Saturday, October 25, 2008

Opening Up

It's tough to both want to be a writer and to be so insecure and afraid of showing anyone anything serious I've written. The problem with writing is - even if it's fiction - you're opening yourself up in such a personal way to the rest of the world. I know that's what this blog is, too, but as far as I'm concerned, it's pretty anonymous (aside from specific people who actually know who I am and I always write with the awareness that those people will see what I'm writing). I know, of course, that people can write with a pseudonym, but I don't want to do that. Besides, that would feel cowardly, like I was hiding behind some false name (a blog is something different, I'm not a hypocrite).

I guess I'm just afraid of sharing so much about myself so publicly when I'm not behind the name "Erachet" but actually using my own name - and I'm afraid of making myself vulnerable. I'm a pretty private person, if you haven't been able to tell, and I don't like too many people to know about all my insecurities, fears, secret thoughts, struggles...

Except perhaps I do want people to know. Maybe I want to be known below the surface that way, I'm just afraid and that's why I like being anonymous (or semi-anonymous) and that's why it's okay for me to touch on these fears on my blog sometimes but I don't feel as okay when I'm not hiding behind a pseudonym. Being Erachet is safe. I like it.

And it's scary, too, knowing that what you write might not be good, even if you think it is. And if you write something and you've edited it and you think it's good, but you show it to someone whose opinion you respect and they say it needs work, or even that it stinks, then what?

All I know is, these fears are not letting me write real stuff. And I have to write. What kind of writer is afraid to write?

I'll tell you what kind. The kind that cares too much. But then - how can I not care? How can I stop being so afraid of writing good stuff, serious stuff, not cute and silly stuff? Cute and silly stuff is safe. I know how to be cute and I know how to be silly. Do I know how to be serious? Do I know how to be real? Do I know how to open up?

Do I have what it takes to be a real writer?

I'm sometimes nervous that I don't.


Ezzie said...

You won't know until you try.

Shoshana Hurwitz said...

I'm confident that you have what it takes...just have to keep plugging away. And there's nothing wrong with "practicing" your writing behind a mostly-anonymous blog...