Sometimes I write a blog and I’m afraid to publish it. Okay every time I write a blog I’m afraid to publish it. Someone recently freaked me out by saying, “It’s not the book you wrote, it’s the book the reader reads.” Oh! When you publish, you’re inviting someone to look inside your head and take apart your psyche. When you make writing public, you’re putting on a bathing suit on the first warm day of summer and asking an indifferent audience to assess what happened to your body over the winter. I’ve been putting my writing out there for over thirty years and I’m still afraid of making a fool of myself. Many times I will hit “publish” and then click on the “edit” pencil so the words will revert to me for safekeeping. I rearrange a line or two and put it out there again. Then I take it off and then put it on.
What am I afraid of? Let’s say someone reads a blog and thinks. “I didn’t understand one sentence of that blog.” Or “Wow that was a lot of whining for nothing.” Or “At least no trees were cut down to put that drivel out there.” Here’s where I should drag out my “So What?” card. I made my “So What?” card about two years ago when one of my friends was confronted with a serious problem. It may sound callous but it is a good ploy for focusing attention on exactly what we think the outcome might be to any dilemma. When something bad happens and I pose the question “So what” I’m forced to verbalize the shadowy fears that bunch together in one big tangled ball of anxiety. So what if no one likes it? I say to myself. They’re not going to come here and kill me. I’ll ride it out. Friends might be delighted that you made a fool of yourself. You’ll make them happy. When I hit “publish” I imagine all the subscribers have stopped what they are doing and even though they live in separate parts of the world, they have come together to point and cluck in dismay over the infantile choices I’ve made.
The “So What” solution however is built to counter. “Even if that’s true, eventually people will forget and go on with life. Who thinks about Tiger Woods these days?
Often, when the blog is disseminated to subscribers, I will receive an e-mail that says: “This made my day. I laughed so hard and its only 8:30.” When that happens I go back to the blog to see what I’ve written that is funny. I don’t know when I’m being funny. I try to write about the ironies and craziness in this world but I can’t be sure any normal person shares my reactions.
I love writing the blog. My big dream in writing was to have a column and write about everyday things. My blog is like a column except there is no editor to save me