Writing Scares Me – Getting Over The Fear Of Self Exposure

Imagine that you are standing naked in front of millions of people. Not just without clothes but everything you keep hidden is now exposed. Millions of eyes look you up and down, some see your beauty and others see your flaws.
Writers experience this feeling every time they release something into the abyss. They do not know who will come across their work and it is rare that they know how the reader truly feels about their work. But they do know that they have exposed themselves and that they are being judged. The fear of exposing oneself is very legitimate and felt by many who dare to strip themselves so they can arouse their audiences mind.

Writing is an art where you can not separate the product from the creator. You can look at a sculpture or a building or even fashion apparel on its own. But when it comes to writing this is much more difficult to do. It is not just the words on the page that are being judged but the personality behind it as well. Unless you are a journalist or newspaper writer, where you are taught to write without revealing anything about yourself, a reader is bound to get insight into the person behind the words.

The fear of being judged is realistic. After all, everyone wants to be liked and they want their work to be liked also. It takes a lot to put together something you can be proud of. The last thing you want is a bad critique. However, you need to remember that not everyone is going to like or dislike you. Some of your readers may be left speechless while others are unimpressed. We all have our preferences. In fact criticism can actually be a writer’s friend, how else will you know where to improve. It is also helpful if you write to impress yourself.

When you stop writing to please everyone you feel much more relaxed. We have already established that you can not please everyone, but you should strive to please yourself. People often remove themselves from the equation when it comes to the pleasure of writing, but when you are proud of what you do you feel less intimidated by what others have to say. If nothing else you enjoyed your piece.

One of my favorite things about writing is it is OK to toot your own horn. We are often told not to brag but when it comes to writing it is not only ok, it’s required. Writing is one exercise that does not always get the appreciation it deserves. Your reader does not know all the agony that went into forming all those sentences. You need to celebrate your own success because you will not always have others to do it for you. Writing is lonely and can be frustrating. You need to become your own cheerleader so you move ahead and look past the negative criticism, writer’s block, slipping sales and all the other unglamorous aspects that come with writing as an art or living.

Is writing scary? Exposing yourself is always scary. You worry about what others think. When you keep in mind that you are doing something that many people fear and learn from your mistakes the rewards far out weigh the fear it self.

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14 THINGS TO DO IN 2014 RECAP

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1. Buy a stranger a meal. I did this! This was one of the first things I managed to do. I met this guy in the mall and invited him to have brunch with me. You can read about it here. But to sum it up…it went wells

2. Go to a concert by myself. Thanks to the 1975, my new favorite band, I was able to complete this. I wrote about the experience and the only downside was the concert was so good I fear it will be hard to top.

3. Take a bus ride somewhere. Originally, the task was for me to take a random bus ride somewhere within my country; I did one better…I went to my dream destination, the South of France, and took random bus rides while there. I even took a four hour train ride across the south of France from Nice to Lyon. It’s hard to put the entity and impact of the trip into words but I will hold the feelings of that experience hostage in me for a lifetime.

4. Buy a book, without reading reviews first. Check. I bought scores of books this year on simple whims. I even read some of them. You can read my review for a couple here and here.

5.Give more, spend less. I’m on the fence as to whether or not I actually did this. This was about finding more ways to give my time and energy to the people I care about and while I may not have seen my friends much, I did start volunteering again this year. I think that counts.  

6. Spend more time in nature. I did go for more walks, and generally spent more time outside, so while I didn’t scale any mountains, or go trekking through any deep woods, I think mother nature and did bond.

7. Have more relaxing evenings. I still need to work on this, but at least I did force myself to step away from the computer after 5 to spend time with my family.

8. Eat more pizza. I knew this would be an easy one. I even found a few new favorite pizza bistros in my city

9. Share my thoughts. I’m adding this to next year’s list since I really didn’t do this. I don’t know why it’s so hard for me to put my share my ideas and thoughts but I have another to give a try.

10. Watch foreign movies. Sadly, I didn’t watch many movies this year, foreign or not.

11. Go local. While in France, I bought local, but in my home town I didn’t make that much of an effort.

12. Take more photos just for the sake of the memory. Oddly enough, I barely took any photos this year. Even during my trip, I let my mind capture what it could would the security of a second lens. An interesting thing happened. Everything I experienced was deeply internalized that even weeks and month after it still felt fresh. It was as if because my heart new that that very moment was all I would have to remember things, I submerged myself into the present, drowning in it. Sure, I may forget details over time, but in that moment, I was fully present.

13. Connect more. I’m proud to say I did this. Proud, because I had been disconnecting for a while. But through volunteering, work, and simply living I’ve been connecting with more people and just being overall more connected to the world around me.

14. Grow a garden. Well, there’s always next year.

Ok so I didn’t do everything on the list, but I did go out of my comfort zone and made some wonderful memories this year.

Happy New Year!

Look forward to a new things to do list