I can tell by her emails to me that she’s a writer at heart. I asked her to write for me. She was shocked, honored, and afraid. She protested: “I’d be so exposed. Someone might find me out.”
I know that fear.
It is pretty scary out here on display.
But tell me, friend, what exactly are you afraid of?
Fear of not being accepted. Fear of the unknown. Fear of someone not liking me or not liking what I think/feel about something. Fear of someone questioning why I do the things that I do. Being exposed is very scary to me. It's so raw, revealing, uncomfortable, and I always feel inadequate, vulnerable. I hear myself saying things that sound so stupid sometimes and I always feel like I need to explain myself, why I am thinking what I am thinking.
Having my feelings about things out there, wow. MY feelings. What I think. For anyone to see. For someone else to pick apart and find all the flaws in.
I am better at responding to things than delivering them. This way I have time to think about the best answer. No, I am not untrue in my responses, I just like for them to come out sounding at least educated. And too, I don't really know how I think about some things until I start writing them or experiencing them.
(See that last sentence? It is yet another piece of evidence that supports my theory that my friend is a writer.)
Oh dear friend with the fear, I understand much more than you think.
Writing is not scary, not in itself.
It only gets scary when you show your words to other people.
Why? I'll give you ten reasons.
I don’t know how people will react.
I leave the comment section open, which is like leaving my heart open. Standing here as a potential target is scary. I might get hit by an arrow or two.
True, this rarely happens on this blog. However, I do not think this is because I am so awesome. I suspect people who have criticisms just don’t tell me what they really think. In the case of a blog, that leaves me no chance to defend or explain anything. My words stay here, alone, standing just as they were when I hit “Publish.”
(And I must say, I do appreciate honest discussion and even debate. I do not fear that, but I do fear ugly sniping.)
It won't be perfect.
I proofread, but I try not to obsess. Does that matter? Maybe I should obsess? Maybe I am obsessing already, and it's still not perfect!
I might be misunderstood.
Those things that are so clear in my head may not actually be clear to you when you read my work. For this reason, I ask my husband to preview those posts that seem tricky.
I might offend somebody.
I am a peace-maker, and I wish life was all about harmony and peace. I hate to offend people, but I know that Truth is offensive. Before I post, I ask myself (and sometimes my husband,) If someone is offended by this, will they be offended by Truth, or because they are misunderstanding what I say? Or worse, will they be offended by something trivial? Am I making a law where there is no law?
Blogging is one-sided, and you might not give me a chance to explain!
Once my words are out there, odds are I will never hear from you, never know what you think. I hate to think you have been scared away by my sloppy thinking!
I might not be able to take it back.
So let’s say I post something and later come to realize that what I have said is completely wrong. I can recant. I can take the ugly post down and apologize. But will the reader hear it?
What if I pour my heart into something, and someone important to me criticizes it or doesn’t care about it?
Good question. Well, self, why are you writing? What kind of feedback do you need in order for you to say, “I’m glad I did this?”
I might expose too much.
You may not believe this, but there are some things that I write about that I do not share with you all. I try to consider the privacy of my own children, the potential for misunderstanding, the importance of the issue, and other factors relating to the Big Picture. Again, when I am not sure about this, I ask others for feedback before I post.
People might not get it.
I’m a writer. I am a little quirky. You might read some of my stuff and just shake your head, or roll your eyes. You might not get it. Not that I care, of course. But maybe I do, a little.
People will see me differently if they know what is really in my heart.
I am a writer. I think in words, and I think best in written words. I often write about things I can’t say, or things I just don’t say, in person. Written words expose deeper places in my heart.
I am a mother of six, and a pastor’s wife. There are many assumptions about what that means, both in the minds of the people I know, and in my own head. What if I don’t live up to those standards? What if they know that I have a temper? What if they know that I battle depression? Will they judge me? Will they pray for me? Will they still love me?
Dear timid writer friend, I understand your fear.
Staring at fear is not going to make it go away. But like you, I am a writer! I must define the problem first, in all its agonizing details!
I understand, and yet I PUBLISH. Why?
Until then, I want to hear from you!
What would you say to my friend, the timid writer?
If you are not a writer, do you feel this kind of fear when it’s time for you to do YOUR art, whatever it is?
Writer friends, do you relate to any of these?
Which one is the hardest for you to overcome?
How do you find the courage to hit “Publish?”
Linking up with Many Little Blessings
Linking up with Many Little Blessings