I have been feeling a little off for the past few days. Nothing serious but I’ve definitely felt on edge; there’s been a general feeling of unease in the pit of my stomach, tension in my neck and I’ve been little crabbier than usual with my family. (Thankfully my AWESOME husband knows that when I’m in these moods all he has to do is get me to laugh at myself and then at least I can be aware enough to stop taking these feelings out on my family.) I wasn’t really sure why I was feeling this way and was trying to figure out if something had happened to trigger this mood. Then I realized… it’s this project.
I have been writing for 14 days now and with each passing day I’m able to open up a little bit more. I have put a lot of thought into just how much I will open up and what things are off limits. I haven’t crossed that line or shared anything I wish I could take back and I think I’m finding the right balance between honest connection and maintaining my privacy. So, I was a little surprised to be having such a visceral reaction, but there it was. When I really thought about it though I should have seen this coming. I don’t like to be vulnerable and this project is all about vulnerability.
First, in order to really flex my writing muscles I have to be willing to really be honest and write about things that matter to me. I could very well write about things that are superficial in my life but what would be the point? And who would want to read that? But if something matters then it is probably also somehow personal. Writing about things that are personal in a public forum leaves my opinions, feelings and choices out there to be judged. I hate feeling judged. I already judge myself pretty harshly, I don’t want it from the rest of the world too. However, if I let my fear of judgement paralyze me then I can’t grow as a writer. Which brings me to my next issue. (Yeah, I know tons of issues going on in here.)
I also feel vulnerable to criticism about my writing. What if I’m really not a good writer? What if all of the people who I’d fooled into thinking I might have something of value to add to the symphony of voices already droning on and on figure out that I’m just another drone? I mean really, who do I think I am? Why on EARTH would anyone be interested in what I have to say? (When I read that back, I’m afraid that it comes across as if I’m fishing for compliments but I promise you, I’m 100% sincere. These are the real voices of insecurity that I’m still trying to overcome!)
Finally, I feel vulnerable to public failure. What if I can’t complete the project? I already had a day of writer’s block and could have just called it quits right there. I mean, I was supposed to write for 30 days and I already messed that up. But I go on because a small public failure is bad enough, a big one would be unbearable.