Frightened is the emotion that I would use to describe being a writer. Why that word? You might ask. Let me tell you. It's my work you'll be reading, my mind, my heart, my experiences in life that have led me to the place that I can write about shame and sadness and the entire spectrum of emotions. Being able to recount every emotion and putting it down for one to soak up like a sponge is frightening.
Judgement is also frightening. Some people might genuinely like my work and hopefully they will talk to me about it. Sending me an email or a message on social media. There are other people that will read my work and hate it and when they hate it, they will not hesitate to tell me why and how much they hate it. Or simply talk about me behind my back. I want to be great, I want to appease everyone on some level but that just simply isn't going to happen and that is frightening.
I pretend to be a cleaner, nicer version of myself around a majority of people. It's my "face." It's probably more for their benefit than mine, some people simply wouldn't be around me if I talked the way I normally talk. In all honesty it's not very polite or civilized to be dropping the F bomb or discussing your sex life. That exterior that I've worked hard to create is about to be shattered and I am scared that once my stories come out people will begin to know another side of me and that too is frightening. Will they think negatively of me? Will they be disgusted with the thoughts in my head? Will they lose respect for me? Will they judge my relationship or feel sorry for my children?
Failure. More than anything I am frightened of Failure. In everything I've ever done in this life I have wanted to be successful. I've wanted to make everyone proud of me. Sometimes I tried too hard and sometimes not enough leaving that pit of shame deep in my heart.
I loath this frightening feeling and many, many times over the last year it's made me want to give up. Throw in the towel. Why are you doing this Colleen? You will not be successful and all of the above mentioned things are going to happen. Just give up, go back to your old life and forget this new one that you've discovered. Is it worth it? Is you telling your stories to the masses worth it?
I always go back to the same response; I have to. I don't know why but something is stirring inside of me. I knew it the second I woke up at 2AM and typed on my computer until 6 simply because my mind was racing and I needed to get the information out. I can't turn back, I can't change.
This is me.
This me and here are my stories. They're a part of me and as much as it frightens me now they're yours.