I sat down to write my blog for today and (not for the first time since I considered starting a blog) I found myself asking myself why. Why would I do this? Why did I feel the need to publish my thoughts online for strangers to read? And more than that, why would they read them?
You want to know the truth? It’s because it scares me to death.
All my life I’ve loved words and what they could do, and I’ve loved seeing what I could do with them. I’ve loved sharing them with people and seeing how people reacted to what came out of my head. It was so surreal, to see people laughing or crying or otherwise reacting to what I wrote, on a person to person basis.
I’ve written stories for people, I’ve written poetry and songs for people, and it felt natural at the time, it felt right. I’ve written stories and poetry and songs WITH other people, and I’ve laughed more than I thought possible collaborating with others who know what it is to feel driven to write (You know who you are, and you’re amazing!). It’s amazing, the energy, the vibe you get when you’re working with people who share your passion like that. It’s incredible. I hope to do much more of it in the future.
But the thought of sharing such a personal part of me, something that’s just me, no censors, no filters, no editors beyond myself, no collaborators, no smoke, no mirrors– just me and my words left to stand on their own– with people on a large scale across the digital world is a very scary thought. So the idea of having people beyond my small circle of family and friends read my words scares me half to death.
But I feel like I have to do this. Because over the years, as I’ve met more writers, more artists, more people in general throughout the course of my life, I’ve come to realize something–
I’m not the only one who’s afraid of putting myself out there.
I’ve met artists with incredible talent and potential– writers, singers, painters, carpenters among them– who never felt they were “good enough” or “talented enough” to put themselves out there. That were scared to death of the failure they convinced themselves was inevitable.
And the thought that maybe if I take that risk, maybe someone, somewhere out there might stumble across my words and think “hey, if she’s scared to death, and she’s doing it anyway, maybe I can, too.”
Because you can only learn so much from books, from school, from training, and teachers. Eventually, you have to let go of those guard-rails, and you have to step out on your own, with your head held high, and you have to think, “You know what? I’ve got this.” And maybe your risk will pay off, and maybe it won’t. But even if you fail, at the end of the day, you can look back and remember the fact that you had the guts to step out in the first place, and realize that even that is more than the people who never took that risk.
That in taking that risk– even if you don’t get the trophy, even if you fall on your face, or you’re laughed and mocked– was a success that no one can take away from you.
I know I’m not the best writer on the planet, not by a long shot, and I’d never claim to be. All I can do is put out the best work I can, and hope it finds the people it was meant to find, and that it entertains them as it’s always entertained me.
That’s why the blog. That’s why I’m facing my fear. Because my desire to share my passion with others and to entertain them and maybe help them to face their fears or even to just enjoy my work and forget their problems for awhile far outweighs my fear of failure, of mockery.
Because even making one person smile or laugh or to not feel down or alone with my work, is enough to make it worth it for me to do this.