Dear Fear: Published to a Visible Audience

My first blog post of 2014 was a letter addressed to Fear (click here to read), which was fueled by my need to overcome the demons that continuously warred with me, so that I could move forward with writing.  The leader of the unit was none other than Mr. Fear because he held the highest position of power.  Naturally I went after the leader to eradicate those that plagued me and held me back.

I felt surge of pride, having attacked my enemy so vigilantly through a slurry of words (and maybe slightly slurred) that I decided to share a very personal letter with none other than the entire invisible Universe known as Bloggers-ville. A place where I could moderate comments and delete the posts if necessary and then pretend as if it never happened.

Well I blew that opportunity by submitting my letter for publication and publicizing my new site by sending out broadcast messages to the entire Inland Empire, California Writers Club and its members.  Like an Air Traffic Controller directing folks to come down my runway. I was tickled pink to see my letter in January’s installment of Fresh Ink (freshink2014.01)  that is until I realized what I had actually done – fully exposed myself.  Now I have to face these fine people in person next weekend and I suspect some members will be keeping tabs on my blog and the progress because they are an amazing, caring, sharing, and supportive bunch.  I haven’t decided yet if that is a good or bad thing – only time and my actions will tell. What it does do for me is create a sense of obligation, pushing me to keep up with this endeavor and that’s okay because I love challenge and I (always) play to win. At this point, I’m feeling pretty optimistic and that’s truly a cathartic feeling that I’m not wiling to let go of any time soon.

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8 responses to “Dear Fear: Published to a Visible Audience

  1. A short war-story, if you’ll indulge…

    When I was a brand-new reporter at a small daily in the Midwest (I was in my mid-30s, having gone back to school and changed careers) I wandered into a pharmacy in this little downtown. I’ve forgotten the reason I went in, but never forgot what the clerk said. I had to give her my name for some reason, and she repeated it and looked me up and down. (A brief announcement that I’d been hired had been in the paper the day before, as was their policy.) I got that look a lot, there; it was a small town, as I said.

    “Oh, I see,” she said, looking wary and dismissive at the same time. They were used to new reporters who they assumed, usually correctly, were as dangerous as a toddler with a gun. “It’s you, the new reporter at the paper.”

    It brought me up short. I’d worked in the big city before, wrote columns for the big newspaper there and had been on TV, but guess I thought I’d somehow be anonymous here like I was, there. Her comment sent a chill up my spine. Suddenly, I was a public figure. Over the years there, I had a few ‘intimate’ encounters with readers about some mistake, real or imagined, that I made. Accountability was personal. I grew to like it. But not that first day.

    “Oh, no,” I thought. “I’d better be careful. They actually read the damned paper here.” I had the same feeling as you: suddenly exposed, like I wasn’t wearing any pants.

    It’s actually a useful feeling, though. Try to hang onto it a little, but keep it in the back of your mind as motivation to do your best work. That’s all you can do. But keep writing. That’s the only way to get better and keep Mr. Fear at bay.

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