I wonder how many other writers hide from the world. The absurdity of it all makes me laugh. For years I have written. Each day I compose in my head long essays, short quips, letters, notes, poems. Some days, I manage to transfer these compositions from my head to my computer but even when I don’t, I am writing. I’ve gone from saying, “One day I want to be a writer.” To saying, “One day I will be a writer.” To saying, “I am a writer.” Baby steps over the course of my life, 48 years in the making.
Two years ago, in a brave and bold moment, I created this blog. With excitement I chose the blog name, the website, the cover photo, the typeface. I created my profile and painstakingly decided what image I would put on display of myself. As I went through the process, excitement morphed to fear. What was I doing? Who did I think I was? Did I really think that people would want to read what I would write? And if they did and it wasn’t good…
So I wrote my first blog post in August of 2010. I wrote it and I saved it. For days I opened it up and reread it then saved it again. I couldn’t post it for the world to see just yet. I needed to write a few more posts. I told myself that I needed to get in the habit of posting on a regular basis before I made my blog public. Because, heaven forbid, I were to start blogging and then stop. I never did actually try to reason with myself on this point. Did I think that the world would end if my blog wasn’t a success? Who knows. There really was nothing rational about my thought process at this point.
My blog sat for over a year with only a few posts entered and only one follower, me. This was understandable because even after I found the courage to hit the publish button and send my blog out into the universe, I was not able to bring myself to actually share my blog with any specific people. My thought was to sit back and see if perhaps someone might stumble across my blog and comment, thereby giving me safe feedback. Feedback from an anonymous person with no idea who I was and didn’t really matter.
I had visions of my blog being highly successful and readers anxiously awaiting my next post followed immediately by nightmares of readers unsubscribing automatically. I was paralyzed. So here I am two years and three months later with a blog that no one has seen. To make matters more bizarre, the things I have written for the past two years are not even on the blog, they are saved in a Word document on my computer waiting to be copied and shared.
Occasionally I open my blog to reaffirm that I still love it. And I do. So why don’t I share? What exactly is the basis of this silly fear I have? I read other blogs, very successful by the way, and I know that I can write equally well. I have content that people would relate to and I can make words flow (most of the time). So what grips me every time I think that I’m ready for someone to read my writings?
A recent opportunity to attend a workshop with my literary idol has given me a chance to explore this fear and I may have figured it out. Dreams are scary things when you dare to make them real. There is the fear of failure and looking silly. It has been easier to play it safe, to write for myself, to be a writer in my mind without the chance of someone else telling me that I’m not. Today that changes. Today I know that I am a writer. And today the fear of not seeing this dream become real is far greater than the fear of looking silly.
So welcome to my blog, Universe! 🙂