That ditty was in my Twitter feed this morning. I tweaked the original, and I think my version flows better. Take THAT, Dan Poynter.
I’ve had this tape playing in my head for the last few months and I can’t find the off switch. I’m starting to realize there is no off switch for fear. Fear is one of my permanent passengers. And while that might not ever stop being hard, it’ll be a hell of a lot easier when I stop letting it drive. So, this is me thanking fear, sending it back to its passenger seat, and taking back the wheel.
Thanks for trying to protect me. Writing scares me, too.
- I worry people are laughing at me.
- I worry my audience is bored.
- I worry they’ll stop reading, if they haven’t already.
- I worry that the people who enjoy my writing are either lying or have “Fifty Shades of Grey” on their “Literary Genius” list.
- I worry I’ll, put a comma in the wrong place and everyone will know I’m not a real writer.
- I worry that the ways blogs have changed since I started in 1998 means everything I publish must come in the form of a thought-provoking essay. And sometimes I just want to remember that time the dog ate my Crocs and I didn’t know if I should discipline him or be really proud of his fashion protest.
- I worry I’ll never stop comparing myself to other writers and that the answer to that might be to step out of the arena. Stop trying.
- I worry I’ll worry about this stuff forever and get to the end of my life and realize I have more wrinkles than prose.
Here are some reasons to write despite fear, okay?
- You love documenting your life and some day Emma’s kids are going to delight in reading about the time their mother had a pee-in with the family dog.
- You don’t need anyone to read. An audience is delightful, but not necessary. You just need to write, Shanner-nanner. Be your own audience.
- No one’s going to beg you to write and you’ll be really mad at yourself when that fully sinks in and you realize how much time you’ve wasted feeling SORRY FOR YOURSELF YOU NINNY.
- Writing makes you feel amazing. Fuck perfection and social shares. FEEL THAT FEEEEELING.
- Yup. You probably will end up writing about stuff everyone else already has. But your audience is different and you’ll craft it in your own whimsically-punctuated ways.
- If you wrote as much as you worried, you’d probably have a better handle on comma placement, by now.
- Creating something from nothing is intoxicating.
And now I’m staring at the screen contemplating not hitting publish because how many writing pep talks exist on the internet, right? BUT OMG SHANNON YOU INFURIATE ME.
And then Kate Swoboda told me my critic is wounded and calling it names prevents healing.
S’okay. Shan. Listen. It’s okay you’re afraid. It’s okay you’ve been fretting since October instead of writing. But it’s time to hit publish now.
Tell me what’s on your, “OH HAI FEAR, IMMA DO X ANYWAY BECAUSE” list?