Too Terrified to Write

In between the sea of black that is freckled with brilliant opalescent stars and the golden haze from the morning sun is the dark blue ocean of twilight. It is in this time before the dawn when you will usually find me sliding a backpack and trekking poles out of my car and readying myself for an attempt to ascend to a mountain summit. My thoughts are typically the same. It is very early. Why am I doing this? As I lock the door to my car and join a group of other similarly tired-looking hikers, I think, well, I’m already here, and I’ve made it this far.

It was only a couple of years ago when I first climbed to the top of a large mountain. I spent years gazing at rocky peaks from distances far away and thinking about how life was like at the top of these monumental statues of earth. I assumed climbing mountains was something that I would never be able to do until I decided just to do it.

I’ve tried to carry this mindset over into other avenues of my life. With my mind racing with doubt, I would take a deep breath, step off the ledge of comfort, and dive into the depth of the frightening unknown. I did this when I ran my first half marathon, when I first planned a camping trip on my own, and later when I did my first long solo hike into a vast green wilderness. However, I haven’t adapted this seemingly courageous attitude towards writing.

This is a strange statement seeing as you are undoubtedly reading something that I have written right now. In fact, if you actually know me, you would know that I have been regularly updating this personal blog since 2011 and that I have been sharing my thoughts on the internet since 2009. It’s not as though this writing doesn’t count, but I’ve found comfort in limiting my variety of writing to a space that feels more like a lengthy Instagram caption than an official published piece elsewhere. Although I’ve had my work published sporadically over the years in print, I’ve mostly avoided sharing the bulk of the work that I have written for fear that no one would enjoy it. It has been until very recently that I have even been too terrified to write.

Old files and stacks of notebooks filled with stories sit untouched out of fear that the finished, polished product wouldn’t live up to the excitement that occurred when the idea first sparked. Starving stories begging for deliciously fulfilling adjectives sit wide-eyed and frozen in time as I brush them away as though they were nuisances.

Rejection is the norm for writers. Part of the learning process for writing includes rejection from editors and publishers. As time goes on, your skills strengthen, and the work you share gets better. I know that my writing has gotten better since the beginning of my journey of oversharing on the internet. Still, I’m also aware of the fact that I have a long way to continue to go as a writer and that not sharing other pieces of writing prevents this. Blogging has been a great way to help me gauge and test my writing ability over the years, but it is high time for me to set aside moments for writing outside my WordPress bubble and dipping my toes back into other currents of the writing world.  

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