Breaking through the bounds of performance anxiety

One of the things that the past week of reflection and remembrance has brought to fore relates to the shift and tone of the content I’ve created on this blog. Around the middle of 2011, I faced a challenge in trying to leave behind the personal voice that had so characterized my blogging in the first 5 or 6 years and move forward into a more professional tone and style that initially felt impersonal and stripped of all character and personality. Yet, I persevered because I was trying to create content that better reflected my career goals at the time and wanted my blog to showcase my analytical capabilities and client funded activities.

Given the achievements of the past decade – articles published in the Harvard Business Review blog for instance, or peer reviewed conference papers – I cannot regret the deliberate effort required to transform my written style. However, today, it is this very transformation that begs the question on the role performance anxiety has played in effectively silencing me online for extended periods of time?

Professional writing on the blog requires insightful analysis and selection of topics that not only reflect one’s expertise and interest areas but must at the same time provide a finished product of much higher quality than the personal ramblings that characterize the content of my oldest blog archives. When I am in the field and there is navigable space within the client company’s NDA to ponder and write, the blogposts flow with little or no effort as each new insight or observation triggers the urge to create. But in between times, it has always felt like an intangible burden to seek out and shape some content that would fit within the narrative arc of the blog as well as reflect the company’s service offerings.

Last weekend, massively inspired by reading the Kalevala, I deliberately took the decision to break away from this self imposed editorial policy and simply write words again as they came to me. I was unsure of what that meant in terms of this website, which has long been the digital face of my career and the online address of my registered business. After a gap of a few days, I picked up the flow of words again and have continued adding my thoughts since then. There’s a flow coming back in a way that I have not experienced in more than a decade. Its certainly not the music I’m seeking but neither is it the painful struggle to write that I’ve felt in these intervening years.

Has writing what I’ve tagged as Kaleva’s songs lifted the burden of performing in public?

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