Writing is scary
” Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. Its our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us”
Writing is scary. Writing letters to friends or business letters or even writing advertising copy, which I did professionally some time ago, that is quite easy for me. People like to get letters and advertising writing is creative, not personal. But writing stuff that may be intensely personal, even intimate, putting words and sentences and paragraphs out there that are full of your character and personality, maybe your hopes and dreams or fears, for people to judge you by, that is scary. It is easier not to do it, to find excuses not to do it.
There are a number of reasons, despite a desire to be read, some of which I have been aware of for a long time and some of which have only recently fought their way to the forefront of my consciousness.
Some of the reasons for not writing are the usual ones, too lazy is the first! Some frustration in the process is another. Yet another excuse is that I am not well versed in marketing of any kind, let alone marketing in cyber space!
My ability to sell snow to the Eskimos, as taught to my sister and me by our Dad who was a genius at it remains unimpaired but that skill is not going to help me build a following here. I also spend a lot of time corresponding with friends all over the world by email. Which has tons of value in many wonderful ways but is not getting this particular job done.
And then I get onto the hidden reasons why I don’t post and which were crystallised for me one day when I commented on a post my son Charles had written on his own blog. In it he talked about his feelings after being criticised quite harshly by a friend for what he had written and shared. And there it was. The fear. Of course on some level I already knew that it was simply fear that stopped me writing. I am a pretty conscious kind of person . Which is why my first novel resides not quite finished in my desk drawer instead of being out there collecting rejection slips! I asked myself the usual question, is it fear of failure or even fear of success which stops the creative process in its tracks? I still don’t know. I imagine I would adore success and I am not afraid in all sorts of other scary situations, including failing publicly ( I have a little radio show) or travelling the world alone or using an internet dating site, all of which carry risks, not least the risk of rejection!
I hide behind humour when I write. I find being amusing in the written word quite easy, any comedy scripts needed out there
anybody? I may be your girl! And yes I can see that in the past I have shared some views and emotions semi publicly, but carefully and sparingly.
Certainly in my “real ” life I am very open and not really too afraid to be vulnerable. But in that life, I choose with whom I
share. But writing here, or anywhere where anybody who cares to look can do so , one is throwing open the gates to one’s very soul. It all feels kinda dangerous!
I have reams of words written in notebooks and I have strong views and opinions and a wealth of life experience and yes, some wisdom too which I long to share. I am not sure how much value I can bring to anyone, but for sure, none unless I “feel the fear but do it anyway”.
My son said his motivation is ultimately for his blog to be one of the tools he can use to make a difference in the world. I believe in that concept wholeheartedly and I too think that if one person feels better, or is inspired to change something that isn’t working in their life, or my words give rise to some reflection and growth because of something I say, then that would make it all worthwhile.
So that is one part of it for me. Another part, and this is where I am beginning to get braver is because I think I have some talent as a writer. Wow, I did feel very brave to write that! Certainly over the years many friends have said that they have hugely enjoyed various travel blogs I have written, the latest of which from Southern India is on here for you to enjoy
I think that my very many varied and sometimes unusual experiences, certainly unusual for a woman of my age, together with a lot of study and many courses, lots of listening too and extensive reading have given me many insights and some wisdom. I have learned a lot of lessons, most of them painfully. Ouch! But it needn’t be so. One can learn from other people’s experiences without the pain and be inspired by another person’s courage too and decide to just do it, whatever IT might be! I have lost count of the number of people over the years who know about my adventures and say “I wish I could do that” and I always say, somewhat predictably “you can”!
And so, here I am. I am facing the fear of being judged and the equally frightening prospect of not being read at all and using the courage that got me across continents because the desire to just see was stronger than the fear of not seeing, I want to know if I can really write. To know if people enjoy what I write. To know if I have the discipline to keep on writing and the creativity to keep producing new pieces. And last but not least, to see if one someone as yet unknown to me, says thankyou Jacqui for something I gave to her, or him, that made some small difference to their life. Isn’t that ultimately what we all want our legacy to be when we depart this mortal coil? ( I have read that phrase many times but never written it, what IS a mortal coil!)
There have been times when I have wanted to share some quite profound (to me) thoughts and feelings but insights and wisdom come mainly as a result of our inter-reactions with others and I worry that someone may feel that they could be recognised, or recognise themself and thus be offended or even feel betrayed. So what to do about those ?
I would welcome some comments. Please comment! But ultimately, I suppose I will just have to make a
judgement myself. My purpose is never to hurt, offend or use anyone. But when I wish to write about love or grief or compassion or tolerance or perhaps patience or any of many virtues or failings, inevitably I have learnt what I know, or felt what I have felt, as a result of a relationship with another person.
So no names! But ultimately this is where I have to be authentic. And this is going to be a place where I can try to hone any talent I may have and this is a place to have a voice. It is a place to be funny and a place to be vulnerable and a place to always be open and very honest. You are my judge and my critic! Any feedback will be welcome ( aaagh!) and will be used to improve. Most of all, I want what all artists or creators want which is to be acknowledged and appreciated and to bring pleasure but just a smile is good too! I look forward to hearing from you…… I think
” And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. And as we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others”