Let’s talk about writing and fear.
Earlier this year, I had several essays published on sites other than this here blog. I’ve submitted a few more to different publications since then and received some form rejection letters, a few warm and encouraging personal rejection letters, and a whole lotta crickets. I’m learning a lot from the submission process, primarily that writing essays and submitting them to publications is an awesome thing to do if your ego needs a serious beating.
But I’ll keep at it. There are some essays for which I want to find a larger platform. And I want to work with editors, both to improve my writing and for the collaborative experience.
I am, however, feeling the difference between writing for that purpose and blogging. The great thing about blogging is, you get to write whatever the fuck you want and hit “publish.” Maybe it’s pretty good, maybe it sucks. Either way, it’s all yours.
When you’re writing with the hope of being published elsewhere, then by definition, you need someone else’s approval. Nothing wrong with that per se. Except I was letting it make me gunshy.
Even if it’s only for my little ole blog, I’ve become reluctant to post anything I haven’t polished up and revised ‘til I go cross-eyed. As a result, I’m writing a lot less.
It’s all about fear. A year and a half ago, I put fear aside and started this blog. It was scary to “put myself out there,” being the private person I am (or was). I had no plan or clearly defined goals, only the knowledge that I had always wanted to write and it was time. Hitting “publish” on that first post with my heart pounding and hand shaking has reverberated through my life in all the ways.
After that, I thought I was done with fear and holding back and hiding. Brave is the new beautiful after all, right? I was buzzing and grooving on that shit all last year and it felt amazing. This year, not so much.
Come to find out, fear is an onion and there’s always another layer to peel.
Where I live, there’s a walking path on a wide boulevard median strip with a huge variety of trees, now showing their fall colors. I see painters there all the time, doing their work. I have no idea if they’re accomplished artists or beginners (like me as a writer). How many of them worry about tightly defining their goals, who will buy or even see their paintings, whether anyone cares to see what they create? Do they stop painting until they figure it all out? Do they paint a little here and there and then promptly hide their creations in the attic? Or do they simply paint because that’s what they do, and share by whatever means are available to them?
Here goes the next layer of that onion—fear of continuing to write and share even though I still haven’t figured out just what the hell I’m doing here.
So I’ll be blogging more.
I’ll leave you with a few songs. These are some dark and scary times for our country and our world. Music helps, always. These four songs—two you may not know, and two you definitely do—lifted me up this week.
I heard the first two in a dance class this week and fell in love:
Sunlight by Helena
Something Beautiful by Trombone Shorty and Lenny Kravitz
I hope you’re smiling after hearing the next two, if you weren’t already, because I know if I’m not in a good (or at least better) mood after hearing these, I’m in rough shape!
Oh, Darling! by The Beatles
Misty Mountain Hop by Led Zeppelin
See you sooner than later!
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