A dear friend of mine and I had a great conversation about fear today. Writing daily has been a great challenge for me, but I have now reached a place where I show up to the page (or the screen), no matter what, every single day. That is something that I am quite proud of, my willingness to show up. It was the first step in breaking through my writing shell to share my thoughts/wisdom/musings with the world. (yay me!)
Now for phase two. My ego/editor/inner critic has discovered that people are actually reading this stuff. Three things happened that scared me back into my writing cave: I got nominated for a blogging award, someone found my blog by googling my name, and I got a phony twitter message saying to check out a (scam)website to see what people were saying about me (I didn’t click through, but the message assured me it was nasty). The fear of being exposed reared it’s head.
You see I have a nice mainstream job where (I feel that) most of the things I write about here (or want to write about but don’t) would be ridiculed (maybe). I have been delaying posting about crystal therapy, reiki, reflexology and a bunch of other subjects because of this irrational fear of other people’s opinions. I have been thinking about posting some articles to Ezine Articles but the increased readership that would go with it scares the pants off me.
So there is this twin pull on my creative centre, one way is a strong craving to be heard and to launch a new phase in my working life, the other is as strong desire to pull the blankets over my head and stay there. Where to go from here? … Well… Here I am. A first step.
When I was 16, I had completed all the Red Cross swimming lessons up to Grey, White would have been the last class before the Bronze Medallion and possibly life guarding and the potential to become a swimming teacher. I loved to swim, not competitively, just to swim for its own sake. I never took White, the final class, because I was afraid. Part of the requirements for White was to dive off the three meter platform. No way. I would go up there and summon all my courage, just to stand on the edge. All that, just to chicken out and let the group of impatient ones on the ladder pass me. I walked down that ladder more times than I jumped. I did jump off a few times when peer pressure overwhelmed my preservation instinct. I would run as fast as I could off the platform and jump feet first. But diving? No way. Besides, what does that have to do with swimming?
I feel that way now, that fluttery, adrenaline filled tremble, when I think about having more than 100 people read my blog. And yet, I refuse to go back to where I was before, no more backwards climb of shame for me. But I’m also not ready to dive head first into the bigger writing arenas. So, for now, I have decided to wait, just wait, on the platform between one state and another, and ignore the line up of opinions. I’ll dive when I’m ready.