Good Morning Blog World! So, as you can see, it has been over a month since I have posted anything. We can chalk this up to (I just had to google to make sure this phrase was correct) a bad case of the jitters about sharing my writing. But what it is it that I am actually afraid of? Over the weekend, I attended a journal writing workshop, (more about this lovely experience later, Hi Sheila!) where I was surprised to find that it truly was fear that was holding me back from blogging. In my everyday life, I am known as the girl who doesn’t care what anybody thinks. This is largely because I am not very quiet about the fact that we should all live our lives with integrity and make our decisions independently of other people’s beliefs or opinions. I’m not talking about disregarding input or ignoring other’s feelings, but rather about setting healthy boundaries and creating a life where we can all thrive as individuals without fear of censure.
I see many people around me, especially women, who stress themselves out because they constantly bend, stretch, and contort themselves to please others. They feel like they can’t say no, whether that be to an unrealistic work goal, an unhealthy family/friendship boundary, or even to an arbitrary fashion trend. I am quick to pull out my soap box and argue that self-care is the true beginning of other-care and that people who matter will respect your decisions. As it turns out, when it comes to writing, I am just as nervous natured as the person who refuses to wear their favorite jeans because they think their thighs are too big. Plus size or not, this girl will always love skinny jeans! Being dubbed the “smart kid” in school, all those years ago, has created an unhealthy perfectionism in me. While I don’t care to sport my pajamas during a pharmacy run, and can easily turn down extra work shifts to keep my book club meeting, when it comes to anything intellectual, I will always work to get the A+. You can’t even imagine the torture that each paper from grad school conjures.
So why is it so important for me to blog? Well, for starters, I think that it is good for us to face our fears. What does it truly matter if I have grammar or spelling errors? So what if I make an idiot out of myself occasionally? Some of my biggest mistakes have taught me the greatest lessons. But more importantly, it is important for me to blog because it will give me a voice. No matter how small, no matter how insignificant my place among online writers may be, it is still mine. How fantastic that I live in a time, where, as a woman, I have the ability and the access to say whatever I want and distribute it into the world. Even if I do tend to overuse commas. Access to knowledge has always been moderated by those in power, but now more than ever, information and expression are more readily available to marginalized groups. It is important to take advantage of this and have our voices heard.
Back to the fear part -I worry that I don’t have anything to say about literature that hasn’t already been said. I worry that I shouldn’t write because I’m not an expert of any sort in the literary field. But then I realize – how can I ever become an expert if I don’t start somewhere? And maybe I don’t have anything new to say, but I have tons of things that I haven’t said YET. For me, writing isn’t usually about simply articulating what I think, but more of an exploration of what it is that I think. So, this blogging project, although focused on books and bookish things, is really going to be an attempt at bravery. There isn’t much that I can promise, except the simple promise to show up to the page. The rest will figure itself out.