I’m afraid of writing (on the Internet) mostly because I’m afraid of saying something stupid or something I’ll regret later in life. I know I wasn’t always this afraid, and I’ve got the stupid things I’ve said on the Internet to prove it. I used to be quite gung-ho about writing and asking stupid questions but now I just look back and cringe, and it blocks me all up. This fear of writing has now extended past just being a fear of writing on the Internet, but a fear of writing anywhere there is going to be an audience. Apparently I’m not alone in this however. A work colleague continually says I undersell my work, and my writing ability, and that I should try harder to “sell” it. Sometimes I just feel like they are saying that to make me feel better tho.
So, how am I working to combat these fears? Well, first off I address the notion that my work and writing ability is no good by saying to myself. ”Lauchlin, my work colleague is far more experience than I am, has much more experience writing and publishing that I have, and if they say I am ok at writing, and that my ideas are good, then I am insulting them by questioning their opinion.” It doesn’t always help, and it doesn’t take away all the fear. But it nails that particular monster on the head.
The next thing I say to myself is, “Lauchlin, past you is not now you”. Sure, I’ve made mistakes, said and written stupid stuff, but hopefully I’ve learnt from some of it. I’ll make some of the same mistakes again, and I’ll make new mistakes in the future.
Between these two strategies, I’m starting to feel less blocked up about writing. My next strategy to try is to just try and write more. At least 100 words a day. It might not be online, it might just be an e-mail, a note on some paper, or a few lines in the paper I’m trying to write with my colleague, but it has to be 100 words. Future Lauchlin, wish me luck with it.