Wednesday, January 5, 2011Posted by Plamena Schmidt at 9:00 PM
Photo "Old Newspaper" by ShironekoEuro, available under a Creative Commons Generic license.
When I started writing my very first WiP back in May 2010, I promised myself I would start a blog after I finished it. Middle of December 2010, I finished it. And since then I’ve been twiddling around trying to start a blog.
While I was writing my WiP, I read a ton of blogs, learned a lot, was sure I had gotten the hang of it. Many times I went to bed with possible blog entries I could write rolling around in my head. But when I finally set my blog up a few days ago, all I could do was keep changing the background, tweaking the colours of the letters. As if that would help me have a good blog. As if getting that shade of green a tad darker would make everybody like me.
I knew that if I could just write those first few entries, I would be fine, but I couldn’t come up with anything. So I didn’t.
Not until I saw this: http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability.html on http://skateorbate.blogspot.com/
I clicked on it just to see what it was about, and almost stopped right away when I saw it was twenty minutes long. Twenty minutes? I had so many other things to do. Like finding the perfect background of my blog. But I was hooked after only a few seconds, and ended up watching the whole thing and rewinding over several parts. Brene Brown made a great speech, pausing at the right moments, inserting a joke here and there. And she said cool things like “shame is the fear of disconnection” and “vulnerability, this idea of, in order for connection to happen, we have to allow ourselves to be seen, really seen.” And that to deal with the discomfort associated with vulnerability, you have to believe you are worthy of love, belonging, connection.
Her speech touched me. Not in a creepy way, in a good way. Like I’ve rediscovered the world, or somebody had given me a special pair of glasses that made everything clearer. And while she was talking about being worthy, a memory resurfaced in my mind about when I used to take the subway to high school and college. There was a newspaper (I’m pretty sure there still is, I don’t know why I’m talking like it was decades ago, it was only a few year back) called metro, and most people read it since it was free. Having something free definitely shoots its popularity way up, and it doesn’t matter so much if it’s any good or not because, hey, you’re not losing any money on it. And metro was decent, and helped to pass the crowded, sweaty, rush hour subway ride to work, or school, or wherever you were going. But I didn’t pick it up for years.
I’m not sure why I thought I shouldn’t get one for myself. Maybe not to waste it because somebody else might like to have it? I liked to read it. I read it after one of my friends in high school was done reading it, a way of recycling it. But it took me three, if not even four years to get one. One day I walked past the stacks of newspapers that were almost my height and wished I could read the newspaper, but it was too bad that none of my friends were around to get it from them. And then it hit me: I could get one myself. Right now it’s laughable how long it took me to come up with that, but it wasn’t because I didn’t already know that. Technically, I knew I could. I never really felt worthy to get one, I guess. But if anybody else could have one, why couldn’t I? Sure, somebody else might like to have it, but I had as much right to it. And so I backtracked, grabbed one, and walked away with it like it was a thick wad of money, because it wasn’t about the newspaper, it was about the sense that I was worthy, as good as anybody else, and that, even though in only a tiny way, I had owned up to it.
As soon as I remembered this, I knew the problem I was having with my first blog entry was similar. It wasn’t that there was too much pink in my back ground (even though there might be). And it wasn’t that I had to keep changing it till I get the right one (even though I probably will keep changing them, it’s kind of fun). It was because I couldn’t own it, be who I am, believe I was as good as anybody else who blogged, and had just as much right to be liked.
But the funny thing is, as soon as I pinpointed my fear, it shrank and was almost gone. I say almost because it’s still there, but as long as I know what it is, I can keep my eye on it and keep going. It doesn’t paralyze me anymore. And so here I am. Starting a blog. Starting at the beginning.
How about you? Were you nervous about writing your first blog entry? Did it take you a lot of time or did you just dive right in?