Facing Fear

My home page boldly proclaims that my philosophy as a writer is “Just Write.” Don’t listen to that inner editor that puts a choke hold on your voice as you try to write. Well, folks, I have a secret: I’m a fraud. When it comes to writing a simple blog, I am beset with anxiety and insecurity and a powerful urge to run and hide. Is there such a thing as cyber agoraphobia?

John Milton said, “A good book is the precious life blood of a master spirit.” I don’t know that I’m a master spirit, but I do pour myself into my writing. Even a simple blog leaves a pinprick of blood on the page. Which probably explains the fear of sending those pieces of me out into the universe for anyone and everyone to see and judge.

My friend, Myra, always says, “You have to face your fears!”

And so, here goes…I created this website to introduce myself to the world as a writer and to connect with readers and fellow writers. Conventional wisdom says that you have to create a “brand,” but I don’t want to be a brand; I just want to be me.

So I will blog about writing, and teaching, and overeating, and cats. Fears and frustrations; triumphs and truths. And I hope that my words will reach out and strike a spark in you to face your fears and Just Write.

And yet, blogging is so pervasive these days that I wonder if I’m alone in my trepidation. Do you blog? Do you struggle with it as I do, or does it come easily to you?

24 thoughts on “Facing Fear

  1. Patty, I admire your courage and honesty. I will read every word that you write knowing that it comes from a place of compassion and truth.

  2. Thanks, Diane. Your support is always appreciated. You set a high bar for candor in telling our stories–an example I try to follow.

  3. Yay you! I knew you could do it. One post at a time and I’ll be hanging on every word you type because you inspire me.

    I’m definitely a cyber agoraphobic and a virtual voyeur. I have read over 600 books in the past few years, but have never written a review. It’s horrible of me particular since I’m hoping to be a published author some day and will be relying on readers to leave reviews of my work. Not fair, but the idea of putting any of my own ideas in writing, for all the world to see…terrifying.

    I’m in the process of starting my own blog, but carefully camouflaged behind a pseudonym. I don’t know if I’ll ever be brave enough to just put myself “out there.” Well, I guess that’s all out the window now since I’m clearly commenting on your blog as me. Hmmm…maybe it’s not so scary after all.

    • Oh, Jill, you definitely inspire me, too. And I so appreciate you breaking you cyber silence for me! You have a lot to say and a fun, easy way of saying it, so you should go for it.

  4. Hi Patty — good start! Yes, I blog. My blog is about seven years old now, and I’ve found my blogging voice. Some days I sit here wondering what to write, but most days it comes fairly naturally. I have a focus area, so maybe that makes it easier, I don’t know. But I do know I’ve been known to go on about nearly anything. 🙂

  5. Congratulations Patty! I am proud of you and inspired by your willingness to take this step. My own website is completely coded but still not live. The only thing remaining for me to do is to figure out how I want to display a few samples of my work, and yet that small step has seemed insurmountable. Reading about your journey from ambivalence to action helps me. Thanks for taking the leap.

    • Thanks, Nina. I’m happy to finally be using this great site you created for me! You are so creative and talented. Come take the leap with me!

  6. Way to go, Patty! The first step is the hardest. I’ve been blogging off and on (which is one of the no-no’s of blogging! yikes) for several years now. I found the experience of putting myself out in cyberspace to be freeing, since it forced me to let go of my fears and perfectionism, while allowing me the opportunity to find my writing voice. I’ve recently added a second blog at WordPress, Cards and Conversations, to explore another avenue of my experiences. It has become more and more fun.

    Thanks for sharing! Your vulnerability is refreshing.

  7. Oh, Patty,
    I’m so proud to have read your first blog entry. I am quite behind the times … yours is the first blog I’ve ever read and yet I’d love to have a blog of my own. I guess we can all do what seems to be just out of our reach. You’ve inspired me.

    • Thanks for reading, Ellen. I feel honored to be your first. That extra reach is sometimes uncomfortable, but almost always rewarding.

  8. Patty, I look forward to reading your blog posts. Your desire and commitment to being a writer and doing the hard and honest soul searching and “digging” that it takes to get to the heart of a story was evident in “Slants of Light.” You probably know in the Circle we have often likened blogging and memoir to diving off a cliff naked! Well, I say go for it . . . having the courage to find your voice and share it and then offer your readers insight into who you are as a writer and a woman is so worth it. I can truly attest to that after almost four years of putting myself “out there.” You won’t be disappointed with the amazing connections that will reveal themselves in time. Best, Susan

    • Thanks, Susan. You are so right about the “amazing connections.” I’ve found writers to be such an open and generous community. You and the Women’s Writing Circle have been an invaluable treasure along my journey.

  9. I blog, but I don’t blog as much as I’d like. Juggling so many pins, while wearing so many hats, can put restraints on time I’d like to spend writing stories. I am writing everyday though. When I write up interviews for my subjects, people from all walks of life, I sharpen the iron of my writing sword, refining my skill in the process. I am also a teacher, so as I edit my students’ work, I am taking the opportunity to critique the writing of others. In a nutshell, I need to stay on task and write as often as possible! Thanks for sharing your thoughts in the blogosphere! FEAR will only hold you back! Keep writing, Patty!

    • Kudos to you, Uriah, for writing every day. I think that is the key to keeping up the flow. I also find that critiquing other writers’ work inspires and challenges me to stay on top of my game. Thanks for reading!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *