Monday, March 05, 2012
Is Honesty the Best Policy?
I recently read a blog post on Writing Honestly on the Daily Post at WordPress.com that struck me in a vulnerable spot. Erica V. wrote,
"I often feel a lot of anxiety before publishing a post. Why?... I worry about my tone, whether or not what I'm saying could be misunderstood, and if I will offend anyone. It's embarrassing to admit that I can feel that self-conscious when writing, but it's true… Do you ever feel like you're holding yourself back?"
I often think twice before posting most of my blogs, because I reveal a lot about myself over the course of them. Some blogs I've completely scrapped. Not because I have a problem sharing – I'm more likely to open my mouth than to shut it! – but because I fear the reader either couldn't care less, or would judge me for those open, honest moments.
I know I'm not perfect. Anyone reading my blogs for any length of time knows I am moody, picky, uptight, perfectionistic, and pessimistic… on a good day. :P But I like to think all that is countered by the good I try to do for those around me, my commitment to my responsibilities and my belief in love. But you never can tell how others see you.
I've found a similar fear of judgment in my resume clients. They often come to a professional writer because they have difficulty articulating their talents and experience. Many also fear readers will think they're bragging or boasting, rather than simply stating their accomplishments. That's a hard thing to overcome.
The same can be true for my fiction writing. I second-guess myself there too, but I'm getting better about trusting my instincts, setting aside the worry over what others will think and just listening to what my characters are saying to me.
Now I need to learn to do the same for myself with non-fiction.
Have you ever tried to write something about yourself for public viewing, or even just for one special person to see? Was it hard or easy for you to Write Honestly?