F**k the Fear

I write every day.  Every. Single. Day.  I put pen to paper (I’m old fashioned that way) and scratch out a few sentences or a few pages.  It hasn’t always been this way.  For years I pursued other “more practical” interests and felt like I was slowly dying, drowning in the practical mundane.

Why is it so hard for me to share what I write on this blog?

I know two of the main reasons are fear (that I won’t be good enough, that I will overstep my bounds and offend someone) and doubt (that what I write isn’t interesting, that no one will read it or care).  Another is the terror we digital natives know all too well — that what we put on the web lives forever.  Celebrity sex tapes or nude selfies are everywhere.  They spread like wildfire over the internet and can never be fully reclaimed.

So why does this scare me?  As a writer I want to communicate with people across space and time — to speak to the future and to people with whom I share a common species and common feelings but perhaps little else.  Some part of me is scared that something I write will become accidentally viral, like fit mom or Stephen Kings ill received tweets.  I don’t want to be an over-sharer or an online complainer or an inadvertent gossip.  But all of that relates to writing about daily life, should it really affect my fear of sharing my fiction or parts of my own personal story?

A boss who was instrumental in helping me accept my talent (or is it fate?) as a writer once gave me this bit of advice when I was reluctant to relinquish control of an article I was working on.

“Kiana, I have to let my child go to school every day where he may be bullied or ridiculed.  It’s hard to do but I have to let him out into the world.  You need to do that with your writing.  At some point it’s just selfish to keep it to yourself.”

He was right.  It is selfish to make good work and not share it with others.  It’s also disrespectful to myself and the work I put in every day to becoming a better writer.

So, later this week I’m going to post something I’ve been scared to share.  It’s a highly personal bit of writing about how I came to accept an important part of my identity.  It’s a story of struggle and loss, anxiety and triumph, and ultimately it’s a story of survival.  

 

Will you join me in sharing something outside your comfort zone?  I’d feel a hell of a lot better about it if I knew I wasn’t alone.