I don’t know about you, but I still have a lot of fear about putting my writing out in the world.
I’m working on it, and I do put some of my writing out there, but there’s a lot of writing that I haven’t done, or haven’t shown anyone, because of my fears.
In the fall, my son will be starting school and I’ll have more time to write. So I feel a pressure to “deal with” these fears before then.
Let’s just say it’s been on my mind.
Recently, I had a conversation with a good friend of mine and I told her about the Student Showcase I performed in at ImprovBoston, in Cambridge, MA. I was talking about doing the show and all the public speaking I’d been doing and how it was scary, but putting my writing out in the world seemed scarier to me.
“Why is that?” I wondered as we sat outside at a cafe drinking coffee.
My friend, who is an artist and a scientist, said she thought it was because our writing seems so permanent—but no one reads our stuff over and over. She used the example of my life coaching blog.
“I read your posts and it’s always just enough and there’s always some ‘nugget’ I take away with me after reading it, but then I move on.”
Her words made me feel a lot better.
I realized I’d been thinking thoughts like, What if I make a mistake? What if someone doesn’t like it? What if it’s drivel?
(I could go on…and on—but I won’t!)
These thoughts are negative and not useful. And they aren’t even true.
The truth is I will make mistakes in my writing–and that’s okay. I’m a human being and we all make mistakes. If I make a mistake I can publish a correction if it’s that important, or just move on.
Someone who reads something I write may not like it, that’s their prerogative. The only way I can guarantee no one expresses dislike of my writing is to not write anything and publish it. And that does not work for me.
My writing may be drivel, but the more I write, the less likely it will be drivel.
Okay, that takes care of those thoughts! But really, the reminder from my friend that we’re here to make art and put it out there, and no one is examining it as minutely as we are (except hopefully our editors,) was very helpful.
What helps you get over your fears about your writing?
Diane MacKinnon, MD: is a writer, blogger, life coach, family physician, and mother. I’m really looking forward to more writing time this fall (really!)