Writing is the easiest part of blogging for me. Once an idea has formed and I’ve somehow found the time and energy to sit down and get the words out of my head and onto the screen, everything flows. I write a first draft, relish the editing, and then read it a bunch of times for final polishing. And that’s where the inner turmoil begins.
The stream of worried thoughts about how people will react when they read it. How they’ll probably think I’m stupid or annoying or wrong. That I shouldn’t be writing so openly about topics such as birth, or miscarriage. I worry about anyone who might be hurt by my words – directly or indirectly. For example when I wrote about my miscarriage last month I spent hours worrying about two specific friends who had gone through horrific losses. The last thing I wanted was for them to think I was all like “la di da, miscarriage is a breeze.” Or that I was critizicing their experiences in any way. I read my posts over and over, trying to find a way to word every sentiment perfectly, so nothing can possibly be understood.
So everyone will think only good things about me. Always.
Which is of course impossible. And at some point I realize that – for the millionth time – and I stop. I remind myself that it’s all ego, it’s all bullshit. What you all think about my writing is your business – not mine. My job is the writing. And writing without something intimate to it – on topics like these, at least – is boring. And I’d rather be criticized than be boring. And if I’m going to keep busting taboos (a dozen readers at a time) then my ego is going to have to man up. Or down, as the case may be.
So I take a deep breath, and I press publish. Sometimes I have a full-on physical reaction, raised heart rate, sweaty palms, head rushes – the whole bit. And then I realize that pressing publish only means that my mini list of email subscribers have received a notification, and I relax. And them I remember that it goes out to Twitter automatically so I get all sweaty again… and the process repeats as I work myself up to posting on Facebook, and wherever else depending on the blog’s content.
It’s getting better, for sure. Years ago I when I published my first comment piece on JPost.com after a trip to Istanbul I remember being a total wreck, reading and rereading every talkback comment and drafting revisions based on readers’ feedback. Now, once I’ve had my little freakout I usually feel liberated. I feel proud of putting another little piece of myself out there, happy that I managed to find the time to do it, and at peace with whatever reactions may follow.
So far, so good. Comments welcome 🙂