How to Placate A Panicking Blogger

Bloggers panic. It's just one of those things we do, along with writing posts in our heads and trying to ignore audience stats (if most bloggers are anything like me, then we usually fail) and we don't mean to alarm the people who care about us. It sort of happens anyway.

I thought I'd use this, one of those rare moments when I'm passably calm - you know, calm-ish - to put together a guide. Blogworms, forward it to the people who have to deal with you, and as for the slightly worried observers . . . here are a few techniques that you might want to try, tailored specifically to the type of panic you're dealing with.

Yes. There are different types of panic.

The First Type - No-One Cares!
I've put the most understandable meltdown motivation first, just because I don't want to panic all the non-bloggers too: it's very possible that the world would implode with all the panicking and I don't want to be responsible for that. But this will be fine, in that we've all experienced that moment when we feel like no-one appreciates our hardest work - imagine this, but there are actual numbers telling you that nobody even glanced at your latest effort. At times like these, blog statistics can be more than cruel.

Symptoms: If your tame blogger is experiencing this form of panic, there will probably be wailing and doubt and cries of "why do I even bother?".

Course of Action: Get hold of some tissues. Approach the blogger carefully, preferably without being seen (this shouldn't be hard, as their eyes may well be blurred with tears) and remove any blogging statistics in the vicinity: these are probably what started the panic to begin with. Then sit with them, hand over as many tissues as necessary, and remind them that you care. Then go back for more tissues and repeat.

Other Tips: In acute cases, you will need cookies. Cake is also an option, as is pie, but you basically just need to choose a sweet treat the panicker will find tasty. Less major strains could be treated without the sugar, but it's better to be safe than sorry. We all love cookies.

The Second Type - Angst About A Post
If you're willing to put yourself in a blogger's shoes for a minute or two (I know it's scary, but we shouldn't turn you to the dark side that quickly) then post angst is understandable too. See it in your mind. You've just poured your heart out about a subject that really matters to you . . . but it's controversial. And people may be about to troll you online or shower you with roses. There's no way of knowing.

Symptoms: This type of panic doesn't always wait until the blogger presses 'publish' to manifest itself: it may become apparent even as the post is being written or even planned. Early-warning signs include nail-biting and a general stressed appearance, but you can usually tell that this in particular is the problem because the person will wonder aloud. A lot. If all these symptoms become more accentuated up to twelve hours after a post is published or scheduled, then you know for sure.

Course of Action: Most of the time, angsty posts will actually have a very good response, or none at all (refer to the First Type of panic above if you need to) so the blogger basically needs to be distracted until people's opinions start rolling in. TAKE THEM AWAY FROM THE INTERNET AT ALL COSTS. Get out the house, preferably, or play a board game. Just be wary, as they may access it still through WiFi hotspots and any mobile devices you haven't confiscated.

Other Tips: If the post does have a bad reception, be there. Listen. If they're having trouble deciding whether or not to take the post down, then you might want to ask if they still believe what they wrote - if so then there's little reason to retract it - but don't push. We bloggers need to come to our own conclusions sometimes.

The Third Type - I Have Far Too Much To Do
Bloggers have a lot on their plates, and most of us knew that was going to be the case when we started. However, there will be days when the blogger in question feels like they have to-do lists sprouting out of their eyeballs. I get this at least twice a week, but I'm a schoolgirl who spends far too much time on her homework and is horrible at organisation.

Hopefully, no-one's as bad as me.

Symptoms: In my experience, reactions to this panic source can be quite varied, and just because a person deals with it a certain time the first time round, that doesn't mean they won't react another way the next week. Sometimes, the patient may turn into a super-work maniac robot, trying to get everything done while in the grip of horrible panic. And nothing gets done well.

Other times, there's so much work to do that the blogger will become absolutely overwhelmed and deny the list's existence altogether. So nothing gets done at all.

Course of Action: If you're dealing with a super-work robot, take all the work away from them. Just do it. Make them write down a physical list of everything they have to do if they haven't already, and hand them the first item on the list. Give them a realistic time frame. It'll likely be done pretty soon, and then you can move on to the rest of the list.

If they are denying the fact they have to do stuff, make them do something. All that stuff I said about not pushing in the Second Type? Ignore me completely. If you know the person well enough, sit them down and insist, but if not, just mentioning it so much they're overly guilty might do the trick.

Other Tips: Whatever happens and however much they are fretting, do not tell a blogger that they should ignore their self-imposed post deadlines because they're not important. They are real to us.

The Fourth Type - What Even Are Ideas?
Writing three posts a week means having three ideas a week. It's one of the worst banes to my blogging existence, especially when I am ready and raring to write and yet my brain-idea-ninjas come up with nothing. Nada. This can easily cause a panic when the post needs to go live tomorrow and you thought you were prepared and-

Can you guess how I got the idea for this post?

Course of Action: Conversation. I know it sounds weird, but eventually you'll get your head round how your blogger is inspired and know what to suggest so the wheels start turning. And if you spout out a couple of post ideas that are clearly utterly ludicrous, then hopefully the patient will be laughing soon enough.
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Also ice cream. I find ice cream very inspiring. It looks like most panics can be fixed with some form of food.

Other Tips: FOOD

Wait. Wait! Did elements of it make actual sense? Somehow, I ended up being serious there, and THAT'S NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE.

Oh no, a new way to panic. I'll see you on Monday . . . probably.

In the comments: Non-bloggers, we are sorry. Please complain about your blogger's panicking below and I can try to placate you too. Bloggers, what else do you panic about? And what pulls you out of those moments?
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