I've had my writing out on public display for about a week now and a few friends, acquaintances and influences on my writing have received notice of its existence, one and two at a time.
While the responses, when I've received them, have all been positive and encouraging, tonight I'm feeling a little "stupid". My analyst would cheer to hear me say that word - because she insists that anytime one gives the title of "stupid" to a thought or feeling, one is skirting the edge of deep, vulnerable, gooey territory - the place in the psyche where the real work starts to happen.
But I feel "stupid" and silly and afraid - because I have let myself be vulnerable. Enough people know about this space that I no longer have complete control. The writing I've already posted reveals me in a way I'm not usually willing to reveal myself. Most anyone who reads it will see a side of me that normally stays mostly under wraps. To me, that is scary.
In Anne Lamott's "Bird by Bird" she talks about the voices that she fights down while she is writing. I hear those voices too. Right now they insist no one wants to hear anything I have to say, the way I say it leaves much to be desired, my words will reveal parts of me that no one can possible like or love, and that this little venture is pointless and inflated.
I want to take it all down and just pretend no one has ever seen it. I want to put up 1000 caveats about how my writing is really not any good. I want to jump in a hole and hide. But I wrote a week ago that this experiment is for me - it isn't about who reads what I write, if anyone does. It's about courage and a voice and wings. So instead of suffering silently - I'm going to disempower those voices in my head and my heart by exposing them to the light. I'm going to try to accept the encouragement I've received as genuine and meaningful. I'm going to be brave and leave my words out here on the blog and trust that I am not going to die of exposure. Because if my words are to ever have any meaning for me or for anyone else, I've got to learn to be brave enough to let them exist somewhere besides in my head.
So, as I start the second week of this adventure, I'm fighting the fear - and for now - I think I'm winning.