What is so hard about adding your voice to the internet? For some that question doesn’t even make sense. “Nothing!” they say. “It’s easy, who cares? ” they shrug. But for the sworn social neurotic who grew up with whispers of “What will the neighbors think?” as an undercurrent to every conversation, the answer is—everything!
What if someone reads it?
What if no one reads it?
What if I someone doesn’t like what I have to say and tells me so in a scathing comment?
The questions are endless and each is more horrifying than the last. So when a lovely coworker asked me if I had a blog, I told her I did and then I had to tell her that no one on the planet knew about it but my mother. I have a Twitter account too—where I never post anything.
I. Am. A. Writer. I even get paid to do it by a fabulous nonprofit. I go to work every day and throw down pros about everything from public speaking to writing a blog—a plethora of powerful educational content I would have no problem defending through a world war. I have thrown open my files and my brain to executives and Ph.Ds, but that is education. I have a degree and a half worth of expertise, plus years of experience in education. Fiction is different.
Fiction is personal. It is drawn from me. From the very darkest inner workings of my mind and soul. Blog posts also dwell there and have the added trauma of lacking a character I created to hide behind. It takes courage to write fiction, and post blogs, and tweets. Courage I am working to build.
One of my favorite writers is Carrie Jones. Carrie writes beautiful stories about amazing things and woven through them are powerful truths about growth, and loss, and finding power when you feel powerless. She does it all with a charmingly quirky sense of humor. Carrie Jones has a big heart and a lot of insecurities. She also has a blog that she posts to with the the erratic consistency of rain in the desert (carriejonesbooks.com). There have been times when she posted every week (I loved those times). But usually I visit, only to find something I read three months ago.
I can relate to that part of Carrie Jones. She is a best selling author, but she also seems to worry a lot about what people think of her. I certainly aspire to the title of best selling author, but I want to be confident in any format. I long to regularly post witty commentary in a hundred and forty characters. I would like to have the prolific career of Stephen King and the supercharged media presence of Katy Perry. Is that too much to ask?
In the time being I am taking the advice of Lady Macbeth and screwing my courage to the sticking place, or at least throwing up a few Tweets to see if they stick.