I decided to take a much-needed break from revising my manuscript and sat down to watch a couple episodes of Fringe (now my new favorite TV show. Yes, I know, it came out years ago but I’m new to this). After retiring to my bed and scrolling through Pinterest I was forced to deal with the thought that has been lingering in the back of my mind. The thought was doubt and as I struggled to ignore it, I knew eventually I’d have to face this beast, stop being lazy, and rid it from my consciousness.
As I sit here, typing this, I know I would reread it gazillion times before drafting it in WordPress. I will then preview it a billion more times when it’s drafted in WordPress and I’ll be sure to choose the Justified button for my paragraphs so they look nice and neat. If it’s anything like my usual posting, it’ll be revised in the draft five to six times before I actually push publish and even then I’ll go back to reread it as if I’m not the person who wrote it. I’ll read it on my laptop and then again on my mobile just to make sure it’s formatted correctly. I’ll probably then proceed to share it on social media and go look at it. You know, just to see if it looks right.
If this sounds a bit OCD, then diagnose me now because it’s not an embellishment. Yet despite how hard I strive to ensure the proper crafting and delivering of content online, I sit here and find myself the victim of “what if?” The truth is that I am on the brink of stepping outside of that comfort zone and I’m starting to wonder if I’m good enough. Will the confidence I know I need as a writer be mistaken for arrogance?
Can I be trusted with the responsibility of giving advice or do my readers scan my posts and think that I’m a fool? Yes, I know these thoughts aren’t true and yet, I found myself embracing the possibility that maybe I look silly writing about things that others are so much more knowledgeable of. I sit here and I publish a post with the passion and the authority necessary to own it and yet, I cannot help but wonder.
But then I got a wake-up call. One from Emily Dickerson and one from Verily Mary.
‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers—
That perches in the soul—
And sings the tune without the words—
And never stops—at all—
I realized as I read these words, that if I am to accomplish anything of significance at all, then I must buckle down, rooting myself in hope, the songbird of my soul. As one of my sister’s so eloquently put it, “Hope is your anchor. Stay tied down in your faith.”
Additionally, this was solidified by a post I ran across prior to writing this post. As I stated, I was scrolling through Pinterest and discovered the blog of Verily Mary. Specifically, her post on:
…brought me back. I’ve always published posts on this blog with a certain level of ownership and I realized after reading Mary’s post that it’s not about being puffed up and proud (which I make a consistent effort to stay away from at all cost), but only that writers must own their writing with that same level of authority and devout seriousness or we won’t make it.
Tonight I was reminded that if you know you put your all into something (not just your C work, but your genuine all), then there is no need to feel shame. Mary’s words, like my sister’s, spoke life and I offer them to you with the hope that they’ll inspire you the same as they inspired me. Hold onto Hope and never give up:
“I say all of this to say be gentle with yourself when you write online. Aim for excellence while understanding that you are a different beast altogether when it comes folks like you writing in the blogging world. Your writing may be just as meditative and self-reflective as it is logical and analytical. And just because your type of brand or niche is not as saturated or mainstream does not make it less valid. Keep playing your heartstrings and continue to let their songs spill over on your blogs. Whether 10 people or 1000 people hear them, they still make a sound. And in the end, that is what truly matters.” – Mary, Writer, Blogger