When I clicked the publish button on this blog, I immediately thought, “Oh my God! What did I just do?”
I had been toying with starting a blog for a long time. A really long time. Years. I have always been someone who writes almost daily about anything that pops into my head. Sure, I’ve had stints where I grew discouraged or busy and didn’t do any personal writing. But I’ve had jobs that required writing and an English major that kept my keyboard busy.
Even though writing has been a huge part of my life, it has also been something that I considered to be private. I kept journals or jotted down quick poems or thoughts on scraps of notebook paper. Then I kept them hidden in the back of a notebook or the bottom of a drawer.
Even my husband knows not to open my personal journals or he will feel my wrath.
So when I considered starting a blog, I hit a wall. I was torn between establishing myself as a writer and maintaining my privacy.
When I finally published that first post, my breath caught in my throat. I briefly considered deleting it.
It wasn’t because the subject matter was intensely personal. I’m writing about writing.
But even the most basic writing requires some vulnerability – something I tend to avoid. I believe writing style is as unique as a fingerprint. Sure, the style evolves and improves over time, and it is possible to learn how to hone writing skills.
But you can’t learn your individual voice. You can’t learn how to be you.
I knew that by publishing my work, I was revealing a piece of myself.
No matter how basic or generic the subject matter seems to be, my voice is going to come through. I can change the tone. I can change the subject. I can aim for humorous, informative, or sentimental. But it will always be my voice in the words.
Writing my own blog means sharing my opinion with the world. I’m not given an assignment and told what to write. I choose the subject and write and edit until I’m satisfied. The topics come from me. The words flow from my head and out my fingers. The editing, the formatting, the proofreading – it’s all me.
So to know that people are going to be reading and critiquing something that is a part of myself made me nervous. The knowledge that people will be accepting or rejecting my words was daunting.
I did it anyway. I clicked the publish button. And you know what?
The world kept turning. No one laughed at me. A few friends even praised me for finally putting my work out there.
I took the chance. I made myself vulnerable. Instead of the eye rolls and criticism I expected, I received encouragement and support.
Now that I have taken that first step, I now have the confidence to keep writing.
I’m sure there will be criticism. Not everyone is going to like what I write, and not everyone is going to agree with my opinions.
I’m okay with that because the more I write, the more confident I feel.
No matter what your ambitions or interests are, someone cares and wants to encourage you. If you want to share your art, photography, or writing, share it!
Take that risk and make yourself vulnerable. I became the vulnerable writer, and I have never felt better. You will never gain the confidence you need for success if you don’t take that first step toward your goals.