On Friday I had a great conversation with a treasured friend who is developing her professional identity. We were talking about blogging and how so many bloggers gain an immense following and a lucky few even have to court multiple book offers from publishers. What sets them apart? How could she get there with her blog?
I suggested that she should tell her story. Be more vulnerable. Face the fear that kept her from going all out. It seemed the bloggers that inspired us, whose posts we shared and tweeted, had something in common. They shared pieces of themselves. Not little teeny pieces but “big honking” pieces of themselves. They allowed themselves to be vulnerable by telling their story with THEIR story, not just through generalizations, timeless quotes, and great pieces of advice.
I think she probably wanted to kick me and kiss me all at once.
But then guess what happened? In God’s usual way of sticking those darn signposts all over when He wants to get a message across, along comes Brené Brown on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday. I’ve been looking forward to this all week. No, seriously, ALL WEEK. And wouldn’t you know it but the first thing they start talking about is dealing with online comments, then they launch into vulnerability.
Hmm. Isn’t that just what I talked to my friend about? Advised even? Then I realized the scary truth: I was afraid of being too vulnerable too. Of judgement and of what people might think if they pieced together the public and private halves of me. It’s what kept me from writing, let alone publishing anything. A hypocrite can apparently be pretty convincing nonetheless.
So I’m doing this. I’m writing. I’m going to avoid the trap of perfectionism because just like Brené, I’m a recovering perfectionist too. I submitted a piece of flash fiction – my first ever – to a contest today. With my real name on it. I am getting back to my blog again. I put my picture on my @MuseMeMama Twitter account. I published my Muse Me, Mama Facebook page. I’m stopping short of putting my full name on the blog – for now – while I feel this new naked feeling out a bit. Plus I do have a family to consider in addition to myself. Sometime real = embarrassing. LOL.
I hope you’ll stick with me – I want your comments, need them really, the good and the bad. We’re all in this together right?