I am constantly writing. Almost every day, actually. I write letters, blog posts, emails, articles… you name it, I’ve probably done it in the last few months.
But all this writing has been for work, for others too busy to put together their own letters or speeches. So I do it for them.
I have been writing, just not for myself.
On both my laptop and on Google Drive, I have dozens of unfinished pieces, filled with half-formed thoughts. I’m almost afraid the same could happen to this blog post.
There’s things I want to say, but am afraid to share. So much of writing online these days is dealing with criticism. Some totally valid, but the majority can be harsh, or downright cruel. I struggle with the idea of putting my thoughts and ideals and values out there for a larger audience to read, only to have them tear me down for it.
I’ve always been expressive and open; when did I retreat into myself? Maybe it’s because I see how women are treated on social media and beyond, as well as minorities. I fall under both of those categories. Maybe it’s because I might react defensively whenever someone disagrees with me. Maybe it’s because for the first time in a long while, I’m concerned with what people–total strangers, in fact–think of me.
So maybe it’s more about treading water in the shallow end of the pool rather than forcing myself to dive in headfirst. In order to even extend slightly out of my comfort zone, I at least need to identify where my comfort zone begins and ends.
After my wedding, I cut off a significant chunk of my hair. More so than I thought I would, but I let my stylist coax me into it. She also suggested lightening up the ends, to create an ombre effect. She wanted to go dark blonde immediately and as someone who has only ever had dark brown hair (ok, and blue hair twice but that’s a totally different story), I panicked slightly at two drastic changes at once. I went with my gut and told her to not start with blonde, but a few shades darker so I could get used to it. A month later, I am and I kinda love it. I’ll be going back next week to let her finish the job.
So to dip my toe back in, I’m going to start looking for additional outlets outside this blog to write for. I haven’t pitched anything in, well, years actually. So it’ll be a learning process. And while I’m nervous, I’m also excited to re-establish my voice and write my thoughts down.
This is the first step of many to get to back to feeling like a writer again.