Blogging is scary. There, I said it. The thought that you just write down what you’re thinking on a particular subject knowing that anyone who wants to could read it is, quite frankly, terrifying. Not to mention that a lot of the time when I’m put on the spot like that, all that seems to come out is some half-hearted BS that I didn’t think through. I much prefer writing in the private confines of my own journal that I know nobody will touch. I like to avoid confrontation whenever possible and read over my work a million times before it’s turned in.
As someone who is so terrified of just putting my ideas out there for everyone, my stomach dropped when I heard that we would have a class blog that we would have to post on. I knew I was going to have to get over it eventually, and so naturally I was intrigued by Anthony Sullivan’s article, Why I Blog. Of course I wanted to know why someone would want to just write something on the fly and have it scrutinized by experts in the field and laypersons alike. No time for painful revisions and careful restructuring? How in the world are we expected to do that? The article though, surprised me quite a bit.
The reasons that the concept of blogging frightens me so much seem to be the reasons that Sullivan loves it so much. While I worry that I’ve made mistakes or argued a point that might be disagreed with, Sullivan relishes in it. Apparently it can be exhilarating to be clued in by experts on why a point you’ve made isn’t necessarily the best one to argue. This does seem to be a good opportunity to learn about a subject, but still to me, it seems mortifying. Also unbeknownst to me, the idea of starting a dialogue through the disagreements elicited through a blog post makes me want to shrink up and crawl under a rock. Who would have known that debating could really be a good thing? I’ve always been too afraid to lose friends and make enemies by engaging in heated debate.
Sullivan’s article has forced me to reevaluate why I am so afraid of being wrong. While he enjoys starting meaningful conversations and learning from the experts, I shy away from it in fear of being made a fool of. Still, I find his writing style to be warm and inviting. The way he writes so conversationally is nice, almost like he is actually talking directly to the reader. Perhaps I’ve had it wrong this whole time, and being right doesn’t mean nearly as much as being wrong and being able to take the constructive criticism. And perhaps, in being so afraid of failure, I actually have failed, because I have stuck so closely to what I think is right that I’m afraid to try and talk about anything that is new.
So, in the words of my mother, I’m going to “put my big girl pants on” and try something that scares me.