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Writing About Fear

Today’s One Post Per Day writing challenge was to pick one of the fears I listed yesterday (The Top 5 Things I’m Afraid To Write About) and actually write about it, or at least write about why I’m afraid to write about it. How did I know that was coming? Actually, though, having published my top five writing topic fears for all the world to see (and interestingly, that post has gotten the most hits by far), they don’t seem nearly as scary as they did yesterday. Maybe that was the point?

The real challenge for me today, then, is to decide which fear I’m comfortable writing about. The one that keeps popping into my head is my fear of writing about my business. I’ve tried to start several businesses over the past 20+ years and have had very limited success each time. The “failure to launch” part doesn’t bother me as much as embarrassment of having to admit that my grand scheme didn’t work. This is especially bad now that Twitter, Facebook, blogging and the like make it so easy to publicize every hope, dream, thought and idea that pops into one’s head, whether it’s viable or not. In a nutshell, after having told everyone about my latest and greatest business idea and gotten started down the path, it is painful to have to admit that I haven’t been able to be successful at it or make it work like I’d hoped.

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The Top 5 Things I’m Afraid to Write About

When I decided to start the WordPress One Post Per Day challenge I signed up for the daily email with a topic to write about. So far, I’ve been pretty uninspired by their suggested topics, but today’s really struck me – Make a List of 5 Things You’re Afraid to Write About. My first thought was, “Wow, only five things? I could go on and on,” but the truth is that I’m pretty open about writing and sharing what I think and how I feel, so now I’m wondering if I can actually come up with five things I’m afraid to write about. Still, if I’m honest (and that was my intention with this blog), here are my top five, in descending order:

5. Politics and Social Issues – My fear here stems from the old adage about never discussing politics, religion or sexual preferences in polite conversation. Really, though, my fear is that I’m not well versed on the issues (I studiously avoid mainstream news outlets) and that I’ll come across as ill-informed (which I am), ignorant (which I am about some things) and naive.

4. Money – having it, making it, keeping it, spending it. I’ve always had an uncomfortable, rocky relationship with money and I have a lot of fear and shame around my income level, my debt level, my credit history, and my financial stability.

3. My business – Specifically, my shortcomings in starting and maintaining a successful business. I feel like I have a lot of great ideas, but I haven’t had much success executing up to this point and I have a lot of shame around that.

2. Traumas in my past – I hope to use this blog to write about all my life experiences, but there are a few things in my past that I’m not sure I’m ready to open up about just yet. It is mostly involving some relationship issues in my teens and early adult years.

1. And finally, the thing I’m most afraid to write about is my true feelings about my relationships, not only with my husband and son but with everyone I’m very close to and very fond of. I’m afraid that if I write what I really think and how I really feel, it might get back to them and they might be angry, disappointed or hurt by what I’ve said.

Wow, that was amazingly cathartic. Maybe I’m not as afraid to write about these subjects as I thought I was.

An experiment

Let me just start off by saying that I’m scared to death to start blogging. I enjoy writing and usually have plenty to say as long as I’m writing about something I care about, but to keep a personal blog with the potential for other people to read it and comment on it is kind of terrifying. Still, I’m intrigued to start on this little adventure because of something I read on Seth Godin’s blog, which (and forgive my much-less-eloquent-than-Seth paraphrase) is that in order to get better you should write every day. Even if it’s bad and even if you’re not sure what to say. He assures me that, the more I write, the better I’ll get, so I’m taking him on his word and going for it.

It helps that WordPress is encouraging everyone to take up the One Post Per Day challenge for the month of October as a warm up to November’s National Novel Writing Month. While I’m not sure I’m ready to write a novel, I do feel like I have a lot to say and could certainly use the practice before I start on the e-book for Stir the Embers.

So, I don’t really have much of a plan or theme yet, other than to talk about things that interest or concern me. I may use some foul language and I will most definitely rant a bit. I won’t be upliftingly positive all the time (I save that for the other public forums I post on a lot), but I’ll try not to be a complete downer.  I will be honest and real as I can.