About blogging and self-censorship

leggi in italiano 

It doesn’t matter whether a blog is about travels, lifestyle, make-up, politics, literature or whatever: sooner or later bloggers, and especially female bloggers, will have to face a monster; a wicked witch that, to be honest, is always and in any case the main reason for the well-known “blogger’s burnout: a sudden and often long-lasting lack of ideas and motivation, as well as discouragement, that is comparable to the ancient and romantic blank page syndrome that prevents us from sticking to the deadlines set by the blog we have pledged allegiance and consistency to.

This multi-headed monster is called Self-Censorship.

reasons to rebrand a blog

It is often fed by healthy pills, like critical sense, irony and sarcasm, even a little (just a little) humility.
Just like when we eat chili pepper because it’s good for our skin, blood circulation etc. but then we suffer from acid reflux and we end up compromising one organ when trying to benefit another one! I really hope the metaphor is clear.

The truth is that the crisis experienced by bloggers and writers in general, doesn’t only come from a mere lack of ideas. Every well-organized blogger already has a list of precise titles and ideas that were born all of a sudden and whose planning is saved on some XLS file, ready to become the pride of the web (let’s be honest, the world would be lost without them).

Today, for instance, my plan was to post an article called “How to look good in pictures”, which is essential (I dare say vital) not just for bloggers but also for every visual social media user.

An extremely useful post, almost like my “unsolicited advices to deal with your curly hair when travelling” and as good as my post about how to avoid being the bad copy of yourselves when travelling to very cold locations (How to look pretty during winter travels).

As for this last post that was never born, I had already chosen the title…but there was also the periodic resort to self-censorship.

sabrina_working at blog

The latter appears first with a series of questions that even seem to make sense. Such as:
“Know that by acting this way, it looks like you take yourself (and behave) too seriously”
“What? You’re telling other people how to do things? Come on, do me a favour!”
“Don’t you think it’s better to only write about the 5 places where to drink the best tea somewhere?
“But wasn’t it a travel blog?”
“Excuse me curly-haired girl, who told you that you look good in pictures?
The point is… everybody tells me that and the truth is that even if nobody told me, I think I look good in pictures; so, why on earth shouldn’t I say how I manage to get that? It’s not a natural gift but it actually depends on a series of very small tricks and tactics learned after several years of practice.

Yes, that’s the thing.
Ever since I’ve been writing, constantly resorting to self-censorship is a toll I have to pay for myself and my writing business of any kind, from novels to articles.
Those voices you never know exactly if they’re coming from outside or from within, yet they talk to you in brackets expressing the layered concepts you realize you will never get rid of and that can be summed up as

  • who do you think you are? you’re not a NYT opinion-maker/Nobel prize winner/guest in a talk show
  • oh, come on, cut it out, find yourself a good job
  • and if you’ve got to run a travel blog, just write about travels
  • OK, but what about the seamen of the San Marco battalion?
  • wait for others to say if you’re handsome/friendly/nice

Today, let’s see how I can remedy this perverse disease with a 1 euro per kilo stopgap; actually, if I let it spread like cancer, it will lead me to shut down my blog and stop writing within three months (oh what a loss! Too bad, here the thing gets serious folks!)

First of all, I could write about it, as I’m doing right now.

I believe it is the solution to many problems, you know?
Write something about what brings you to a standstill. When psychology and medical science suggest a diary, I would say go to a public place. From blogging to Facebook. Even 140 characters on Twitter can be a solution, which gets worthier depending on your summarizing skills.
Expose your mental problem to public opinion and ridicule, by spitting those last two drops of irony left in your little saliva now that your mouth is dry.

I don’t do it directly on Facebook because it already hosts enough discomfort and mine would be out of place.
(Well, Sabrina, if you continue using such biting remarks, sooner or later you’ll turn cynical about yourself. Here’s where self-censorship comes from).
Yes, true. Let’s say, it’s time for me to stop behaving like this.


Anyway, if you get tired of reading about my extremely interesting self-censorship issue, you can read something else on this blog, definitely nicer and more useful (more positive too), such as “6 Eastern Europe destinations you’ll fall in love with”or Worth doing in Timisoara”
(well done Sabri, go ahead. Give yourself and others a second choice, prove that you know how to write about silly things as well as more or less useful issues, and that you write about travels whenever you feel like and only if you like. Add a backlink to someone else’s real blog and there you go!).

Getting rid of yourself and your own limits is the hardest thing to do, and it’s a hurdle even for the most experienced ones who have been able to get to the point of “Who cares”, that perfectly shows other people’s opinions but from a distance, just like the Albanian coast seen from Salento. (OK, let’s turn off the automatic metaphor creator for today, what do you think?)

Yet, after many years trying to get rid of what counts for others, there are always our thoughts and ideas breathing down our necks, even when they’re wrong. Or inappropriate. Or useless.

Therefore, I’m ready to write a post about how to look good in pictures, as a painful and complex form of self-liberation from myself writing sentences in brackets.
(oh well, and what will the world get out of this?)

Nothing, but the blog is going to get a few more visits and that’s enough. Not to mention the fact that if the human kind intends to save itself thanks to my blog, the extinction of species starts to look like the only way forward.



  • Elena

    I completely agree with you that even though you do not feel inspired you should start, even a twitter post is a good start too.

  • Christina

    I experience this all the time!! I seriously have a notebook full of ideas for blog posts and yet somehow I feel like I have nothing to write and many times I’m asking myself these questions about the posts I actually do write. I’m also the kind of person that is pretty introverted already so Personally I don’t usually put myself there and then blogging is a whole other thing that even though I like it, it still goes against all my natural instincts as a human. So I’m always trying to figure it out.

  • Nina

    I think this is definitely something I struggle with in blogging. You always don’t want to offend people, so you write nicely. That really never works in the long run. I find that the right people will follow you for your authenticity.

  • Dr. K. Lee Banks

    Thought-provoking and so true. We tend to be our own worst enemies, for real, as the expression goes. And sometimes it’s really challenging to quiet that self-critic and just move forward with confidence, go with our gut instincts, and just WRITE because we have something valuable to say and share.

  • David Elliott

    You have explained it really well and I must say I feel you. I experienced this earlier this year, kind of like a what am I doing feeling, but I got back into my blog last month and I’m SO glad that I did. Keep it up!

  • Adam Brock

    Thinking through what you want to communicate is important. Self-censorship can be something else entirely. Your gifts come from your authenticity, so in this way, it’s important not to censor your self! Thanks for sharing.

  • Nayna Kanabar

    We all go through that phase when we have a blank , at times like that I just go for a long walk to get inspiration.

  • Karen Monica

    I definitely can relate to this. Been in the blogging world for more than 7 years, there are those up and down times. I have lost counts of the time I plan to write something but end up writing something else or worst still not writing anything at all

  • Jana

    Very well written. I just started blogging, so everything is new to me, so hearing your insight is definitely helpful in a way.

  • Kate

    That’s true sometimes we all ask ourselves this questions but honestly some people do need to STOP writing blogs about their boring everyday life or just superfluous things, at least it should be useful 😀 But hey yes, your pictures look gorgeous and it’s great to help others to know how to do it!

    • Sabrina - In My Suitcase

      Haha, I’m not a big “personal stories reader” nor writer, but if a very few readers make them happy, let’s all bloggers be happy. I have to admit that, since I’ve become a full time blogger, writing for others become the main aim despite than writing for myself. thank you for your comment about my photos 😀

  • Lexa Fish

    I experienced this earlier this year, kind of like a what am I doing feeling, but I got back into my blog last month and I’m SO glad that I did. Keep it up!

  • Ali Rost

    I can really relate to this. When I first started blogging, back when only my mom read, I posted just for the heck of it. Once I started to gain readers and followers, I started to second-guess my instincts a bit more. Would anyone be interested? Is what I’ve written spectacular enough to post? I don’t have any profound words of wisdom, only to let you know you’re not alone. xx

  • Hope

    It seems like you really get it. I have felt this way too. Thanks for sharing!

  • Laura

    I struggle with self censorship, sometimes unable to share what I am going through due to knowing my readers, or sometimes sharing more than others think I should.

  • Monidipa

    You have explained it really well and I must say I feel you.

  • Melissa

    I try to always post on something I like. If I don’t, then it comes across in my writing.

  • Helena R

    I love your style of writing. This is a great post. I feel that “blogger’s burnout” and this post was a mini therapy 🙂

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