After I published my first proper blog post yesterday I tweeted about it and sent the link to half a dozen family and friends. The chosen few, as it were: those who have been supportive of my writing dream or at least know about it. Not everyone does. I didn’t share the post on Facebook. My Facebook account is full of people, who have known me my entire life and that was a risk too far.
The courage to risk failure
This morning one of my trusted circle asked me why I had decided to blog. She hadn’t seen my website or the piece yet. The answer I gave surprised me because it differed from the reasons I give on my About Me pages. The truth is, it takes bravery to reveal your true self and to admit to your dreams. You risk criticism, or worse, indifference. You risk public failure.
Trust: seeing strangers as friends
The reasons I gave for starting this blog are still valid: said friend who shall remain nameless was a pivotal point, I would like to champion fiction and share my own. But I wasn’t being wholly honest. I hadn’t taken a quiet moment to look inside myself and really search for the true answer. A better technique on my first attempt would have been to write down my reasoning thinking of you, my readers, as friends. Instead, I saw a sea of strangers and that scared me. I’ll tell you now what I told Lindsay.
The whole truth
I decided to blog because one day I want to be a novelist, but at the end of that process I don’t want to find myself too fearful to share my manuscript with you. This blog is an exercise in risk-taking and vulnerability, a way to share my ideas and writing in baby-steps, to find commonality with readers and writers. It is an exercise in understanding myself better and finding my way beyond your superficial layers too. We all have them. Post by post, this is my way of overcoming fear and building trust. So I say again: Welcome. Nice to meet you. Be honest. Be yourself.
‘Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.’ Thomas A. Edison
‘A man can fail many times, but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.’ John Burroughs