I began my blog with a sense of reckless abandon. Nobody was reading, so I could be sassy and crude. I could dance while nobody was watching. I could frolic in the grassy fields of my inner-child’s imagination. I could use as many stupid metaphors as I damn well pleased.

Nobody reads blogs anyway, right?

Well, apparently people do read blogs. Like,  lots of people. Strangers from all over the planet, in fact, and this realization made me break out in a nervous sweat.

How it all began …

On the very first day that I published, I got one visitor. One whole visitor! I was stoked. This visitor was kind enough to leave a comment: “Nice site, easy on the eyes and great content.” Me? A creator of great content? Wow!

(Retrospectively, it was most likely a spambot stroking my ego, but that spambot sure gave me a happy ending.)

From there, a modest number of visitors began to arrive and I felt like the host of a small house party. One by one, guests arrived, and I welcomed them in the door and poured them a plastic cup of keg beer. I pumped the music up. Let’s get retarded! Let’s get retarded in here!

Excited, and lost in the moment, I started to perform the running man for my small circle of friends and family. Why not? We’re all comfortable with each other.

Then, unexpectedly, strangers began to flood into my party in unanticipated numbers. My blog’s statistics began to skyrocket. Enthusiasts began subscribing. Strangers began liking my blog on Facebook. Tweeps began re-tweeting me. Commenters left lovely remarks: “This is a very good. Please write more great stuff like this.”

(Retrospectively, they were probably all spambots, but still …).

With this influx of attention, I grew self conscious. My party music screeched to a halt. I found myself frozen under the spotlight, eyeballing the crowd, paused midway through my running man dance.

The guests were watching, waiting for me to do something.

I felt panicked to suddenly find myself at the centre of attention. I began to question what I’d done to draw such a crowd and, more importantly, what I needed to keep doing to have them stick around.

I worried incessantly:

What if I insult somebody? Are conservative elderly folk reading my blog? Maybe I should censor my music? (Let’s get it started! Let’s get it started in here!) What if I say something crude and offensive? I tend to say ‘balls’ a lot. I’m a big fan of the word ‘balls,’ but maybe people don’t like ‘balls’? (I mean — nobody really likes balls, per se, but they sure are funny to talk about. Aren’t they? Or is that just me? Oh Jesus Christ! Oh Holy Allah! Oh no, I’m being insulting again!)

With this self-doubt, my emotions began to grow unsteady:

I locked up. Writing began to take way too long. I was tempted to plagiarize myself and steal my own jokes. Once playful posts were edited down to nothing, and then deleted entirely.

Something was wrong.

I was blogstipated.

Weeks passed. My palms grew sweaty. I wrote infrequently, and when I did write, I hovered nervously over the ‘Publish’ button for far too long.

But then I remembered a quote I once saw scrawled onto the studio wall of my favorite late artist— a creatively uninhibited innovator — Brett Whiteley.

It’s better to be hated for who you are than to be loved for who you are not.

If we let ourselves get inhibited by big crowds; if we censor for the mainstream, we lose our experimental sense of play. We can’t create anything innovative if we’re merely mimicking safe, unoriginal methods. And then what will be left? Politically correct fluff. Or creative blue balls.

That’s not good.

So, from now on, I’m going to do my best to keep my creative beast off the leash. I’m going to try to keep my sass on. I’m going to insult a grandma or two — not on purpose, but simply because I can’t please all of the people all of the time. I’m going to keep doing the running man, even if I look like a foolish idiot to complete strangers.

Now … if you’re still here: let’s get retarded!


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124 Response Comments

  • Lauren  June 17, 2011 at 3:37 am

    Glad you’re going to keep blasting the music! You are very good at the running man, so please don’t stop.

    • Torre DeRoche  June 17, 2011 at 7:15 am

      I think you’re one of the lucky few who have had the pleasure of seeing my running man in real life.

  • lauren  June 17, 2011 at 3:42 am

    Great stuff! Insult those g-ma’s and tell it like it is!

    • Torre DeRoche  June 17, 2011 at 7:18 am

      Exactly, Grandma. Take that!

      Actually, my grandma is very liberal. She shocks me with her crude remarks about Mexican men (she’s addicted to them, even at 80-something).

  • Sally  June 17, 2011 at 3:43 am

    I can totally relate to this post. Like you, when I first started blogging hardly anybody read my stuff. (Unlike you, I had no idea Google Analytics existed, so I have no idea how much I was being ignored. Ahh, ignorance is great, ain’t it?) After 3 years of being more or less anonymous and being able to write whatever the heck I wanted (or just not write… for like a month or whatever… because I was busy, okay?), I started getting a lot more traffic and a lot more strangers.
    In many ways I’ve enjoyed the increase in popularity (I mean, what girl doesn’t like being popular?) but at the same time it can be a lot of pressure — pressure to write stuff people will like, pressure to write stuff people will tweet, pressure to just, you know, actually write stuff and not take a month off here and there.
    I think I’ve managed to stay pretty much true to myself in my writing, but there are weeks when I produce stuff that doesn’t feel “me.”

    • Torre DeRoche  June 17, 2011 at 7:23 am

      I blogged 6 years ago for 2 years and had no means of checking stats. My blog didn’t even take comments. It WAS bliss — I had such creative freedom. But then again, those articles are kind of crap so maybe the pressure to please is a good thing? A blog article’s success is a quick way to know what’s working and what isn’t. Writers usually don’t learn those lessons until they release a few books.

      • Torre DeRoche  June 17, 2011 at 8:12 am

        That said, there are big differences between what makes a successful book and what makes a popular blog post. Still … it’s good to get your feelers out that way.

  • Sheryll  June 17, 2011 at 3:46 am

    PREACH! This is exactly what I needed to read today. My posts have become less and less frequent, mostly due to the fact that I feel I can’t REALLY be myself. And by be myself, I mean curse like a sailor and talk about Beyonce. At the end of the day, people will love it, and people will hate it, but all that matters is that I’m being true to myself.

    • Torre DeRoche  June 17, 2011 at 7:24 am

      Oh Sheryll, please keep being yourself. I love reading the inner-workings of your psyche. I feel like a fly on the wall of your therapist’s office, and that’s why I keep coming back for more! You’re easy to love.

  • Kirsty!  June 17, 2011 at 3:59 am

    Totally agree with you on this one Toree – have been blogstipated myself more than once, but that Brett Whitely quote sums it up perfectly. If you want to blog and don;t have a thick skin you need to get one asap! Mine is def a work in progress but it’s great to know other bloggers feel the same. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Torre DeRoche  June 17, 2011 at 7:25 am

      Do you know of a good cream for a thin skin? 🙂

  • Dyanne@TravelnLass  June 17, 2011 at 3:59 am

    I can so relate. “blogstipated” is sooooo right! I too have been lately perpetually ambivalent about polishing every mot til it glistens vs. just blathering on the fly. I started my blog merely for fun and/or to chronicle my past travels and document my move to “some g-forsaken rice paddy” in Southeast Asia. For MYSELF. But now that I’ve got a (pathetically) few eyeballs watching… I’m stagestruck and afraid to hit the “publish” button.

    Love the quote. So very true/wise. But still…

    • Torre DeRoche  June 17, 2011 at 7:26 am

      Funny thing, the ego. It needs so much bloody attention all the time!

  • Kirsty!  June 17, 2011 at 4:00 am

    Oops sorry about the typ0 – I meant to write Torre 🙂

    • Torre DeRoche  June 17, 2011 at 7:27 am

      Actually, some of my best friends still spell my name Toree, so that’s okay (it’s closer to how it’s pronounced anyway).

  • Adam @ SitDownDisco  June 17, 2011 at 4:12 am

    Three cheers for you for not being fake. There’s plenty of generic fluff out there.

    • Torre DeRoche  June 17, 2011 at 7:27 am

      Yep. It’s call commercial radio and television! Thanks for your comment.

  • Julia  June 17, 2011 at 4:23 am

    I can totally relate. I had a post that got a lot of attention after a couple of months of nothing, I started to obsess over how many subscribers I had, but the RSS feed website wasn’t working, so I couldn’t find out. Then I started to second guess what my next posts would be and trying to come up with something that would be as cool as the one that got 20 something comments from strangers. I told myself to chill and not let all of that worry seep into my mind because otherwise I would be screwed and not able to write ANYTHING. So I made a pact with myself to never look at my RSS feed. It doesn’t matter to me right now. I just want to continue to write and not let that number bother me.
    I can’t wait to read more from you – now it seems like I will really get to see who you are!

    • Torre DeRoche  June 17, 2011 at 7:31 am

      Oh the pressure!

      RSS feeds and statistics are hell, so it’s a good idea to ban yourself from them. If there was a formula to successful posts, everyone would get on the bandwagon. It can’t be predicted. So there’s not much point in second guessing yourself all the time. Well, I’m telling myself that anyway.

  • Leif  June 17, 2011 at 5:09 am

    Hey Torre,
    I love this article. I love your party metaphor and blogstipation haha. I have been feeling exactly this way the last few weeks. It was almost as if you wrote this just for me.
    Thanks Torre,

    • Torre DeRoche  June 17, 2011 at 7:33 am

      I have a bit of a metaphor sandwich going on, but that’s okay — I like sandwiches. Your earthquake post was sOOoo good, as was your Bulgarian border post. You’re a talented man, Leif, I hope you get over your blogstipation soon. Fiber?

  • Vidya Sury  June 17, 2011 at 5:34 am

    This post, I lerrrrrved it! And balls to anyone who doesn’t like it.

    I guess everyone goes through the what-will-people-think and i-want-to-make-everyone-happy. I remember hovering over my edit blog posts page wondering whether I should knock off those silly jokes I used to post years ago. (oh yes, I started my blog in 2003 – fancy that!). Then I just let it be, because what good is it, letting other people live your life when you are so eminently qualified?

    I am going to lurk lurk lurk here! I am already retarded. What next?

    • Torre DeRoche  June 17, 2011 at 7:35 am

      This is a quote to keep: “what good is it, letting other people live your life when you are so eminently qualified?” Thanks for your comment!

  • Sarah  June 17, 2011 at 6:06 am

    Why do my blog stats look nothing like yours? I thought I also signed up for the self-emoticon stat graph?

    I also feel creative writing blue balls from time to time. But for me, the prescription is similar to it’s male human being counterpart…some time alone and a fresh pair of socks! (Was that taking it too far? Am I taking the whole party metaphor too literal?)

    In all honesty, this post was tops. (And I swear I’m not a spambot.)

    • Torre DeRoche  June 23, 2011 at 1:08 pm

      Oh man, if only I could computer program – I’d be selling the self-emoticons like hot cakes. Who doesn’t want to see their mug on graphs and analytics?

      I’m a big fan of taking things too far, so thanks for the fresh socks.

  • Zablon Mukuba  June 17, 2011 at 8:31 am

    Am glad you are comfortable in your skin. and you are right nobody likes ball per se

    • Torre DeRoche  June 23, 2011 at 1:11 pm

      I’m glad we agree on that.

  • jill- Jack and Jill Travel The World  June 17, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    We went through a very similar experience. Fortunately, my in law was one of the first readers of the blog (forgot to tell Jack not to tell anyone about it) so that self-censorship was on from the very beginning.

    But we have stopped looking at Analytics because I’m afraid it’ll influence what we write and how often we write much more than it should.

    • Torre DeRoche  June 23, 2011 at 1:11 pm

      Nice work, I should block myself from analytics … and Twitter … and Facebook … and sweetened condensed milk.

  • Andrea  June 17, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    I wouldn’t worry about offending someone – you can’t please everyone. That’s the most important thing I’ve learned in life. Write what you love and what you want to read. And always be honest. The best compliments we’ve received on our own blog are the ones that say, “I love how honest this post is…” It’s the only way to be!

    • Torre DeRoche  June 23, 2011 at 1:13 pm

      Yes, honesty is always a beautiful thing, even if it’s sometimes an ugly thing.

  • Tucker Bradford  June 17, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    Oh my god, I’m totally at the 1st running man stage, and about to take off my pants. I’m grateful for your advice, but I think I might leave my pants on now.

    • Torre DeRoche  June 23, 2011 at 1:13 pm

      Take it off! Take it off!

  • Sabrina  June 17, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    Good point. It can be kind of scary to think about who reads what and what could come out of it… but I’ll try to remember your quote the next time my finger hovers to long above the “publish” button.

    • Torre DeRoche  June 23, 2011 at 1:15 pm

      It is totally scary. Conservative friends, relatives, future employers … I think I’ve done some permanent damage. But god it has been fun!

  • The Rhythm Method  June 17, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    You’re certainly not alone here. I’ve had these feelings at varying stages of my blog, but I’m at the point now where I’m comfortable being the host of my party. So if I start doing the caterpillar on the rug, my regulars won’t be totally shocked. And anyone new who comes along will just have to get their wriggle on or just keep walking. Yes?
    I read this post over at Joy and Wonder, I think you’d love it as much as I did:

    • Torre DeRoche  June 23, 2011 at 1:16 pm

      I loved it! Gorgeous and worth printing.

  • The Travel Chica  June 18, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    Love it, and I look forward to seeing more of that creative beast!

    And I’m stealing your word “blogstipated.”

    • Torre DeRoche  June 23, 2011 at 1:16 pm

      Oh no, you’ve just blogstipated me again. 🙂

  • Rease  June 19, 2011 at 12:47 am

    I, for one, love the word “balls” and use it with reckless abandon.

    • Torre DeRoche  June 23, 2011 at 1:17 pm

      It’s a word that just keeps giving.

  • Audrey  June 19, 2011 at 11:49 am

    I’m glad you’re still doing your running man dance! I recently came across your blog, and I must say I love your writing style! It has me giggling in front of the screen. I’m very much looking forward to reading Swept 😉

    • Torre DeRoche  June 23, 2011 at 1:17 pm

      Thank you! I can’t wait to share it.

  • Scott - Quirky Travel Guy  June 19, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    I think every blogger has had thoughts like this. But I remember reading that part of the job of a blogger is to cultivate the audience he or she wants. Be who you are, and those who don’t like it will stop reading, and you’ll end up with an audience much more in sync with you. It’s liberating to think of it that way, instead of worrying about offending someone.

    • Torre DeRoche  June 23, 2011 at 1:19 pm

      True, but then you read an influential blogger suggesting: “Give your audience what they want.” But that just sounds boring if you ask me.

      • Annabel Candy, Get In the Hot Spot  December 13, 2011 at 9:39 am

        Not if they want YOU:) That’s liberating and it’s what every blog reader wants.

  • Lauren @ Pure Text  June 19, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    I’m down. 🙂

    But really, I can learn lot from this. My upcoming, sort of already out there, blog is about editing–if I’m not careful, or rather if I’m too careful, it may get really boring really fast.

    Thanks for the post!

    • Torre DeRoche  June 23, 2011 at 1:19 pm

      No probs, thanks for your comment and if you’re down, drink more beer!

      • Lauren @ Pure Text  June 23, 2011 at 11:14 pm

        Haha, I meant “I’m down” as in “I’m in!” But, yes, beer is good.

        • Torre DeRoche  June 23, 2011 at 11:48 pm

          Oh – ha ha! Yes, drink more beer anyway.

  • Christy @ Ordinary Traveler  June 20, 2011 at 4:29 am

    Good for you! I feel the same way… you can’t please everyone, so don’t even bother trying.

  • Saadia S. Shamsie  June 22, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    I LOVE this post! you are TOO right! I went to TBEX in Vancouver earlier this month and I learned SO much, but part of what got me stopped in my tracks was the mere fact that in order to be considered “good” or be “liked” and have visitors on your site, you have to follow all these “rules”. Do this, but don’t do that. Use this, but don’t use that. From convos on SEOs and words editors hate to read and pitching and all this other (great) info, I got to thinking ‘crap I’m doing it all wrong’. But after reflecting on it for two weeks (prior to finding ur blog) I realized the hell with the rules. I’m going to write my way and some people will like it, others won’t. What I really care about is that *I* like it. =o)

    Reading your post was a reinforcement and I want to thank you for that! hehe.

    • Torre DeRoche  June 23, 2011 at 1:27 pm

      I’m skeptical when it comes to any kind of blogging advice. What worked last month won’t work this month … the internet is a morphing wild animal and it can’t be harnessed!

  • John  June 22, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    Please ignore this comment as I am probably a spambot too. I really think it is a waste of time writing “Loved this post, thanks for sharing”, sounds too much like trying to publish a link to another blog to me. Which in my case it actually does. But in actual fact, I did enjoy reading your post.

    It is all very well publishing a real slick video about your Pacific Odyssey and a very amusing dog, but I now want to see you doing the “Running Man”, on the YouTube Channel of yours.

    • Torre DeRoche  June 23, 2011 at 1:29 pm

      Thanks, John.

      As for my running man dance, it was purely metaphorical. I’m quite certain that you don’t want to see the real thing, though I’m sure I can coax my dog into performing it for you (I’ll just tie her arms together and then put her on a treadmill).

  • Toni  June 22, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    High five to that Torre!
    I’ve often contemplated changing my style of writing because I’m sarcastic, flirty and not that serious but you know what I’ve realised lately? Since really getting into the travel blogging scene, it’s good to stand out in a sometimes saturated market! I thought about toning it down and being more professional but then thought ‘screw it’. I’m 24, young, single and this is how I write so it’s staying whether people give me good-looking statistic graphs or not. I also said ‘screw it’ to censorship and even talked about my sexploits on the road despite my friends and family reading it…you only live once and I’m not ashamed of the things I’ve done on the road. It’s all experience.
    I’ll join you in that music and keep on dancing the whole night through =)

    • Torre DeRoche  June 23, 2011 at 1:30 pm

      Nice work! My sexploits are exposed in the first few pages of my book, so there’s no redeeming myself from now on …

      Meh, oh well.

  • Ekua  June 23, 2011 at 4:17 am

    Haha! What really got to me more than the strangers was the realization that all my mom’s friends have found and read my blog. Awkward. Also awkward is writing honestly about traveling to a country you didn’t like when your stats tell you that a lot of people from that country read your blog. But in the end, blogging suffers if you worry about what everyone thinks too much. I am still working on not trying to tiptoe around people’s hang ups!

    • Torre DeRoche  June 23, 2011 at 1:33 pm

      “Also awkward is writing honestly about traveling to a country you didn’t like when your stats tell you that a lot of people from that country read your blog.” — Ohhhh, ouch! That IS awkward. Oh well, someone has to tell them.

  • Steven  June 23, 2011 at 8:07 am

    Haha, excellent post! “Blogstipated”, “creative blue balls”?? Love your writing. Keep it up!

    • Torre DeRoche  June 23, 2011 at 1:35 pm

      Thanks, I’ll try!

  • marion  June 23, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    OH, yes!

    So much truth in this, but not just in how we write, really about how we live our lives. Living and writing to appease others never works and holds us back from our true creative genius!

    Reading this, I got inspired to get back in touch with what I want to say, with who I am. The “beast is off the leash”

    It is a lovely blog !

    • Torre DeRoche  June 23, 2011 at 1:35 pm

      Yay! I’m glad you’re inspired to let your beast roam free 🙂

  • Meg  June 23, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    This is inspiring. I just recently wrote a controversial post on euthanasia. My mom wrote me a long email telling me how she doesn’t know me anymore, how I have no morals or ethics and how crude the pictures were that I put up. So, I went on and deleted the pictures, but left the content. I was so upset. I wrote about something I was passionate about. I wasn’t trying to offend anyone and I felt so defeated. But you are right, this blog is for you, and is you. Why should we have to hide behind a corner? If you don’t like it, don’t read it.

    • Torre DeRoche  June 23, 2011 at 11:31 pm

      The relationships we have with our parents are complicated. They’re not just another person, they’re people we are constantly seeking approval and love from. But if your views on life vary wildly from your parents and they’re unable to accept you for who you are, that is not your problem. It’s your journey, your life, and you’re free to formulate your own opinions. If you don’t honor your own sense of right and wrong, you’ll end up as a miserable and confused person.

  • Clare - Never Niche  June 24, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    This made me smile from ear to ear. I’m a stranger but I’d still love to get retarded in here.

  • Lindsey @ Morningstar Project  June 24, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    LOVE this! I stumbled upon your blog from Cordelia Calls it Quits. I haven’t laughed out loud to a blog in a while but reading this post made me not only smile but start laughing out loud, in Starbucks no less. Keep doing what you’re doing, it’s good stuff.

  • Hugo Martins  June 26, 2011 at 11:48 am

    As a novice bogger myself, I found this post very useful. Though I am not on the spotlight right now, maybe one day I’ll be (or not) and I’ll think about what you said and not panick!

    P.S: did you really meant to say ‘retarded’? I was expecting ‘restarted’ but if you meant ‘retarded it was pretty funy hehe

  • Lorna - the roamantics  June 27, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    Yeah! Why give up doing what made all of us show up to this kick-ass party?! I get it, but forget it 😉 Carry on and while doing the running man just do the most appropriate thing ever- sing “Can’t Touch This” in your head 😉

  • Niicaux  June 28, 2011 at 6:11 am

    “It’s better to be hated for who you are than to be loved for who you are not.”
    Can I say an AMEN up in here!!!

  • Katja  June 28, 2011 at 7:57 am

    The thing about blogs that follow all the “rules” of blogging is that, on the whole, they’re boring. You can tell who’s writing for stats and SEO and all that crap – and equally you can tell who’s writing for the love of it because their personalities come through, flaws and all. The ones I read are the ones in the second camp. The first ones are merely spammers, and bollocks* to them, I say!

    *My favourite version of balls. 😉

  • Lois  July 4, 2011 at 11:47 am

    This post is hilarious, I just invited myself to your party singing Let’s get retarded…

  • BlackChickOnTour  July 30, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    Love your blog. Keep doing what youy do. And, no, I’m not a spam bot!! 🙂

  • vira  August 22, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    yay! let’s get retarded! let’s pretend that nobody reads our blogs! *if that’s possible* hahaha..

  • Patricia GW  October 11, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    I love your stats image especially – it’s brilliant! I’ve felt the same way many a time with my own blogs, hovering over the publish button and feeling self-conscious. I’m sticking that Whiteley quote over my computer 🙂

    I’m sure you can tell by the comments that I’m reading through your archives – something I never do when I read a blog, but I love your writing style and sense of humor! I’m sure your new book has made your dad very proud.

  • Davis  November 10, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    I’ve been at it for six months and while I have not suffered Blogger’s Block I have agonized over what I wanted floating around out there forever with my name on it.

    My first agony was to figure out what I was trying to do with my blog, and finally settled upon extracting presentable stories from the mess of two packing boxes full of old travel journals. This means I want to produce publishable-quality as opposed to blog-quality work and so my blog has gone from a part time, off-hand lark to a demanding Harsh Mistress, sucking the oxygen out of all my other projects.

    And I am no longer just sending amusing bits from my daily journal to entertain my friends, but now have non-paying strangers looking over my shoulder and judging me. And for all I know, keeping a dossier on me or planning legal action. When I first got visitors from Red China I assumed they were ChiCom Intelligence.

    My numbers have gone up most months, even when I haven’t been demanding that my friends read my damn blog, but at the moment I am just keeping track of the different countries that my viewers come from, sort of like radio hams used to collect distant contacts.

  • Alan Horton  November 28, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    I’m sure many bloggers can easily rate to many of the fears and concerns you express in this post.

    It is amazing how bloggers subscribers mount up over time, keep up the good work.

  • Lylim | Flyleaf  December 6, 2011 at 8:10 am

    Lol late to the game as usual but I just read this post and loved it. I only wish I was inhibited by large crowds of blog visitors!

  • Bex  December 31, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    You have a great way of summing up how I felt when I first started blogging.
    “I felt panicked to suddenly find myself at the centre of attention. I began to question what I’d done to draw such a crowd and, more importantly, what I needed to keep doing to have them stick around.”
    TOTALLY relate! I mean, who’d think that anything I had to say might actually INTEREST people, let alone people from far reaches of the globe!
    Thanks, Torre – you are a true inspiration. I love reading your insights and am sorry I missed your self published book (after getting a Kindle for Christmas, I’m a bit of an addict!) Never mind – May 2013 will be well anticipated. In the meantime, keep up the work here – you’re relatable, that’s what makes you come across as everyone’s friend.

  • Codruta Marin  January 5, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    Yess!! I can totally relate to that, exactly what has happened to me on various occasions. And then you feel pressured to be ”likeable” instead of truly writing what you feel like. Which ultimately sucks for your content and your talent.

  • Katherine - Kapcha The World  June 21, 2012 at 2:02 am

    I can totally relate to what you are saying. I’m going through something similar right now. Was just friends and family before and now people from all over are reading my blog – and it freaks me out! I only just came across your blog today but I love your style of writing, and realise now that we just have to be ourselves and do what we do best and if some people don’t like it then so be it. Thanks for the ‘pep talk’ 🙂

  • Debbie  August 10, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    Thank you for being sooo honest 🙂 it issooooo refreshing! 🙂

  • Ellen  August 12, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    I’m a student. I just started blogging to chronicle a backpacking adventure my sister and I will take next summer. The whole thought of someone reading my posts almost makes me self-conscious. Right now I feel like I have to sensor what I write, or try to make it academic and proper, or something. Hoping that my nerves calm down! Love the Brett Whiteley quote!

    • Torre DeRoche  August 13, 2012 at 1:31 am

      Hi Ellen. The trick it to write as though you’re writing to a close friend. Tell yourself, “Nobody needs to see this,” and let everything and anything pour out. Then go through what you’ve written and take out the bits that make you feel too exposed. Chances are, by this stage, you’ll feel more brave and you may not have to cut anything at all.

      And one more thing: if you don’t feel a little exposed, then you’re not sharing anything worthwhile. Feeling uncomfortable is a good sign. It means you’re being vulnerable. Keep that feeling alive when you write and keep doing it anyway. I’ve been blogging and writing for several years and I still feel very nervous every time I hit “Publish.”

  • Lynne Knowlton  December 24, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    Blogstipated and retarded ! LOVE IT ! Story of a bloggers life. I can totally relate. Great post !!!! Love love love !
    Happy travels and keep unleashing those creative juices. Say NO to blue balls.

    • Torre DeRoche  December 25, 2012 at 3:05 am

      Thanks, Lynne. It really is the story of a blogger’s life. 🙁

  • DEK  March 4, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    Yes, I know the feeling. You discover that someone is reading your blog and you start wondering if you ought to be writing for them. I have come to suspect that I have a bunch of White Russian Orthodox readers of my blog and I wonder if I ought to write more for them. But I am writing about a trip into the Amazon jungle and they seem to be reading every post.

    Don’t worry about your readers, they are there because they want to be.

    That’s why I don’t have advertising. The blog is pure expression of the ego. I like to think that my readers have fun watching me have fun.

    I wish I got more feed-back, as I edit so much out of what I eventually post and I would love to opportunity to add things, but I am having fun and my readers are having fun, just as your are. You have a delightful blog even though we are not the least alike.

    By the way, where do you get those ego-stroking spambots? I have a shameless and utter undiscerning appetite for praise.

  • Candace  March 7, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    Love this post, Torre! I was reading through some of the comments as well and couldn’t agree more with what you said to Ellen: “If you don’t feel a little exposed, then you’re not sharing anything worthwhile. Feeling uncomfortable is a good sign. It means you’re being vulnerable.” Blogging has always been a bit nerve-wracking for me, but also so worth the risk. Looking forward to when your book launches in the US!

  • Britany (@britseeingstars)  March 7, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    The ‘ol publish button hover… definitely a habit of mine. I find myself panicking a little over the potential reaction of certain posts but its usually those ones I worry about that end up being the most popular and/or the ones I’m most proud of. I love the candidness of your blog and if you could actually post a video of you doing the running man dance, that would be fab as well. 🙂

  • Christine Campbell  March 7, 2013 at 11:48 pm

    I think it is the people with the most talent who doubt themselves. You are a lovely soul Torre keep doing what you love and do well. I’m sure you are inspiring a lot of people out there and given it is International Womens Day, how appropriate you write of your doubts and jump right over them. Much love…Chris

  • Chris Marlowe  March 8, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    You’re magnificent! Very like your mum- straightforward. slightly confrontational, but always totally honest & up front! Never met your dad – he was always writing in his “Shed/office/den”& not amenable to
    trivial meetings. But, I do remember your mum putting a whole egg in the microwave at Mt E, then an explosion of egg gas & consequent aroma! She was too much attuned to another issue-raised by Chris S- namely my facial features vis a vis another person. Hahahahaha

    • Torre DeRoche  March 9, 2013 at 8:19 am

      Wow—your memory of my parents is still spot on. Dad hides out in his office working, while mum sits inside being semi-confrontational, straightforward, and kind to a never-ending stream of guests. She has stopped microwaving eggs, though.

  • Lisa  March 17, 2013 at 6:12 am

    Torre I love this. Or should I say “Dr Torre”. You have just diagnosed and cured me from my “blogstipation” as I realize the only person I truly write for is myself. ( I hope you have a patent pending or copyright for “blogstipation”.) And if Nannas are savy enough to use a computer, they will be hip enough for your tunes so don’t be afraid to offend!! Lisa xox

  • Josefa @always Josefa  April 1, 2013 at 8:53 am

    I just stumbled across your blog tonight from That Space in Between and this is the first post I read – love it! and your words resonate. My blog is only a baby, but I started because of my love for words and telling stories, yet I seem to be telling less stories and being more matter-of-fact ho-hum as of late. Maybe I need to worry less about other people’s stories and just get on with telling my own.
    Look forward to the book – congratulations, that is absolutely wonderful xx

    • Torre DeRoche  April 2, 2013 at 12:22 am

      Thanks, Josefa. I think I need to take that advice too!

  • Gourmet Getaways  April 23, 2013 at 12:14 am

    Love it all! Great sentiment… you have balls girl 😉

  • April  April 24, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    So glad I found your blog! Feeling scared out of my mind because I’m getting a few “likes” on my blog and thinking “oh no! strangers outside my inner circle are reading my blog” Slowly I’ll gain confidence. Congrats on your book and look forward to reading that as well!

    • Torre DeRoche  April 27, 2013 at 2:33 am

      Haha. Stage fright: I know it so well. Thanks for the congrats!

  • Somewhere Salty  May 3, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    I loved this post! It made me smile, and think of myself. Thanks for reminding me what’s actually important (although it’s hard, isn’t it?)

    Keep on doing what you are doing. I’m gonna go read the rest of your blog now 🙂 Good stuff! and ‘no pressure’ 😉

    let’s get retarded in here!


  • Cyndi  June 7, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    I’m a new reader and a BIG fan (no pressure!) 😉 I needed to read this post today. On the spectrum you mentioned from No Audience & No self-consciousness —> Popular! Must please! I’m far closer to the left than the right. I’m still learning this blogging game, and reading this inspired me and reminded that everyone starts somewhere. And, also, to enjoy the beginning part where there is little pressure (and to say “balls” more often. I should definitely do that.) Thanks for a great post!

  • Brendon @ Nerd Travels  June 13, 2013 at 7:06 am

    Really great post, I can relate to this so much. Luckily for me I’m still enjoying a fairly quiet house party occasionally it even feels like everyone has left and I get to have those awesome moments where you dance and sing around the apartment at the top of your lungs when your home alone, But sometimes like you said strangers just keep crashing the party and I feel like I should be writing in a very informative way or second guess what I’m writing.

    It’s especially hard because I don’t really consider myself a writer. I’m just someone who like’s sharing his stories and adventures online 😀

  • Nichole  June 21, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    Thank you for this post! I’m getting some good traction on my site and I’ve been having the exact same fears. I recently mentioned having the best sex of my life in a post and I was SWEATING that maybe some people would judge, be turned off, etc. Turned out to be my most popular post to date.

    I also worry about swearing, etc. So thank you! I’ve been leaning towards just being myself and haters be damned but this helps me feel more confident about that decision. Congratulations on the book deal, I’m preordering the US version tonight!

  • Ante Mazalin | SailingEurope  July 3, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    Great quote by B. Whiteley and yes please insult a grandma or two 🙂
    I two have to say thanks for not being fake.

  • Michelle Elle  August 19, 2013 at 2:07 pm


    I’ve totally gone on long hiatuses – sometimes blogging just gets too overwhelming for me. I started blogging for myself, a digital journal of sorts – and then there were all these travel bloggers, and they were so much cooler than me, and had been to sooo many places, and eaten so many exotic foods, and what the heck else could I possible contribute to this world?

    So I started writing for myself again. In an actual notebook. Sometimes in my private blog. But I missed bloggers, and making those wonderful connections…so I came back, and I’m going to get over this scary blogging stuff. Cuz blog-people are kind of worth it, y’know?

  • McKinzie  September 4, 2013 at 10:25 am

    Wow! I just happened to come across your blog while looking for inspiration to start my own. I have never blogged before and really the idea of throwing my ideas out there for anyone to see is a bit intimidating! As I scrolled through a list of 20 Bloggers, First, I saw your picture and thought, “Yup, she looks cool.” Second, I read below your picture that you fell in love with an Argentinian.. as I just moved back from living in Cordoba for six months, I can relate to falling for an Argentinian, or two.. 😉 So I clicked on fearfuladventurer to read more..
    I’ve only read a few of your posts so far and loved them! I already know I’ve found that bit of inspiration that I was needing. I can’t wait to continue reading about your adventures and hopefully start blogging about my own..
    Thank you, thank you!

  • Andy  October 15, 2013 at 10:21 am

    Blogging is definitely a balance. It is there to be your voice and that is why people read blogs. If they were not personal, they wouldn’t be yours. As a teacher once told me, “I never learned something from someone whom I agreed with.” Keep up the good work!

  • Sofie  January 7, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    I LOVE this!
    And I think I know how you feel.
    The more people comment, the more I feel obliged to write for more people.
    Does that make sense?

    And yes, ‘balls’ is an amazing word.

  • Kianna  March 3, 2014 at 7:20 am

    Hi Torre!

    I just started my own blog a few months ago, so far not a lot of traffic but that’s ok, I’m still in that ‘writing whatever the heck I like’ phase. I came across your book because I’m obsessed with travelling, I read it in like 1 night, loved it, and have been reading your blog ever since. I too am from Victoria in Australia, I’m 24 and am getting restless, I’m about to head over to London to work and travel, so I definitely feel I can relate to you. I look forward to reading about your future adventures and hope you will maybe enjoy reading mine!


  • Ann Cee  March 4, 2014 at 1:56 am

    I love this! I pitter-patter with my blog, some days/weeks really gung-ho. Then it falls to pot and it’s a blog wasteland for a month (or two. okay three.). I stink at the whole analytical/keyword thing.

  • this one laydi  March 7, 2014 at 1:56 am

    definitely just fell in love with this site <3

  • Nicole  April 29, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    This is…really good advice. It’s stressful to try to create something like a blog, because there is no editor/boss there to tell you when you’re doing something wrong. You’re making all the decisions on your own. It’s scary! I like what you’ve said. I’ve just found your blog but I’m really enjoying it *wanders off to peruse the archives in a totally non-creepy manner*

  • Bec  June 23, 2014 at 11:48 pm

    Hi Torre, I know this is a really old post and you may not see my comment but i can completely relate to this and to your writing in general. I am actually reading your book at the moment, as i too have gone sailing with the love of my life while at times ferociously vomiting over the side.. though not crossed a big ocean, it still took me a while to wrap my head around it and we are actually heading off on another big trip soon this time with our third addition (our baby boy). I have recently started blogging and this post and your most recent one about the internet making you insane has basically summarised my existence over the past few weeks. I have made a personal blog (for my craziness to escape) and am trying to make a more professional blog for our upcoming sailing adventures (cruisingwithcid.blogspot.com.au) but trying to do that and tend to a small human is challenging particularly when i am re-learning about all this html mumbo. So it has been refreshing reading your experiences it has made me feel a little less off kilt. Cheer Bec 🙂

  • Brendan  August 14, 2014 at 5:56 am

    Hi Torre, I’ve just discovered your site and I love this post. I relate completely, I’ve been blogging about 7 months now and after building an audience I’m starting to get screen shy. I too write entire posts and then delete them because I think they’re too out there. Better to be hated for who you are than loved for who you are not. Simple and true. Thank you!

  • Heather (hdoherty)  September 1, 2014 at 12:14 am

    Torre your style of writing is insanely comical and so unique. Don’t ever change. I’m very very new to travel blogging but since starting my blog last month I’m overwhelmed by how much writing down your experiences fuels your hunger for that passion even more!

    Share your life experiences, sharing is caring. I’m sharing my blog with you should you ever wish to have a browse http://www.travelpod.com/members/hdoherty


  • Tyra  September 16, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    This piece was really good. Funny and reassuring.

  • kb  September 24, 2014 at 11:18 am

    I can definately see why you keep having more and more visitors your blogs post are entertaining, now dance monkey, lol

  • Megan Van Ostaeyen  January 14, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    “Blogstipated” ahaha… My new favorite word! Great post! I think it is so easy to write what you think people will like, or not be offended by. But, let’s be honest, you’re “ball” talk and possibly inappropriate song lyrics are just one of the many reasons people love reading your blog!

  • Yami  March 4, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    You are such an inspiration! Thank you.

  • bolko  August 13, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    Sadly, I can relate. Once I was writing whatever I wanted and used the expressions I like. I wasn’t so extreme like you, but still I started to become self-conscious when visitors started to increase. But my main problem wasn’t with visitors, it was with familiar persons, who know me and judge all my posts. My father follows my blog, and I feel that I must be even more cautious. So I started the despisable act of censoring myself. I don’t hesitate on the publishize button, as I would have crystalized the article before that most of the time. I have never deleted any post of my blog, but there were instances I edited them to be more “likeable”. I do also tend to put the things I like on the post some time after it is published, so it isn’t on the forefront and fewer followers willl pay attention. And when I found out people link and use the information of my blog, I also started to be self-conscious about the general style of my content. Will they not take my information seriously because of non-academic style? I wonder.
    I wonder also if I have done some permanent damage, as you say, Torrer. For example, could writing bad things about a country impact me when I decide to travel there? Would writing or mocking Saudi Arabia for example get me executed there? They are very good at searching, and my name is easily found on the Internet.
    But I recognize the problem, and I believe that I must be more myself than what people will like. And I have succeeded much on that.
    I believe every blogger must not write just for the pleasure of the audience, otherwise there is no reason of blogging. I believe being unique will bring more visitors in the long run. It might seem that visitors are few in the beginning, but later, an increasing number of users will recognize your unique style and who you are, and start appearing on your blog.

    But unlike many bloggers here, I like to see my stats. I see how many people have come, what they visited, from what website they came, what link they clicked, from what country they are, what search terms have used to find me etc. The most exciting thing is the reading of the search terms, and the collection of the weirdest, oddest, strangest, most perverted of them, which get published approximately monthly! It is a very, very funny time then.

  • Bri  August 23, 2015 at 4:53 am

    Just starting my own blog and I grew up in an area where pretty much everyone knows everyone. I was nervous to publish to my facebook then I suddenly grew this ‘who gives a fuck’ attitude. Its the thing I am passionate about and love to do so ima keep on doing my thing! I have just come across your blog through ‘nomadic matts’ site and i have fallen in love! this is great. keep doing your thing and look forward to a long night in reading all your posts!

  • MadisonKate  April 17, 2016 at 10:31 am

    I love this! I have only started blogging, I hope to grow into a successful blog like yours one day!
    This is such a perfect piece 🙂
    Thank you
    MadisonKate xxx


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