to use strictly as a freelancing portfolio.

Anyway, this week, I’m setting myself up with self-hosting (Bluehost) under sadie-hall.com AND migrating blushyginger.com there.

I’ve got it mostly figured out behind the scenes, except for how to migrate subscribers and followers. Is that even possible? My research continues.

Why GO To all the trouble?

Why not just keep blogging on blushyginger.com? Well, to be completely honest, I want to make a living from my writing. I already freelance in the language services field as a translator and editor, but my real dream has always been to earn an income as a writer.

I just never had the confidence to pursue it.

I want to write for other sites, write my own books and guides, and write a successful and helpful blog (that earns an income).

And since I do business as Sadie Hall and not Blushy Ginger, it makes sense to rebrand under my own name.

The rough plan

I have a rough plan of how to do this.

  • From the blogging perspective, I know I need to be self-hosted, and I know I need to learn about Pinterest, and affiliate marketing and ads. I’ve always shied away from those last two. I know for sure that I don’t want to turn this into a sales-pitchy blogmercial experience. So we’ll see. I’m just researching at this point.
  • From the “becoming a freelance writer” perspective, I’ve been learning about content writing versus copywriting. My mental roadblocks are imposter syndrome (for content writing) and fear of sales-y language (for copywriting).
  • From the “selling my own writing” perspective, I know I want to write a memoir, but I don’t know yet about self-publishing versus finding a small publisher. I do know that I need a platform of readers before it makes sense to try to sell my own book.

Are you interested in the behind-the-scenes process?

Let me know if you’d be interested in hearing about this whole process! I’m happy to share behind-the-scenes, from the techy logistics stuff to the business considerations to the mental roadblocks.

And if you have any advice, feel free to comment or drop a link!

Okay now let’s all cross our fingers that I don’t sh- the bed on this whole thing.

What I’ve Been Up To & Why I’ve Been Quiet

Hey you guys!

…you’re still here, right? My silence hasn’t scared you away?

Oh good.

Hi. 🙂


I suppose I would summarize it as:

ANXIETY

+

[parenting, freelancing, blogging, body, social media presence]

=

What I’ve been up to & why I’ve been quiet


So yeah.

The kids were away for a week a couple of week ago, visiting Jesse’s mom and stepdad. The break let us rest and reset our routines and priorities.

I introspected (as I do). I realized that the more burnt out I had been feeling as a mom in lockdown, the harder I was leaning into my Instagram account and, especially, leaning on my community there for support and company.

Which is good…

But the more I leaned into my Blushy Ginger-ing, the more I was feeling disconnected from the kiddos, and it wasn’t helping my burnout on the mom front.

So when they got home, I became very quiet online, left my phone in other rooms of the house (gasp!), and just focused on spending time with them.

Which Is good…

But the more I leaned into “being the best mom I can be,” the more I was feeling disconnected from my support system online. It might be hard to believe if you don’t do the online thing, but the friendships I’ve made online with other mental health and motherhood writers and creators have been huge sources of comfort and encouragement.

So… I’ve been having kind of a crisis of clarity and balance.

Obviously the kids are my world, my priority, my snuggly little cupcakes of cuddles and giggles. But I do still need my own time to use my brain and work on my mental health.

I’ve been having trouble finding balance.

So, I went quiet online, especially on my blog.


I’ll save the freelancing and body parts of the equation for another post.

I just wanted to give a little update.

Oh, and I redesigned my site, yet again. This time, it’s to bring my freelancing services under the same umbrella as my mental health blogging. I’ll chat about that soon too. 🙂

Thanks for still being here.

How I Deal With Self-Doubt as a Shy Blogger (6 tips)

I wrote a post in January where I shared the inherent challenge in blogging about what it’s like to be shy or have social anxiety.

Basically, the thing you’re blogging about is also the thing that makes you feel like you should hold back from blogging at all. Here’s that post:

Today I wanted to share some ideas on how to shift your mindset away from self-doubt, self-consciousness, and imposter syndrome, so that you can calm some of that creative anxiety.

I hope you enjoy!

Related post: I’m Having Social Anxiety About My Social Anxiety Blog


#1. Trust that your REAL is better than your “perfect.”

Photo from Canva Pro

Don’t wait to share your thoughts until that fantasy moment when you finally achieve perfection…

… because that moment will never come.

Even if you get to the place you currently think of as “perfect,” your inner perfectionist will just try to move the bar higher and tell you that you’re still not good enough to relax and feel confident.

Your inner perfectionist is wrong: you are already good enough! Share your voice.


#2. Realize that other people don’t see you the way you see yourself.

Photo from Canva Pro

I’ve had so many people tell me how shocked they were to find out I have severe social anxiety.

They always thought I was confident and had my shit together. (HA!)

No matter how “honest” we think we are being with ourselves, there’s a very good chance we’re magnifying our own shortcomings and minimizing our strengths.

No one is tracking your ups and downs as closely as you are.

(Have you kept track of every time I’ve made a typo on this blog or shared a thought that wasn’t earth-shatteringly insightful? Almost certainly not.)

Related reading: Ashley from Mental Health @ Home recently did a post called Do Your Blog Posts Say What You Think They Do? on the potential disconnect between what we put out there and how others interpret it. Definitely worth a read!


#3. Keep in mind that you may help people without ever finding out about it.

Photo from Canva Pro

How often do you read a blog post without leaving a comment, even if you enjoyed the content?

That’s okay! There’s no obligation to engage with a blogger, Instagrammer, YouTuber, or any other kind of content creator. (Although it is usually appreciated!)

So if you’re ever feeling like you aren’t having an impact, just consider that for every person who does like or comment, there could be 10 more who also enjoy your post but (for whatever harmless reason) don’t interact with you.

You won’t always get to know the impact of what you put out there, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t creating value for others.


#4. Accept that you will feel self-doubt.

Photo from Canva Pro

Fear can co-exist with creativity and expression.

It takes courage to put yourself out there as an imperfect person. It takes strength to show vulnerability. It’s easier to conceal our soft spots, including from ourselves.

If you can learn to accept that you will feel self-doubt and stop trying to fight it, you can redirect that energy toward creating and sharing content even while feeling unsure.


#5. Think of it as joining the conversation.

Photo from Canva Pro

Not every post has to be epic.

You don’t have to save the world with every piece of content.

Try to create some mental space between your content and yourself. That way, you can think of creating content as contributing your thoughts to the ongoing conversation rather than baring your very soul and deepest self to the world.

Which sounds TERRIFYING even in the hypothetical.


#6. Take your own advice.

Photo from Canva Pro

Think of what you might tell your best friend if they confided in you and said, “My ideas are garbage. I can’t do this.”

Now tell those things to yourself, because the shy writer inside you needs a best friend, and that best friend is you.


Those are my 6 tips for putting your thoughts into the world even if you struggle with self-doubt! I hope you found them relatable.

These ideas are not (sadly) magic pills that I can just take and then go create content fearlessly. I have to work through shyness and self-doubt every day.

Some days I’m not in the right head space to even want to feel more confident (the self-sabotage struggle is real).

But they do help me: I’ve managed to put out 47 blog posts and 140+ Instagram posts since rebooting my blog and account in November 2019 (aaaaah!!!).

So, from one self-conscious creator to another: YOU CAN DO THIS!!!!!!

You don’t have to be perfect to bring value to others.

Besides. Has holding yourself back made you doubt yourself LESS? I say we might as well put ourselves out there.


What are some ways you deal with imposter syndrome and that niggling inner voice of self-doubt?

22 Anxious Thoughts About My Social Anxiety Blog

Here are 22 anxious thoughts I’ve had as a social anxiety blogger (yep, I get social anxiety about my social anxiety blog):

  1. You’ve embarrassed yourself by oversharing.
  2. You’ve done your readers a disservice by not sharing more, or sharing the right stuff.
  3. Your posts are way too casual and informal. No one wants to read that. You should be doing things like “10 Ways to Overcome Social Anxiety” and “Day in the Life of a Mom with Social Anxiety.”
  4. But don’t do posts like that either, because they are way too commercial and it’ll look like you’re trying too hard to grow your readership with “clickable” titles.
  5. Stop talking about social anxiety so much. It sounds like that’s all you think about.
  6. But don’t talk about anything else either, because you need to stay in your niche, otherwise people won’t know what to expect from you.
  7. You should take more time to write thoughtful, articulate pieces.
  8. But don’t look like you’re trying to sound smarter than you are.
  9. Share more. Your experiences can help people.
  10. You share too much. You’re not an expert. No one wants to read about another’s person’s challenges. They have enough of their own.
  11. How can you be inspiring if you continue to struggle?
  12. How can you be consistent if your mood fluctuates and you can’t follow a plan unless it “feels” right in the moment?
  13. You should write more about mom life and parenting.
  14. But you don’t know anything about that either.
  15. You share too much about your kids.
  16. You take too long to reply to comments.
  17. You’ve fallen out of the habit of commenting on other blogs. People have noticed and they feel like you don’t care about them. Why would they read you if they think you don’t read them?
  18. You need to show up on your blog even when it’s hard.
  19. But it’s hard every day right now.
  20. Don’t be too depressing or you’ll make things worse for your readers instead of helping them.
  21. You’re trying too hard to make “perfect” and polished posts. This is not a magazine. Just post what’s on your mind.
  22. But you’re embarrassed about what’s on your mind and if you’re honest about how insecure you feel about everything, then everyone will know how vulnerable you are, and no one will come to you for encouragement or advice.

I think we all struggle with some form of imposter syndrome and self-doubt, right?

Note: This post was updated to its current form on July 9, 2020.

Why It’s So Empowering To Blog About Mental Health

I’m just going to come right out and say it:

Me, coming right out and saying it with my eyes through the magic of the selfie.

You guys are amazing.

You, my dear sweet readers.

Whether you’re a WordPress follower, email subscriber, or free-range reader, I appreciate the time you take to read my stuff.

I’ve been getting love and support and encouragement in the comments here and on Instagram, Facebook, and by email.

Having real conversations. Getting and giving advice. And so many heart and smiley emojis.

And not to get all sad puppy on you…

(He might not actually be sad. I don’t speak puppy. I assume he would say roooof roooof.)

…but for someone who is essentially insecure about her permission to exist in this world, and certainly about her “right” to have an opinion that she repeatedly launches into the unknown abyss of the internet like an uninvited word missile…

Well let’s just say you soothe this gentle soul’s uncertain heart.

(I do realize there’s a dangerous flipside to caring so much, and that is how vulnerable it leaves me to any eventual negative responses — and it’s the internet, so there will be blood — but I’m trying to avoid any catastrophic thinking and just bask in the virtual love.)

You guys make me feel like the emotional equivalent of this GIF:

Just kidding. That’s my face when my husband says he’s taking the kids to the park for a couple of hours and then bringing home Dairy Queen and coffee.

Which has totally happened countable times.

Okay, okay, park AND Dairy Queen AND coffee didn’t all happen at the SAME TIME. But if they DID, that’s what my face would look like.

This is how you actually make me feel:

Okay lady, what’s with all the mushiness today

I’m writing this post because Blushy Ginger hit a mini-milestone last night. With WordPress followers and email subscribers combined, we’ve hit 100 subscribed readers.

I’m starting to feel like this blog may actually be a thing.

I may actually be able to help people with my words. And maybe even make them laugh along the way.

This would be the realization of a long-held, long-hidden, long-held-back dream.

And that brings me to some questions about what kind of content to zoom in on going forward.

Tell me what you want, what you really really want

A successful blog (I have been told) balances the writer’s creativity and personal message with the actual needs and wants of readers.

Because without you, this blog would just be a very fancy and colourful diary. (Which is fine if that’s the blogger’s goal, but I want to write to connect with others after a life of avoiding connection and engagement.)

I’ll obviously keep writing about social anxiety.

But there are so many ways to narrow down that theme:

  • Would it be valuable to focus on social anxiety as a mom/parent specifically?
  • Or social anxiety as it affects a marriage?
  • Social anxiety and freelancing/entrepreneurship?
  • Social anxiety and creativity?
  • Social anxiety and sexual health and wellness?
  • Disorders/conditions related to social anxiety, such as perfectionism, depression, body focused repetitive behaviours, eating disorders and body dysmorphia, and more?
  • Social anxiety versus shyness (versus introversion, versus high sensitivity)?
  • Social anxiety as it affects hermit crabs, possums, and sloths? (I don’t think it affects them much, but hey, who am I to say what torments the souls of crustaceans, marsupials, or… wait, what IS a sloth anyway? Is it a marsupial? [Hold please…] It’s a…  what the shit is this word: Xenarthran mammal… Okay… I guess that’s fine. Way to ruin my punchline though,  Xenarthran.)
  • Anxiety and high sensitivity in children?

And just how much of myself should I share?

There’s a lot to consider here, too:

  • I’m getting a lot out of the “dare to share” approach I’ve been following.
  • It’s exhilarating to remove the shackles, untie the arm behind my back, and just see what it would be like to be Very Me for a change.
  • But just how Very Me should I be? (I mistyped that as “But just how Very Me should I pee” the first time, and obviously we have to have SOME boundaries, people.)
  • At what point does reading diary-style, lay-it-all-out posts become old hat?
Old. Hat.
Photo by Immortal shots from Pexels

Here’s my vision for this blog

Connection. Comfort. Relatability. Humour.

I want the time you spend here to benefit you just as much as it benefits me.

I would truly love to hear what kind of content you would enjoy reading as I build this cozy little online hermit cave for us to meet up in from time to time.

There are lots of ways to reach me:

  • In the comments
  • By email me (blushygingersadie [at] gmail.com) — I’m a little slower with email but I’ll always reply
  • On Instagram (@blushyginger) — I’m very active on Instagram; it’s where I post less polished stuff and interact with lots of like-minded folks 🙂
  • Through my Facebook page or on Twitter (@blushyginger) — I’m not sure I’ll keep these two accounts long-term, since I don’t really know what I’m doing on there and it seems a little overkill to have all of these accounts, but they’re both contact options for now

That’s it for today, you lovely blogophiles!

(Yep, still need to work on pet names.)

The most excited wave in the world, coming to your face.

Thank you for reading!

Why I Write About Social Anxiety Even Though I Have Social Anxiety

Is there an inherent irony or contradiction in sharing your struggles with social anxiety online?

If not, why do I find it so much easier to publish my experience into the void than to go out among the humans and have real-life people interactions?

I have a theory:

No, not that theory. But that’s the kind of thing my inner critic once made me fear others would think. That’s why I held back from writing for so long.

But eventually, the desire to create, to write, to connect with digital humanity, to help others (if I may dare to dream) — those forces overrode my fear of sharing this part of my life.

And since that moment when I decided to just go for it and write about life as a socially anxious hu-mom, and all the moments since (because being brave is not a one-and-done decision), I’ve felt powerful.

I have the power to write about social anxiety and connect with you, the dear readers who choose to spend a few minutes of your day reading my posts. Speaking of which…

Hi, new readers!

(Me.)

I’ve been so pleased to see quite a few new followers since my post went up on Ashley’s site yesterday, so hi and thank you and welcome!

I’m still figuring out my posting schedule and writing tone (I like funny writing but I’m afraid that if I try too hard for funny I’ll end up just writing an endless series of bad dad jokes or is that my social anxiety talking and my impostor syndrome acting up probably shush you).

And I’m still trying to gauge whether it’s more interesting (for me and for you) and helpful (for me and for you) for me to do journal-style super-intimate posts or more polished, article-type posts.

So it will be a work in progress. And that’s okay.

Soul-searching (but they say gingers don’t have souls… so that’s a problem)

I had a mini-epiphany this week when I realized that in my attempt to make THE BEST BLOG AND INSTAGRAM FEED IN EXISTENCE, with endless philosophical and earth-changing and orbit-shattering revelations, I was holding back the parts of myself that might be what make me a likeable and relatable human.

Like my dorkery and geekery and inability to be scandalized (try me) and goofiness and insatiable desire to please people that is constantly at war with what feels like my failed duties to live up to the stereotype of the feisty red-head AND sexy librarian at the same time.

So I will attempt to care a little less and a little more about how I come across. I don’t have to solve the world’s social anxiety in every post. Or any post.

This post is a pretty good example of social anxiety’s inner tug-of-war

And that, my friends (you’re my friends right? be my friends please), is social anxiety in action.

It’s like a blanket of angsty self-judgement that gets set on fire and thrown over you any time your real, not-so-meek, not-so-polished self tries to peek out of its meerkat hidey hole. (There is NO way I’ll find a GIF to capture that image.)

Final thoughts

So, now to actually answer the question, “Why do I write about social anxiety even though I have social anxiety?”

Here’s my actual, sincere answer:

I think it’s because social anxiety really isn’t a personality trait. It’s not who I am. It’s who I seem like, to myself even, sometimes. But it’s a barrier to the real me, a filter, rather than the true person.

Does that make sense?

I’m delaying ending this post because it’s fun and liberating and scary to write like this.

Byeeeee!