It’s my blog-aversary this week – Shedwriting is one year old! The baby blog is learning to walk and talk now. And it’s taking on its own personality.
This thing started off as a way to nudge me into the light. For someone who spent much of their adult life hiding in the shadows, I felt it was high time I stepped forward and tried out a bit of visibility. Pass me the microphone, I stated confidently, I’m ready to speak up. But when the light shone in my face, and people looked at me expectantly, I found myself wide-eyed in shock, and didn’t know what to say. I usually wanted to shuffle back into the safe shadows and take a breath.
But this blog was also a way to hold myself accountable that this writing thing was something I planned to do with my life. My inner critic had warned me to avoid stepping into the light, anxious about people pointing and laughing, telling me it was safer to stay in the background. But I set aside those fears and did it anyway. I suppose the bottom line is that I’ve given myself permission to be a writer.
And here’s the thing: it worked. I’ve learned how it feels to have no views, little engagement and even negative reviews. If I’m serious about writing, I’ll need resilience tricks like this. Most days I’m standing in that light and shouting into the void, not sure if there’s any point. But some days I know that at least one person has heard, and that’s worth all the sweaty fear and trembling that comes from putting yourself out there.
It’s also worked in pushing me to show up and do the work. I’ve been intentional for fifty two weeks, sitting at my desk and wondering what to write. I’ve connected on Twitter (another shocking thing for one such as myself) with lots of other writers, I’ve started a monthly newsletter. And if someone had told me this time last year that Shedwriting would have a piece in The Simple Things, be a contributor to BBC Radio’s Thought for the Day, and have secured an agent, I would have scoffed.