Almost a year ago, I began writing my first novel. I intended to create a blog simultaneously as part of my author’s platform (that all-important self-marketing tool agents, editors, and writing magazines always trumpet).
Fast-forward 322 days: I’ve handed off my manuscript to beta readers, researched potential agents and editors, drafted a query letter, outlined my next novel, written two short stories and one personal essay, cataloged my writing magazines, reorganized my closet, cleaned the dishes, vacuumed, dusted…
Okay, I watch a little TV now and then, too. Who can resist Downton Abbey and Criminal Minds?
The glaring omission, of course, is starting a blog. The reason behind this struck me after I read a wonderful article in the Sept. 2011 issue of Writer’s Digest entitled “Ten Ways to Harness Your Fear and Fuel Your Writing”.
Writing a blog terrifies me.
I’m afraid of harsh comments—or worse yet, no comments. I’m afraid people will laugh at my typos and less-than-perfect grammar (I’m a writer, after all, shouldn’t my prose be flawless).
Mostly, I’m afraid no one will want to read what I write, that my lowly blog will float in cyberspace like a drifting ball of meteoric rock eclipsed by the billions of stars already out there shinning.
Put plainly, I’m afraid of failure.
In the afore-mentioned article, author Sage Cohen offers good advice. She recommends sitting with your fear, evaluating it. Is it really likely to do you grave harm?
Well…attempting this blog certainly won’t maim or kill me. It won’t induce my friends and family to abandon me (though it may try their indulgence). It won’t land me on the FBI watch-list.
At worst, I will suffer a bruised ego and a less clean house.
When I cast off reason and quit my job last March, I did so to embraced a better (albeit poorer) me. I decided thirty was too young to settle. Any age is too young to settle! That means taking risks and staring down fears.
So, today I’m doing something that scares me. I’m starting this blog about writing, reading, and the journey to reshape my life into a happy, meaningful, beneficent existence.
I may never sell a single novel. My blog may wallow in obscurity. Still, I’m better for the attempt. I’ve always loved the Tennyson quote “Tis better to have loved and lost than never loved at all.”
And this is a labor of love, so here goes!