Blogging is like hanging your laundry to dry over the plaza so the whole town can see your knickers along with the holes in your socks. It can make you feel exposed. Naked.
The first time I pressed “Publish” to publicly post my blog, I felt the same way I’d felt in eighth grade giving a speech in front of my school about why they should vote for me as their treasurer. Nerves struck and my mind blanked mid-speech. At that moment, I just wanted to run off the stage, cry, and chew my hair. Not that I was into hair chewing, but it seemed like a good time to start a bad habit.
And I’m left wondering, why do I blog when it’s such an uncomfortable process for me? I should leave it to the other folks who love doing this stuff. I think back to a house I once saw in Switzerland with a whole wall made of glass. It was a life-sized dollhouse and as I walked by, I could see the living room, kitchen and dining room. There was a real family in the glass house and they were eating dinner. I could see the food on their plates and that the kid wasn’t eating his broccoli. And I wondered who on earth would want to live in a glass house?
Now I know. Bloggers.
Today, I happened across a quote from Steve Jobs’ 2005 commencement speech at Stanford. It’s a speech I’d already read, but this time, I applied it to a new area of my life: writing.
Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
“…Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. *
So maybe that’s why I keep blogging. Not because I want to live in a glass house, but because I need to overcome the fear of what other people might think of my words and my writing. Like querying a manuscript, blogging is another way to put your work out there in the world’s harsh lights. And Steve Jobs’ reminder that there’s nothing to loose, that fear of embarrassment and failure are unimportant, is timely. Because we are already naked. There is nothing left to lose.