On Spilling My Guts

So I need talk to you about something. 

I love writing.

I actually love writing poetry and song lyrics the most (weird, right!?), but sorting my thoughts into phrases and sentences is deeply fulfilling for me in any form. I’m not exaggerating: it’s even kind of fun for me to write out recipe instructions in a way that is clear, concise, and easy to follow. Sometimes when my head is too full or my thoughts are racing around inside my head like unharnessed horses, I can’t even decipher WHAT I’m thinking until I scrawl it all out on paper…or on my computer…but usually on paper, believe it or not.

As a result, I love the idea of blogging. I love that it gives me the chance to let some of the words that constantly roll around in my head get sorted into something I can share with others, a way to connect, if you will. But I struggle with drawing attention to myself. Coming across as arrogant is a shame-trigger for me; I’ll try and avoid being seen that way at all costs, even if it means playing myself small and less-than-I-am at the risk of being seen as having a big head. It’s probably just from being naturally confident, bossy, and know-it-all-y as the oldest child and seeing how it can hurt others and make me look like an idiot…and I do NOT like being or appearing-to-be hurtful and idiotic. Get me super-comfortable with my guard down and, with my sporadically manifesting talent for impulsivity, I will inevitably blurt out thoughts unedited that always leave me feeling like an inconsiderate know-it-all idiot (which, now that I think about it, might actually mean I'm truly an inconsiderate know-it-all idiot deep down and need to work on it...*awkward grimace*). Also, I can be really intense and passionate about my convictions and temporarily lose my sense of humor sometimes, which can be disconcerting for everyone. WHICH IS ALL JUST A REALLY LONG WAY OF SAYING that writing publicly is a struggle for me; I keep trying to deflect attention away from myself because I’m afraid I won’t handle it well.

It means I’m consistently trying to avoid any prolonged focus on the deep, hearty, fleshy bits of me...which feels disingenuous. I worry that I'll give up the first time I embarrass myself or fall flat on my face, metaphorically. I stress that congratulations and praise will make me cocky…not because I’m going to be amazing, but because people are nice and say nice things to be polite and I’m just so eager for nice words that I take them and run with them while the other half of me rolls her eyes and keeps calling for me to come baaaack to reality already. I worry that I would appear to be all those things when I’m really just coming from a whole-hearted, genuine, humble place for a minute…which is actually kind of silly because when I am writing from a really vulnerable and sincere place, the arrows (that I’m usually throwing at myself, mind you) don’t hurt as much and feel even a little irrelevant. And all of this worrying starts making something really enjoyable actually pretty stressful. 

But despite all of this, I feel driven to write and driven to share...and I don’t know why…but I do know what holds me back from doing it: FEAR. Just the plain ol’ heebie jeebies. It's worrying about what everyone will think, or what they won’t think, or what I will say, what will come out, what I’ll feel like I have to say, what I’ll regret saying, and whether it’s all so self-indulgent that I should just shut my mouth already and keep it to myself. I’m really good at hiding and avoiding, so I am often more than eager to nod my head in vigorous agreement to that last bit and bury my head in the dirt. However, it turns out it’s not a very effective coping strategy when it comes to chasing your dreams.

And so I want to change the tone of my blogging here a bit, on occasion…and want to warn you about it. I’ve already given you the ammo to shoot me where it hurts (recap: just tell me I’m being too arrogant, self-absorbed, showing too much crazy, being melodramatic, or ignorant and unintelligent). Just be aware that, while likely very effective at hitting below the belt, I won’t consider any such comments to be very original or imaginative anymore since I gave them to you…but go ahead and say them out loud or in your head anyways; it’s okay, I understand. But it also means that since I’m writing for something deeper than crowd-pleasing, I’ll likely just keep hobbling along anyways. Sorrynotsorry.

I don’t really know how to come up with imaginary stories. I’ve always known that I am not naturally a great fiction writer. For some reason it just comes out flat and cheesy when I’ve tried. But I do know how to write about what I see…or (more accurately) what I perceive…and what I wonder about, my experiences. I mean, not all that well, but at least the words flow when I am writing what’s real to me (as opposed to trying to extract a stubborn tooth a la fictional storyline and characters). It's where I sit as a writer, currently, so I’m going to have to start there. Personal writing is not for every blog or blogger, but I think it needs to be for this one.

And while I hope my gut-spilling efforts at creating are helpful, I have no desire to label myself as the always helpful and you, dear reader, as the eternally helped. In fact, I've always been most helped and inspired by those who are bravely living out their own purpose regardless of what I think about it anyways. 


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