Anxiety and Blogging Events

18 May 2018

I've umm-ed and ahh-ed about how to start this blog post, and I don't think there's an easy way to go about it. I want to talk to you all today about anxiety and blogging events - two things that don't really go hand-in-hand. They're things that I've been thinking about a lot lately... possibly because I've been pushed so far out of my comfort zone lately (that's a story for another day), and possibly because I've been invited to more events than ever before. Without beating around the bush, I struggle with blogging events, but I'm much better than I was and I wanted to share a bit of an insight into my story, as well as give some tips on how to make attending events a lot easier.

A few years ago, I was authoring a blog called Olivia's Notebook. I've mentioned it a few times on here, but it's a great reference point because I've changed so much since then. I've told you all about how unhappy I was with it, but at some point during the couple of years that I was writing on it, I started to get invites to events. At first, I was a bit blown away that little old me from Stockton-On-Tees would get asked to attend such things, especially because my blog was awful, but I was excited about them nonetheless.

I'd say yes to them almost every time, but when the time came to actually going, I'd crumble. I can't even tell you the amount of times I got ready to go and then had a huge breakdown. All I could think was "I'm not good enough for this" or "I don't know anyone that's going" or "no one will speak to me." Sometimes, it would get so bad to the point where I became physically ill for days afterwards, and then I'd feel guilty for not going. This was especially the case if I hadn't been able to bring myself to email the brand or business to say that I wasn't going to be able to make it. I know, that's terrible of me, but in the moment, it's extremely difficult to do anything except have a panic attack.

I started to stop checking my emails and if an invite came in, I'd say no straight away. I was happy enough to sit behind my laptop and watch all the photos or tweets roll in from the events. It killed me inside a little bit, but I just couldn't get over the fear.
With the deletion of Olivia's Notebook came a brand new me. I decided that I wanted to write a blog for me and not make content that I thought other people would want, and so The Northernist came to be. Yes, at the start, I was still anxious about events, but I promised myself that I'd make more of an effort to try. And that's exactly what I did! I had been blogging for well over a year before my first invite came (it was to the Turtle Bay preview night and I briefly mention my past relationship with blogging events in the post). Whilst I was reading it, the butterflies were there, slamming themselves against my chest and stomach, but I knew I had to push myself. I replied to the email and said that I'd be there, and I stuck to that promise. I turned up to the event, completely alone, sat with people that I had never met and had the best time.

Since then, I have been to many more - a couple with J, but mostly on my own, and that is miles ahead of where I was with Olivia's Notebook. Sure, I sometimes feel a little queasy at the thought of going somewhere new or I may get a bit shaky, but that all subsides as soon as I'm there. I'm so proud of how far I've come and while it's sometimes not possible for me to go to everything I'm invited to, I try to make the effort to go to as many as I can. It's been great for my personal growth, as well as to network and meet new people.

Now, I won't lie, it wasn't easy to get to this point, so I'm going to share five tips with you, just in case there's anyone out there that struggles with similar problems. Of course, these can be applied to going to any event, not just blogging ones!
1. Ask if you can have a plus one - this seems so obvious, but don't be afraid to ask for a plus one. Having somebody there that you know and trust can make a huge difference! If you felt comfortable enough, you could even explain to the brand or business that has emailed you that you are anxious about the event and would appreciate having someone there with you.

2. Find other people that are going - if you can't have a plus one, social media is a great way to find out who else will be at the event. If there is a specific hashtag for the event or for bloggers in the area, use that to ask questions and chat to other people that are going. Or you could join a Facebook group for bloggers in your area to achieve the same thing. The North East blogging scene have a couple of different areas to chat, so I'm certain there will be hashtags or groups for bloggers across the country! This will give you a chance to get to know people a little before meeting them or to arrange a group to go with.

3. Visit the place that the event will be held at - this is something that I find particularly helpful. Before I went to the Turtle Bay event, I made a point of walking past the restaurant front and looking inside to get a feel for the place. Unfortunately, this was before it had officially opened, otherwise I would have gone in to sit down and eat, but even just making that initial journey there was useful. Of course, this can't be done every time as an event may be far away, but for those that are close by, definitely give it a go!

4. Wear something you love - there's no better feeling than being somewhere and feeling confident in what you're wearing. Even if you are having a bit of a wobble, putting on that killer dress or those sharp, businessy trousers can make a world of a difference. There may be a dress code, so take that into consideration, but if not, go wild! If it's a certain top that makes you feel extra good, work it. If there's a certain pair of shoes that you haven't dug out in a while, get them on. If it's a panda costume that makes you feel confident, you may get some funny looks, but why the heck not?!

5. Be selective - it is absolutely ok to say no to an event if you don't feel up to it or if it doesn't fit your blog. We shouldn't have to feel like we have to say yes to everything as long as we don't fall into the habit of saying no all the time. I know that this isn't as positive as the other points, but I used to feel so much guilt for not going to events, but as long as you've told the brand involved, it's completely fine.

This was a pretty personal post to write, but like I said, it's something that I've been thinking about a lot lately, so it feels good to get it all out. I hope that this post helped at least one person, but if not, I hope you enjoyed reading about my journey and tips!

Whould you like to comment?

  1. Fabulous tips that I'm sure will help someone. Blogging events are always a tricky one as you also never quite know what to expect!