The fear of writing is strong.
Or more accurately, the fear of the results of writing is strong.
Along with writing comes the idea of baring your soul for the world to see. It could be avoided, but I’d probably not see a person not willing to open up, as someone I could relate to.
What scares me the most about writing, is opening myself up to facing (so-far-imaginary) dislike of my work, and possible criticism and hatred.
If I am truly vulnerable, and if I truly write from the depths of my soul, there may be someone who doesn’t like it. In fact, there might even be a guarantee of that somewhere in my contract.
(You know, that invisible, “I AM A WRITER.” contract we all sign the minute we’re born.)
I’m afraid you won’t like what I have to say, I’m afraid of criticism, I’m afraid of losing friends. I’m afraid of repercussions. I’m afraid of all manner of imaginary negatives befalling me simply because I’ve chosen to write.
I haven’t tasted that bitter water, but many of my friends have. And I’m afraid of facing it myself. I’m afraid of something I’ve never experienced.
I suppose it’s sort of like bungee jumping. I’ve never bungee jumped because I’m afraid of it. But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t do it. I should, simply because I’m afraid of it. I’ve done a lot of things lately, that I was afraid of, because I wanted to live outside my comfort zone. I need to apply this same principle to my writing.
I went to a writing class not very long ago, and one of the very first things the professor said was that we don’t have control of how people perceive our writing.
I guess part of putting myself out there and jumping outside my comfort zone means I’m not in control anymore.
We can write the exact same message, send it to two different people, and one will say, “This is great! I understand this,” and the second will say, “I have no idea what you’re talking about. This is horrible!”
What I learned from that class is that all we can do, is to write well. I have to simply write well, or to the very best of my ability, and let my baby birds – my words – fly out of the nest.
I don’t have ANY control over how I’m perceived. All I can do is write what is inside of me, and hope that my words will change the world.
And if they don’t change the world, I’d be satisfied if they changed my world.