Unlatching the Mind's Door: Writing Insecurities

It’s almost foolish how self-conscious I can feel about my writing.

Although my passion for the written word and my complete adoration for language are both strong, there’s a certain trust that is involved in letting others read your work. This blog began in secret; beside my immediate family, no one knew I had it, save for random strangers dotted around the world who stumbled upon my blog on accident. Some of these readers continued on their journey through their internet, clicking and scrolling, leaving behind The Little English Girl. Some stayed, signed up for email notifications, posted comments, and became the audience that I have kept in mind. Then came my friends—those lovely little blessings who care about me and my thoughts enough to read my verbose, quirky, or spilling-with-feeling posts. While these friends are precious, I again keep them in mind as I write. What do they want to read about? What topics pertain to them? While as a writer, an awareness of the audience is crucial, this is my reminder to myself—this is my blog. It’s certainly a selfish blog. My goal isn’t to intentionally relate to my readers. Instead, it’s to give an insight into my mind. If something does pertain to a reader, then that really is a beautiful coincidence, or more specifically, a God thing.

When I first began writing, I remember pouring my heart out into my “meet me” page, stating that this blog is like the diary I would write if I were a dedicated journaler. The difference, as I stated, was the stunning lack of “i’s dotted with hearts” or “dear diary” introductions. Instead, this is the journal that holds my innermost thoughts on a level that surpasses “talkable” topics by a long shot. These posts are far from lunchtime conversation or the topics of chit-chats with friends. That’s where my insecurity stems from; having a blog is unlatching the door to the mind, inviting in friends and strangers and frenemies alike to sift through everything inside. Everything. Within the pages of my blog, a reader can piece together sections of my life (relationships, my family, my school) that I try so desperately to hide in my day-to-day life.

As a writer, this insecurity humbles me. I am too familiar with being “the good writer,” and feeling comfortable with my work being the sample. Now as a writing major and surrounded by others like me, I feel intimidated and scared. Not only do I have this strange discomfort with realizing how many people read my blog (1,081—a number that both frightens me, comforts me, and motivates me), and how many consequently have access to my mind, but I have a new discomfort with other writers reading my work. Put most simply, these lessons are teaching me that I most certainly have a lot to learn.