Writers share a part of themselves with every work/writing they put out there for the world to see. As a blogger you (choose) to put yourself in public display for scrutiny, opinions and judgements. You are basically putting yourself “out there”.
Blogging about my journey and experiences was scary and still is at times. However, I enjoy the journey and the process of blogging if you will. And there is no doubt that I’ve learned a lot along the way. One lesson in particular that’s stuck with me is the importance of of reaching out to other writers and/or bloggers. The importance of building a network/community. Interaction and socializing.
In my professional work (the job that pays the bills), I’m forced to interact with strangers all the time. Making contact here and there for those I’m supposed to help. A phone call here. A meeting with a group of strangers there. Even giving a professional testimony in court. Therefor, I’m no stranger of putting myself ‘out there’ per say. And I’ve been able to manage it all so far, as scary it can be in certain situations. But still, this feels different!
I’m good at a lot of things – however, ‘reaching out’ is not one of them. But why, I’ve wondered.
I guess, for the reason behind anything that terrifies us – four letter word. F.E.A.R. and of course, our insecurities. Although, they seem to be usually based on fear.
I’ve written and shared the signs of an introvert. I view myself as an introvert with the ability to socialize when absolutely necessary. But don’t get me wrong, I love people – just not all kinds. I believe that chemistry is important – it’s either present or not at all. You be the judge!
If not, no use of forcing it. I see the importance of interacting with living humans every once in awhile. Being a writer/aspiring author can be a lonely road, so I understand the reasons and importance behind reaching out and being a part of a ‘community’ even if it consists of one or two persons. Baby steps!
So, why is reaching out to fellow bloggers & writers terrifying?
It’s all based on fear! Almost everything we do or not do is based on emotions – fear being a prominent state of mind behind various actions that scares or intimidates us.
But then, one will need to ask, ‘fear of what?’… Well, for me it’s been the following:
– Fear of rejection! Who loves rejection?! No one! And if you do, I’m sorry but there is something wrong here. Most human beings (myself included) seek validation and acceptance, reaching out means risking being rejected flat on your behind. Which can hurt, disappoint and perhaps break a tiny part of your spirit. Then, remind me why reaching out is not a big deal? And why I should put myself out there?
– Not knowing what to say! Makin small talk and being witty is not a strong side. I’ve several times found myself staring blank at the keyboard not exactly sure of what letters to press to articulate a sensible word, yet alone a whole sentence. Silly, I know but that’s how this mind operates at times.
It’s all fear and insecurities. The fear of saying something completely stupid and sounding like a complete moron. The fear of not being good enough!
– Their perspective on being approached. Is my reaching out a positive event or something they would like to pretend never happened. That’s the question!
– First. Impression. Is. Everything. Probably made up by a non-introvert. However, the pressure is real! Making the first step even harder.
– The awkwardness. What if you take the plunge and there is an awkwardness of no reply/contact. Ever experienced being in a moment of awkward silence?! Well, the virtual awkward silence exists.
It’s fair to say that I get a bit star struck at times. Especially if it’s a writer or blogger I admire and enjoy. However, there is an upside to this predicament.
The fact that it’s not the end of the world if all goes wrong. Or the fact that I’m able to ‘hide’ behind my computer and written words in the comfort of my writing spot, with a cup of tea (and/or perhaps some cake!).
Nevertheless, when putting fear aside and actually reaching out it’s truly an amazing (at times even inspiring) experience which I advise fellow bloggers and writers to make time for.
If there is anything I’ve learned so far is that building a blog takes a village and time. Reaching out is scary, I can vouch for that but it’s worth the effort. So if you are serious about what you are doing; then dive in what scares you the most, the sense of achievement is priceless!
Happy Writing/Blogging! Happy Wednesday!