I wrote a book. This isn't news to most of you - I wrote this book and self-published it way back in February. Since then, quite a few people (read: thousands) have downloaded it and read it, which is still completely surreal and
fucking absolutely terrifying.
Writing for me has always been a deeply personal thing. I didn't really think of anybody else when I wrote my story, I just wrote the story that was floating around in my brain. And I honestly don't know if I ever really thought I would actually let anybody read it, let alone THE ENTIRE WORLD. Holy shit.
That's why writing is a terrifying thing for me. The unknown, the reactions of complete strangers (meaning, not those who actually know me or like me). Writing reveals a lot about a person, whether it's through a blog or a book. I firmly believe that you tell a person's biggest fears and dreams and insecurities and loves, just by reading in between the lines. And I've put it all out there, laid my soul and my heart bare for the world to decipher and pick apart and criticize.
didn't don't write with other people in mind. I really don't. I sit in front of my computer, sometimes for hours at a time without typing a single letter, attempting to put what I feel in my heart into words. Hitting publish on that book, and honestly, hitting publish every. single. day. on my blog posts takes a leap of faith, a suspension of that small voice in my head saying you don't know what the hell you're doing. It's part who cares what they think and part I do have something important to say that gives me the courage NOT to take down my posts after they've been published. But before then, when I actually have to hit publish? I don't think. I just do.
I don't have tough skin. I'm an introvert. To the enth degree. I hate confrontation. Criticism, in any form, has the potential to make me break down. Being embarrassed shuts me down. And negative feedback is one of my biggest fears. I know, odd profession I decided to get myself into, right? Believe me, I'm thinking the same thing right now.
But you know what putting myself out there has the potential to do? It has the potential to reach people I never knew existed, and create relationships based on common values and loves and experiences and insecurities. Taking a chance might break me, but it probably won't. Someone may say something nasty, once in a blue moon. But for every critic, I have a hundred supporters, more than willing to help build me back up. For every negative comment or review, I have a dozen more, telling me how much they love me and my stories.
I'm a firm believer that you won't get anywhere worth going in life unless you take a leap of faith.
If I hadn't taken that leap of faith; if I hadn't been willing to put myself out there, even at the risk of criticism and all those other things that absolutely terrify me, I wouldn't be where I am.